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Mushrooms come through in a mealtime pinch

Amid acclaim for the region’s wild mushrooms, there’s still no shame in showcasing supermarket varieties in all manner of dishes.

Sweating and caramelizing plain button mushrooms in plenty of butter transforms them into a luxurious spread that doubles as filling and condiment, touted in this week’s A Fresh Approach column. Mushroom duxelles freeze well and can be made ahead of the holiday entertaining rush to enliven soups, sauces, dips and dressings with just a few spoonsful.

Duxelles also can come through in a mealtime pinch with an easy infusion of savor. Toss it with cooked pasta or fork it into a steamed grain “bowl.” Whisk it into eggs, along with some fresh herbs and cheese, for an elegant omelet or frittata.

Better yet, make a batch of crepe batter and roll it into the cooked crepes with a grating of cheese and dab of egg according to the following recipe, courtesy of Tribune News Service. Make the sautéed mushrooms as directed or substitute your own batch of duxelles.

Note that the first crepe of any batch is almost guaranteed to fail. Don’t worry about throwing it out and starting fresh.

Parisian Mushroom Crepe

2 1/4 cups whole milk

7 large eggs, divided (3, as needed)

1/2 teaspoon salt

4 tablespoons melted butter

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 tablespoons butter, divided

4 shallots, peeled and finely chopped

35 cremini (baby bella) mushrooms, sliced thick

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

Salt and pepper, to taste

3/4 cup dry white wine

2 cups Emmentaler or Gruyère cheese, shredded

In a large bowl or blender jar, place the milk, 4 of the eggs, the salt and melted butter; mix, whisk or blend together briefly. Add the flour and mix, whisk or blend until combined. Cover and refrigerate for at least a half-hour or overnight.

Meanwhile, make filling. In a pan over medium-high heat, melt 1/2 tablespoon of the butter, add the shallots and cook until translucent, for about 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms, thyme, salt and pepper; sauté until mushrooms are cooked, for 5 minutes. Add the wine and simmer until it has nearly entirely evaporated. Remove from heat. This mixture may be refrigerated for a day.

Beat 1 egg, if desired. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat, add 1 teaspoon butter and swirl to coat entire bottom of pan. Add 1 ladle of batter, about 1/3 cup, and swirl until it coats bottom of pan. Cook until batter is set and beginning to turn a little brown on bottom.

Flip crepe, using a spatula (or your fingers). If desired, quickly pour 1/3 of beaten egg onto crepe and spread with a pastry brush. When egg begins to set, sprinkle 1/4 cup of the cheese onto crepe. Place 1/8 of mushroom mixture in a stripe across center of crepe. When bottom of crepe starts to turn golden brown, roll both sides over mushrooms and remove to a platter. Repeat with remaining batter and mixture, beating additional eggs as required.

Makes 8 servings.

Recipe by “Vita-Prep Recipes and Techniques” and Daniel Neman.

Tribune News Service photo