Mushroom compote (cream mushroom base)

Mushroom compote is a cream mushroom base that can be used in 100s of dishes. It's great on meat or fish, on a baked potato, in a pasta sauce, on an omelete and even on its own as a side. Make some extra as a gift for friends and family!
  • double handful (around 2 cups) of minced or sliced mushrooms
  • 2 oz rum
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • small handful (around half a cup) minced leeks
  • (some people like to add a tiny bit of celery -- say 1/4 cup)
  • dash of salt
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 tbsp sour cream
  • meat or fish - optional
  1. Put the mushrooms in a non-metal bowl with the rum, and allow to macerate for at least 1/2 hour.  Stir to turn over every 10-15 minutes.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large saucepan.
  3. Brown garlic, add leeks (and celery if using) for 3 minutes over low-med heat
  4. Add mushrooms, brown for a further 3 minutes.
  5. Add salt and water - allow to simmer covered until mushrooms are reduced (about 10 minute)
  6. Remove cover and increase heat to medium
  7. Add milk and sour cream to thicken.  Simmer for another 4-5 minutes.
If you are cooking with chicken, pork or beef, brown meat first in olive oil and remove -- add when adding water and reducing mushrooms.  Check that meat is close to done before removing cover + continue recipe as above.
If cooking with fish, add fish when mushrooms are reduced, or fish will overcook.
If using pre-made compote, add to meat in the last 4-5 minutes of cooking.
As always, feel free to get creative with the recipe! We've substituted the rum with a dry wine, added some parmesan and thyme (was delicious in pasta). 
Here's an example of using mushroom compote on baked fish:
  1. Make compote as above (can be done beforehand)
  2. Preheat oven to 350F/175C
  3. Place fish in ovenproof dish
  4. Cover liberally with compote
  5. Bake for 15-20 minutes
  6. Let stand 4-5 minutes
  7. Serve.