Food & Drink Magazine

Sexy Wild Mushrooms

By Helenaberthon @hberthon

I know it’s been a while.  OK, more than a while.  Life gets busy, and when I say busy, I mean 17-hour-day-no-sleep-no-life kind of busy (the oh-so-glamorous world of  TV).  So very sadly and shamefully, sacrifices are made.  No one wants to hear the mindless drivel that cascades out of my fuzzy brain when I’ve been awake for too many hours.

HOWEVER, this is no excuse.  I know you all want to fill your bellies as much as I do and so I will endeavour to do much better.  Starting…from… now…

I met one of my favorite foodies the other day who reminded me how much I love food; someone who gave me the subconscious kick up the bum that I needed to reimmerse myself in the blogging sphere as well as reminding me of the warming satisfaction that comes from putting words to paper (or in this case, to screen).

As well as being a deeply rooted passion that occupies the vast majority of my thoughts, food is my day-to-day job; it’s the mundane chores, the repetition and the tough reality as well as the high-end gastronomy, the waft of Michelin stars and the beauty and sophistication of good food.  It becomes hard at times to put a simple pleasure in perspective but it shouldn’t be that tricky.  I.  Love.  Food.  Simple as that.

Although working in food television leaves you struggling for a social life, tired to the point of insanity (ahem, when the 4 o’clock madness hits and biscuits are inhaled mindlessly, crumbs frantically spraying everywhere, in the attempt to combat the lack of energy), and hankering for a normal 9 to 5 job, there are perks…

At the end of the week, the kitchen fridge is emptied.  This is where survival of the fittest comes in. Get there first, pick the cream of the leftover crop – the  chefs’ abandoned quality products, then sneakily hide them to be taken home at the end of the day.  It’s a game of tactical moves and timing.  Which I’m often not very good at as I’m FAR too busy to be playing games.  So in this weekly gastronomic warfare, I often lose out.  EXCEPT FOR THIS WEEK.  I won’t make you jealous by listing all the incredible ingredients I packed away in my swag bag but it was a cracking load, and one which included some beautiful fresh girolles.

An autumnal afternoon stroll

An autumnal afternoon stroll

These sexy golden shrooms are one of the most wonderful autumn offerings.  Their dusky umber color mirrors the burnished copper leaves that carpet the muddy autumnal ground.  They have an aroma that takes you to the damp, musty woodland where they hide away in the shadows; a sensory hint of the deep earthy notes that will hit you when you first pop one of these beauties in your mouth.  Their delicate spines trap nuggets of dirt and grass which makes cleaning them a necessity – unless you want to end up crunching on some gritty woodland floor.

I didn’t want to mess with them.  So often, simplicity triumphs.  A frying pan of the girolles, sautéed in a little butter, a squeeze of lemon, a scattering of parsley and a rich golden Burford Brown egg in the middle of it all, yolk to be broken to gloriously coat the silky mushrooms, was all they needed to make a perfect autumnal lunch.

Fresh girolles, Burford Brown egg, parsley, garlic and lemon

Fresh girolles, Burford Brown egg, parsley, garlic and lemon

Fresh girolles, Burford Brown egg, parsley, garlic and lemon

Serves 1

  • A knob of butter or a glug of olive oil
  • 2 large handfuls fresh cleaned girolle mushrooms
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • A squeeze of lemon juice
  • A handful of chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 Burford Brown egg
  • Salt and pepper

Add the butter or olive oil to a small frying pan and wait for it to heat up.  Then, add the cleaned girolles and some seasoning and sauté for about 5 minutes until they are glossy and their smell starts wafting from the pan.  Add the chopped garlic and sauté for a few more minutes.  Then, make a small hollow in the center of the mushrooms and crack in the egg, giving it a grind of pepper and a small pinch of sea salt flakes.  Cover with a lid or plate and leave the egg to cook until the white is firm but the yolk is still runny.  Squeeze some lemon juice over the mushrooms and sprinkle over the parsley.  Tuck in immediately.  Maybe get a crusty chunk of bread involved too so none of the yolky mushroom sauce goes to waste.  Yum.

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