Serves 6 to 8
Duxelles sound so French and fancy, but they are actually sautéed mushroom stems. Whatever you call them, they are simple to prepare and good to eat. Tarragon lends a bright pepperiness to the mushrooms’ solid earthy flavor. Choose large-stemmed mushrooms for this dish; brown mushrooms have the richest flavor. Whether I make the shrimp or cheese version depends on what else I’m serving.
- 24 medium to large brown or white mushrooms, about 1½ pounds
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 large shallot, minced
- 3 green onions, thinly sliced
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 tablespoons chopped tarragon
- ½ cup fresh bread crumbs
- ½ cup cooked bay shrimp, finely chopped, or 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Wash the mushrooms. Remove the stems and set aside. Melt half of the butter in a frying pan large enough to hold the mushroom caps or cook the caps in batches, dividing the butter as necessary. Sauté the caps, hollow side up first, for 2 minutes, then flip them and sauté for an additional 2 minutes. As the caps begin to give up their juice, remove them to a platter.
- Trim and mince the mushroom stems. Mix them with the shallot, green onions, and tarragon, and sauté them over medium-high heat in the remaining butter until the juices have almost evaporated. Season with salt and pepper and transfer to a bowl to cool to room temperature. Mix the bread crumbs and the shrimp or cheese with the minced mushrooms.
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Fill the caps with the stuffing mixture. Place them on a baking sheet and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until lightly browned and hot. Serve hot or warm.
Carolyn Dille is replanting much of her herb garden for the sheer dirt-under-the-fingernails pleasure of it. Culinary and medicinal herbs have been her special interest for many years. Her latest books are The Onion Book, with Susan Belsinger (Interweave Press, 1996), and Seasons of the Vineyard, with Robert and Margrit Mondavi (Simon and Schuster, 1996).
Click here for more tarragon recipes from the original article, A Taste for Tarragon.