Milky Madness: Dish 1

An overabundance of milk, due to a misunderstanding on a delivery order last week, lead to something of a marathon cooking day for me on Friday. Given the previous day had been one of those awful days where we bundle all the ‘outside’ activities like appointments and collections together, I’m surprised I had the required amount of GAF to complete the task I set myself. But, I really hate wasting things I feel like I’m partly responsible for causing.

With our shopping orders also being delivered today, I needed to organise my time. The first task involved prepping the 2 kg of mushrooms that also needed using. Normally, I’d have already used most of the mushrooms, however, an overabundance of pain, too little GAF (explained in this article), and a general malaise throughout the previous week meant they were stilling sitting in their container looking at me with accusing expressions every time I opened the fridge door. Today would be the day to send them to their destiny!

Actually, the first task was gathering all the items I’d need to get this done. The big saute pan, silicone stirring spoon, butter for cooking, then onions and mushrooms, salt, pepper (white ‘cos I can’t have other colours, sadly), plain flour + some water to mix it in, and my “secret ingredient” Lee Kum Kee Chicken Stock Powder, all sorted onto trays in their respective areas for easy access.

This first dish of the day: Milky Mushrooms, is a concoction of my own creation, a mix of onions (yes, I do use a lot of onions), mushrooms, secret ingredient, seasonings, milk, and enough plain or corn flour to thicken the mix to a thick gravy consistency. I miss the tinned mushrooms in butter sauce we used to be able to get in the long ago times. While they’re available now, they taste like metal and are just awful, so I make this recipe instead. I was reminded of a similarly made dish in my childhood, so substituted milk for the water in the butter mushroom recipe.

The cut up mushrooms and onions are sweated off in the butter with the lid on the pan until they are really well cooked and almost caramelised. The more flavour you can get out of them, the better the end result is.

When they look overcooked, add about half the milk you intend to use, and let it lightly simmer to infuse the flavours through the milk. Keep a close watch on the pan because milk boils over quickly and is an awful pain to clean up. When it tastes like the mushroom flavour has gone through the milk well enough, mix your flour into enough water to form a pour-able slurry, and stir that into the mix. Check the packet directions for the amount of flour needed to thicken whatever amount of liquid you intend to use. As the mix thickens, keep adding cold milk to the hot mix until you get the consistency you want. It should be something like a thick gravy or white sauce. If you need to add more flour, just do it the same way as before and remember to cook it long enough after each addition to cook out the taste of the flour.

I had 1 kg mushrooms, 4 good sized onions and used a full litre of milk by the end. It’s great on toast, rolled into a crepe, or just eaten with a spoon. I was so focused on time management, I forgot to take a photo.

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