Food Lovers’ Fridays: I’m a big fan of bringing classical cooking methods and recipes into the home kitchen. Today’s post is the start of a series meant to highlight those traditional techniques and recipes that can be used or adapted to paleo cooking.
Have y’all ever read Fancy Nancy*? If you know any little girls under the age of eight or so, I’m sure the answer is yes.
If not, I’ll just tell you briefly that it’s a pretty adorable series of books about a girl who enjoys being fancy. I especially love the way the author gives definitions of ‘fancy’ words to her readers: fuschia is fancy for purple; plume is fancy for feather, and so on.
Why is fancy relevant today? Because this dish has a lovely name that sounds fancier than it is. Just think of “duxelles” as fancy for “sauteed mushrooms with shallots, garlic, and herbs.”
Duxelles really is as simple as fancy cooking gets. The dicing is the hardest part, and that’s only because it takes time to do. When I am making this, I tend to do a less precise cut — more of a rough chop than a proper dice. In a hurry? Chop the mushrooms and alliums (fancy for onions, shallots, garlic, leeks and other related plants) in a good processor. Any way you slice it (ha ha), it is just as delicious.
Note that mushrooms are full of liquid, and will release their moisture as they cook; be sure to let all of this liquid cook off. The end result is concentrated, deep, ‘shroomy goodness that is excellent in omelets or scrambles, as filling in a casserole, stuffing for roasted poultry, or just as a fabulous side dish all on its own.
Variations abound: use a variety of mushrooms, instead of just one; substitute sweet onions for shallots; use thyme or sage instead of parsley — make it as plain or fancy as you please.
- 1-1/2 pounds white button mushrooms
- 2 shallots (for this batch, I substituted 1/2 large sweet onion)
- 4 cloves garlic
- 2 tablespoons fat (ghee, butter or olive oil)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 teaspoons dried parsley (1-1/2 tablespoons fresh, minced)
- Wash mushrooms; pat dry. Dice and set aside.
- Peel shallots and garlic. Dice these -- mince, if you want to be extra fancy -- and set aside.
- In large skillet, warm the fat. When melted, add shallots and garlic to the pot. Saute until shallots are just tender (6-8 minutes; if subbing onions, note that they tend to take a minute or two longer).
- Add mushrooms to the skillet. Saute until mushrooms have given up their liquid and it has cooked off (8-10 minutes); the mixture should be dry.
- Remove skillet from the heat. To serve, season with salt, pepper and parsley.
* = Affiliate link.