Creamy Mushroom Sauce Recipe Request

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by burgerdude, Mar 14, 2017.

  1. burgerdude

    burgerdude

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    Hi Guys 

    I just recently came across this picture and the Mushroom sauce topped on whatever this is looks absolutely divine.
    I've always been interested in making a Mushroom Sauce but never really had a goal as such - now that this picture caught my attention, this is the Goal Post for me on Mushroom Sauces - I really can't connect on the flavor of this one but I'd like to achieve a sauce with the following characteristics

    1. Medium Consistency - not too runny and not thick - should just about coat the back of a spoon.

    2. The color of the sauce in this picture is perfect - lightly color indicating not an overcooked sauce

    3. I would like to get a very subtle sweetness from the sauce - not sure whether sugar or natural sweetness from an onion sounds better

    4. A tang would be great either but not the kind that's going to throw this sauce in the direction of Mayonnaise

    5. Mushroom flavor is a must - It was must be prominent in the sauce
    6. Some buttery flavor will be good also

    Hope to get some tantalizing feedback from you guys

    Take Care
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2017
  2. cheflayne

    cheflayne

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    A picture might help us to give feedback. What are you planning on doing with the sauce?
     
  3. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    Welcome newbie.  I can tell from your questions you're not quite experienced in the kitchen but fear not because this is actually a very very simple sauce to make.  I added some notes in your questions above. It is based on one of the mother sauces from French cuisine, called bechamel.  You can easily find a billion videos on how to make it on Youtube but I'll give you the method here.  

    Usually this sauce would be made in a pan that you might have cooked meat in, the meat that you would top with this sauce.  So let's say a piece of chicken for example here.  You cook your chicken in a pan (not teflon by the way!) until it's cooked then you take it out and leave it on a plate while you make your sauce.

    1. In the drippings of the pan add your sliced mushrooms.  A variety of mushrooms would make a very flavorful sauce but if all you have is button mushrooms then that's fine too!  Do not crowd the pan, you want the mushrooms to soften and brown and if you add too many all at once they'll turn limp and soupy.  Cook in batches.

    2. When the mushrooms are all cooked remove from the pan add a very finely chopped shallot to the now-empty pan.  Cook it on medium low heat for about 5-8 minutes until it is translucent and slightly starting to brown.  You may or may not want to add garlic with it, your choice, my choices is yes! 

    3. You can add booze at this point if you want.  White wine, dry sherry, dry vermouth all work nicely here, maybe even a brandy. 

    4. Now for the sauce.  Add a tablespoon of butter to the onions and let it melt.  Then add a tablespoon of flour and use a whisk to blend it with the butter.  Cook it for about a minute and then add a cup of whole milk.  Keep stirring until it thickens.  If the sauce is too thick drizzle in more milk. The more you cook it the thicker it will become. It will get thicker as it cools too so keep that in mind when picking your consistency. 

    5. Mix the mushrooms back in, add some fresh thyme and a pinch of nutmeg.  Drizzle in some lemon juice for acidity.  Salt and pepper to taste.  

    Now top your cooked chicken with it and bon appetit.
     
  4. french fries

    french fries

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    I would start by trying a simple mushroom cream sauce: sauté button mushrooms, add minced garlic and continue sautéeing for 1mn, add the cream, reduce to desired thickness. 

    1. You can control the thickness by monitoring it while you reduce the sauce. 

    2. My guess is that picture was doctored. Mushroom sauces tend to look a little gray-er than this nice yellow. 

    3. You can get both creaminess and sweetness from heavy whipping cream. I wouldn't use onions here. 

    4. Finish the sauce with a few drops of lemon juice. Always works for cream-based sauces. You can also consider adding a spoon of dijon mustard, especially if the sauce is for pork, but that also works for chicken. 

    5. You'll get more mushroom flavor if you thoroughly caramelize the mushrooms first. You could add a little bit of dried Porcini powder (I use a mortar and pestle to grind dried mushrooms, then sieve it to keep only the finest powder). 

    6. Finish the sauce with butter (monter au beurre). It will give it gloss and that fresh buttery flavor (almost like the flavor of cold butter). 
     
    flipflopgirl likes this.
  5. norcalbaker59

    norcalbaker59 Banned

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    The color is determined by how dark you make the roux, A roux is caramelized flour in a fat. It's usually equal parts butter and flour. Browning the flour is key to flavor--the caramelized flour imparts a nutty flavor. It will take a few minutes for the flour to brown. You want it to turn medium brown

    2 tablespoons oil
    1/4 cup shallots or sweet onion, diced
    2 teaspoons garlic, minced (more or less to taste)
    1 lb mushrooms, sliced to desired size (I like big chunks)
    3 tablespoons butter
    3 tablespoons flour
    1 cup chicken or vegetable stock (I prefer chicken, and have used beef too)
    1/3 cup heavy cream
    1 teaspoon fresh herbs (thyme, rosemary, or tarragon -- whatever you like)
    Salt & fresh ground pepper to taste

    * In large skillet, heat oil on medium high, then sauté shallots/onion until translucent. Add mushrooms, and sauté until tender.
    * Transfer mushrooms to a bowl
    * Reduce heat to medium.
    * Melt the butter, then whisk in flour. Whisk continuously until flour is medium brown.
    * While continuing to whisk, add the stock in three additions. Whisking after each addition until mixture is smooth
    * Reduce heat to medium low
    * Whisk in heavy cream
    * With a spoon, stir in mushrooms
    * Bring to just a boil
    * Stir in herbs. Remove from heat
    * Salt and pepper to taste

    Note: Flour thickens with heat. Once a flour thickened sauce comes to boil, it will not get any thicker. So wait until the sauce boils before you decide if it needs to be thinned. Thin with stock or combination of stock and cream
     
  6. french fries

    french fries

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    Well there you go. Now you have three options to try out.

    1. @Koukouvagia's Béchamel-based sauce.

    2. @French Fries's cream-based sauce.

    3. @Norcalbaker59's Béchamel+cream-based sauce.

    When do we taste test? /img/vbsmilies/smilies/licklips.gif
     
  7. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    Haha there's so many tasty ways to skin a cat... wait no that's ick.  I'd just like to say that @Norcalbaker59  's method will result in a brownish gravy color.  All very good methods for making a nice sauce although I do have to admit that I've made browner roux and I don't think it tastes "better."  It depends on what you're looking for.
     
  8. burgerdude

    burgerdude

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    Thank you all for the quick response - now you'll left me with some work. 

    Will post a pic once I make this for you guys to taste /img/vbsmilies/smilies/tongue.gif
     
  9. burgerdude

    burgerdude

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    Hey Guys

    This is a Cheddar Melt Sauce from a famous restaurant in South Africa called Spur - I have tasted this stuff numerous times and just love it - I would think it is the closest I would get to the pic I originally posted. They also sell it in retails stores in a pouch ready to be used. How would one go about making something like this?
    http://www.buysouthafricaonline.co.uk/Spur-Cheddamelt

    Thanks
     
  10. flipflopgirl

    flipflopgirl

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    There is an ongoing theme here...no salt until the end.

    As you reduce any salt will become kinda in your face but if this happens just make another small batch and marry the two.

    Another pearl here...the darker you get the roux the less thickening power you will get.

    mimi
     
  11. brianshaw

    brianshaw

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    ... I've found it interesting that so far its been salt only at the end, or perhaps no salt at all. I'm assuming that FF uses salt but didn't mention it because it is a given.  :)

    But had I chime in earlier I would have mentioned that I always salt mushroom when sautéing to help drive the water out.

    One piece of information missing from this discussion that would drive me to one or another of the three vey valid techniques is when the sauce is to be prepared. Are we talking a home dinner, high-volume diner/cafeteria, or fine dining environment?

    And not intending to be offensive... but the sauce in the picture looks like it could be packaged.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2017
  12. burgerdude

    burgerdude

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    Correct - salt is a given and to taste at the end.

    BrianShaw - It's for a home dinner although it's a treat to family when I have them over - you know, to impress /img/vbsmilies/smilies/chef.gif
     
  13. brianshaw

    brianshaw

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    If you want a light(er) colored sauce then you need to stay away from the pan drippings (fond) or darker roux. Both will give you a brown sauce. Personally, for a home meal I use the fond and make a brown sauce in the manner described by FF. It will be very flavorful. Totally impress your guests by adding a pinch of fresh herb like thyme (as in your picture) or tarragon perhaps... and at the end a light flurry of minced parsley.

    A whiter sauce can be make with a light roux/béchamel technique but not using the pan drippings/fond. It won't have a very intense taste other than the mushroom/herbs you use. There's a time and place for that (think Swedish meatball sauce) but I'd rather a blast of chicken flavor in my sauce.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2017
  14. brianshaw

    brianshaw

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    BTW, when FF discussed finishing with butter... that's not optional!  Cold butter, lots of it, and whisk in off the fire. Do not reheat after mounting the butter.
     
  15. french fries

    french fries

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    Quote:
    Yes, I guess there are a few "obviouses" that I didn't mention. Like salt and pepper. Finishing with fresh herbs like parsley, chervil or tarragon, or infusing with woodsy herbs like rosemary or thyme. HA.... as I finished typing that I re-read your posts and see you mentioned the same thing. Nothing revolutionary here. Also white wine can help sweetening a sauce. Cognac can make it fancy.

    And you'll need a fresh loaf of very good quality bread to mop all that wonderful sauce.