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Duxelles

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

I was taught that making a proper duxelles is a time-consuming [but rewarding] process. 

 

4 finely minced shallots, or a small red onion, are sauteed in butter until soft and lightly caramalized.  Add 2 cloves finely minced garlic, and saute some more.

 

Meanwhile, back at the Cuisinart:  Process 1# mushrooms until they resemble coarse corn meal.  Turn them out into a fine sieve,  piece of cheesecloth or clean dishtowel,  and squeeze until you've removed as much liquid as possible.  Add the mushrooms to the shallots and garlic and continue cooking until the mushrooms are lightly browned.  Stir in 1 TBS sherry, red wine or brandy.  Cook until the liquid is reduced.  Season with salt & pepper. 

 

Okay,  that's the traditional method I learned. 

 

I recently watched an episode of Emerill in which he was demonstrating how to make duxelles.  He threw the mushrooms into the food processor,  then everything went into the pan all at once to be cooked until sort of dry.  Finish with a little sherry and essence of emerille.  BAM!

 

After that,  I watched a video on YouTube that showed some guy putting everything -- shallots, garlic & mushrooms -- into the food processor and let it run till it became a smooth paste.  Then he put it into the skillet with butter and "sauteed (?)" til sort of dry.  Add sherry and seaon. 

 

I was taught that the reason for squeezing the liquid out is because Duxelles is essentially a mushroom reduction, and the juice adds an undesirable bitterness to the finished product.  If this is so,  how can either of the above methods be called proper duxelles?

 

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post #2 of 13

Gotta cook the mushrooms until they give up all their liquid, otherwise it dux is just too moist.  That pretty much goes for the onions too, although you don't want them to caramelise. Garlic needs to go in fairly ealry but over a medium to low heat so it doesn't burn.

 

I can't see those other 2 methods working well, although it may just be a matter of time saving.  I much prefer to dry slowly dry fry the shrooms until they really are dry over low heat, add the onions/shallots with the garlic, then cook gently until it is a nice dry incorporated mix.

 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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post #3 of 13

Don't know that I'd trust Emerill or youtube. In that respect I guess you could say the same of me........ anyway I really enjoy duxelles traditional or other....

 

I make duxelles with chanterells, shitakes, shallots, lemon thyme, white wine(what ever we are drinking at the time), garlic, heavy cream, salt and pepper.. I don't think I have ever squeezed off any of the mushrooms and have never experience the bitter taste you speak of. 

 

While the duxelles I make may not be called a "proper" duxelles by some folks, it is my interpretation of a duxelles. Who is to say whats proper? I would just have some fun with it.

post #4 of 13

A duxelle is mostly used as a stuffing in meat etc. I even have no idea why you would make a duxelle for other reasons. Also, cutting expensive and delicious mushrooms like porchini, chanterelles, trompettes de la mort etc. in unrecognizable bits is not recommendable. Many chefs will make a duxelle of cheap mushrooms, use it as a stuffing... and present whole or sliced porchini, chanterelles etc. next to the meat.

If you really want a strong tasting duxelle, you can always soak a small handfull of dried porcini, cut them up and mix in the cooking duxelle WITH the sieved soaking juice and then let the moist cook away.

 

Also I would suggest;

1. Cut the mushrooms with a knife so they are not too tiny, they will shrink a lot.

2. I have never, ever bought mushrooms from which you could squeeze out juice(*)! A duxelle is always made by cooking the mushrooms until all liquid is vaporized, but the taste remains in the pan. It's obvious for that reason that you cannot make a duxelle in 2 minutes or less. Keep on stirring while cooking helps a lot.

 

(*)BTW, there's  a lot to be said on washing mushrooms before cooking them!

post #5 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by amazingrace View Post
how can either of the above methods be called proper duxelles?

 


In my opinion, none of them are. A proper Duxelles does not involve a food processor, pleeeeease! It certainly doesn't involve any squeezing, any blending, any sieving... and run away from the word "paste"!!!

 

A proper Duxelles is going to test your knife skills. You'll have to use your knife to cut those mushrooms very finely.

 

First sweat your shallots (without coloration), then add the mushroom, slow burner, let the water evaporate but be careful: the Duxelles still shouldn't be completely dry.

post #6 of 13

Made it like yours, but we added a bit of bread crumb to absorb moisture.Also chopped curly parsley, and a touch of  Glace d" viand

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #7 of 13

You can pulse chop the mushrooms in a processor> Its faster and cleaner then using knife

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #8 of 13

ChrisBeligium, and French Fries....I understand where you may be coming from but in the world of busy kitchens it does not work the same way as in your home when you read a recipe and follow it verbatim.

 

Making duxelle for 400 orders would be a nightmare doing it the way you are suggesting.

Many kitchens just place the mushrooms and shallots in a buffalo chopper or food processor, then saute them until all the water has evaporated. Heavy cream is added along with seasoning and allowed to evaporate again. I have made this countless times. I pour the entire mixture into a large pan, allow it to cool, then have someone scoop out small balls of the duxelle for further processing.

 

The comment about washing the mushrooms before use makes me smile.  One Chef had me brush 30 lbs. of mushrooms with a small nylon brush. It took a loooooooooong time. Wash mushroom indeed.

post #9 of 13


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chefross View Post

ChrisBeligium, and French Fries....I understand where you may be coming from but in the world of busy kitchens it does not work the same way as in your home when you read a recipe and follow it verbatim.

 

In my home I don't read a recipe and follow it verbatim. Certainly not necessary for Duxelles.

 

And while I agree with you regarding the need for workarounds and shortcuts in busy commercial kitchens, I don't think the original poster works in a busy commercial kitchen?
 

post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 

After reading the comments here and doing a little research,  I see that there is not just one way to make Duxelles.  Even the Joy of Cooking does not agree with itself.  The 1975 edition says to squeeze the mushrooms after chopping,  reserve the liquid, add it back in later then cook it out.  Also the directions call for cooking the onions or shallots until "golden".   The 1997 book says to squeeze out the bitter liquid and discard it,  and the aromatics are cooked but not browned.  Also the 1997 book upgrades to the use of a food processor thumb.gif

 

I lightly brown the onions because we like that taste, but in any case they do eventually get browned along with the mushrooms.  I squeeze out the liquid before cooking the mushrooms.  The finished product seems milder to me without the concentrated flavor of so much evaporated juice, and I like that I don't have to spend so much time cooking and stirring them dry.  I prefer the FP because it is faster and cleaner, as Ed B has said.  Cleanup is no problem.  I would have to wash something anyway, whether it's the knife and cutting board,  or the blades of the processor.  The dishwasher takes care of the bowl for me. 

 

Thank you all for your informative and interesting comments. 

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post #11 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by French Fries View Post


 I don't think the original poster works in a busy commercial kitchen?
 


I am an at home cook,  but that was not always the case.  HubbyDearest and I owned a restaurant for a while (actually,  IT owned US but that's another discussion.  His dream, my nightmare).  I did all the cooking while he ran the bar. 
 

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post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisBelgium View Post

A duxelle is mostly used as a stuffing in meat etc. I even have no idea why you would make a duxelle for other reasons.  

 


There are a variety of uses for duxelle.  I typically cook a large batch,  freeze it in ice cube trays,  then bag the cubes.  Yes, very good in stuffing,  but there's lots more to do with it.  I drop a couple of cubes into gravy and stew, put some under the skin of chicken, add to scrambled eggs or omlettes, spread on toast or crackers for appetizer, add to butter for flavorful and different spread for hot bread, and delicious in baked potatoes! 
 

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post #13 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by amazingrace View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisBelgium View Post

A duxelle is mostly used as a stuffing in meat etc. I even have no idea why you would make a duxelle for other reasons.  

 


There are a variety of uses for duxelle.  I typically cook a large batch,  freeze it in ice cube trays,  then bag the cubes.  Yes, very good in stuffing,  but there's lots more to do with it.  I drop a couple of cubes into gravy and stew, put some under the skin of chicken, add to scrambled eggs or omlettes, spread on toast or crackers for appetizer, add to butter for flavorful and different spread for hot bread, and delicious in baked potatoes! 
 



Thanks for the hints!

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