Mushroom velouté with buttermilk 'blini'

Click on the title for the original LA TIMES publication of this. Then go and make it - if you don't you're a wimp.

Mushroom velouté with buttermilk 'blini'

Total time: 2 hours, 15 minutes

Servings: 8

Note: Crème fraîche is available at Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, Bristol Farms, Gelson's and most well-stocked markets.

Buttermilk "blini"

1/2 cup flour

3/4 teaspoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon baking soda

6 tablespoons buttermilk

1 egg, lightly beaten, divided

1 tablespoon melted butter

Oil for the griddle

1. Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda in a medium bowl. Combine the buttermilk, 2 tablespoons beaten egg and the butter in a small bowl. (Set aside the remaining egg for use in the soup.) Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients; add the liquid ingredients. Stir just until blended.

2. Heat a griddle or skillet over medium heat with just enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Spoon 1 teaspoon of batter onto the griddle or skillet for each "blini." Cook 30 seconds to 1 minute on each side until both sides are dark golden brown. Repeat until all the batter is used, adding oil to the pan as necessary. Makes about 30 "blini." Reserve in a warm place until ready to use.

Soup and assembly

4 tablespoons butter, divided

1 cup diced leeks

1/2 cup diced celery

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1 pound cremini mushrooms, trimmed and sliced

1/2 pound oyster mushrooms, trimmed and sliced

6 cups chicken broth

1 small bay leaf

1 (2-inch) sprig fresh rosemary

1 tablespoon flour

1/4 cup heavy cream

2 tablespoons beaten egg (reserved from blini recipe above)


White pepper

Scant 2 tablepoons crème fraîche

1 teaspoon thinly sliced chives

8 sprigs parsley

1. Melt 3 tablespoons of the butter in a large sauce pot over low heat. Add the leeks and celery and sauté about 5 minutes, stirring often, until tender. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute, or until the garlic is fragrant.

2. Add the mushrooms and sauté until all the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes.

3. Add the chicken broth, bay leaf and rosemary and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, loosely covered, for 45 minutes. Remove bay leaf and rosemary.

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