Martha Washington’s Creamed Mushrooms

Last week, at the end of posting Herbed Trout on the Grill, I suddenly realized that I’d never posted the recipe for Martha Washington’s Creamed Mushrooms, which we served along with our trout fillets. This is a lovely recipe, very simple but creamy and absolutely delicious.

Martha Washington Creamed Mushrooms

This recipe is modified slightly from its original version in a Colonial Williamsburg cookbook.

You’ll need 8 ounces of fresh mushrooms (white, cremini, or portobello all work); 2 tablespoons of butter; 1 heaping teaspoon of fresh tarragon, chopped; 1/2 to 2/3 cup of half-and-half (depending on how much cream sauce you want); and kosher salt to taste. (Note that I’m not using pepper in this recipe. As I’ve learned from cooking classes by Chef Phil at @MonAmiGabiRTC, for instance, pepper is not a flavor enhancer but rather adds flavor. For this recipe, I didn’t want the pepper to overwhelm the creamy delicate balance of the dish. If you love pepper, though, add it!)

Start by rinsing the mushrooms. (I bought sliced mushrooms but whole mushrooms are fine.)

Trim the mushrooms by cutting off the woody end of the stalk. Then roughly chop the mushrooms. (Remember, mushrooms will shrink when you cook them!) 

Melt two tablespoons of butter in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, then add the chopped mushrooms. Sauté the mushrooms, stirring frequently.

By the way, how do you like the beautiful wooden spoon here? It’s handmade by Jonathan’s Spoons, up in Pennsylvania. I go to the Reston Fine Arts Festival every May, just to buy something from Jonathan’s! This spoon is called the Lazy Spoon and is designed specifically to hook on to the side of a sauté or sauce pan. It’s wonderful!

Back to mushrooms. Stir the mushrooms until they have released their juices.

Once the juices have cooked away, add 1/2 to 2/3 cup of half-and-half. The amount to add will depend on how much cream sauce you want the mushrooms to have. Now, also add a pinch of kosher salt and the finely chopped tarragon.

Cook (stirring frequently) until the sauce is at the consistency you’re aiming for. (I was aiming for not quite so much cream sauce as last week.)

We served this tonight with grilled fresh swordfish (brushed with a butter-lemon-herb mixture, then cooked on the grill in a fish basket) and our favorite Bertagni fresh past (tonight, buffalo mozzarella-filled ravioli), plus veggies. Lovely!

And we paired the dinner with the 2015 @Breaux Vineyards Barrel Select Chardonnay.

This is a lovely Burgundian-style Chardonnay with caramel, pear, and somewhat earthy notes (like mushroom!) on the nose, then moderately rich caramel-apple and vanilla on the palate with a lovely bright uplift at the end of the long finish. Terrific wine and great pairing!

Enjoy, and cheers!

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Filed under Recipes, wine pairings

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