Last night, I was in one of my creative moods. I had to work late and so DW wanted me to pick her up a fast food burger and fries (not Micky=D's, I really dislike their food). So I decided to use some of the wild mushrooms I'd purchased at out local farmer's market to make some home-cooked mushroom soup. Only, it turned into one of the best chowders I've ever made. So I'm gonna share it with ya.
Wild Mushroom chowder, or is that Sausage gravy with wild mushrooms. Hmmmm.
1/4 cup each:
Chicken of the Woods Mushroom
1/2 yellow onion
1/2 lb. bulk breakfast sausage
6 tbs. butter
6 tbs. AP flour
smidgen of dried sage
salt to taste
Dice the mushrooms into little pieces, but large enough that they aren't minced. Also finely dice the onion, but again into little pieces. In a sauce pan, saute the mushrooms in the butter until tender. Season with the salt to bring out the full mushroom flavor. Remove from heat. At the same time, lightly saute the sausage, with the onion so that the onion still has a little crunch, but has lost its bite. The sausage should not be crispy. This is important for the texture of the chowder.
REmove the cooked sausage/onion mixture to the pot with the mushrooms and butter, letting the sausage grease mix in as well. Place over medium heat. Add the flour and stir until the flour is completely coating everything in the pot. Continue stirring until the flour becomes blonde. Add the sage. and stir in. Add milk while continuing to stir until the chowder has the thickness you desire. Let everything simmer for a few minutes to let the soup fully thicken. You may find you need to add a little more milk.
Serve with biscuits, or toast, with a nice fruit salad afterwards.
This chowder came out so rich and flavorful that I had to chase it with a glass of ice-cold milk, and then a cold glass of water. I didn't make the fruit salad last night as it was just too late in the evening. But that would have really cleansed the palate.
It's an odd part of my enjoyment of good food that I want it to have a rich, bordering on too potent flavor while I'm eating it. But I don't want that flavor to linger when I'm done. Afterwards, I want my mouth to taste neutral again.
The onions had a soft crunch and added sweetness to the chowder. The soup was velvety smooth and creamy. The flavors and textures of the mushrooms and sausage married perfectly, especially with that hint of sage.
This is a chowder that you should make. It's really, really good, at least to me. I could see modifying it with maybe some sliced carrot, but not much more. You could substitue other meats for the sausage, and change the whole flavor profile of the chowder, and it would still be great. I could see diced chicken, or turkey, or maybe even beef. Cooking is all about creating, so add whatever you want, or change whatever you want. It's all good. Me, I really enjoyed this incarnation of my mushroom chowder.
Seeeeeeeya; Chief Longwind of the North