Mushrooms with garlic and cream
In Europe, the wild mushroom season starts in a month or two, but many similar varieties - such as porcini and chanterelles - are also harvested in Yunnan province and are available now. Wild mushrooms are expensive, no matter where they're from, but can be 'stretched' by mixing them with ordinary cultivated button mushrooms. If you want to make this dish more substantial, add a poached egg to each serving of mushroom toast.
400 grams fresh mushrooms (such as porcini, chanterelles, matsutake, enoki and button mushrooms)
10 grams unsalted butter
1 shallot, minced
1 or 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 small thyme sprig
10ml cognac or brandy
Chopped fresh parsley
Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 slices (about 8mm thick) country-style bread
Olive oil, for brushing
Briefly rinse the mushrooms (or use a mushroom brush to remove grit) then lay on a clean dish towel and pat dry. If the mushrooms are large, cut them into two-bite pieces.
Heat a grill (or a cast-iron grill pan) and toast the bread on both sides until crusty. Brush one side of each piece with olive oil.
Heat the oil with the butter in a large skillet or wok over a low flame. Add the shallot and garlic and cook until soft.
Turn the flame to high, add the thyme leaves and mushrooms, then saut?until the mushrooms start to release some liquid.
Season with salt and pepper, add the cognac or brandy and simmer for about 30 seconds.
Stir in the cream then simmer, stirring frequently, until much of the liquid has been reabsorbed.
Add the parsley and combine.
Lay the toast, oiled-side up, on plates then spoon the mushrooms over the pieces before serving immediately.