Saturday, 7 February 2015

Mushroom Cobblers

Mushroom Cobblers

Little cups of velvety wild mushrooms topped with a cheesy biscuit to cut the creaminess flavoured with fresh picked herbs and perhaps a touch of sweet sherry. Oooh it can taste just a little like heaven. 
Generally cobblers are fruit based. But we make our own rules creating food as an artist and here I am preparing a wild mushroom ragout- pronounced Ra gooo to start off with.
Just to share some trivia, Ragu and Ragout are different. The former a much loved meat stew from Northern Italy. While the Ragout is a stew made of vegetables, meat, fish anything. Both the words are derived from the french word ragouter  meaning  stimulating your appetite. Quite apt for sure!

Once prepared and ready to serve imagine them bubbling and oozing; more rustic than delicate not for a formal dining table.
It is a rich and heavy dish so servings can be small. A fresh green salad with a touch of garlic vinaigrette accompanying this will complement  the meal.

Yummy mushroom cobblers

Serve in the bowl or slide it out on a plate.

Layered, moist and scrumptious

The Filling 1/2 cup of dried mushrooms, soaked in 1 cup hot water. Steeped for 30 minutes.
4 lbs of mushrooms, thickly sliced
2 cups finely chopped leeks
4 oz salted butter
1 tbsp olive oil
4 garlic cloves crushed or finely chopped
2 sprigs of thyme
1 sprig of oregano
freshly chopped parsley
mixed peppercorn or freshly ground nutmeg
4 oz fino sherry
8 oz cream

Heat the olive oil and the butter. Saute` the mushrooms. Add the chopped leeks and the garlic. Once it has softened, sprinkle add the water through a fine sieve (remaining from the dried mushrooms that were soaked prior). Allow it to boil and bubble until the liquid is almost gone. Now sprinkle with salt and peppercorn or nutmeg, the herbs and the sherry. Mix in the cream and bring it to a boil. 
Spoon the mixture into 12 ramekins. 
When ready to bake, top each one with a scoop of the biscuit batter.
Bake in a preheated oven 375F/185C for 25 minutes until the biscuit is cooked through.

The biscuit topping
Makes 12
1 1/3 cup flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
50 gm/ 1.75 oz salted butter
8 oz tepid warm buttermilk
6 oz grated cheese

In a bowl sift the dry ingredients. Sifting makes it lighter. Crumble in small bits of butter and 'cut' into it with two knives. Alternately using only the tips of two fingers index and middle, gently rub it together until it resembles grainy pebbles.
Add the buttermilk and bring the dough together. Add shredded cheese and just mix it in till folded. Do not over work the dough.
Leave to rest for a minimum of 2 hours.

Use your favourite mushrooms. A melange always give a better texture, consistency and are visually attractive too. Use fewer of the expensive ones, they add lots of taste. Morels are delicious as are the Shitake`, Oyster, Cremini and Chanterelles are also a good choice. The bulk should be of the brown and white mushrooms.

A sharp cheddar is the best for the biscuit. 
Scoop the biscuit with a small ice cream scoop or use two spoons to make a biscuit ball and press it down. It will be a sticky batter as the buttermilk and baking powder makes it rise almost to represent yeast like results.

The white Fino Sherry is the best for this dish.; Crisp and light.

For more delicious recipes click
Niloufer's Kitchen:French Bistro

Photo credit Sheriar Hirjikaka

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