Category Archives: mushrooms

couscous variations

Couscous is a great fast food. The variations below are nearly a meal in itself but get yourself some spicy sausage or lamb chops to go with it and you have a great lunch. You can vary the ingredients indefinitely.

Basic couscous

1 cup couscous (precooked)
1 cup strong broth, vegetable or chicken
1 tsp smoky harissa paste or smoked paprika powder (pimento de la vera)
2 tbsp olive oil

Bring the stock to a boil, dissolve the harissa or pimenton, stir in the couscous, cover and let sit for 10 minutes until the liquid has been absorbed. Stir to break up, add the olive oil.

Fennel, pear and nuts couscous

1/2 fennel bulb
1 pear
100g brown mushrooms or oyster or fresh shiitake
2 cloves of garlic
1 Orange
almonds or hazelnuts
chopped mint, and/or coriander and/or parsley

Toast the hazelnuts in the oven at 200 degrees Celsius, when browned put them in a cloth and rub the skin off. Cut the fennel and mushrooms into strips, cut the garlic into thin slices. Fry the garlic with the mushrooms and fennel, salt. Cut the pear into cubes, juice the orange. Add the orange juice, mushrooms and fennel to the couscous and finally the chopped herbs and pear.

Some yoghurt with roasted and ground coriander and cumin seeds goes well with this.

lemon & pomegranate couscous

1 large pomegranate
1 lemon, juice and zest
chopped mint, and/or coriander and/or parsley

Zest the lemons, blanch the peel a couple of times. Scoop out the pomegranate seeds and remove the white membrane around the seeds. Add the lemon juice to the couscous, then the other ingredients.

spaghetti with mushroom and parmesan (serves 4)

My own invention. Delicious!

250 g mushrooms (oyster are good) torn into strips
1 tb butter
1 packet spaghetti, cooked
2 cloves garlic, minced
big handful of finely grated parmesan
broad leaf parsley, chopped
Sautee mushrooms in butter for a few minutes, add a splash of water, add garlic and cook a further minute. They should be juicy. Toss with the hot spaghetti, parmesan, and parsley and season.

Japanese mushroom broth

A delicious broth with intense mushroom flavour.

10 dried shiitake mushrooms
1 handful dried porcini mushrooms
1 piece of kombu (giant kelp, ca. 5×20 cm)
2 tablespoons dried wakame pieces
vegetable and sesame oil

1 small onion, very finely chopped
1 carrot, very finely chopped
1 stalk of celery, very finely chopped
1 large garlic clove, crushed

1 tsp finely grated ginger and juice

a few handfuls of fresh mushrooms like shiitake, oyster, enoki, shimeji, porcini…

4 tbsp mirin
3 tbsp tamari or darks soya sauce

optionally: soba noodles, silken tofu

Wipe kombu with a damp cloth, place with 5 of the porcini mushrooms in 2 litres of cold waters. Bring to a boil, turn heat down and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove Kombu. Finely blend the dried porcini and 5 dried shiitake mushrooms in a food processor, add to the broth. Boil for 15 minutes, let sit for 10 minutes. Remove whole shiitake mushrooms from the broth, slice and return to the broth.

Fry onion, carrot and celery in vegetable and sesame oil until translucent. Add garlic and mirin and cook for on a minute. Add to the broth.

In the same frying pan, fry fresh mushrooms in vegetable and sesame oil, salt liberally.
Add tamari and ginger to the soup. Ladle soup into bowls, place the fried mushrooms in the middle. Sprinkle with seven spice mix or freshly ground black pepper.

Cooked soba noodles or tofu can be added to the soup in order to turn it into a main dish.

Adapted from: yoshuku, jane lawson

sauteed mushrooms (serves 6 as a side)

Otherwise ordinary mushrooms turbocharged with an admix of garlic and porcini.

100 g dried porcini, reconstituted in water in microwave for 1 min, strained and squeezed, chopped, soaking water reserved

675 g field mushrooms, thinly sliced
5 tb olive oil
3 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
salt and pepper
2 tb basil/parsley, chopped
juice of 1 lemon
Heat 4 tb oil until hot, add fresh mushrooms and sautee for c 15 mins until dark and soft, set aside. Heat remaining oil and fry garlic and porcini until garlic begins to colour. Add porcini water, reduce, add cooked mushroom, season. Add herbs and lemon juice to taste (carefully).
?try shallots with garlic
?add red wine with porcini water
Creamy variation: before herbs and lemon juice, add 100 ml white wine, cook until evapourated, pour in 150 ml double cream, finish cooking as before.
Source: The River Cookbook