Recipe: Girolle toast 2.0

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I don’t know about you, but I LOVE mushrooms, and especially girolles! They’re coming into season at the same time as my beloved crayfish, so to start off the little crayfish party we had in Sweden (a must when you have a London visitor in August!), we had these absolutely delicious little girolle toasts with cognac and cream. (I’ve made similar ones before but this version is even better, I promise!)

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They went down a treat and I got praise like “I could eat these EVERY day!”, and I must agree that they were divine. The combination of mustard and cognac with the smooth cream is just delicious and the grated cheese to finish adds an extra layer of flavour.

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You simply must try them, either as little canapés (in which case I would cut each bread slice into four instead of two) or like this; as a little starter with a glass of pink champagne.

With the crayfish we had some more girolles, because why not?!, on top of the Västerbotten cheese quiche. If you’re planning a crayfish party you simply must try it!

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Kantarelltoast 2.0, serves 4 as a starter

5 slices regular white bread, crusts removed and the slices cut on the diagonal into triangels

2 tbsp butter + a splash of oil for frying the bread

150 g girolle mushrooms, rinsed

1 large shallots, finely chopped

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

4 tbsp butter + a splash of oil for frying onions, garlic and mushrooms

2 tbsp cognac

100 ml double cream

1-2 tsp Dijon mustard

salt and pepper

chopped parsley

To garnish:

finely grated Västerbotten cheese (parmesan would work too)

Fry the bread in butter and a little oil on medium-low heat until golden brown on both sides. Leave to drain on kitchen towel. 

Fry the onions and garlic in some of the butter and oil ton medium heat until golden. Remove from the pan and fry the mushrooms with more butter and oil on medium-high heat. When the mushrooms are cooked, turn the temperature down to medium and add the garlic and onions to the pan. Season. Add the cognac and let some of it evaporate before adding the cream. Add the mustard and taste until you’re happy with the flavour. Adjust the seasoning and add a little more cognac if needed. Stir with a whisk while the sauce thickens. It should be thick but still a touch runny when it’s done (and full of flavour). Add the parsley and spoon the mushroom mixture onto the fried bread slices and top with grated cheese.

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Rapeseed oil, mustard and herbs

At the food bloggers’ meetup we went around the countryside in Österlen, Skåne (Scania) visiting different food producers. The first stop was Gunnarshög’s farm, where we got to see how rapeseed oil is produced. I found this particularly interesting because I grew up around the wonderfully yellow and sweet smelling rapeseed fields.

Erik, our guide at (and owner of) the farm was really excited to tell us about his passion. He’s holding a rapeseed plant.

Rapeseed ready to be harvested (left) and the seeds when harvested (right).

The rapeseeds are harvested and then sifted to get rid of straw etc. The seeds are then dried until a certain water percentage remains and are then pressed for oil. (see above).

Freshly cold pressed rapeseed oil

The remnants of the seeds: rapeseed cake (or pellets)

After sedimentation and filtration the oil is ready to be bottled.

Did you know that rapeseed oil contains more Omega-3 and less saturated fats than olive oil? Rapeseed oil is sensitive to light and changes in temperature. Store in a cool and dark place (i e the fridge) and it keeps for twice as long as stored at room temperature.

At the end of our visit we got to sample all the different oils; the regular cold pressed oil and the flavoured ones. I particularly liked the dill and the wild garlic flavours.

Next stop was Petersborg’s farm, one of very few farms in Sweden growing mustard seeds. Most Swedish mustard is actually farmed abroad. Broadly there are two types of mustard seeds; yellow and brown. To make mustard you simply grind the seeds and mix the mustard powder with water and vinegar for the flavours to develop.

In the farm shop they sell their own mustards, for instance one flavoured with lavender, one with whisky and one really strong one.

The last stop was at Österlenkryddor (Österlen spice) where we got to try a raspberry and rosemary snaps (you know the shot we have with everything from herring to crayfish).

Many herb blends have funny local names. I ended up buying a jar of Greek oregano (for souvlaki) and a jar of lovage (works as a substitute for stock apparently).