Finally I have finished my exam paper and I am now having a mini vacation. The only thing I plan on doing is to relax, go for a lot of long and beautiful snowy walks and eat warm, comforting winter food. I have started my vacation today where I basically haven’t left the couch. Sometimes you just need one of these days where one episode of your favourite TV show is replacing the next, only interrupted by refills of coffee, pancakes and chickpea-chocolate bars (recipe will follow, but if curious check it out on Instagram).
In Denmark we have been blessed with a new round of sparkling, white snow. I know many people find it incredible annoying, and if I had to bike my way through the minor snow hills right now I would probably sympathise with everybody else. But when you have a week long date with yourself, I only feel blessed that the snow has come to keep me great company and fill the days with extra light.
Back to the winter food… It seems like many winter dishes, aka comfort food, is mostly packed with calories and meat. And how lovely that may sound, I think it is great to have some vegetarian and lighter alternatives to this. So inspired by one of my favourite food TV shows, I have come up with this vegetarian mushroom stew in order to keep me warm, nourished and not feeling too guilty about not leaving the couch.
The stew is basically made out of seasonal mushrooms like portobello, button and oyster mushrooms. And the first time I made it, it was served with some creamy polenta. We just found that polenta wasn’t really our cup of tea, so we changed the menu and made a velvet celeriac mash instead. This both tasted better and was a better fit to match the stew. The stew needs a little fresh touch, so I topped it with sweet peas (always available frozen) and some sour cream with dill. This combination is wonderful, but if you are more into soaking warm bread in the stew or love the polenta, then you can mix and match as you please. Just do me a favour and give the stew a go, it is worth a shot
Serves 6 28 oz of mixed mushrooms (portobello, button mushrooms, oyster mushrooms etc.) – (800 g)
4 cups / 1l vegetable stock
1 generous glas of red wine
4-6 cloves of garlic, crushed
2-3 Tbsp butter
2-3 Tbsp oil
Fresh herbs (Thyme, sage, rosemary etc.)
1 Cups sweet peas
1. Brush mushrooms free of dirt. Cut into slices, around 0,5 inch or 1,5 cm. Fry them in butter and oil on a hot pan. You can do this in batches to avoid to much fluid, you’ll risk to boil them instead of frying them.
2. Chop onion and carrot very fine, you can use a mini chopper for this job. Sauté in butter and oil until golden and aromatic. Add the chopped garlic and sauté for one more minute. Add all of the fried mushrooms and a glass of red wine. When the wine has reduced, add all of the vegetable stock and herbs, let simmer for at least 30 min.
Velvet celeriac w. thyme and garlic
1 medium sized celeriac
3 cloves of garlic
2 Tbsp butter or oil
3-4 sprigs of thyme
1/3 cup coffee cream (1 dl)
Salt & pepper
1. Begin by peeling the celeriac. Due to the fact that there are so many knotted roots on the bottom half of the vegetable, using a knife is easier for this job. Then cut it into squares and boil it for approximately 10-12 min, until tender.
2. Add butter, a splash of the cream and crushed garlic. Use a blender to make a celeriac mash. Add salt, pepper and thyme (without the hard sprig).
3. Adjust texture with cream and use salt and thyme to adjust taste.
Sour cream and dill topping
1 cup sour cream
1-2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 bundle of dill, finely chopped
Salt & pepper
1. Mix everything together and adjust to taste.
In a plate add a portion of velvet celeriac. Then some of the mushroom stew and top it with a dollop of sour cream dressing and 2 Tbsp sweet peas. Enjoy
TIP: If you just want the mushroom stew it is lovely served with some fresh baked bread!