Mushroom Sauce Recipes by Chef Bren

One of the highlights of the 2nd Annual Central PA Wild Mushroom Foray was a cooking demonstration on Sunday morning by member chef, Brenda Palmer (left, below), owner of Standing Stone Chef Services. Chef Bren demonstrated how to make two delicious mushroom sauces and also shared her recipe for mushroom stock.

Choose mushrooms with a good mushroom flavor such as Chanterelles, Black Trumpets, Maiitake, Porcini, Crimini, Shitake or even a wild relative of the standard white button mushroom such as the Meadow Mushroom: Agaricus campestris. If you are leaving chunks of mushrooms in your sauce, you will also want to select a mushroom with an enjoyable texture.

The Standard Mushroom Cream Sauce
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 oz. white wine (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • ½ teaspoon chopped chives (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Sauté mushrooms in butter over a medium-high flame, in an open skillet or sauté pan. When mushrooms have softened, reduced in size and turned a uniform golden brown, add the wine. Stir once (be careful of steam) and allow alcohol to evaporate from the pan. Add cream. Cook at a rolling boil, turning down the heat just enough that it does not boil over. Add chives, stir. Check for thickness. When cream has reduced and becomes thick, remove from heat. Sauce will thicken a little more upon cooling. Add salt and pepper to taste.
The Mushroom Forager's Sauce © 2010 by Brenda Palmer

This sauce is my best modernization of a classic French Jus de Veau Lié with a mushroom concentration.

  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1 cup mushroom stock (see recipe below)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 oz. finely minced onion
  • 1 garlic clove, finely minced
  • 2 teaspoons Madeira
  • teaspoon beef base (“Better than Bouillon” — available at Giant and other stores)
  • teaspoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch or arrow root dissolved in an additional ⅛ cup cold mushroom stock
  • Salt and pepper to taste 
Sauté mushrooms, onions and garlic in butter over medium-high heat in an open skillet or sauté pan. When soft and uniformly browned, add Madeira, stir once, then add stock. Stir beef base and tomato paste into the stock. Allow to boil and until reduced by half. Turn heat down to medium, drizzle some of the dissolved corn starch into the pan while stirring. You should not need all the cornstarch; just enough to reach the desired thickness. Remove from heat. Salt and pepper to taste.
Mushroom stock (jus, essence, broth)

If you have such an abundance of mushrooms that you don't know what to do with them, or if you have woody mushrooms that are edible, yet you prefer not to eat them, make stock and freeze it for later use. Dried mushrooms, such as Wood Ear, often make good stock. For today's demonstration I used Shitake stems which are too woody to eat, but contain just as much flavor as the caps.

  • Fill a stock pot (or any pot which has a lid) with mushrooms. Stuff in as many as you can then fill the pot with water
  • Put the lid on and simmer the mushrooms for at least an hour. If the liquid is boiling hard enough, the steam will still escape under the lid and that's okay, but make sure it doesn’t boil dry.
  • After an hour, the mushrooms will be pretty well cooked. in order to get as much flavor in the stock as possible, use a potato masher to smash the mushroom a little more.
  • Cook down the liquid (proportionately from when you started ) to at least a quarter of what you had. The more the mixture cooks down, the stronger the stock will be, but be careful not to burn the mushrooms onto the bottom of the pan.
  • Allow to cool. Squeeze out the mushrooms and discard, keeping the stock. Portion and freeze.
  • Do NOT salt the stock. This is a component for other dishes; if it is cooked down once again, it is easy for it to be too salty.


Download Chef Brenda's recipes


Parmesan Mushroom Brocolli Balls

These are a great party appetizer and are good either warm or cold. Member Ken Meinert has modified the original recipe for Parmesan Brocollli Balls to include mushrooms and reduce the amount of cholesterol. The original recipe was submbitted by Heather P. at


Yield: 36 appetizer balls.
Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Cook Time: 20 Minutes
Ready In: 1 Hour 40 Minutes

  • 1 (10 ounce) package chopped frozen broccoli, thawed
  • ¾ lb (about) white button mushrooms, coarsely diced (1/8” pieces), and sautéed in butter
  • 1 (6 ounce) package chicken flavored dry stuffing mix
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • ½ cup melted butter 
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • Place broccoli in a medium saucepan with enough water to cover. Cover, and bring to a boil. Cook 5 minutes. Uncover, and continue cooking 2 to 3 minutes, until tender. Remove from heat, drain, and cool. You may also microwave, if you prefer.
  • In a large bowl, mix eggs, broccoli, mushrooms, stuffing mix, Parmesan cheese, onion, eggs, butter, pepper, and garlic. Cover, and chill in the refrigerator for approximately 1 hour, until moisture has been absorbed.
  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
  • Roll the chilled mixture into 1-inch balls, and arrange on a medium baking sheet. 
  • Bake 15 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven, until browned.


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