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Mushrooms in Cream Sauce (Champignons à la Crème)

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At several of the farmers markets in the area, you can find beautiful mushrooms that would be perfect with a nice juicy steak. Here’s a classic French way to prepare those beauties. The recipe comes from Richard Grausman’s new “French Classics Made Easy” (Workman Publishing, $16.95).

Champignons à la Crème, as they are also known, also make “an excellent first course served simply on a piece of toast (or) puff pastry,” Grausman writes.

Mushrooms in Cream Sauce

1 tablespoon butter
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 pound white or cremini mushrooms, washed, dried and sliced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 to 2 teaaspoons dry sherry or Madeira, to taste (optional)
Toast, for serving

In a medium-size saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the shallot and sauté for about 2 minutes without browning.

Add the mushrooms, sprinkle with the salt and pepper, and cover tightly with a lid. Reduce the heat to medium-low and steam the msuhrooms slowly in their own moisture for about 10 minutes.

Remove the mushrooms with a skimmer or slotted spoon and set aside. Reduce the cooking liquid over high heat until only 3 tablespoons remain, about 3 minutes.

Add the cream and boil, uncovered until the sauce thickens slightly. Return the mushrooms to the sauce. (The mushrooms can be made in advance up to this point. Cover the surface with plstic wrap and refrigerate.)

To serve: First bring to a boil, then taste and adjust the seasoning, if necessary. Add the sherry or Madeira (if using) and spoon over warm toast.

Makes 6 servings.

From “French Classics Made Easy” by Richard Grausman


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