I went to Madrid last year in search of tapas, paella and Rioja and I was not disappointed. I think I ate more often each day I was there than anywhere else I can remember. If memory serves the meals were thus: breakfast, snack at lunch, late lunch, tapas then dinner. Amazing. It took some adjusting on the return home to get used to a mere three meals a day I can tell you. One of the most remarkable meals I had while there was at a roadside restaurant; the sun was going down, it was wonderfully warm and I was complemented on my excellent Spanish. I mean, I can’t be 100% sure the waiter said it was good but I like to think he did. The starter was translated on the menu as garlic and honey mushrooms and I thought I’d have a go at recreating it.
- 250g mushrooms, quartered
- Olive oil
- Drizzle runny honey
- 10g butter
- 10g plain flour
- 200ml milk
- 2 cloves garlic
- Salt and pepper
Fry the mushrooms in a little oil on a medium heat until softened and lightly golden.
Put the mushrooms into an oven proof dish and drizzle a little honey over the top. You want to just lightly coat them, about a teaspoon should do it.
Melt the butter in a saucepan then add the flour. Cook for a minute before slowly stirring in the milk to make a thick sauce. Crush in the garlic cloves and season with salt and pepper. Continue to cook until the sauce has bubbled and is thick.
Top the mushrooms with the garlic sauce then place under a hot grill to brown the top.
This starter really was unforgettable and as much as mine wasn’t exactly the same; I ate it inside, in February, in England for a start I think it was a very close second. The earthiness of the mushrooms works so well with just a small amount of honey for sweetness. The sauce on the mushrooms in Madrid was wonderfully creamy but very thick too and there was so much garlic it almost burnt your mouth. My sauce was a little less creamy but just as garlic laden. I really enjoy trying to recreate food I have had while on holiday but there is one problem: it makes me want to jump straight on a plane and go back again.