Friday, October 9, 2009

Duxelles, Further direction on How to Saute


Ah the French. These are people who unabashedly do everything that we Americans are too scared to even attempt. They strike at the drop of a hat for things as simple as getting governmental nannies for their kids. They encourage Gerard Depardieu to do whatever the hell is going on up there.

They also do crazy things with food that makes your heart hurt but your belly dance. Things like putting a fried egg on top of a ham and cheese sandwich, or drinking wine all day, in the park, on a weekday.

They also seem to be a people that love naming things and specifically love naming things after people. Add to that a cuisine that has been around for about 1 million years (citation needed) and you get some fun things. This post is about a combination of flavors that became so popular that they named it after a
Marquis,Duxelles (dook-sehl). Although, the Chef must have been pissed when it got named after his boss and not him. The Workshop would be pissed if it created a preparation so popular it needed a name and it was referred to as, a la Blogger, instead of a la Cooker.

Anyways, the following is dedicated to Duxelles a versatile accompaniment that can be made into a stuffing, a garnish, a side dish, or filling for a tart. It makes a great upgrade to sauteed mushrooms for your burger or steak as well.

It will also demonstrate a few more techniques for Sauteing, such as "fond" and "de-glazing." Fond is the brown that develops on the bottom of the pan as you cook something. This is basically the sugars that have been brought out of the food by the cooking process and have caramelized on the bottom on the pan. De-glazing is the technique that loosens up all those sugars from the bottom of the pan and turns them into a sort of glaze or coating on the food that you are cooking. This technique can greatly deepen the flavor
of whatever you are cooking. French Onion soup depends on this these two things to create that incredibly deep flavor.

So ladies, strap on your maid outfit, fellas your banana hammock and lets get Fronch (french with a thick French Accent).

The ingredients resting before the big protest march. Cremini Mushrooms, Onion, Garlic, Parsley and White Wine

Close up on the Sliced Mushrooms with finely diced onions resting on them in the saute pan

The brown stuff on the pan is called "fond" and it is made up of delicious

White Wine getting ready to "deglaze" the pan

The White Wine being poured while scraping like a madman to release the "fond" back into the wild

A close up on the "fond" releasing from the pan while "deglazing"

A sprinkle of fresh chopped Parsley finishes the dish. Notice how much darker the mushrooms have become from the de-glazing

General Notes:

Prep Time: 10 -15 minutes This will depend on how fast you can wash and slice mushrooms.
Servings: This is for 4 garnishes or 2 sides. It can also be used as a stuffing
Notes: Any type of mushroom will work for this recipe. This one calls for Cremini but that is just because they are a step up from white button mushrooms in flavor, easy to find and not terribly expensive. Onions and Shallots work interchangeably here, the classic version uses shallots but that does not mean you have them in your house when you want to make this.


8 oz Cremini Mushrooms
1/4 cup
diced Onions
2-3 minced Garlic Cloves
1/4 cup chopped Parsley
1/4 cup White Wine
2 tbsp Olive Oil
Salt, Pepper and even Crushed Red Pepper if you like it a touch spicy, to taste


8-10 inch Saute/Fry pan
Cutting Skills
Cutting Board

Written Directions:
  • Assemble all of your ingredients and equipment
  • Give those mushrooms a good rinse taking care to remove the dirt from them. You can rinse mushrooms. It is an old french chef's tale that you should never let water touch them. It is a lie. You can actually soak mushrooms for hours without too much water getting in there. So go ahead and reap the benefits of modern society
  • Start your pan to preheating over low heat
  • Start prepping your ingredients taking care to slice things evenly
  • Add a bloop of Olive Oil to the pan and turn the heat up to medium, maybe even medium high
  • Add the mushrooms and the onions such that everything is in one layer, if you have too much then work in batches
  • Give it a quick toss or quick stir. THen leave that dang pan alone
  • SERIOUSLY. The secret to great sauteed mushrooms is to leave them alone to let them get some color "But you said to saute you should keep the pan moving" blah, blah, blah. The thing is this. Mushrooms contain a lot of water and you need to get that water out of there. If you keep them moving they will start sweating instead of sauteing. Booyah. You just got told sucka
  • Let those little guys hang out for a few minutes to let that color going. Then give them a good toss or stir to redistribute them
  • Next add in that chopped Garlic and let them go a few minutes longer
  • Now the fun part. Get your wine and your stirring implement ready. You should have some good fond on the bottom of the pan to loosen up. Now a note on de-glazing with alcohol. If you are doing this over a gas stove then you better move the pan off the heat to do this. If you do it over the heat you might ignite the alcohol that is fuming off and start a beautiful fire. However, it is still fire so be careful. Anyways, pour in the wine and stir like crazy to try and loosen up all those bits
  • Now mix everything up and add your parsley, stir around and remove form the heat.
  • Now you can either make it happen in your tum tum now...or you can stuff it into a chicken breast like below and then make it happen in your tum tum