Delicious, Deluxe Duxelles

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If you’re looking for a flavour bomb that will add sophistication, umami and depth to stews, soups, omelettes, stuffing or just about any savory meat or vegetable dish, mushrooms duxelles might just be the perfect fit.

Duxelles is a mixture of finely chopped mushrooms, shallots and a little garlic and flavoured with fresh herbs, usually thyme, and cooked slowly with butter. Purported to have been developed in the seventeenth century by famed French Chef Francois Pierre La Varenne, they are nevertheless named after his employer, the Marquis d’Uxelles. Some folks like to add a little wine or sherry towards the end of the cooking process, or finish it with cream, especially if the duxelles is to be used as a spread for canapés or as a dip.

 

a ;ayer of duxelles in Beef Wellington

a ;ayer of duxelles in Beef Wellington

 

Mushrooms duxelles is most famously used in the preparation of Beef Wellington, forming a blanket of fantastic flavour and texture between the beef and the puff pastry. But this wonderful little mixture can be used in so many other ways that we like to prepare a batch of it and keep it in the freezer. Use a freezer bag and flatten it out, then when you want some just pop open the bag and break off a little piece for a myriad of uses.

 

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Duxelles is incredible slid under the skin of chicken headed for the roasting pan, instantaneously making your roast chicken high-falutin. How about crepes stuffed with duxells, or puff pastry pockets with duxelles and spinach? Mix some into scrambled eggs or an omelette and you feel like you are dining at the Ritz. Duxelles is also wonderful on its own, atop a cracker or toast point, or can be your secret ingredient in your next dish of stuffed peppers, zucchini or other squash, and is a great addition to your next batch of turkey or chicken stuffing. With a deep, earthy flavour, duxelles will enhance your stews and soups, meatloaf, burgers or veggie burgers, in fact it is a dream ingredient in any dish calling for ground beef, or for those on a lacto-vegetarian diet, mixed in with some texturized vegetable protein.

In a grilled cheese? Why not?

In a grilled cheese? Why not?

 

Why not make a batch of duxelles this weekend? Try a little on some toast and store the rest it in the freezer. You will find yourself reaching for it over and over again this winter!

 

Mushrooms Duxelles

2 tablespoons butter

¼ cup shallots, finely chopped

1 pound mushrooms with stems removed, finely chopped

2 teaspoons thyme, chopped

sea salt and fresh ground pepper

Melt the butter in a large pan on medium heat, add the shallots and cook until soft. Add the mushrooms and cook until soft, stirring occasionally. As the mushrooms release their liquid, increase the heat a little and keep stirring until all or mostly all of the liquid is gone. Stir in thyme, season with salt and pepper and let cool.

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