Penny Bun Carpaccio

Serves 2 as a starter

Ingredients

50g walnut halves, lightly toasted

50g rocket, washed

A little sherry vinegar

Some very good olive oil

Salt and pepper

100g, hard goats cheese

Fresh marjoram leaves

200g very good, firm, very fresh penny bun mushrooms

Method

This is such an easy dish it needs little in the way of explanation. Simply very thinly slice the Penny bun mushrooms and place them in a bowl. Dress them with the other ingredients and season well. Serve up and shave cheese over the top, drizzle with a little ore oil if needs be.


Puff ball on toast

Makes a light lunch for 1

Ingredients

100g or so of puff ball – make sure its fresh and wight, not yellowing or brown inside.

2 cloves of garlic freshly chopped

1 slice of good toast

30 g butter

Salt, pepper

Half a lemon

A good pinch of roughly chopped fresh parsley

Method

Cut the puff ball into slices, not too thin, or chunks, not too thick depending on which you prefer. In a good frying pan that you trust not to misbehave, add half the butter and let this get hot so it is foaming. Now add your puff ball and sauté – the butter will disappear but do not add more just yet. Season the mushroom and allow it to take a nice seared colour and cook for a few minutes. Now you may add the remaining butter along with the garlic. Cook for another minute then turn off the heat, add the parsley and a little lemon juice. Season again and serve on top of the hot toast.


Hedgehog croquettes

Makes a dozen or more

If you can make a white sauce you can make a crouqette – there is just a little more faff involved.

Ingredients

1 small onion finely chopped

200g hedgehog mushrooms, chopped and cleaned

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

a little fresh thyme

30g butter

40g plain flour

a little beer

50g grated mature cheddar

Flour, egg and breadcrumbs for crumbing the croquettes later

Oil for deep frying

Method

In a large sauce pan, melt the butter and cook the onion, mushroom, garlic and thyme, well seasoned until the onion has softened a little. Add the flour now and cook the resulting paste for a minute or two. Slowly add enough beer to make a very thick, mushrooms sauce. Turn off the heat and beat in the grated cheese. Season again if needs be and then allow to cool in before placing in the fridge to set.

Shape the now set mixture into small cylinders, and then dip into flour, then egg then breadcrumbs in the usual way to get a good even coating. Fry them in small batches at about 180 degrees until golden and crispy, drain well before serving.


Chanterelle and Almond Tart

Ingredients

350g cleaned chanterelle mushrooms, trimmed and cut to approximately the right size

300g mix of frangipan – almond, egg, butter and suagr paste

1 x 12 inch sweet pasty case – no need to blind bake.

Method

I have not bothered here to list the steps required to make a sweet pastry case or an almond sponge as they are so readily available in any good cookery book.

Chill the pastry case in the fridge so it is firm. Spread the almond sponge mix out evenly and pre heat the oven to 170°c.

Lightly dress the mushrooms with a little demerara sugar and a tiny amount of good olive oil.

Arrange the mushrooms evenly in the almond paste and push them in a bit where possible. Place the whole show in the oven and bake until you are certain the pastry and almond sponge is cooked well. This could well take 45 minutes and require you to turn down the oven. - Keep an eye on it after its initial 20 minutes in the oven.

When cooked, remove from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack. Serve slices of the tart with yoghurt or clotted cream and a little grated chocolate.