I am currently unemployed. For three glorious weeks (until I become employed again), I can get up when I want and do whatever strikes my fancy. Funny how when you cross that line into "grown up", "whatever strikes your fancy" rarely means "lie in bed all day eating jelly beans". Rather it means "get the laundry done on time for once, mend that pair of pants that have been sitting, torn, in the bottom of the closet for 3 years, and sort out all the crud at the bottom of the kitchen junk drawer into neat containers".
All that is totally okay because I got to make my own lunch today. Instead of grabbing takeaway, or reheating last night's left overs in the microwave and eating at my desk, I made an actual hot meal from scratch. And because Cakes works at home, he got actual hot lunch too.
Because last week was my final week at Law Firm #1, I got taken out a few times by lovely people for lovely lunches. At one of these lovely lunches I was taken to Normand's (fantastic menu by the way, and very reasonable for what you get) I and the woman I was with had both chosen our meals when we spotted the "mushrooms on toast" and decided, even though it was a main course, we would order one as an entree and split it to try. I commented that I couldn't see just creamed mushrooms on toast as a meal by itself. I was wrong! It was so terribly good, that I immediately regretted not ordering it (although, what I did get was lovely!). I thought to myself that One day, I'd come back and boldly order the mushrooms on toast for lunch and nothing else. Except maybe a glass of wine. Then I forgot about them.
I was peering out the window at the grey and drizzly morning, pondering what to make for lunch today, when it struck me that creamed mushrooms on toast would be an ideal warm lunch on such a dreary day. It's warm and filling without being to heavy or creamy. Perfect for a light winter lunch. With a glass of wine and an adorable husband.
You do need a good thick bread to soak up all the creamy gravy. I bet it would also be lovely with the hot topping served in a fondue pot with baguette rounds and parfait spoons as a first course for a 4 or 6 person dinner party. Sort of a cross between a hotpot and a fondue.
- 1/2 sliced onion
- 2 large cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 teaspoon ground sage
- 1/2 teaspoon cracked pepper
- 6 cups mixed sliced mushrooms (cremini, oyster, shitake)
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 + 1/4 cup white wine
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1/2 cup grated good quality Parmesan cheese
- 1/3 cup milk
- 1/3 cup cream
- fresh, crusty bread cut in very thick slices and toasted
In a large saute pan over medium-high heat, cook and stir the butter, onions, garlic and sage for five minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the mushrooms and pepper and continue cooking until the mushrooms start to cook down and get a bit brown. Add the soy sauce. Shake up the flour with the wine and pour into the pan. Stir until sauce starts to bubble and thicken. Add parsley and Parmesan cheese (reserving a little cheese top sprinkle over the top of the plated servings), cook and stir 2 minutes more. Remove from heat, stir in milk and cream.
Serve the ragout hot atop fresh toasted bread and sprinkle with a little additional cheese.