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Daniel Pfyl, hospitality management lecturer at Otago Polytechnic, shares some professional techniques to make your cooking easier.
Creamy mushroom sauce
Makes 6-8 portions
2 Tbsp butter
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
12 mushrooms (a mix of button and portabello)*
1 Tbsp flour
125ml white wine
300ml cream (or half and half cream and milk)
1 beef stock cube, crumbled, or ½ cup fresh beef stock
salt and pepper to taste
2 Tbsp chopped parsley
2 Tbsp chopped herbs
*Chef Pfyl likes to mix the mushrooms, as portabello have more flavour but they can make the sauce dark.
1) Rinse the button mushrooms briefly just before chopping so they don't absorb water. Peel the portabello mushrooms.
Slice all the mushrooms thinly.
2) Chop the onion finely and crush the garlic. Melt the butter in a saucepan and sweat the onion and garlic until soft but not coloured.
3) Add the sliced mushrooms and cook until wilted.
4) Take the pot off the heat and stir in the flour until you can't see the white any more.
5) Return to the heat and add the white wine, stirring all the time until it is absorbed.
6) Then stir in the cream and the crumbled stock cube. The sauce should soon thicken but if you think it's getting too thick, add a little more milk or some cream. Stir well and let simmer for about five minutes. Season to taste.
7) Stir in half the chives and half the parsley - the rest will be sprinkled over the finished dish.
8) Serve with frikadellen (German-style meat patties - see last month's recipe) or with pasta or chicken.
If you add more milk or chicken stock and blend it, this can become a cream of mushroom soup.
• If you would like to request to a particular technique we haven't already shown, please let us know. Write to Cooking 101, Editorial Features, Otago Daily Times, PO Box 181, Dunedin or email firstname.lastname@example.org with cooking 101 in the subject line.
To check earlier Cooking 101 columns visit: www.odt.co.nz and search for "cooking 101".
More information on cooking from Otago Polytechnic can be found on www.otagocookeryl4.blogspot.com.