It’s the weekend, its time for wine and catching up with friends and talking absolute nonsense. When friends are coming over (or turn up unannounced as often happens) I like to have something that is quick and easy to make, but delicious to put on the table and soak up the wine. You are probably thinking what the heck is “Sieni Muhennos”??!! Well it is something I stole from the Pet Finn’s mum, because Finns do table food for drinking and talking very well, and they also are absolute royalty when it comes to amazing mushrooms. So yep, sieni = mushrooms, muhennos isn’t quite so easy to translate, its kind of somewhere between a salad and a pâté, you serve it with some crispy mini toasts for people to help themselves as they sip their wine.
- 120g Mushrooms, I used Shiitake, but you could substitute for chestnut or any flavourful variety (not time for bland button mushrooms here) wild foraged mushrooms would be prefect!
- 1/2 onion, diced
- nutmeg – a good grate to taste
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- black pepper a good amount – to taste again
- the leaves from 3 stems of thyme, either fresh or home dried
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 50g plain vegan cream cheese
- flat leaf parsley – about a handful finely chopped
- extra virgin olive oil to fry
- Dice up the onion and mushrooms fairly small and fry over a fairly low heat in extra virgin until the onions are translucent and golden and the mushrooms are softened. While you are cooking them add the salt, pepper, nutmeg and thyme. It is hard to give an exact amount of nutmeg because you are grating directly into the pan, but I think grating from the whole nutmeg gives a much better flavour, and likewise using fresh thyme or home dried sprigs because I think the jars of dried time taste kinda gross.
- Add extra oil if needed. Once the onions and mushrooms are almost ready turn the heat to the lowest level and add the minced garlic, cook for a further 5 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and stir the vegan cream cheese through, and then the parsley. Check the seasoning and you’re ready to go.
You can serve with ready made crisp breads or make skinny toasts which are super easy – I used Schar which is both gluten free and vegan – a lot of GF breads have added egg to improve the texture. Just toast the bread on both sides, quarter diagonally and then cut the bread in half through the middle of the slice and toast the insides.
You can make this recipe with regular cream cheese, but after the christmas cheesepocalypse, I am going to have to cut back down on dairy because I know my body is struggling a bit. Before I found out that gluten is the problem I had become very badly intolerant to dairy so I have pretty good knowledge of dairy free products, and I know that the garlic/herb flavour cream cheese substitutes are awesome, but the plain ones are sometimes kinda weird tasting, but this is a great way to put them to good use! You could also substitute for some silken tofu too, and if you would prefer a smoother texture then you can blend it, although then it just looks very brown, and I think that the chopped texture is quite pretty.
Anyway cheers, and have a lovely weekend! I am getting my head together after a fun night at a friend’s birthday party / video screening / single launch party (go check out Belle Scar, and their latest track Escalade is stunning… Her voice is off the scale!) and too much tequila because this afternoon we will visit some Finnish friends on the south side of the river who have built a sauna in their garden. SO EXCITED FOR A PROPER SAUNA!!!