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This hearty, vegetarian stew is amazing over pasta, your favorite whole grain or roasted squash.  For a beautiful presentation, roast delicata squash until tender and fill with ragout.  Garnish with mushroom cream and a sprinkle of fresh herbs.  Most of the ingredients are available in an Asian grocery store.

Yield: 2 qt

Ingredients:

1 ½ cups sweet onion, diced small

2 ½ teaspoons garlic, minced

5 teaspoons white wine

3 cups tomatoes, diced medium

¾ cup golden raisins

6 ½ cups Maitake mushrooms, rinsed, bases removed and broken into large clumps

6 ½ cups brown beech mushrooms, rinsed, bases removed and broken into large clumps

2 ½ teaspoons Dijon mustard

3 ½ teaspoons harissa, purchased

2 ½ teaspoons tamari (gluten free soy sauce)

½ can coconut cream, well shaken

3 ½ teaspoons white miso

¼ cup nonpariel capers, drained

Heat a small amount of vegetable oil in a 6 qt sauce pot until shimmering.  Add onion, garlic, and a small amount of salt, and sweat until translucent.  Deglaze with white wine and allow to reduce by half.  Add tomatoes and raisins and cook until the tomatoes break down and raisins are beginning to plump.  Add 2 cups of each mushroom and sprinkle with salt.  When they are thoroughly wilted and release their juices, repeat two more times.  After all mushrooms are added, simmer for about an hour, until mushrooms are nearly done, tomatoes are almost dissolved and raisins are fully hydrated.  Add the rest of the ingredients and simmer for 15-30 minutes to let flavors meld but do not reduce too far.  Adjust seasoning with salt if necessary.

Mushroom Cream

This is a great garnish for the mushroom ragout, but also would do well drizzled over sauteed vegetables or folded into mashed potatoes.  The extra mushroom cream can be used to thicken any sauce or gravy, but is excellent when incorporated into an alfredo sauce.   

Yield: 2  cups

Ingredients:

1 cup heavy cream

1 cup dry shiitake caps

1 ½ cups sour cream

Simmer mushroom caps in heavy cream for about 30 minutes, or until it tastes like mushrooms, strain and cool completely.  Fold ½ cup mushroom cream into sour cream, season to taste with fine sea salt.     

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