I’ve just returned from a week in Bordeaux, sipping the Merlot based wines from the Right Bank and celebrating the official start of the harvest season with the historic Jurade de Saint-Émilion. However, sipping incredible wine wasn’t the only activity at hand, we also had the chance to take a cooking class at Château Ambe Tour Pourret with its charming and gracious owner, Francoise Lannoye, and her chef, the suave Bertrand Auduberteau. Over glasses of Francoise’s slightly off dry Le Claire we created everything from a decadent goat cheese and tomato starter (recipe to come), to seared duck breast with red wine sauce for the group and creamy scrambled eggs with just snipped chives for me, to these creamy mushroom souffle…well, there are as much of a tart as they are a souffle, just without the crust and a whole lot easier than any souffle I have made…but you can’t be afraid of cream, as with everything I ate in France, there is a lot of cream. However, as my friend Ellen Winspear once said to me, “fat tastes good,” and this was delicious.
3 ounces white or cremini mushrooms, caps only, chopped well
1 shallot, minced
1 large garlic clove, minced
salt and pepper
3/4 cup cream
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1/2 tablespoon fresh thyme
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat in a large saute pan. Add the mushrooms and cook until they start to brown, 3 minute, then add the shallot and cook until softened, then the garlic and cook until all begin to caramelize. Remove from heat and spoon into a mixing bowl. Add the egg and whisk to incorporate. Season with 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Add the cream and using a whisk whip slightly until just frothy and light – you don’t want whipped cream, but you want it to have just a bit of air.
Gently fold in the breadcrumbs and thyme with a rubber spatula. Grease 2 large ramekins or mini crouquette with a bit of oil, then spoon the mixture evenly into each ramekin or mini crouquette. Place the ramekins inside a baking dish, in case they over flow, and bake for 20 minutes until brown on top. Let rest for 5 minutes then serve with a hearty Right Bank Bordeaux.