The Cottage Smallholder


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Creamy Enoki and white mushroom recipe. Great, easy starter or side dish.

Photo: Enoki mushrooms

Photo: Enoki mushrooms

I had a doctor’s appointment late afternoon so I changed out of my ragged decorating garb into vaguely normal human clothes and left work early. As I was working in Newmarket, I could walk to the surgery without the stress of checking that I had the right coins for the car park or worrying about the extra time that I would need to negotiate the massive road works in the High Street.

Walking along the street, I was struck by the smell of petrol, diesel and dust for the first time in years. In an instant I was back in Soho (London). Our capital city might be full of life but it stinks.

I was horrified. Newmarket is a sprawling market town, far smaller than London but the road works have made the Clock Tower roundabout a place where long queues of cars wait to cross all day. The emissions must hover over this place for hours. Way out in the sticks we don’t have the stimulation of the city but we usually have clean air.

But do we? Usually I drive to the shops in Newmarket so don’t notice smells. The air in our village seems clean. The cottage is set well back from the road so we are not invaded by car fumes.

I walked back to work via Waitrose and popped in to mosey through their end of date offers. They had a lot of bargains (selling for at least 30% of the original price, many at 20%) so my basket quickly became too heavy for a long hike. We have a capacious freezer. But I needed to cook some of my bounty immediately.

I’ve rejected Enoki mushrooms in the past (£1.99) as just being too expensive. At 39p this evening they were catapulted into my basket. Googling Enoki on my return told me that they could be eaten raw, or cooked very quickly. Two minutes max. Apparently cooking them for too long makes the stems chewy. As the stems are long, I wanted to avoid rubber shoelaces.

I also had half a pack of standard white  mushrooms in the fridge. A little sweaty and slightly wrinkled. If I cooked these very slowly for half an hour to enhance the flavours and added the Enoki for the last two minutes I might be onto a winner. Especially as I’d also scooped up Organic spooning cream (£1.19 down to 39p). I usually find that cream lasts way beyond it’s sell by date so generally buy it if it’s discounted as D loves adding it to creamed potatoes and it’s a great standby for an instant sauce. Particularly for fish.

The result was superb. The Enoki mushrooms added great texture and a nuttiness to the tasty white mushroom base. One word of warning though. Cut the longer stems into inch sized pieces otherwise the texture is a bit like the sensation of limp worms on the tongue. Danny quietly pointed this out to me. I’d been cock’ a’ hoop until then.

Despite this, the mushroom mixture was a really tasty accompaniment for grilled chicken breasts. If you made little pastry cases and added a dollop of the creamy mushroom mixture, these would be delicious as a warm or even a cold starter. Danny feasted on this for lunch today. Cold white Basmati rice (cooked in chicken stock) with a giant dollop of the chilled mushroom mixture and a decent lash of ground black pepper.
“It was so delicious that I didn’t even notice the ‘worm’s’. Let’s try it tonight as a cold starter. I’d pay the £1.99 for the Enoki mushrooms in the future.”

Appetising yet unusual. Why not try this mushroom mix for a special occasion? Suddenly I’m intrigued by the range of specialist mushrooms and can’t wait to scoop them up when they are on offer again.

Creamy Enoki and white mushroom recipe. Great starter or side dish (for 4 people).

Ingredients:

  • 250g of white closed cap mushrooms. Sliced fine including stems and skin)
  • 160g of Enoki mushrooms
  • 2 tsp of garlic granules or two fat cloves of fresh garlic chopped very fine
  • 2 tbsp of chopped fresh Greek Basil (available at Tesco and Waitrose and probably most supermarkets. This has smaller leaves and far more flavour than ordinary fresh Basil.)
  • 2 walnut sized knobs of butter
  • 1 tbsp of virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp of fresh lemon juice (saves on the salt for flavouring)
  • 1 tbsp of water
  • 2 tbsp of spooning cream (or three tbsp of double cream)
  • 2 tbsp of freshly gated Parmesan
  • Plenty of freshly ground black pepper

Method:

  1. Heat the olive oil and butter gently in a sauté pan. Slice the entire batch of white mushrooms fine (including skins) and place in the warm oil and butter. Turn every 30 seconds and add the garlic or garlic granules and the fresh finely chopped Greek Basil. Cook over the lowest heat for about half and hour, adding the water and chilli sherry after 15 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile wash and drain the Enoki mushrooms. Cut the mushroom away from the condensed stem and chop the longer stems into one inch pieces and set all the Enoki mushrooms aside.
  3. Towards the end of the 30 minutes cooking time (white mushrooms) add a good squeeze of fresh lemon juice (about a tbsp), one tbsp of finely grated Parmesan cheese and two tbsp of thick cream. Add the Enoki mushrooms, stirring gently bring the saucepan quickly to simmering point (less than a minute). Once simmering, set the timer for two minutes max and remove the creamy mushroom mixture from the heat.
  4. Just before serving add a good dash or two of ground black pepper to taste and the final tbsp of grated Parmesan cheese.

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9 Comments

  1. karenO

    They look intriguing – I have seen them in the supermarket but just by-passed them. Perhaps I won’t now though. I will cut them up tough don’t fancy the sound of worms. I live on the outskirts a medium but quite sprawling town and yesterday ventured out at 2.50pm. Mistake! The route I took is past a school and with cars parked on both sides of the road & a doctor’s surgery opposite the school I had to reverse to let 1 car come through, then drive forward to let him get out behind me – I had to do that several times because no-one could move. I had been quite polite and let several through first, but there was just non-stop traffic. I try not to go out in the car mornings & afternoons if I can help it!

  2. It was the mention of Newmarket and the Clock tower that made me comment!! Oh that really brings back memories. Years ago when I was at school and college I used to go to stay in Newmarket with my friends, I lived in Bury St Edmunds at the time…we used to meet our friends at the “CLOCK TOWER” for our disco nights, then on to the Memorial Hall and another place..can’t remember the name but it is at the other end of the high street on the right hand side as you go out of town..obviously it has changed but know the building is still there!

  3. Pamela

    The enoki mushrooms look vaguely alien to me! And the idea of them feeling like a mouthful of worms had me really squirming! I am, however, intrigued by these balls in Newmarket and the idea of them being shunted down the road by articulated lorries just had be laughing out loud.

  4. Love the shoelaces and worms analogy!

    And I used to live in a village just outside Newmarket… haven’t been back for over a decade but it sounds like I shouldn’t, what with the traffic!

  5. I saw Newmarket’s roundabout balls-up for the first time yesterday. Inappropriate, ugly… but I can’t see them lasting long – one good shove from an artic should see them rolling down the High Street. If not, I suggest investing in some cans of spray paint and issuing an invitation to Banksy!

  6. casalba

    Never had these. They do look sort of fantasy/fairy-like, don’t they? I have an award for you over at my site, do pick it up when you can, sally

  7. magic cochin

    I’ve occasionally bought Enoki from Asian food stores – they’re good in a stir fry. And they look so gorgeous, like a fantasy forest.

    I have avoided Newmarket for weeks, after being trapped in traffic in the linking lane between the High Street and Waitrose for half an hour – aaaaagh!!!!! Why oh why didn’t I turn right and park behind TK Maxx!!!!

    What do you think of the balls on the roundabout? I haven’t seen them yet, but have heard rumours that people aren’t happy – there’s even a page on Facebook “Newmarket Balls Up Chinese Style Protest Group”. Good grief!!!!

    I’ll need creamy mushrooms on toast to calm me down next time I venture into Newmarket 😉

    Celia
    x

  8. kate (uk)

    We had a still, warm day here yesterday and I was walking down our High Street, there are several BIG raised flowerbeds along its length, planted this Spring with hyacinths ( the magenta ‘Woodstock”) and pansies. The smell was fabulous, even the traffic couldn’t overwhelm it.

  9. Belinda

    Thanks for the tip… I will cut them up when I finally get around to using them…

    I wish our supermarkets had a CFS or at least reduced more than meat, bread & dairy.. and the discout is never much.. maybe 50cents to a dollar.. when they feel really generous they might take $2 off something that started out at $10. This is for perishable items that are just about up to the sell by date.

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