Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Mushrooms à la Grecque – a mayo-free zone

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My Aussie pal, Elena, made an observation about Irish salad/sandwich bars... “What’s with all the mayonnaise!!!!” she asked.
It’s true. It is practically impossible to avoid mayo in Ireland. We even have a county called Mayo.

Cute as a button...

As a broad generalisation, if you walk into a sandwich bar in Ireland your choices are limited: You may be offered tuna... mayonnaise; or egg... mayonnaise; or if you manage not to have mayonnaise in your main filling choice, the server will try and foist some “coleslaw” on you. What is this coleslaw, only shreds of cabbage and carrot drowned in a sea of... mayonnaise. If you manage to parry the coleslaw, they will launch a final offensive, the squeezy mayo bottle already in their hand, and smilingly offer you a squirt to glue the top slice of bread in place.
I have nothing against mayonnaise – the sort that has actually seen a fresh egg yolk or two, a spoonful of Dijon mustard, some garlic and a light olive oil can be unbelieveable good. And I’ll admit that sometimes even Hellman’s is just the thing – but all things in moderation.

We're hiding from the mayonnaise!

One ingredient that shouldn’t even be in the same room as mayonnaise is the mushroom. Yuk. Even thinking about mushrooms in mayo is making me queasy. If I am going to include mushrooms in a salad then here’s how that would go...
For 4 - 6 servings you will need...
5 tablespoons water
3 tablespoons olive oil
150mls passata, or two tinned plum tomatoes, finely chopped
1 teaspoon coriander seed, crushed
1 bayleaf
a sprig of thyme (lemon thyme is great if you can get it)
1 clove garlic, crushed
juice and zest of an unwaxed lemon
400g button mushrooms (or larger mushrooms cut into bite-sized pieces)
1 tablespoon finely chopped flat-leafed parsley

1          Place all the ingredients - except the parsley – in a medium saucepan over a medium heat and bring to simmering. Simmer uncovered for 5 minutes.
2          Using a slotted spoon, remove the mushrooms and place in a serving dish. Now turn up the heat and allow the sauce to reduce and thicken for a further 5 minutes or so.
3          Taste the sauce and add salt and or pepper if necessary. Then pour the thickened sauce over the mushrooms and leave to cool to room temperature. Scatter with the parsley before serving. This dish will keep for a few days if refrigerated but is best at room temperature. Served hot, it is also wonderful with grilled meats.



Just add crusty bread
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28 comments:

Parsley Sage said...

I'm a non-Mayo girl myself. I've very pro-mushroom tho and these look outstanding! Well done and thanks for sharing :)

Three-Cookies said...

Some of the bottled stuff should be called 'almost mayonnaise or imitation mayonnaise'

Hester Casey said...

@Three-Cookies - yes! especially the mass-catering stuff that comes in a bucket. You could paint the outside of your house with that stuff.

jill@MadAboutMacarons said...

Hehee. Couldn't agree more with you, Hester. Painting the house with it, though? That's a new one ;-) Love the homemade stuff but I adore your mushrooms - and that photo of them hiding in the grass is sensational!

Tiffany said...

Huh, I had no idea that there was a lot of mayo in Ireland! I don't really like mayo... but I would LOVE these mushrooms! Thanks for sharing!

WiseMóna said...

Looks yummy Hester. I remember many many moons ago my husband was 'trying out' for a Chef job back in the US. He came home from his 'trial' day and when I asked him how it went he said he did not want to work there because they used 'schmellmans' ... Although I am not a huge fan of mayo, we do make our own and love it. You are right, it has its place.
Lovely recipe.
Móna

Manu said...

Hahahaha I must admit I love mayo... but the good one... homemade above all. But definitely NOT on mushrooms! ;-) These look awesome and you picture is so good, makes me want to have them for lunch!!!

Kristen said...

I tend to stay away from too much mayo, but homemade is yummy. That mushroom salad sounds lovely. What a nice change from the norm.

Ryan said...

Ha! Its the same way here in the South Eastern United States. They drown everything in mayo and it generally turns my stomach. The mushrooms look delicious and do look like they would be perfect with some good crusty bread! Your photography is just beautiful!

Jess said...

I can't even look at mayo--YUK! This dish looks very yummy, though!! I'm a huge fan of the 'shrooms!! :)

michelangelo in the kitchen said...

I did not know that mayo is to Ireland as tomato sauce is to Italy. How interesting! Your mushrooms look great with this bright sauce! I'll try this for sure. Ciao!

Celia said...

Haha, I'm kind of a mayo addict...but I probably stay that way because I keep it as a treat. This looks like a great way to get away from it, though, if you're looking to do so!

Lizzy said...

I love mushrooms, but the mushroom mayo combo doesn't fly with me, either. Your recipe looks delish!

Elena & Ivan said...

Hello, Aussie Elena here...
Thanks for the recipe, in my homour, WOW! Hooray for non-mayo!
I do love mayo myself, but homemade or as Hester sugested, Hellmans, not that horrid sweet stuff... and just not everywhere!
The mushrooms look so so yum, and perfect for Melbourne now, in the midst of deep autumn-winter. Perfec!

Maureen said...

Oh dear, I could live in Ireland I think. :)

These mushrooms look really good, even the ones hiding in the grass. LOL

This is a wonderful post and left me with a big smile.

julie said...

Hello Aussie Julie here. Yes, we like the dead horse (slang for "sauce" ) down under. In fact here in Germany they love their yoghurt sauces. Like the mushroom dish and it is different with the mayo! You've experimented!

Nami @ Just One Cookbook said...

Hi Hester! You have a lovely recipe here. I love mushrooms but never tried eating this way. Thanks for sharing and just bookmarked!

cakewhiz said...

if i visit ireland, i think i might have a very hard time at restaurants coz i hateeee mayo! that is one thing that i just cannot eat. i am not even sure why but it makes me feel sick just by looking at it...lol

i am so glad to see this mayo-free recipe since it turned out very nicely!

Jay said...

interesting recipe..
first time here...love your space..awesome posts with nice presentation..
Am your happy follower now..:)
do stop by mine sometime..
Tasty Appetite

Veronica Gantley said...

I like mayo just not with my mushrooms. I have yet to make it homemade.I use shmelmans. Your recipe looks great!

Sarah said...

Ohhhh Hester- these mushrooms look so so good! I'm a huge fan of mayo, but definitely not on mushrooms. Great post!

Jerry said...

WOW this mushroom recipe looks really delicious! Thanks for sharing this :)

Mother Rimmy said...

I so agree with you about the mayonnaise. Not because it can tend to be overly fattening, but because some people use it to the extent that it drowns out the flavors of the rest of the ingredients. Lovely mushrooms! Glad you didn't put mayo in them. :)

Serenacronin said...

Such a funny post, the County Mayo reference is gas!!! Great recipe as usual!

Gulmohar said...

Mayo makes a huge difference :-)I love that too :-)Refreshing pictures and the mushroom looks wonderful

Koci said...

I'm with you--mayo can be an iffy thing. Sometimes as a component of a great chicken salad, I can really enjoy it. But I definitely agree that it has no place anywhere near mushrooms. Yummy tomatoes and herbs, however, definitely sound like fantastic mushroom pairings. :D

purabi naha said...

Yummy and picture-perfect mushrooms! Loved the post.

The Culinary Lens said...

I trained as a chef in Ireland and can attest to the heavy dependence on Mayo in salads.
I love al la grecque.

There is also a county called Cork, I suppose we should be glad that did not end up in a salad :)