Sunday, 17 October 2010

Wild mushrooms tartine with thyme creme fraiche

As i like cooking with seasonal ingredients, wild mushrooms are a great and available right now. Their season is quite short so make sure you get some before they disappear on us again. They can be prepared in so many different ways - on toasts, in sallads, soups, pasta sauces, risottos... the possibilities are unlimited. They are unfortunately not that easy to get hold of, at least not a larger range of them. I found the best choice to be at the borough market in south london, which is open from thursday to sunday. All the big chefs go there to get there produce and inspiration. I make sure i go there at least once i week and i absolutely love it. If you however aren't planning a trip downtown, and wild mushrooms are not a motivation enough, you can get some in some larger department stores such as harrods or selfridges and possibly at whole foods. 

Wild mushroom tartine with thyme creme fraiche

Serves 4

2 tbsp olive oil
1 garlic clove, crushed
300g wild mushrooms ( combine as many as you can find - girolles, trumpets, oyster mushrooms, chantarelles, pied bleu, chestnut mushrooms)
bunch of parsley, finely chopped 
25g butter
salt and pepper to season
8 slices of sourdough bread (pain de campagne)
100ml creme fraiche
3 sprigs of thyme, leaves picked

1. Preheat the grill or oven to maximum heat.
2. Prepare the mushrooms by cleaning quickly under cold water and cutting where necessary. You want to end up with different sizes and textures so don't worry too much about it all being perfect.
Also make sure to dry out the mushrooms properly as they will otherwise cook in the pan.  
3. It is very important to divide the mushrooms into different groups depending on the texture. I usually use the foot of the mushroom as a guide line. The thicker the foot the longer it will need to be in the pan. (Divided them into groups below)

4. Mix the thyme leaves with creme fraiche and season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
5. Slice the bread and drizzle with olive oil and toast them in the oven until golden brown.
6. Now heat up a pan to maximum heat, drizzle with some olive oil and sautee the mushrooms in batches until nice and golden. Do not overcrowd the pan. 

7. Once all the "groups" of mushrooms have been done, melt the butter in the pan and add the crushed garlic and all the mushrooms for another 30 seconds to just reheat them. Add the chopped parsley. Season with salt and pepper.
8. Serve immediately on a hot toast and finish off with a spoon of thyme creme fraiche on top.  

Cep mushrooms - thick foot
Girolles and black trumpets
Mini guideline
Thick foot - longest cooking time (about 90-120 sec)- Ceps, chestnut, brown, button, pied bleu
Medium foot (60-90 sec)- girolles
Soft - short cooking time (30 sec) - black trumpet, oyster, chantarelles


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