Lekker Brekker Monday: Devilled mushrooms on toast
Devilled, in cooking, refers to a spicy filling or topping that is packed with heat from condiments and sauces. Perfect for piling on mushrooms for breakfast.
Devilling is an old English preparation, though it should be borne in mind that the modern palate accustomed to chilli-hot dishes may be disappointed in the heat of a devilled dish, whether kidneys, eggs or, as here, mushrooms.
Mrs Patmore in Downton Abbey would make devilled kidneys or devilled eggs; and if you’ve had the latter on an old fashioned buffet you’ll know that it may only mean a hint of Cayenne pepper in the egg-mayonnaise filling. Chilli, and garlic for that matter, were never high up in the kitchen pecking order in Britain, if they featured at all.
The “heat”, such as it is, comes more from condiments than spices: mustard, Worcestershire sauce (yes, that is considered hot by the more timid English palate), perhaps that ubiquitous and perplexing British condiment called “brown sauce”, the charms of which have always eluded me; and a hint of Tabasco for the extremely daring. But not too much, mind!
Being from northern English stock, I can vouch for all of the above. Perhaps that’s why my dad was so desperate to get out, though I was 20 before I ever tasted garlic; there just wasn’t any in the house, ever.
Anyway, I tried to stay as English as I could muster with this recipe…
2 large brown mushrooms
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 XL eggs
2 slices of crusty bread, toasted
1 Tbsp wholegrain mustard
1 Tbsp tomato sauce
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp Sherry vinegar
Juice of ½ a lemon
A dash of Tabasco
1 small red onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 Tbsp butter
½ tsp Cayenne pepper
2 Tbsp finely grated Parmesan
2 Tbsp finely chopped parsley
Salt and pepper
Butter for frying the eggs
Preheat the oven to 200℃.
In a pan, gently simmer the onion in 2 Tbsp melted butter with the garlic until softened.
In a bowl, mix the cooked onion with the mustard, Worcestershire sauce, tomato sauce, sherry vinegar, Tabasco and lemon juice, and season with salt, black pepper and Cayenne pepper. Stir half of the parsley in.
Season the mushrooms on a greased oven pan with salt and black pepper. Spoon mixture onto the mushrooms and place on a lightly oiled baking sheet. Sprinkle grated Parmesan on top.
Bake for about 10 to 15 minutes.
While it’s in the oven, toast the bread and butter it. I used The Foodie’s Wife’s excellent herbed buttermilk bread, a family staple.
Serve sprinkled with the remaining parsley and, if you like, a soft-yolk fried egg on top or on the side. DM
Mervyn Gers Ceramics supplies dinnerware for the styling of some TGIFood shoots.
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