Wild Mushroom Fricassee over Spelt

13 01 2010

If you like wild mushrooms this is a very flavorful main course dish. You can use any mushrooms. I like the more exotic ones like chanterelles and oyster and morels, but if you can’t find them use Portobello, shiitake, button or cremini. I also added some dried mushrooms like porcini and morels but I soaked them for at least ½ hour, rinsed them well, and then squeezed them dry before adding to the pan when sautéing with the other mushrooms. Also, if you don’t have spelt, you can serve this stew over pasta, brown rice, wheat berries, barley or any other grain.

2 pounds mixed mushrooms, such as shiitake, chanterelle, cremini, and oyster, cleaned

3 tbsp olive oil

1 ½ tsp coarse sea salt, plus more to taste

black pepper

1 ½ cups spelt, wheat berries or barley

2 tbsp unsalted butter

1 medium onion, thinly sliced

2 tsp all-purpose flour

2/3 cup dry red wine

3 tbsp finely chopped flat-leaf parsley

2 tbsp finely chopped fresh thyme

2 tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary

1 large garlic clove, finely chopped

freshly grated cheese such as Parmesan or Romano

Rinse the spelt and place in a pressure cooker with a little salt.  Add 3 cups water and bring to a boil. Pressure cook for 45 minutes. Once pressure has naturally released, drain any excess liquid and place back in a pot to reheat when serving.

Place a rimmed baking sheet on the middle shelf of the oven and preheat oven to 450 degrees. Cut the large mushrooms into 1-inch pieces, leaving whole the small ones. In a bowl toss the mushrooms with 2 tbsp of the oil and season with some sea salt and pepper. Carefully spread the mushrooms on the hot pan and roast for 15 minutes.

Melt the butter in a large sauté pan over high heat. Add the onion and remaining ½ tsp of salt. Saute until the onions begin to brown, about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pan, and simmer for 5 minutes.

Transfer the roasted mushrooms to the pan with the onions. Add the flour and sauté, stirring, until the flour browns and begins to stick to the bottom of the pan, about 3 minutes.

Add the wine and ½ cup of water. Scrape up the brown bits from the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the sauce thickens, about 2 minutes. Add the herbs and garlic to the pan and simmer for 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper. Serve over the spelt and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.


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