I love scrappy dinners. I couldn’t tell you why. Maybe it’s that break with routine that signals something exciting, something different. For us, Tuesdays have become our night for scrappy suppers. With all of our activities falling on one night of the week, I gave up cooking. I’d make meals that were usually only half eaten at best, and with the effort it took to have it all prepared and ready for eating during that elusive half hour between activities – it just wasn’t worth the effort. So it’s baked beans on toast or a fried egg sandwich.
But then something wonderful happened and scrappy Tuesday night dinners were transformed into gourmet French toasties. By chance I had a load of mushrooms in the fridge that were almost at the end of their life and so I whipped them into a frenzy of cream and garlic. It’s a meal we used to enjoy at a French bistro near where we lived in Battersea and it’s easy to get really great results at home. You’ll probably have most of the ingredients already – so while it’s a bit a fancy – it retains that casual, thrown-together feeling that I love so much. Whether you use buttons or chestnuts, portobellos or oysters – the mushrooms get all swept up in garlic and other delicious ingredients and so really in the end it doesn’t matter. The best thing about this recipe is that you can prepare it any time during the day and then just heat it up when you’re ready to eat. It can even be put in the fridge and re-heated the next day.
Creamy Garlic Mushrooms Recipe
2 x packets of mushrooms, roughly chopped
4 x garlic cloves, crushed
1 onion, diced
Thyme & parsley, chopped
Dry sherry or white wine, a generous splash
Sour cream or cream, about half a cup
Saute the garlic and onion, and build some good heat in the pan before you throw in the chopped mushrooms.
The pan will seem rather full, but the mushrooms will cook down substantially. Keep stirring on high heat until they have cooked down.
Keep the heat on high so that any moisture gets cooked out, and when there’s no wetness in the bottom of the pan, throw in the wine/sherry and let it sizzle a bit.
Throw in the herbs, lots of salt and lashings of pepper and finally the cream. Keep the heat high the whole time.
Let the cream boil and thicken up and then when the consistency is right for you, turn the heat off.
Serve on buttered toast, preferably your home-made baguette or my favourite store-bought bread Crosta and Mollica pane Pugliese which you can find in Waitrose.