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Mushrooms with Heaven and Earth

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Why I Love This Recipe

Mushrooms are great for breakfast and the following recipe is great for brunch.

This is a German-inspired dish, also from the Cologne days where 'heaven and earth' is a traditional Rhineland dish.

Serve the Heaven and Earth with the mushrooms on the side.

A great way to celebrate autumn bounty.

Ingredients You'll Need

4-6 slices bacon
juice of 1 lemon
Golden Delicious & Granny Smith apples
6 medium potatoes


Clean a punnet of white mushrooms by rinsing them briefly in a colander and drying them carefully in a kitchen cloth.

Cut off the stems and chop them as finely as you care to. Slice the mushrooms according to their size into halves or quarters. Chop 4-6 slices good bacon into dice (sometimes easier to do with kitchen scissors) and fry until lightly browned over fairly high heat. Increase the heat; add a knob of butter and the chopped and sliced mushrooms and saute them till the juices are dried up and they start frying again. Saute is the right word: you must make them 'jump' so that they spend as little time as possible stewing in their juices - therefore the high heat as well; sometimes I'm lucky and it's hot enough for them to brown with as little as possible juice exuding. Pepper them well, taste for salt, and put them aside. They can be briefly reheated at serving time.

Now make the 'heaven and earth': have a bowl with juice of 1 lemon and a tablespoon of sugar ready; cut 2 (3) Golden Delicious and 2 (3) Granny Smith apples into quarters; peel, seed and cut them into eighths, then into cubes. As you cut them put them into the lemon juice and make sure they are drenched in it to remain white. Peel and cube 4 (6) medium potatoes and put them into a pot with a little salt and boiling water from the kettle barely to cover them; add the apples with their juices and boil rapidly uncovered till the water has just about boiled away and you are left with a heavenly and earthy mush of potatoes and apples. You can mash them slightly with a knob of butter and keep them chunky or put them through a sieve for a fine puree, in which case you have to reheat them with some butter. In eaither case, a mere suspicion of grated nutmeg goes very well with the apples and potatoes, and I've also had them (with fish) flavoured with chopped fresh dill. Mmmm!

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