Wine Wednesday: Sauce

I went to forest to pick mushrooms and I was already thinking of making a creamy porcini sauce with white wine. Something little fancier than a regular mushroom sauce. I was a little disappointed, because I found only few porcinis and not many other boletes either. But combination of porcini and pine boletes was enough for a sauce, and we enjoyed it with mashed potatoes and seitan roast. Seitan was made with juniper berries and rosemary, and we’ll post a recipe for that on Saturday.

If you don’t have porcini available (or if they’re too expensive) you can use button mushrooms or other mushrooms that stay light coloured when cooked. Don’t use mushrooms that get dark or black when cooked, such as orange birch boletes or slimy spike-caps.


Porcini Sauce

5 dl chopped porcini or other mushrooms
1 shallot
2 tbsp margarine or oil
1 tbsp wheat flour
1 dl white wine
2 dl oat (or soy) cream
salt, white pepper
1 tbsp fresh parsley or 1 tsp dried

Heat the mushrooms until the water comes out. Discard the water or sauté until it has evaporated. Add margarine and chopped shallot and sauté on medium-low heat until shallot is soft and translucent. Stir in wheat flour and after a minute add white wine. Stir well and add cream. Slowly boil 10-15 minutes or until the sauce has reached the desired thickness. Season with salt and pepper and add parsley.


Wine Wednesday: Fennel Soup

Some time ago I received a few Swedish magazines, mostly targeted for middle-aged women, but decided to have a look in case they contained any interesting recipes. This soup was one of them. Originally this recipe called for shrimps, but we simply omitted them and veganised the rest of the recipe. In case you want something bitey in your soup, give tofu or maybe a small batch of white beans a try. Anyway, this is a really nice refreshing soup, where the fennel combined with the white wine brings out a really great taste.


Creamy Fennel Soup

10 cm leek
1 fennel bulp
1 carrot
2 tbsp oil
3 dl white wine
6 dl water
1 bouillon cube
3 tbsp wheat flour
2 dl oat or soy cream
salt, pepper

Coarsely chop leek, fennel and carrot. Heat the oil in a pot and sauté the vegetables until leek is soft. Add wine, 5 dl water and bouillon cube to the pot and bring to boil. Mix the wheat flour with remaining 1 dl of water and slowly pour to the pot, stirring the soup at the same time. (Or mix the flour with vegetables before adding water or wine.) Cook 15 minutes or until vegetables are soft and puree with a blender. Add cream and heat thoroughly, season with salt and pepper.


False Morel Risotto

Recently I ate false morels first time in my life. My co-worker had found lots of them and she gave me a small box of boiled false morels. I used them for a mushroom risotto, which was great. About a week later I was at my grandparents’ summer cottage and found some false morels myself. I picked them, boiled them three times in lots of water and made a creamy sauce. False morels are delicious, but they must be prepared properly, because they’re very poisonous when they’re raw.

Mushroom Risotto

300g boiled false morels
OR 1 l any fresh mushrooms
2 shallots or 1 small onion
2-3 garlic cloves
glass (1-1,5 dl) white wine
300 risotto rice
hot vegetable broth (home made or from cubes)
salt, pepper
fresh parsley
2 tbsp margarine

Peel and chop the shallots and garlic cloves. Coarsely chop the mushrooms. Fry/sauté the mushrooms in oil on a frying pan and meanwhile prepare the risotto. Heat couple of tbsp oil in a pot and sauté the shallots and garlic until soft and translucent. Add the rice and sauté couple of minutes. Add the wine and stir until it’s absorbed. Add a ladleful (1 dl) broth and simmer until it’s absorbed. Keep adding broth and stir often until the rice is done (it takes maybe 15-20 minutes). Remove from the stove and stir in (freshly ground black) pepper, parsley, margarine and mushrooms, and salt if needed. Cover with a lid and let sit about two minutes before serving.

Tagliatelle and Walnuts

I think I should eat more nuts and I’m trying to find new ways to use them. We had couple of pears at home and I got an idea of pasta with walnuts and pears. The combination was good, but the nuts could have been nicer if they had been partially crushed. I sprinkled almesan (from Veganomicon) on top, but the meal would have been good without it too.

Walnut Pasta

180g tagliatelle (6 balls)
water and salt for cooking

2 small pears
1 dl white wine
2 tbsp oil
2 shallots
2 garlic cloves
2 celery ribs
3 dl walnuts
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp basil
0,5 tsp parsley
salt and pepper

Cook the tagliatelle according to instructions on package.

Peel the pears and cut in bite size chunks. Put them and white wine into a small pot and simmer 10 minutes. Peel the shallots, cut them half and slice. Mince the garlic and slice the celery. Heat the oil in a frying pan and sauté the shallots and garlic about a minute. Add celery and sauté another minute or two. Add the walnuts and keep sautéing until the shallots and celery are soft. Add the pears and wine, herbs and lemon juice. Season with salt an pepper. Combine with cooked pasta and serve.


I’m not sure if barletto is a real word, but I use it for a dish that is like risotto, but made of barley instead of rice. I try to avoid cooking with rice for environmental reasons, and barley is usually a great alternative. Sometimes it’s even better. Today I made some barletto with Jerusalem artichokes and served it with soy cutlets and grated carrots.

Jerusalem Artichoke Barletto

1 tbsp margarine
1 tbsp oil
2-3 shallots
1 garlic clove
3 dl broken barley
1 dl dry white wine
about 12 dl vegetable broth (or water)
2-3 dl Jerusalem artichoke cubes
1 tsp basil*
2 tsp parsley*
(freshly ground) black pepper
salt if needed

Chop the shallots and mince garlic. Heat the oil and margarine in a pot. When the margarine is melted, add shallots and fry for a minute or two. Then add the garlic and fry one more minute. Next put the barley to the pot and fry few minutes, constantly stirring. Add the wine and cook on low or medium heat, stirring often, until the wine’s been absorbed. Add 1 dl broth and again cook, stirring often, until it’s been absorbed. Keep adding 1-2 dl broth, stirring often and adding more when the previous broth’s been mostly absorbed. When you’ve added about half of the broth, add the Jerusalem artichoke cubes, basil and parsley. Continue adding the broth until the barley and Jerusalem artichokes are soft. Barletto should be moist, but not wet. Add more broth if it looks dry and cook a little longer if it looks wet. Season with freshly ground pepper and taste. Add salt if needed.

*Fresh herbs are always better than the dry ones, so if you have fresh basil and parsley, use 1 tbsp basil and 2 tbsp parsley and add them to barletto at the same time with the salt and pepper.