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Mushrooms on toast

Mushroom sauce

plenty of mushrooms — ½ lb (250 g) or more
4 oz (120 g) butter
2 tablespoons plain flour
1 cup milk
ample black pepper

Large horse-mushrooms or portobello mushrooms, sliced ¼'' thick, are ideal. Chestnut mushrooms, or even champignons, are good too. I prefer to buy my mushrooms old and dry — they have more flavor when mature, and otherwise you just pay for water that has to be evaporated away.

Fry the mushrooms in the butter, over a fairly high heat in a thick-bottomed frypan, until they are dry and start to brown. Fry them gently a little longer until they are nicely browned, then add the flour and black pepper. Stir and cook gently for a minute more.

Toast your bread (something brown and nutty goes well) while you cook the mushrooms. It is important to butter the toast well as this will protect it from the sauce and keep it crisp.

Take the pan from the hob. Add the cold milk, all in one go. Stir well; return to gentle heat until the sauce thickens, then cook for a minute longer. Add salt and more pepper to taste. If the sauce is too thick, add more milk; if too thin, let it bubble gently, to reduce and thicken. Dish it onto hot buttered toast.

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