cooking

Eastern European Dishes – Mushroom Julienne

The cuisine of Eastern Europe is mouth-wateringly good blend of hearty peasant dishes like sauerkraut, dumplings, beet soup and desserts like stuffed fruit strudel. Think hearty, warming, peasant food. Selections of grilled meats, pastries filled with everything imaginable, and whatever it is, you can guarantee it’s been home cooked with the fresh ingredients before reaching your plate.

In both comfort foods and more complex dishes, the ingredients are always simple. It’s the preparation and sauces that set them apart. There is such a crossover of regional influences, sometimes it’s hard to say which dish originated in which country. To make matters more interesting, marriages of the nobility centuries ago brought the flavors of Italian, French, Turkish, Russian, Jewish and German foods to mingle with those of Eastern Europe. The result is a delightful culinary stew.

For many people, food is just nourishment. For Eastern Europeans, it’s a cause for celebration, for sharing, for honoring age-old traditions. There is always room for a guest at an Eastern European table. The people are as welcoming as the food.

Mushroom Julienne is a Russian appetizer consisting of thinly sliced mushrooms, onions, cream, cheese, and sour cream. The dish is often flavored with white wine, nutmeg, and ground pepper. Although it is traditionally served as an appetizer in small ceramic or metal dishes, it can also be used as a topping for meat. If you are like me, you’ll eat this dish as a main dish, with some mashed potatoes and salad.

Actually, you can serve mushroom Julienne as an appetizer, a meatless main dish, a side dish and the best thing is – it takes a handful of ingredients and less than 30 minutes to prepare. I love mushrooms and I can say with absolute confidence that this is the best mushroom dish. Trust me!

This is one of traditional Russian dishes with a heavy French influence since it’s cooked in a cream sauce. There is actually quite a bit of French influence in Russian cuisine and I love it. Mushrooms Julienne is traditionally made with just sour cream and cheese over the top. Heavy cream was not a popular ingredient in Russia and was actually hard to find, so it wasn’t used in many recipes. I like the use of heavy cream because it cuts down on the sour cream and adds smooth creaminess to the sauce instead.

If you love mushrooms you’ll love this dish. Make it, eat it, enjoy it and let me know what you think. Ok?

Ingredients:

  • 500 g white button mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 2 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • salt
  • black pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheese (gouda, mozzarella…)

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 200 C/392 F

2. Slice mushrooms and shallots thinly.

3. Heat up a medium cooking pan and add oil. Season mushrooms and onions with some salt and pepper. Saute them over medium heat until just done. Drain off the mushroom juices.

4. Combine sour cream, heavy cream, garlic powder, salt, and pepper in a bowl and mix well. 

5. Add creamy mixture to the mushrooms, stir well.

6. Transfer mushroom mixture into a baking dish and spread shredded cheese over the top. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the cheese is melted and golden.

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