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BEECH MUSHROOMS WITH CUCUMBER IN SORREL SAUCE
by Bob Hosh

This tart-sour sauce goes very well with roast chicken, or baked or poached fish!


(click to enlarge photo)
Ingredients:
  • 6-8 ounces Beech Mushrooms trimmed
  • 6 tablespoons sweet butter, divided 3 ways
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallots
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 1/3 cup milk, heated
  • 1 1/2 cups peeled, seeded and cubed cucumber
  • 6-8 ounces fresh sorrel, leaf ribs removed and coarsely chopped (about 3 cups)
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
Method:
For the mushrooms – Trim the base off the Beech Mushrooms and separate them, but leave them whole. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a skillet over medium high heat, when the foam subsides add the mushrooms and sauté until done, about 6 minutes. Set aside.

For the cucumber - peel and seed if necessary a small to medium cucumber and cut into 1 inch pieces. In another skillet melt 2 tablespoons of butter over medium heat and sauté the cucumber pieces and 2 tablespoons minced shallots until tender, About 6-8 minutes. Set aside.

For the sauce – Heat the 1 1/3 cups milk until small bubbles start to form; remove from heat and set aside. (Do not boil the milk!!) In a heavy 2-quart sauce pan melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and stir in the 2 tablespoons flour. Cook stirring constantly, until the paste cooks and bubbles a bit (don’t let it brown). Add the chopped sorrel, stir and cook until it wilts and turns slate gray, about 2 minutes. Add the hot milk, continuing to stir as the sauce thickens. Bring the sauce to a boil and quickly lower the heat to a simmer; add the salt and white pepper and cook gently for about 2 minutes. Now add the mushrooms and cucumbers to the sauce. If the sauce is too thick, add up to ¼ cup heavy cream to thin it. Adjust the seasonings.
Note: Look for sorrel in Eastern European markets or grow your own.

(Created and served at Fungus Fest 2012)
Serves 4-6 as a garnish.