C'est Cheese!




Pain fiede de champignons, sauce à l’Estragon

Otherwise known as Warm Mushroom Loaf with Tarragon sauce.

Admittedly, I don’t know if I’ll actually make this. I’ve gone back and forth between this, a famous chef’s recipe for mashed turnips, and a Martha Stewart carrot and squash puree. The puree is a recipe for 24, though, and reducing it leave silly things like "1/2 a butternut squash." The turnip recipe, I fear, is going to be, well, a turnip recipe, even knowing the chef. The mushroom loaf, however, would go beautifully with everything and be the perfect "petits plats" dish… but, as y’all can see from the recipe, it might be a pretty difficult thing to make on Thanksgiving, unless the loaf will keep for several hours….

This dish came from a French cookbook I got a couple months back. Not knowing anything about French cooking, I happened upon Parisian Home Cooking and, upon reading the recipes, decided most of them sounded like stuff I’d actually like cooking and eating. I’ve had success with almost everything I’ve made from this book (the flourless chocolate cake was grim only because I brewed the espresso too strong. Yuck).

  • 3 pounds white mushrooms
  • 3 medium onions, minced
  • ¾ cup dry sherry
  • ¾ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup fresh bread crumbs
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking power
  • 4 large eggs
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 pounds assorted mushrooms, such as oyster, shiitke, chanterelle, morel, portobello and/or porcini
  • ½ to ¾ cup dry white wine
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
  1. Puree the white mushrooms and onions together in a food processor. Place in a large skillet, add the sherry, thyme, 1 ½ teaspoons salt, and ¾ teaspoon pepper, and place over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 45 minutes, or until the mixture is dry.
  2. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Grease a 9x5-inch loaf pan or a Bundt pan.
  3. Transfer the contents of the skillet to a mixing bowl and stir in the bread crumbs, flour and baking powder. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well. Stir in the cream. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Cover, place in a water bath with boiling water, and bake for 2 hours, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove the loaf from the oven, remove from the water bath, and set aside. (It should cool for 10 minutes before being unmolded.)
  4. Meanwhile, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a large skillet. Add the assorted mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes. Add the wine and season with the remaining salt and pepper. Continue cooking until the liquid is reduced by half. Add fresh tarragon. Remove from the heat and whisk in the remaining 5 tablespoons butter. Set aside and keep warm.
  5. Unmold the mushroom loaf and slice into 1 ½-inch slices. Arrange the slices on plates, spoon over the sautéed mushrooms and serve.