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
6 cremini or white button mushrooms, cleaned, stems removed, and chopped
3/4 cup Madeira wine
2 cups mushroom broth, divided
1/4 cup raw cashews
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoon Braggs Liquid Aminos (or soy sauce)
pinch poultry seasoning
2 teaspoons cornstarch
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt (or to taste)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper (or to taste)
small handful fresh Italian parole or cilantro, minced
Heat a large skillet, and sauté shallots and mushrooms in the wine. Turn down the heat slightly, and continue cooking for a few minutes, until the shallots and mushrooms are soft and golden.
In a Vitamix or other high-powered blender, add 1 cup (only) of mushroom broth, the cashews, balsamic vinegar, Braggs Liquid Aminos, and poultry seasoning, along with (if you wish – this is optional!) up to one-half of the shallot and mushroom mixture. Process together until very smooth and creamy.
Stir the blended cashew mixture into the mushrooms, shallots, and wine on the stove. Simmer over very low heat.
In a separate bowl, make a slurry, whisking together the cornstarch and remaining 1 cup of broth. Gradually whisk slurry mixture into the mushroom sauce on the stove, carefully stirring to prevent lumps.
Allow the sauce to simmer gently for a few minutes, until the liquid has reduced by almost one third. Season with salt and pepper, and finish with fresh parsley or cilantro. Stir well to combine all the flavors, and remove from heat.
Serve immediately, over pasta, mashed potatoes, or baked potatoes.