Fine wine and ‘shrooms?

This week’s food page will highlight four mushroom recipes — one of the most versatile side dishes, appetizers or soup ingredients out there.

Both white and red wine go with mushrooms. If serving them over steak, you’ll likely want to look for a red pairing. The scenario’s the same for lamb. If serving them in a cream-based dish or with chicken, look to the white category for a match.

Here’s the recipes that will be in Friday’s food page section, and our pairing suggestions will follow:

DRY-PAN STYLE MUSHROOMS (Adapted from “The Food Matters Cookbook,” by Mark Bittman)

Ingredients

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound assorted mushrooms, sliced
Salt and black pepper
1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon minced garlic, optional
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley, for garnish

Directions

If any of the mushrooms are shiitakes, remove and discard the stems. Heat oil in a large skillet with a cover over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms, salt and pepper, and stir. Cover, reduce heat to medium low, and cook undisturbed for 5 minutes. The mushrooms should release some of their liquid. Remove the lid and raise the heat until the liquid bubbles; cook until the liquid boils off, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the optional garlic and cook, stirring often, until the mushrooms are chewy and nearly crisp, about 5 more minutes. Adjust seasonings and serve hot, warm or at room temperature, garnished with parsley, or use in other dishes.

SIMPLEST COOKED MUSHROOMS (Adapted from “The Food Matters Cookbook,” by Mark Bittman)

Ingredients

¼ cup olive oil
1 pound assorted mushrooms, sliced
Salt and black pepper
¼ cup dry white wine OR water
1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon minced garlic, optional
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley, to garnish

Directions

If any of the mushrooms are shiitakes, remove and discard the stems. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When it is hot, add the mushrooms. Season liberally with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Add the wine, let it bubble for a minute and lower the heat to medium low. Stir in the optional garlic and cook for 1 minute. Adjust seasonings if necessary and serve hot, warm or at room temperature, garnished with parsley.

HUNGARIAN MUSHROOM SOUP (Adapted from “Moosewood Cookbook,” by Mollie Katzen)

Ingredients

4 tablespoons butter, divided
2 cups chopped onion
12 ounces mushrooms, sliced
1-2 teaspoons dill
2 cups stock OR water, divided
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon paprika
3 tablespoons flour
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon salt
Pepper to taste
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
½ cup sour cream
¼ cup chopped parsley

Directions

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and a little salt; saute until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add mushrooms, 1 teaspoon dill, ½ cup stock or water, soy sauce and paprika. Cover and simmer 15 minutes.

Melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter in a large saucepan over low heat. Whisk in flour and cook, whisking, for a few minutes. Add milk and cook, stirring frequently, about 10 minutes until thick. Stir in mushroom mixture and remaining 1½ cups of stock or water. Cover and simmer 10-15 minutes. Just before serving, add salt, pepper, lemon juice, sour cream and, if desired, more dill. Serve garnished with parsley.

MUSHROOMS ROYALE (Adapted from “Betty Crocker’s Hostess Cookbook”)

Ingredients

1 pound medium mushrooms
4 tablespoons butter, divided
¼ cup finely chopped green pepper
¼ cup finely chopped onion
1½ cups soft breadcrumbs
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground thyme
¼ teaspoon turmeric
¼ teaspoon pepper

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Clean and trim mushrooms. Remove stems and finely chop enough of them to make 1/3 cup. Melt 3 tablespoons butter in a skillet over medium heat, and stir in chopped mushroom stems, green pepper and onion. Stirring occasionally, cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in onion, breadcrumbs, salt, thyme, turmeric and pepper.

Melt remaining tablespoon butter in a shallow baking dish. Fill mushroom caps with stuffing mixture and place them, filled side up, in baking dish. Bake 15 minutes.

Turn oven to broil or hottest temperature, and broil 3-4 inches from heat for 2 minutes. Serve hot.

Wine pairing suggestions:

Dry-pan Style Mushrooms: This dish looks more like a side to a larger meal — say steak or lamb. If you’re choosing to use it as the topper to a red meat, we’d suggest these three wine varietals: Merlot and Pinot Noir.

Castle Rock Winery’s Pinot Noir and Merlot, which sell for about $12 to $15, are good matches. The Merlot is from Napa Valley, the Pinot from Oregon’s Willamette Valley.

Simplest Cooked Mushrooms: If you choose to go the dry white wine route while cooking this dish we recommend sticking with the same white wine for your meal accompaniment. The best way to tell if a white wine is dry is to look at its alcohol content — remember, “higher is drier.” Look to Italy for this dish — Pinot Grigio or Grillo would make good matches for both cooking and later drinking.

A recommended Grillo (a white grape from Sicily, Italy) is the Feudo Arancio Grillo for $8. Look to Castello Banfi for your Pinot Grigio (prices vary, range is around $15).

Hungarian Mushroom Soup: We suggest the Goats do Roam Red from South Africa, the world’s eighth largest wine producer. The Goats do Roam Red 2010 is made entirely from Rhone grapes, sees no new wood and is jammy enough to stand up to the spicy goulash soup. This wine runs about $10-ish. About 10ish

Mushroom Royale: The herbs in this dish are a perfect match for a Sauvignon Blanc. We suggest the Robert Mondavi 2009 Fume Blanc. Yes, we said Fume Blanc. It’s the name Mondavi gave to his Sauv Blanc because it’s easier to pronounce and he felt it distinguished his dry Sauvignon Blanc from the sweeter-styled Sauvignon Blanc wines produced at the time. This crisp, mineral-tinged Sauvignon Blanc has a lovely lemon hints that will pair nicely with this soup. It runs around $10 at the local grocers.

Cheers!

Brynn and Mary

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