Helene at La Cuisine Helene put forth her desire to cook a bit in Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Vol. I and Vol. II, and invited those so inclined to cook along with her each week, selecting a recipe of their own choosing, and posting on Fridays whenever we so desired.
This week I picked Duxelles (Minced Mushrooms Sauteed in Butter, on pages 515-516 in Vol. I). The Duxelle mixture is a mushroom flavoring for stuffings, sauces, etc. and can be kept up to several weeks once made, or even frozen (I put that part in for you, Nancy, as I know how you love things that can be frozen). Because it is reduced down by mincing the mushrooms finely before the stint in the saute pan with the shallots, salt & pepper, and if you choose, Madeira and brown stock, the flavor is intense and delicious.
The idea behind it all is that mushrooms have great flavor, but contain a lot of water, which can make a sauce or stuffing watery if they are not cooked down beforehand. The Duxelles are cooked almost dry so that the flavor is intense and not watery at all.
A few weeks ago, when I made the small Cornish hen recipe for Whisk Wednesdays from Julia's recipe in MTAofFC, it called for chicken livers on a toasted crouton to be placed underneath the baked chicken when plating. I did not go that route as we don't like chicken liver, but it dawned on me, too late for the meal and post, that an alternative would be to use a Duxelle mixture on the toasted crouton in place of the chicken liver pate.
With that inspiration in mind, I did such, and although the photo doesn't do it justice, you can sorta kinda maybe see how it would all work. It was delicious!