Mushroom Duxelles with Rice

Mushroom duxelles is one of those simple dishes that can fill a kitchen and surrounding rooms with its intoxicatingly rustic aroma. I first made this dish way back in culinary school, where we paired the buttery mushroom and shallot concoction with steak. Since then I've made variations for other meat dishes, omelets, and pastas.

Yesterday I decided to tweak the original French preparation to have the mushrooms go with rice. Sort of like a vegetarian version of Cantonese minced pork with rice. Fearing that stewing the mushrooms in butter would be too heavy for rice, I decided to use olive oil instead, then mount a bit of butter towards the end. Turns out, because mushrooms soak up oil a lot faster than butter, I kept having to add more and ended up with rather oily mushrooms.

Tonight I went back to good ol' butter. Not only was it was perfect for the slow caramelizing of shallots and mushrooms, it also didn't overwhelm the rice at all.

Mushroom Duxelles with Rice

Serves 2 as a side dish

3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large or 2 medium-sized shallots, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
8 to 10 medium-sized button mushrooms, finely chopped
45 mL (3 tablespoons) red wine or sherry
Salt and pepper to taste
1 stalk scallion, thinly sliced
2 cups cooked rice

Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a medium-sized skillet or small pot over medium-low heat. Add the shallots and garlic. Sautรฉe until fragrant, about 2 to 3 minutes.

Add the mushrooms and the rest of the butter; stir to melt the butter and have it coat the mushrooms. Reduce the heat to low and let the mushrooms simmer in butter for about 15 minutes, stirring frequently to avoid burning.

Turn the heat to medium. Add the wine/sherry and swirl it around the pan to deglaze. Reduce the heat to low again and simmer until the alcohol has reduced. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Turn off the heat, pour the mushroom duxelles over rice or mix into rice. Garnish with scallions and serve immediately.