by Tom Davidson

Lo and behold there are plenty of mushrooms about if you know where to look! Hedgehog, chanterelle, winter chanterelle and ceps are all in abundance. I went out a few weeks ago and foraged a delicious basket of goodies, however, if you don’t fancy twigs in your face or wrestling with the creepy crawlies of the undergrowth there are other modern ways to take part... speak to Chris at Some Funguys and he can supply you with a mushroom kit. You can then have mushrooms grown in the safety of your own home. As well as being a tasty treat, mushrooms provide a good source of minerals and protein, which as winter sets in - we help keep our immune systems at full strength! So EAT YOUR SHROOMS!

My recipe with what to do with them is fairly straight forward; butter, cream, garlic and booze are the main ingredients (besides mushrooms). You can either buy a rustic loaf or I would use the Saturday White Bread recipe from Ken Forkish’s 'Flour, Water, Salt, Yeast’ instead.

Ingredients (Serves 4)
4 slices of bread cut in half = 8 total slices 

500g Wild Mushrooms

A good splash tawny port

2 Shallots 

300ml cream (or non dairy alternative) 

25g Butter - 25g or plant based alternative 

Garlic - half a bulb (or less if you prefer less garlicky mushrooms!)

A bunch of Parsley

A bunch of Basil 

Slice the shallots, tip them into a frying pan on a medium heat with a splash of olive oil. After they turn translucent add the butter and the garlic and turn the heat down a notch, sweat them for about 5 minutes. Do not fry them - remove from the pan and set aside.

Now heat your pan up with some more olive oil and once it is hot, toss in your mushrooms. We want a little colour and when they seize up and lose some water, this is a good point to add your port, once it has bubbled up, add the buttery garlic shallot mix back to the pan.

Finally add the cream. Stir over a medium heat until the mixture has tickened. Serve on the toasted bread with salt and pepper.

Peter's Wine Tip 
You don't want a load of fruit coming through on this, so maybe an old tawny if you're using some really flavoursome mushrooms. However if you are using lighter, more delicate fungus, maybe look at a white port with a wee bit of age on it. 

Tom Davidson runs Wylie & Wood Bespoke Catering, specialising in both small and large events, corporate hospitality and intimate private dining.

Peter Wood