One of my clients asked if I might create a cremini mushroom sauce for her to use over baked potatoes and pasta. Well. Full disclosure. I’m not a huge mushroom fan. Quite the contrary. So this one is for you, Laura. ; )
Since I’ve always avoided mushrooms, and even now barely tolerate them, I was more than just a little bit out of my element. But I did persevere, and surprised myself. Even I think this sauce is lovely – made with shallots, Madeira wine, and cashew cream. Laura adores this and I hope you do, too!
CREMINI MUSHROOM SAUCE WITH SHALLOTS AND MADEIRA WINE
2 shallots, sliced
3 cremini or baby portobello mushrooms, cleaned, stems removed, and minced
3/4 cup Madeira wine
2 cups mushroom broth
2 tablespoons raw cashews
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoon Braggs Liquid Aminos (or soy sauce)
pinch poultry seasoning
2 teaspoons cornstarch, mixed with 2 tablespoons cold water
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt (or to taste)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper (or to taste)
small handful fresh Italian parsley, minced
Heat a large skillet, and dry-saute shallots for a few minutes, or until they begin to soften. Add a bit of water to avoid sticking to the pan as needed. Once the shallots start to brown, add mushrooms and wine. Turn down the heat slightly, and continue cooking for a few minutes, until the shallots and mushrooms are soft and golden.
Meanwhile in high-powered blender, process together the broth, cashews, balsamic vinegar, Braggs Liquid Aminos, and poultry seasoning, until smooth and creamy. Add the cashew mixture to the shallots and wine on the stove, and simmer for a few more minutes until the gravy has reduced by about one third.
In a separate bowl, make a slurry, whisking together cornstarch and water. Whisk into the gravy, stirring constantly to prevent lumps. Simmer together for an additional 1 or 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, and add fresh parsley.
Serve hot over pasta or mashed potatoes.