Monday, 20 January 2020

Stuffed Mushrooms

Cooked and photographed by Susan from Loire Valley Time Travel.

We are really lucky here to have access to cave grown mushrooms. Because they grow slowly they are completely unlike supermarket mushrooms in texture. Cave grown mushrooms are meaty and flavourful, like a wild mushroom. They cost a bit more, but it's worth it, as they don't reduce much in quantity when cooked. Best of all, they are clean, with no leaf litter to wipe off and no maggots (unlike wild mushrooms). 

Photographed by Susan from Loire Valley Time Travel.

2 large mushrooms (Portabello type)
A pot of soft fresh cheese with herbs and garlic (such as Boursin)
Olive oil

  1. Heat the oven to 180C.
  2. Snap the stems out of the centre of the mushrooms and chop them finely.
  3. Lightly brush the mushroom caps inside and out with oil.
  4. Mix the mushroom stems into the cheese and fill the mushroom caps.
  5. Sprinkle breadcrumbs on the cheese, generously enough to give complete coverage.
  6. Dot the breadcrumbs with butter.
  7. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Serves 2.
The mushrooms came from Loches market and cost €10/kg. Hendrick the mushroom man is there every Wednesday and Saturday, and at Amboise on Sundays. He sells button mushrooms (Fr. champignons de Paris), chestnut mushrooms (Fr. champignons rose), portabello (Fr. champignons gros or galipettes), shiitake, grey oyster mushrooms (Fr. pleurotes grises) and yellow oyster mushrooms (Fr. pleurottes jaunes), all cave grown. In season he will also have wild chanterelles (aka girolles) which come from the pine forests around where he lives in the Sologne.

The soft fresh cheese I used came from a local dairy farmer who delivers twice a week to my home. In French it is called fromage aux fines herbes. She also supplies the EpiServices in Preuilly sur Claise and Le Grand Pressigny as well as the Intermarché supermarket in Yzeures sur Creuse.

The breadcrumbs I made myself by taking old hard leftover baguettes and putting them in a calico bag. I then bash the heck out of them with a meat mallet before tipping them into a colander and shifting them. Any bits that don't go through the holes in the colander go back in the bag for another bout of bashing and the process is repeated. After two goes at bashing and sifting any bread still left goes in the compost. The resulting crumbs are fine and dry and make excellent crunchy coatings for mushrooms or meat.



For details of our private guided tours of chateaux, gardens, wineries, markets and more please visit the Loire Valley Time Travel website. We would be delighted to design a tour for you.


Sheila said...

I'm a big fan of portabellos. Stuffed with just about anything, they make a great main dish. And the brown creminis, as they are known here when in their early stage, are far superior to the white ones. I think many of the mushrooms offered here in the US are cave grown. In Pennsylvania for instance.
One step in meal prep I can do without is picking off the maggots.

chm said...

As you say, portobello mushrooms, Agaricus bisporus, are better know in France as champignons de Paris and here is why .

Susan said...

The big difference between these cave grown mushrooms and industrially produced ones is that they are not pumped full of water for accelerated growth.

Susan said...

Angel in the article you linked to sounds just like M. Delalande from the mushroom caves at Bourré, near Montrichard. As it happens I've got a blog post coming up on the history of the cultivation of button mushrooms in France.

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