At the heart of this sauce is a method which will transform your cooking, if you want to make creamy sauces without using cream or any of those rather nasty-sounding cream substitutes. It's not something I invented, just a simple traditional technique which stops the yoghurt curdling into a bitty inedible mess.
For the past couple of years, much of my cooking has been directed at finding ways to cut saturated fat out of our diet, without fuss, and without compromising the taste. The result has been a light and fresh diet, one in which we cook everything from scratch, which doesn't have to take long (and often doesn't).
This has been much easier for the two of us than for the children, who are still keen to eat huge hunks of cheese, or fatty lamb chops (to name two favourites). And Lettice has developed a fondness for mushrooms in various cream sauces (I blame Antonio Carluccio, as she ate the first one at the new(ish) Carluccio's in Oxford, at the old prison).
The mushrooms I cooked last night are not in themselves particularly exciting, because I was afraid that the sauce would curdle whatever I did to stabilise the yoghurt, so I didn't waste much time on them, fearing they'd end up in the bin.
Mushrooms in a creamy yoghurt sauce
I broke a punnet of mushrooms into pieces, put them in a saucepan with a splash of wine (the end of a bottle), and stewed them gently. After a while, before all the wine had evaporated, they gave up their own juices, and I carried on cooking them until they were nearly dry. I added a splash of balsamic vinegar (because that's how Lettice likes her mushrooms).
Meanwhile, I mixed 1 dessertspoon of plain flour into 3 tablespoons of 0% fat Greek yoghurt. When the mushrooms were cooked, I added this to the pan, and put it on a gentle heat. I wasn't at all sure it would work, and watched the sauce anxiously for signs of splitting, but it didn't, even though I kept it on the heat for about four minutes to cook the flour.
Delicious, the slight sharpness of yoghurt being more to my taste than the cloying sweetness of cream. But as this is not true for Lettice, I'm going to experiment a little further, perhaps adding ground almonds for sweetness. Watch this space.
This is an entry for this month's Heart of the Matter, concentrating on vegetable dishes. I am hosting this time - and I'd love you to participate. Please send the link to your entry to me joannacary AT ukonline DOT co DOT uk, the last day is 22nd June, please remember to link here and that we want only one-event entries.
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