Saturday, May 24, 2014

Mushrooms in Tarragon Sherry-Cream Sauce

Mushrooms in Tarragon Sherry Cream Sauce
The following recipe was inspired by three different people: Two of my friends who appreciate good food but have never met each other, and my dear husband who, after almost 26 years of marriage, still surprises me by occasionally declaring that he hates or loves a particular ingredient.

Case in point: Greg recently complained that I "never buy mushrooms," and then informed me that he he loves them. Well, perhaps if I'd known this sooner, he'd have enjoyed more home-cooked meals featuring mushrooms (and of course he could have bought said mushrooms anytime he went grocery shopping...).

And now you know why mushrooms have been appearing in more of my recipes.

The following creamy mushrooms are lovely served over baked, roasted, broiled or grilled chicken or turkey breast; absolutely divine over pork chops (my favorite way to enjoy them) or pork loin; magnificent with steak or brisket; and probably also quite tasty with venison and game meats, although I haven't tried that yet. You can also enjoy them as a rich side dish on their own, which is what we did the first time I made this recipe. For a thinner consistency, add a little more half-and-half or a splash of milk -- and for a thicker consistency, use a little less or cook a little longer.

2 Tbs plus 2 Tbs butter
Mushroom sauce recipe
8 oz mushrooms (brown or white), sliced
2 Tbs flour (I use whole wheat)
1/2 cup half & half
3 Tbs dry sherry
1/2 tsp dried tarragon (or more to taste)
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper

Melt 2 Tablespoons butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add mushrooms and saute until just softened. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the mushrooms to a small bowl and set aside. Add remaining 2 Tablespoons butter to the saucepan and melt over medium heat. Slowly stir in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, to make a blond roux -- this takes about 4 minutes, and the roux should be the consistency of a paste, have a light golden color and emit a nutty aroma that indicates the flour has cooked.

Busha Browne's Spicy Hot Pepper Sherry
Pepper Sherry
When you have a blond roux, stir in the sherry and cook, stirring constantly, until you reach an even consistency. Slowly pour in the half & half, again stirring constantly to produce a smooth consistency. Stir in the tarragon, salt & pepper, then add the mushrooms along with any juices in the bowl. Continue to cook, stirring gently, until all ingredients are thoroughly incorporated and the sauce is as thick as you want it. Remove from heat and serve immediately.

Zestfully yours,
Carolina Sauce Company

PS:  To add a little bit of a spicy kick, add a splash or two of Busha Browne's Hot Pepper Sherry, or substitute up to 1/2 Tbs of regular sherry with the hot pepper sherry for a bigger peppery bite.

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