Pushing you out of your comfort zone

January 20, 2013


IngredientsOk how many of you must have a recipe when you cook?  Do you feel like a fish out of water when you wing it in the kitchen?  Do you like to have all your ingredients lined up in a row like soldiers awaiting the dipping of teaspoons and measuring cups?  Or do you like to just snatch a handful of various items and throw them into a pot to see what comes out?

I am of the second camp 100%  Do I use recipes sure but mostly for baking which is more like a science experiment than cooking to my way of thinking.  Finding how things interact together when heat and at times water are applied just fascinates the heck out of me.  Thankfully The Husband has become a willing victim when it comes to my playing in the kitchen…OK “willing” might be a bit strong of a word to use but hey whatcha gonna do? SOMEBODY has to try this stuff!

Today those of you who must have teaspoons and cups you are going to step out of your comfort zone. You are going to lay aside your devices of measuring and totally wing it though this recipe.  Now wait a minute don’t start hyperventilating on me.  Would I start you off with something I didn’t think you could handle?  The hardest part will be the thickening of your sauce and even if you over thicken it you can still save it.

So this time  you only get an exact measurement for your thickening agent…that’s it.  No other measurements to lean on.  When I make this sauce I usually start it first before I start any other part of dinner as it takes a little bit of time due to the reducing of both the wine and stock.  This sauce can be used as a base for chicken pot pies, chicken ala king or my favorite over Pork Tenderloin Medallions.  You can change the flavor profile to make this sauce even more awesome by adding a couple of sprigs of fresh rosemary while reducing the white wine and stock. Just remove the sprigs before thickening.

Ok strap on your parachute because I am pushing out of your comfort zone…

Mushroom Sauce

White Wine

Chicken Stock


Garlic (Finely minced)

Onion (Finely minced)

Heavy Cream

Olive Oil

Kosher salt

Fresh Ground Pepper

~Beurre Manié~

6 TB softened Butter

6 TB AP Flour

Wash and remove the stems of your mushrooms (I like A LOT of mushrooms in my sauce so I used 2 containers), and slice them.  You can use as many or few as you would like.  Just remember as the mushrooms cook they will sweat off a boat load of water so what may look like way to many will cook down to just the right amount. On med high heat your pan and give it a swirl of olive oil. When the oil shimmers toss in all your mushrooms and onions add a sprinkle of salt, allow them to cook down until they start to brown toss in the garlic and cook for about a minute or so.sliced shrooms

in the pan

sweating it out


Once they have browned a bit pour in the white wine until it just covers the mushrooms, allow white wine to reduce down until it is about 3/4 gone.  Pour in the chicken stock and allow to reduce by half.

white wineYou can see that the white wine just covers the mushrooms

reeduced wine

click on the photo to see just how little white wine is left


The Chicken stock is just about reduced by half in this photo

While the chicken stock is reducing you will need to bring together your Beurre Manié~

In a bowl toss in your butter and flour using the back of a spoon mix until all the flour is incorporated into the butter.  You will not need all of this but any extra you can freeze and use to thicken soups or other sauces. Using the Beurre Manié adds a silkiness to what you are thickening.

softened butter

flour and butter

creamed together

extrasI put the extra into a ziplock and freeze for later.

OK know you have to make a decision how creamy do you want your sauce?  For me it depends on what I am using the sauce for, in the photos I went with a more creamy sauce because how I was using it. So add in the heavy cream until you get the color you want, a dark caramel color is normal.

creamy yumminessAhhh the creamy goodness!

OK raise the temp of your sauce to the point where you have a nice simmer going on (small bubbles around the edges of your pan) but there is not a full boil going on.  With a wisk a couple of tablespoons of your Beurre Manié and whisk until incorporated allow it to do its magic for a few minutes if it is not to the thickness you would like then add another tablespoon and repeat the process.  Remember as it cooks it will thicken so allow time between additions for it to thicken. Now if you over thicken all is not lost just add in a bit more stock or cream to loosen it up a bit.

I served my Mushroom sauce over Pork Medallions and Spatzle. Or you could just eat it with a spoon…..because yeah it is that good!

mushroom sauce
Now confess this was not as hard or intimidating as you thought it was, was it?

Now go play with your food!



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2 Comments on “Pushing you out of your comfort zone”

  1. HN Says:

    The sauce is “sawesome”



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