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MUSHROOM JULIENNE
Russian appetizer
Mushroom julienne 250 g mixed wild mushrooms (eg boletes, brittlegills, chanterelles)  —  fresh or frozen
20 g butter
120 g smetana
2 tsp flour
pepper
grated cheese

In picture: portions of mushroom julienne photographed at a Russian restaurant.

Heat the smetana in a small saucepan and keep warm. Fry the flour in a hot, dry skillet stirring without a break until it turns golden in colour and starts to develop a nutty aroma, without letting it brown. This will take a few minutes. Remove the flour from heat and whisk into the hot smetana. Mix well, season with pepper and strain the sauce to remove any lumps.

Chop the mushrooms and fry in the butter for about 10 - 12 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the smetana sauce and stir and cook for another 5 or 6 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened. Spoon the mixture into small metallic or ceramic ramekins, sprinkle grated cheese on top and quickly bake or broil in oven at 250 - 300 °C until the surface is nicely browned.

Additional information:
Mushroom julienne is a typical hors d'œuvre dish in Russian restaurants, especially familiar to anyone visiting the Soviet Union during the last decades of the Soviet era. If wild mushrooms are not available, you may use cultivated champignons instead, although they somewhat lack in flavour to be used in this dish.

Recipe source: "Griby v smetannom souse" and "Smetannyi sous", Lifshits, M. O. et al. (1955) Kulinariia. Moscow: Gostorgizdat.


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