Stuffed Mushrooms

Champignons Farcis

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Easy

  • Servings:

    4

Appears in

Simple French Food

By Richard Olney

Published 1974

  • About

One of the nicest things one can do to a cultivated mushroom. Relatively small (about 3-inch diameter), firm, healthy cèpes are glorious prepared in this way; their heady and exhilarating flavor will not be improved by even the slightest addition of nutmeg to the duxelles. In either case, the flavor will be much the best if the mushrooms are cooked over a bed of hot coals, but the presentation will be prettier if they are prepared in the oven.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound large mushrooms, preferably unopened, stems firm and brittle (count pounds if using cèpes because of the weight of their stems), stem ends trimmed, wiped clean or rapidly washed, and wiped or sponged dry
  • Olive oil

Duxelles

  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • The mushroom stems, finely chopped
  • 1 handful chopped parsley
  • Salt, pepper
  • Suspicion of freshly ground nutmeg (optional)
  • ½ lemon
  • About ¼ cup dried breadcrumbs and butter shavings (if to be prepared in oven)

Method

Break the stems free of the mushroom caps at their point of attachment, tearing gently first to one side, then to the other so as not to damage the caps (don’t cut them—you will have no place for the stuffing). Put the caps into a bowl and sprinkle them liberally with olive oil, turning them around in it until they are well coated.

Stew the chopped onion, seasoned, gently in butter, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes or until soft and yellowed, but not browned. Add the chopped mushroom stems, turn the flame high, tossing and stirring until their moisture has been evaporated, stir in the parsley, turn the flame low again for a couple of minutes, and when the mixture begins to stick to the bottom of the pan, remove from the heat, taste for salt, stir in nutmeg (if desired) and lemon juice to taste.

Season the mushroom caps. If they are to be grilled over wood coals, place them on the preheated grill hollow face down for about 4 minutes or until that surface is lightly browned with just a suggestion of crispness here and there, remove from the grill, stuff them with the hot duxelles (rapidly reheated over a high flame, stirring the while, if necessary), packing it and mounding it with the hollow of a spoon, and return the mushrooms to the grill, rounded surface down, to finish cooking for another 4 minutes or so—the exact time depends on the size of the mushrooms and on the intensity of the heat; you must sense when they are ready.

If being prepared in an oven, put the seasoned caps, arranged in a shallow baking dish, into a hot (450°) oven for 8 to 10 minutes (or “broil” them for a few minutes on each side beneath a flame) before stuffing them, sprinkling the surface with breadcrumbs and a shaving of butter for each, and finishing them either in the hot oven until lightly colored or, preferably, beneath the broiler flame.