Tag Archives: mushroom cream

MUSHROOM CREAM – A GREAT PANTRY ITEM. Forget Campbells – Make your own!

Who uses Campbell’s Condensed Mushroom Cream Soup as a flavor agents, or sauce enhancer?? It does have the power to add a burst of flavor to a dish but it is not some magic elixir that you cannot make and freeze yourself and have ready to use at a moment’s notice.

Passing these georgeous mushrooms in Rome made me long for my kitchen awaiting me in Cortona

 Took this gorgeous picture of  mushrooms in Rome (you can make your mushroom cream from exotic mushrooms like these, but using what you can find near you is fine too, and what I did this time around)

OR, have you ever made a stew, soup or sauce that felt lacklustre and needed a flavor booster of some kind? This can be frustrating and sometimes it ends up with you adding possibly too much salt to compensate and ruining the dish. A concentrated cube of mushroom cream is a great foil for situations like this and I am going to give you an easy recipe and a handy way to have some on hand – yeh!

add cream and stock

Making Mushroom Cream Enricher is easy and simple cream and stock

Make a big batch of this when you are in the mood to potter in the kitchen or you are trapped there watching something in the oven but have nothing to do besides. It will become a little lifesaver!

Handy cubes of mushroom cream

Handy cubes of mushroom cream

These cubes are good thawed and served over steak, lamb or chicken. They make a great filling for little vol-au-vents or a filling for little pastry appetizers. They are a good base for a sauce (just add more cream or stock to the cubes and you have an instant pasta sauce). They be used to boost and bolster the  flavor of a stew or soup (just add a cube or two and taste).

Cook for 3 hours at 275*

Adding a couple of cubes of mushroom cream to a beef stew for example can boost and enhance flavor


Mushroom Cream Stock Cubes (makes 32 large ice-cube-sized cubes)

You will need:

2 tbs unsalted butter

1 sweet or yellow onion – finely chopped

2 cloves garlic – finely chopped

1lb mushrooms (use all different kinds together or one kind – anything will work) – sliced

1 cup (have more on hand) heavy cream

salt and freshly ground black pepper (for seasoning)

optional fresh herbs: 1 tbs freshly chopped parsley, I tsp chopped thyme leaves


1 – Put large saute pan on low to medium heat and add a 1/2 tablespoon of the butter. Add the onions and garlic and cover with lid. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove to a plate

2 – Add a tablespoon of the butter and half of the sliced mushrooms. Season with a sprinkle of salt and a few grinds of pepper. Turn heat up to high (or just below) and cook mushrooms until they brown. Remove and add the rest of the butter and mushrooms (remembering to season with salt and pepper), and continue to cook until they are done.

saute mushrooms in batches in butter until browned..

saute mushrooms in batches in butter until browned..

3 – Return the onions and cooked mushrooms back to the pan along with the cream and herbs and let it come to a simmer. Turn off pan and let it cool.

4 – When it is warm or totally cooled, add the mushrooms in batches with a slotted spoon (so as not to fill up your processor with liquid) to your food processor or blender and pulverize to a rough texture. When it is all blended, mix back into the cream and stir to distribute.

add cream and simmer for 5 minutes...

add cream and bring to a simmer.

5 – When it is cold, spoon into two ice-cube trays and place in the freezer. (I got some of the cheap plastic kind from my supermarket and they worked great). When frozen, pop them out and into freezer bags. They can be stored for up to 6 months in your freezer and used whenever you need them.

Roast Chicken with stuffing & veggies.

Can be added to your roast Chicken pan sauce


top with a sprinkle of the cheese of the gods! (parmaiagiano reggiano)

Add to pasta to make a quick and delicious pasta sauce

I LOVE Chicken Thighs but HE CRAVES Chicken Breast; This ONE Dish works for both! (each dish variation serves 4)

This is a dilemma in my house; myself and my daughter love the leg and thigh of chicken, while my son and husband prefer the breast meat! It is not really a problem when you roast a whole bird, but when you want to make anything else it can turn into a problem.

Chicken baked in a mudhrrom cream sauce and topped with a cheddar dough crust

Chicken baked in a mushroom cream sauce and topped with a cheddar dough crust

One could argue that whatever I serve up for dinner should be eaten with very grateful hearts, and I have certainly gone down this road many times, but other times, when I’m feeling particularly generous, I what to give whomever I am cooking for exactly what they crave.

Two dishes, I method!

Two dishes, one method! (Read all my these super enamel dishes designed by Timo Sarpaneva  HERE!)

This is a fantastic solution and takes no more time than if you made one dish! The idea came to mind when I happen to be cleaning my kitchen and I saw my two identical baking dishes buried under some other pans. They screamed “USE ME!” and so I did, placing chicken thighs in one and chicken breast in the other, thereby satisfying us all without having to fish out the various parts for each plate.

you do have thyme to cook!

The thyme in my garden is still going strong!

This is a recipe you have to try if you are in the mood for true comfort food.


You will need:

4 tbs olive oil or safflower oil

3 med/lrg chicken breast fillets

8 boneless skinless chicken thighs

1 1/2 lbs mushrooms – diced (white or cremini will work equally)

2 medium onions – diced

4 garlic cloves – peeled and finely chopped

fresh thyme springs (if large use two, if very small use four)

freshly ground pepper

good quality salt (I used Celtic sea salt and Maldon salt to finish)

2 tbs unsalted butter

2 tbs all-purpose four

2 1/2 cups chicken broth (or water and 2 good quality bouillon cubes – I recommend Rapunzel brand)

1 cup heavy cream

1 1/2 cups peas (this is optional and also if you don’t plan on making some greens to go with this – Frozen peas work great)

Dough Crust:

3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 tsp baking soda

1 1/2 tsp salt

several grinds black pepper

1 cup strong cheddar cheese – grated (optional)

8 tbs cold unsalted butter

1 1/4 cups buttermilk

* you will need two dishes – glass baking dish, cast iron, enamel shallow casserole or your favorite pan you use for the oven*


Preheat oven 425*

1 – Season the chicken with some pepper and salt. Put a saute pan on high heat and when it is hot, add 2 tablespoons of oil. Sear the chicken on both sides until browned. Do this in batches (in other words: don’t crown the pan or your chicken will steam and not crisp up!). Add more oil as needed. As you finish the chicken place the thighs in the bottom of one baking dish and the chicken in another. *When the chicken breast is cool enough to handle, slice into thick pieces and place back into the dish*

Season and sear the chicken

Season and sear the chicken

2 – Turn heat down to medium/low and add about 1 tablespoon of oil to the pan. Add the onions and garlic and cook for about 5 minutes before adding the diced mushrooms. Turn heat up and cook for about 5 minutes. Add the thyme and butter and continue to cook until the mushrooms are nice and soft (about 8 more minutes).

saute onions, garlic, add butter and thyme

saute onions, garlic, add butter and thyme

3 – Add the flour and sir into the mushroom mixture and cook for about 1 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the broth one cup at a time stirring continuously. The mixture will start to thicken and get hot. Add the cream and stir. Cook for a few minutes until the sauce is thick and creamy. Taste for addition of salt and pepper and add according to your taste. *Add peas at this time if using*

Add mushrooms, make sauce

Add mushrooms, make sauce

4 – Pour equal amounts of the sauce over each dish and place in your preheated oven for 20 minutes.

divide sauce between the two pans

divide sauce between the two pans

5 – While chicken is cooking make the topping. Put flour along with the other dry ingredients into a big bowl and stir everything together with a whisk. Cut the butter into the flour and knead the butter into the flour until you have a fine rubble. Add the cheese (if using) and toss it in with your hands. Make a well in the center and add the buttermilk. Mix everything together with a wooden spoon (work from the outside scraping into the center). Add more milk if there are still dry pockets of flour. The mixture should feel slightly sticky. Set aside until ready to use.

Make dough and top the chicken halfway through cooking

Make dough and top the chicken halfway through cooking

6 – After 20 minutes, take chicken out of the oven and dot the dough over each in irregular mounds. Do this with your hands (it’s the easiest way) Place back into the oven for another 15 minutes or until the crust in a nice golden brown.

Remove when dough is golden brown and let rest for five minutes before serving

Remove when dough is golden brown and let rest for five minutes before serving

Remove and let rest for 5 minutes before serving. Serve as is or with veggies: boiled carrots and peas, sautéed spinach or other hearty green OR a big green salad!

💜____________💜____________ 💜______________💜


You say CREPES, we say PANCAKES! Yes, what American’s know as crepes, we called pancakes and we really only ate them on “Pancake Tuesday” This was the Tuesday before lent when there was 40 days of penitential observance ahead! This was a day in Ireland when every mother spent her evening doling out dozens of pancakes until bellies were fat and hunger was overly sated. Our weekend chef wanted to make it “Pancake Tuesday” this past Saturday, and there were no objections!

crepe with lemon and sugar - the only way I ever ate "pancakes" growing up

crepe with lemon and sugar – the only way I ever ate “pancakes” growing up

My son has the full reign of my kitchen on Saturday night for the entire of 2014, and the rule is that I go along with whatever he wants to make. The only thing I told him to keep in mind is that he should really go for dishes where the basic recipe opens up a wide range of possibilities. This was a perfect example.

delicate crepes can be a manly dinner!

delicate crepes can be a manly dinner!

The crepe is the perfect crowd-pleaser as even the most opposing palates can be pleased at the same meal. This thin spongy and light fried batter can be filed with pretty much anything you like; from savory to sweet stuff. My son decided to go from savory to sweet with a mushroom cream filling for dinner (with the option of chicken for the ones of us who can’t live without meat!),  followed by berries in a cloud of fresh cream for dessert. All I can say is that this boy of mine will be a good catch!

lots of wonderful mess

lots of wonderful mess

He couldn’t believe how easy it was to make the batter (so we have had crepes every morning since last weekend with a sprinkle of raw sugar and a squeeze of lemon juice). He now also knows how to make a mushroom cream, which is one of the most versatile sauces/condiments in the world. It can be served on its own like here, or thrown into any number of stews or casseroles as an enricher ( yep, a made-up word), or used as the backbone of a hearty lasagna or other pasta dishes.

I haven’t even mentioned how much fun was had in the kitchen with everyone begging for crepes faster than he could make them and watching him get better and better with every flip of the spatula – a yummy Saturday night indeed!


Mushroom Filling Recipe:

2 lbs mushrooms – thinly sliced (I used a combination of white, crimini and shiitake mushrooms, however feel free to use your favorites or whatever you have on hand)

3 tbls unsalted butter

1 cup heavy cream

salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

a squeeze of fresh lemon juice


1 – Slice the mushrooms

prep veggies

prep veggies – My son chopped an inordinate amount of mushrooms!

2 – Add the butter to a large saute pan and place over medium/high heat. When it has melted, add the mushrooms and fry for 10 minutes. Turn heat up if they feel liquid-y. Place lid on pan and turn heat down and cook for a further 5 to 8 minutes until very soft.

Make mushroom filling

Make mushroom filling

3 – Add the cream and turn heat up. Let it bubble, while stirring for about 3 minutes. Turn heat off and add salt and pepper to your taste and a squeeze of lemon juice. This will keep in the fridge for 5 days and is a handy thing to freeze!

Crepe Recipe (makes 24)

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

Pinch of salt

2 egg

2 1/2 cups milk

2 tbsp. melted butter


Place all ingredients for creps into a bowl

Place all ingredients for crepes into a bowl

whisk unbtil well-blended. Set aside for a 1/2 hour

whisk until well-blended. Set aside for a 1/2 hour (or can be left in the fridge for up to two days)

fry crepes

Put heavy pan on medium heat and lightly grease with oil (Use safflower, canola or veggie oil) Put 2 tbls of batter into pan and swirl around to coat the bottom of the pan in a thin-film of batter. Fry crepes for 2 to 3 minutes per side.

add filling

Add filling – this is a mushroom cream filling with some chopped fresh Italian parsley

Fill with whatever you like, from savory to sweet.

This was one of the fillings on offer last night: mushroom cream with chicken

Roll up, and devour!

Rib-End pork Chops in Thyme-y Mushroom Cream with Spinach & Red Potatoes (serves 6)

I am apparently on a mushroom kick. When I look back on my last few months of nightly dinners it is almost devoid of this delicious fungus. I have been enjoying my weekly crop share box of veggies so much since May (see top right of blog for more information) I have been able to completely ignore the vegetable aisle at the supermarket. The most conveniently located one to from our house is sadly lacking in all things that make grocery shopping more of a pleasure than a pain; glaring fluorescent lighting, loud tinny music, crappy vegetables, long shelves of prepackaged meat, unending corridors of instant-style meals, and clerks who have absolutely no interest in being there, which is understandable, but frustrating when they avoid all eye contact with you, for fear of being asked to do something!  

the mushrooms i had to have.

Who can blame me for skipping as much of that experience as I possibly can? The other day however, I found myself in need of an onion, and as I past the rows of overly plump peppers and the too-perfect lines of glossy apples, I spotted the mushrooms. I imagined all sorts of things I could use them in, and promptly threw a couple of cartons into my shopping cart before grabbing the onion, and going on my merry way.

Rib-End pork Chops in thyme-y Mushroom Cream with Spinach & Red Potatoes.

I ended up making a lovely pork dish with a creamy mushroom sauce, laced with the sweetness of fresh thyme. We had this with delicious locally grown spinach and potatoes.

I have also just remembered that there is a farmer close (ish) by who grows a variety of mushrooms. I’m thinking that today I will head to their  place and buy myself a hoard. In other words; more mushroom recipes to follow!


For the Pork dish; You will need: 3 lbs rib-end boneless loin pork chops, 1 lb mushrooms, sliced, 2 tbs unsalted butter, 2 tbs olive oil, 5 sprigs fresh thyme, 2 cups chicken broth (or, 1 good quality veggie or chicken bouillon cube & 2 cups water), 1 cup heavy cream, sea-salt and freshly cracked pepper for seasoning, & to taste.

Preheat oven 400*

sear chops

1 – Season each chop with a little salt and pepper. Put big saute pan on high heat and add a tbs of the oil and of butter. When the butter and oil get hot, add the chops in an even layer and sear in batches. You will need to add more butter and oil as you go. Transfer chops to a plate.

saute mushrooms

2 – Turn heat down to medium, and add another tbs of butter. Toss the mushrooms into the pan and cook for about 10 minutes before adding the thyme sprigs. Continue to cook for another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

place in oven for 40 minutes

3 – Add the flour and stir into mushrooms until incorporated. Add the broth, stirring until the liquid comes to a simmer. Add the cream and continue to cook until it comes back to a simmer. Transfer the chops to the pan in an even layer, cover and place in the oven for 40 minutes.

*At this point, you could be done and just serve the dish with some pasta, rice or bread, and a big salad. You could also make the Spinach & Potato recipe which follows.

For the spinach & potato Side-Dish; You will need: 3 lbs baby red-skinned potatoes, 2 Anaheim peppers, sliced (or 2 long skinny seasonal peppers, which is what I snagged from my garden yesterday), 4 or 5 cups fresh spinach leaves, 2 tbs olive oil, 1 tbs unsalted butter, sea-salt & freshly cracked black pepper for seasoning and to taste.

1 – If your potatoes are on the big side, slice in half or quarters. Put them in a big pot and cover with cold water. Place on stove-top and boil (with lid on) until they are soft. Drain into a colander and allow to cool for 10 minutes.

saute cooked potatoes with peppers

2 – Put saute pan on medium heat and add oil and butter. Saute peppers for 3 minutes or so, before tipping in the potatoes. Season with some salt and pepper. Cook until starting to brown in spots. you will need to turn occasionally.

wilt the spinach

3 – Add the spinach and cover with lid. The spinach will wilt in about 5 minutes. Turn heat off and give everything a gentle stir. Keep warm until ready to serve (try to time having them ready by the time the chops come out of the oven).

Very satisfying.

Serve everyone a couple of chops with lots of mushrooms, and a side of potatoes and spinach.

Chicken with Mushroom Cream and Capers (serves 4)

 This was cooked by me last night even though I did not feel up to cooking. It came together, despite my lack of enthusiasm, which tells me that it was probably a good idea to go ahead and cook, instead of being a Frump!

Chicken in Mushroom Cream and Capers

The whole family was looking forward to a home-cooked meal, and I did not want to disappoint. As I watched them eating happily, I was glad I rallied, and made the effort.


You will need: 4 chicken breast fillets, 2 tbs extra-virgin olive oil, 2 tbs unsalted butter, 1 sweet onion, diced, 1/2 lb white mushrooms, sliced, 2 tbs capers rinsed, 1 tbs caper brine, 4 cups fresh spinach leaves, 1 cup chicken broth, 1 cup heavy cream, sea-salt, freshly cracked pepper, 1 lb pasta shells (I used medium shells by Barilla).

1 – Put  pan on high heat and add the oil. When it is hot add the breast and sear until golden on both sides (about 2 minutes per side). Remove to a plate when done.

* Put water on for pasta. When it boils, add shells and cook according to instructions. Reserve a 1/2 cup of pasta water in case it is needed to thin out the finished sauce.

sear chicken

2 – Turn heat down and add 1 tbs of butter.  Add the onions and cook for 3 minutes before adding the sliced mushrooms. Cook for 10 minutes.

saute mushrooms and onions

3 – Add capers and caper juice and cook for another minute.

add capers

4 – Add the broth and bring to a simmer. Add the chicken breast and cover to cook for 15 minutes.

add chicken

5 – Remove chicken and add the cream. Let the liquid come to a simmer. In the meantime, slice the chicken. When done, add the sliced meat back to the pan and cook for a minute or two.

add cream

6 – Add the shells and fresh spinach and cover for 2 minutes, allowing the spinach to wilt. Add the reserved pasta water if you want a thinner sauce.

Chicken in Mushroom Cream and Capers

Serve in shallow bowls with a little more cracked pepper and some Parmigiano Reggiano if you have it.

Chicken in Sumptuous Mushroom Sauce, Topped with Dumpling Crust, with Simmered Peas & Lettuce (serves 6)

 Man Alive, this was good a good dinner! Last night I was in one of those moods to cook something special for all of us. Somehow, I felt we were all in need of a treat, so I decided to make the effort to cook something extra delicious for all of us.

Chicken in sumptuous Mushroom Sauce with Dumpling Crust & Simmered Peas & Lettuce

To satisfy all of our particular tastes, I tried to cook a little part of what everyone really likes. I like chicken (obvious) so I had to cook thighs and breasts (for those of us who like dark and light meat). We all love mushrooms and the crusty topping (this also eliminated the need to cook a starch). My son loves lettuce and my daughter loves peas, and myself and my man Dave like anything green. 

We were all very happy for our own particular reasons. It was a little more work than the usual Tuesday dinner, but it had the effect of a strong medicine. Everyone came out from under their clouds, and we had a lovely evening together.


For the Chicken; you will need: 4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, 3 tbs extra-virgin olive oil, 1 medium sweet onion, diced, 2 rosemary sprigs, leaves removes & finely chopped, 1/2 lb white mushrooms, diced, 1 tbs unsalted butter, 2 tbs all-purpose flour, 2 1/2 cups chicken broth, coarse sea-salt, several grinds black pepper.

For the Dumpling crust; You will need: 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour., 4 oz cold unsalted butter (1 stick), 1 tsp baking powder, 1/4 tsp black pepper, 1/2 tsp sea-salt, 2/3 cups milk (any %)

For the Simmered peas; You will need: 1 head romaine lettuce, chopped, 2 cups baby peas (I used frozen), 1 clove garlic, finely chopped, 2 tbs extra-virgin olive oil, 1 cup chicken broth, sea-salt & freshly ground black pepper.

Preheat oven 400*

1 – Prep all ingredients as instructed above.

2 – Season chicken with coarse sea-salt and freshly ground black pepper. Put a saute pan on high heat and let it warm up. Add a couple of tbs of extra-virgin olive oil and when it is hot add 1/2 of the chicken and sear on both sides until browned. Remove to a heavy casserole as you go, and add more oil as needed.

Sear Chicken

3 – Turn heat down, add some more oil if need and add the onions. Cook for 5 minutes before adding the chopped rosemary leaves and diced mushrooms. Continue to cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add 1 tbs of unsalted butter and when it melts, add the flour. Stir it into the onion mixture for about 1 minute.

saute onions, add mushrooms

4 – Add the broth and turn heat up. Stir constantly until it reaches simmering point. Turn off heat, taste sauce for further seasoning and adjust accordingly. Pour sauce (making sure to scrape out every last scrap with a spatula) over chicken waiting in casserole dish. cover with heavy lid and place in preheated oven for 25 minutes.

make sauce

5 – While chicken is in the oven, make the dumpling crust; Put the flour in a bowl and add the salt, pepper and baking powder. Whisk to incorporate. Add the cold butter in slices and rub into the flour until you have a fine ruble, using your fingertips.

Add the milk, and stir with a wooden spoon until you have a dough ball. If it seems sticky, add a little more flour. Leave in the bowl covered with a cloth until ready to put on top of your chicken dish.

make dumpling dough crust

6 – Remove chicken from the oven after allotted time and remove lid. Using your hands, pull dough from the dough ball and place on top of the chicken until you have covered the entire top. (there should be sort of uniform in size, and be about the size of a large table spoonful). There will be gaps and that is the way it is supposed to be.

Place back into the oven for about 20 minutes, or until the crust has lightly browned all over. Remove from oven and let it rest for 5 minutes before serving.

This is what it looks like when it appears from the oven!

7 – Five minutes before the chicken come out of the oven, put a saute pan on medium heat and add the oil. Cook the garlic for 1 minutes before adding the broth. Let the broth come to a boil, and then add the peas. Add some salt and freshly ground pepper. Bring back to a boil and simmer for 2 or 3 minutes.

simmer peas in broth and garlic

8 – Add the chopped romaine lettuce and stir. Cook for a further 5 minutes at a gently simmer, stirring occasionally, until the lettuce is cooked, but still has a good crunch. Turn off heat.

add romaine lettuce

Divide the chicken dish between each plate (which has been warmed of course!) and give everyone a serving of greens.

A feast of a dinner!