jen’s magic mushrooms

17 Dec

jens mushrooms

In Lisbon, we learned the art of sharing – the scant prices always tricked us into ordering too much. One main course was largely sufficient for two, especially as we had already eaten the olives, brown bread and queijo fresco brought as a cover charge.

In Madrid, we learned about small bites at the Mercado San Miguel – a cone of jamon iberico from one stall, two stuffed olives from another, a few croquetas, a pinxto with salt cod and caviar and one with octopus.

At home, I have been trying to learn that less is more. Instead of worrying about three courses when friends come over, now I offer soup and baguette and cheese. For dessert, a bowl of tangerines, maybe some sesame shortbread and yoghurt. A few flavours at a time, and really good ingredients.

Last night, we had a vernissage at home. (Which means varnishing day, literally, the day before the exhibition when the artist adds the finishing touches to the hanging pictures and their friends come over to chat and criticise and drink champagne.) I wanted a few snacks, inspired by the Iberian peninsula. There was a simple potato tortilla with coarse salt on top. Three red peppers, roasted whole, peeled and marinated in olive oil. Bread and liver paté. And after eating some incredible cepes at Botin, the ‘oldest restaurant in the world’, these stuffed mushrooms.

This is the perfect party dish for the holidays, since the effect outweighs the effort ten times over. It could have a myriad of additions, herbs, truffle salt, pistachios… but in the spirit of simplicity, the mushrooms are perfect as they are. Since you only need two ingredients, you can buy them on the way to a party and make them on arrival. Good for vegetarians too! I can’t take any of the credit though: they come from Jen, founding member of the Grape Leaf Club and Thanksgiving host extraordinaire.

Jen’s Magic Mushrooms

makes a plateful

500g white mushrooms (champignons de Paris)

150g Boursin cheese with garlic and herbs

black pepper

Snap all the stems out of the mushrooms, keep them for something else. Brush any dirt off the mushroom caps then fill the holes with Boursin. Grind black pepper generously over the top.

Bake for 10 minutes at 200C. Serve warm.

6 Responses to “jen’s magic mushrooms”

  1. le coyote December 17, 2014 at 8:09 pm #

    Did Jen tell you where she got her recipe from ? because I know…

    • Frances December 17, 2014 at 10:54 pm #

      Apparently it was from Aaron who got it from Mark who learned it from… I am waiting to see how long the chain goes!! xxx

  2. Diego December 18, 2014 at 7:40 pm #

    It’s the garlic in the Boursin taht does it! But you can try this for a filling: chop a few mushroom, or mushroom stems, add a little breadcrumbs, and about a tablespoon of grated Parmesan (other hard cheese will do), a few black olives, chopped, a small bunch of parsley and a tiny garlic clove, all chopped. You can even add tofu, if you want a real vegan version. Stuff the mushrooms (I use Portobello) and put them under a hot grill for about 6-8 minutes.

    • Frances December 19, 2014 at 6:04 pm #

      The tofu-stuffed mushrooms for vegans is an excellent idea, I never quite know what to make them – apart from India food, that is easy to veganise.

  3. Sarah Muston December 19, 2014 at 3:44 am #

    Sounds delicious … I have the boursin in the fridge !! Sounds like Spain was fun !!

    • Frances December 19, 2014 at 5:58 pm #

      It was great! Seriously busy, but we had time for eating and art, which is the most important.

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