Creamy Garlic Mushrooms (Funghi all'Aglio)
Though it derives from an Italian dish, this dish is so commonplace in restaurants in the UK that it has transformed into a British classic, particularly since the 1980's. I've noticed this especially in the North of England, in cities, where a lot of Italians settled and opened restaurants during the latter half of the last century. You always find this on a menu in an Italian restaurant in these parts of the UK, but even general eateries are offering this dish because it's just so well-loved by punters.
Obviously you have to be a mushroom lover to vaguely enjoy this dish! Mushroom haters will run a mile. If you're a fan though, you will be damned by this delightful bowl of creamy, autumnal silk. Use any mushrooms, as long as you have a fresh, meaty mushroom and a fragrant mushroom - I like closed-cap mushrooms and dried porcini. The two work together to well; you get the texture and bite of closed-cup mushrooms but the wild, woody essence from porcini. It hits your senses with varying levels of mushroominess. An absolute winner of a starter, or just an indulgent lunch with a partner, tearing pieces of crusty white bread and swiping up every last, creamy drop.
CREAMY GARLIC MUSHROOMS
- 15-20 large Closed-Cap Mushrooms (approx 500g)
- handful of dried Porcini Mushrooms (approx 25g)
- tablespoon of Butter
- 1 Onion
- 1 teaspoon celery salt (optional)
- 5 cloves Garlic
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
- Half-teaspoon ground Nutmeg
- small glass White Wine (150ml approx.)
- 100ml Double Cream
- Because they need to soak a bit, we'll start with the porcini mushrooms. Add a handful of them (approx 25g) to a teacup and pour in 150ml of boiling water. Leave the mushrooms to soften, stirring every now and again.
- Take a frying pan and add a tablespoon of butter and a tablespoon of oil (prevents the butter from burning). Place on a medium heat and add a chopped onion and a teaspoon of celery salt (or regular salt). Fry on a medium-low heat until the onions are softened and slightly see-through.
- Grate in 5 cloves of garlic into the onions and stir for about 30 on a medium heat to wake up the garlic a little, being careful not to burn it.
- Once the garlic is fragrant, turn the heat up to high and immediately add a small glass of white wine (approx 150ml). Stir the wine through the onions, scraping the bottom of the pan so the alcohol lifts up all the caramelised onion flavour. Turn the heat down to medium and leave to reduce a little.
- While the onions and wine simmer a bit, chop the closed-cup mushrooms (approx 500g). Add the chopped closed-cup mushrooms to the pan and then add the soaked porcini mushrooms, along with the brown juice leftover in the cup. Stir through for about 2 minutes on a medium heat to soften the mushrooms.
- Stir in a half a teaspoon of ground nutmeg, or a pinch of fresh nutmeg and stir through.
- Stir in 100ml of Double Cream and leave the pan to sit on a low heat to simmer and reduce slightly until it reached your desired thickness.
- It's ready! Best eaten straight away, although it can be frozen and enjoyed later.