Thursday, February 24, 2011

Magic Mushrooms

I love my little upright freezer. It allows me to buy berries with impunity, pulling them out on cold, rainy days when I desperately need a reminder that summer will, indeed, come again. And because I usually had my nose in a book when my mother was hauling out her big speckled enamel canner, all I have to do now is dump the roasted tomatoes from the grill into freezer bags and pull them out when pizza or pasta requires saucing.

On those nights when it's time for dinner (again???) and ideas are in short supply, I can open the door, survey the stocks, meats and sauces and come away with armloads of inspiration.

So when a couple of pounds of Springwater Farms'  gorgeous fresh mushrooms followed me home from the Hillsdale Farmers' Market, I tore them up, sautéed them with some shallots and white wine and spooned them into a couple of freezer bags. It's pretty much guaranteed that soon I'll open that door again and hear a whisper about ragu or risotto or chowder.

Wild Mushroom Duxelles

2 lbs. wild mushrooms
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 shallots, minced
1/4 c. dry white wine or dry vermouth

Tear or slice mushrooms into bite-sized pieces. Heat oil in a skillet, add minced shallots and sauté briefly to warm them. Quickly add mushroom pieces and sauté until they release their juices and pans looks dry. Add wine and sauté till most of the moisture is evaporated. Allow to cool. Can be used immediately or put in freezer bags and frozen for later use.

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