I’m doing a talk and demonstration in Ayr this week all about making foodie gifts for Christmas. At this time of year I am madly kitchen crafting for my own friends and family’s gifts and also coming up with foodie gifts that I can talk about and demonstrate at the events I’m booked to speak at. I love to ring the changes and think outside the jar so to speak when it comes to gifting food. Every year I give friends and family a hamper of goodies and I like to mix and match the contents and make sure there are some savouries as well as the traditional jars of sweet goodness.
These garlic mushrooms in oil are a great addition to any food hamper, they are savoury and can be used with a simple antipasti platter or added to a salad or tossed into a stew or even added as a luxurious finishing touch to a simple bowl of creamy mushroom or potato soup.
I have used a mixture of mushrooms which gives a great diversity of colour, texture and taste and looks really pretty too, but really you can use any you can get your hands on so don’t get stressed that you haven’t any fancy fungi on hand.
Thyme goes so well with mushrooms and when you add garlic to the mix it makes a triumphant threesome that fairly tickles the tastebuds. The addition of orange, bay and black pepper adds depth, character and a little heat to this recipe.
The dried orange peel in this recipe is just made by peeling the orange carefully avoiding the bitter white pith and leaving the strips to dry above a radiator overnight till completely dry. You can put them in the oven on lowest setting with the door propped open if you like.
I’ve used recycled jars to present my garlic mushrooms in oil. Look out for jars of different shapes and make sure that they are wide enough for you to get the mushrooms in and out of with ease. To finish mine off I have torn pieces of old recipe book pages into jar covers. In fact this is an ancient (already torn I am not that sacrilegious where old books are concerned!) copy of Mrs Beaton’s Cookbook and I used the pages relating to mushrooms for my jar toppers.
Read on for the recipe and add this one to your gift list.
- 450g/1lb mixed mushrooms
- 3 cloves garlic sliced
- 6 sprigs fresh thyme
- 100ml/3 1/2fl oz dry white wine
- 400ml/14 floz white wine vinegar
- 6 black peppercorns
- 2 tsp salt
- 300ml/1/2 pint extra virgin olive oil
- strip of dried orange peel per jar
- 1 bay leaf per jar
- extra thyme to decorate jars
- Wipe over the mushrooms and slice the larger ones, set aside while you deal with the liquid.
- Bring the wine, vinegar, chopped garlic, thyme, salt and pepper to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Toss in the mushrooms in batches and blanch in the liquid for 1 minute then remove and dry on kitchen paper.
- Pack the mushrooms into jars and add a little piece of dried orange peel to each along with a bay leaf and some sprigs of thyme.
- Heat the oil to 75 degrees centigrade and pour this over the mushrooms making sure they are completely covered.
- Pop on the lids and set aside for 2 weeks to mature.
- Use within 3 months.