Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Cooking in Maggie Beer's Kitchen - Mushrooms with Verjuice




Earlier this year a group of our old friends (who find it harder and harder to get together) decided we should organise a long weekend away and the Barossa Valley in South Australia sounded like a good spot to catch up.  We stayed at the Novotel near Tununda. The weather was looking perfect to travel around the  area and indulge in good local food and taste a few wines, as there is no shortage of wineries. As I was arranging the itinerary for the weekend I couldn't visit the Barossa without a trip to Maggie Beer's Pheasant Farm and Shop.  Maggie is well known,  one of Australia's favourite celebrity cooks,  has made a series of TV programs - The Cook and the Chef and has many cook books to her credit.  She is passionate about fresh produce and her farm shop is an advocate for this.  At the farm you can see her pheasants and at the farm shop you can purchase bottled pickles, preserves, jams, fresh fruit, and partake in picnic style lunches  eaten around the lake outside the shop, a very relaxing spot. There is also a demonstration kitchen which is where the TV series is filmed and is a replica of Maggie's own kitchen.  So after our picnic basket lunch we went into the demo kitchen to see what was being cooked.  The demonstrator must have asked for a helper and before I knew it  I was up behind the counter with the apron on!





 Antipasto type dishes were on the menu using Maggie's range of Vino Cotto and Verjuice for the audience to taste.  My job was to prepare the sautéed mushrooms with Verjuice

From Memory (as being a celebrity chef is a bit of a blur) here is what I cooked!

Mushrooms in Verjuice

Slowly melt heaps of butter in a large pan about 500g  - be careful not to burn the butter
Season well with salt and pepper
Throw in 1 kg of sliced brown mushrooms
Saute slowly stirring occasionally until mushrooms are cooked
Pour in a good splosh of Verjuice   to deglaze and cooked down until reduced and intense.

This can be served on bruschetta with a sprinkle of chopped fresh basil.





I think this means I did OK!

Wooden shelves displaying old china and bottled produce in the kitchen.
Check out Maggie's website here  and if you get the opportunity is worth a visit.
I think I have found my "calling".

10 comments:

  1. How fantastic. What a treat. She has to be my all-time favourite celebrity home-cook/entreprener. I first came to know her through her pheasant farm pate. It's been around for years but has to be the best pate around. And I love her verjuice - so good with poultry. I'll have to try it with the mushrooms (and I love a bit of butter too!). What a thrill to be a celebrity chef for a day. What a great weekend you must have had xx

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  2. I am SOOOO envious, as I JUST love Maggie Beer's recipes, and, I often use verjuice in my cooking as I live in the cognac and Bordeaux wine making region of France and it is easy to source there! GREAT post!

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    1. Thanks Karen, so you know all about verjuice. Maggie has been singing its praises for years now. It was quite an experience!

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  3. That last picture of the shelf with the dishes is awesome. I love the color and the shelving and everything about it!

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  4. The whole kitchen is so authentic - I even have the same granite benchtops in my kitchen (have you noticed)!

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  5. Congratulations on your celebrity-chef-dom, what an adventure! I like the sound of the verjuice - will keep an eye out for it and definitely trying some with mushrooms.

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    1. Thank you muchly for popping by. It was a lovely experience. The mushrooms tasted great too!

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  6. What a great post....and what a fab experience for you. This is something I can try in Paris....the variety of mushrooms here is really, really something....I've been cooking chanterelle mushrooms in a cream sauce....I can't tell you how yummy this is! And merci beaucoup for visiting my blog....glad you are enjoying the adventure. A bientot.

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    1. Thank you - it was a great weekend. How lucky to be able to get so many mushroom varieties, I don't think I would ever get fed up eating mushrooms.

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