Wild-Mushroom Saute

Wild-Mushroom Saute

For the most interesting results, combine two or more varieties of wild mushrooms for this recipe. You can pick up packages of them in most specialty stores and in some supermarkets. To stretch the flavor (and chop the price) combine the wild mushrooms with the common, white, cultivated mushrooms.

The dish goes particularly well with poultry or meat, or as a topping for pasta, polenta, or an omelette filling. The recipe can easily be doubled.

According to Mike Anderson, chef and co-owner of Cafe du Berry, in Portland, Ore., it's the addition of lemon juice that gives this recipe its uniqueness. The truly daring may wish to experiment with various vinegars instead of lemon juice. The addition of an acid (lemon juice or vinegar) is very much a matter of taste, so sample before serving.

The following is adapted from a recipe by Chef Anderson.

4 tablespoons butter, clarified (see below)

1/2 lb. fresh wild mushrooms in any combination (oyster, shiitake, chanterelles, crimini, morels, porcini, etc.)

1/4 cup sliced shallots

2 - 3 tablespoons lemon juice

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

1/2 cup Italian parsley, chopped

Melt butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Remove from heat and set aside for a few minutes until the cloudy whey settles. Spoon off 3 tablespoons of clear (clarified) butter.

Slice mushrooms (remove and discard tough stems if using shiitakes). Heat clarified butter in medium to large frying pan. Add mushrooms to butter and saute over medium heat for 3-4 minutes, or until they begin to soften. Add shallots and continue sauteing until shallots are limp and begin to look clear - about another 3 minutes.

Add 2 tablespoons lemon juice, salt, and a bit of ground pepper. Taste for seasonings, and add additional lemon juice if you wish. Top with parsley. Serve immediately, or freeze for later use.

Serves 2 as a side dish, and 3 or 4 when used as a topping for pasta or polenta, or added to an omelette.

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