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.
You will need (for 2 bowls):
1 onion, roughly chopped
300g mushrooms, any will do but I used Portobello
A few sprigs of thyme, leaves removed
400ml vegetable stock
Salt and pepper
Small handful wild mushrooms
1 small baguette
Start by frying the onion in a small knob of butter until softened. If using Portobello mushrooms I always peel them; mostly because I immensely enjoy doing it. Chop the mushrooms and add them to the onion and cook for a few minutes until they release some of their water. Add the thyme leaves, vegetable stock and milk, cover and cook for about 10 minutes or until the mushrooms are soft. Blend the soup, season and then return to the heat to keep warm while you make the croutons.
4 large mushrooms
Garlic butter (butter, garlic, parsley and black pepper)
4 bread rolls
You will need:
I prepared the butter before I left by crushing three garlic cloves into about 50g butter and mixing it together with a few sprigs of chopped parsley and some black pepper.
Take the mushrooms and wrap them (gill side up) in some foil so they are completely covered. Put the parcel onto the edge of the BBQ, so it is not directly over the heat, and leave them to soften in their own juices for about 20 minutes. When they are soft put a little of the garlic butter onto the mushroom gills and leave the parcel open so that some of the moisture evaporates. After about five minutes toast the buns on the BBQ and put a mushroom in each bun.