I’ve spent enough time curled up in bed with a good cookbook, reading recipes before drifting off to sleep with visions of Artic Char and Potato Gratin dancing in my head, that it’s not often I come across a foodstuff I’ve never heard of. This was just my experience, however, when I was reading the January/February issue of Cooking Light and came across a recipe for Duxelles. According to Wikipedia, Duxelles is “is a finely chopped (minced) mixture of mushrooms or mushroom stems, onions, shallots and herbs sautéed in butter, and reduced to a paste (sometimes cream is used as well). It is a basic preparation used in stuffings and sauces (notably, beef Wellington), or as a garnish.”
I’m a big mushroom fan, so I decided to give it a shot. This recipe is mild but rich and meaty in the veggie-ish way that mushrooms are meaty (I could just say umami, but I’d feel like a tool). So far I’ve added it to matzoh balls, gnocchi with brown butter and asparagus, pot roast, scrambled eggs, polenta with bacon and used it as a condiment on a baguette. In every case I think it really added to the dish. The magazine suggests making a batch and freezing most of it, but I’m going to use this up so fast there’ll be no freezing for me.
Duxelles (recipe from Cooking Light)
10 3/4 cups sliced mushrooms (about 3 pounds)
1 T olive oil
3/4 C minced onion
1/2 C minced leek (about 1 small)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 C minced fresh parsley (I used thyme)
3 T minced fresh chives
2/3 t salt
1/4 t freshly ground black pepper
1. Place about 2 C mushrooms in a food processor, and pulse 12 times or until finely chopped, scraping sides of bowl occaisionally. Place chopped mushrooms in a large bowl. Repeat procedure in batches with the remaining mushrooms.
2. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add onion, leek, and garlic to pan; saute 3 minutes or until tender. Stir in mushrooms; saute 30 minutes or until liquid evaporates, stirring occaisionally. Remove from heat; stir in parsley, chives, salt and pepper. Cool completely. Yields 4 cups.