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Many enjoy their New Year’s celebration enlivened with a goodly crowd of partiers, music at high volume and dance, to go along with their tasty holiday fare and drink.  Others like to mark the dying of the Old and the beginning of the New with something more intimate.

For the romantic, the introvert, the homebody–or for anyone who chooses to celebrate this New Year’s Eve heartily and long, happily and…quietly, this Dinner Menu is suggested.  It is elegant, as befits a momentous occasion, and it is extravagant, in the ‘live for the moment’ esprit of the evening.  It is, hopefully, a dinner befitting a time to remember fondly and well what is gone by and to look forward with hope to the future and the unknown.

Each course of the Menu adjusts easily up or down, for more or fewer diners.  The evening begins with caviar, buttered toast points and marinated mushrooms.  No recipe is needed for the first two and June Platt, whose cookbooks are tried-and- true sources for good food, provides an excellent version of the latter in June Platt’s Party Cookbook (1939), which is available to read online here at openlibrary.org.

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June Platt’s Marinated Mushrooms (for 1 pound of mushrooms)

Note:  To print this recipe, or any other diplomatickitchen recipe, go to the bottom of the page, at the end of the post, and click on the icon: Print & PDF. You will have the option of printing in smaller text size and without photos.

A Timing  and Quantity Note:  The mushrooms may be marinated for only a few hours or for a couple of days.  Bring them to room temperature to serve.  Even if you are planning a Dinner for 2, it may be worthwhile to make the entire recipe of Marinated Mushrooms since they are so little trouble to make and keep well refrigerated for at least a week (stored, for example, in a couple of glass jars).  They will be good a second time around served in the same fashion or (for a change) with smoked salmon.

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  • 1 cup Tarragon White Wine Vinegar
  • 1 clove of Garlic, cut in half or smashed
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • a pinch of Dried Thyme Leaves, a branch of Dried Thyme or the Leaves of a couple of sprigs of Fresh Thyme
  • 1 teaspoon of Salt
  • several grinds of Fresh Black Pepper
  • 2 Shallots, cut up in pieces
  • 3/4 cup of Olive Oil
  • 1 Tablespoon of Catsup
  • 1 pound of Mushrooms:  Small whole ones are preferable; quarter large ones for this recipe.  White (or button) mushrooms were used in the photographed version of the dish.
  • the Juice of a Lemon
  • Optional to accompany the Mushrooms:  Caper Berries (See here in a previous diplomatickitchen post for some information about Caper Berries.)


  • an enameled Pot or any Non-reactive Pot (such as one made of stainless steel or earthenware)
  • a  deep Bowl in which to marinate the mushrooms
  • a Slotted Spoon
  • a small Strainer

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1.  Add to the pot the tarragon wine vinegar, the garlic, the bay leaf, the thyme, salt, several grinds of fresh black pepper and the shallots.  Bring the mixture to a boil and boil it for 5 minutes.

2.  Pour the hot vinegar mixture into a bowl to cool.  Once it has cooled, remove the garlic and add the olive oil and catsup.  Set this dressing aside.

3.  Peel, trim and wash the mushrooms.  Quarter large ones.

4.  Fill the non-reactive pot with water, and add salt and the juice of the lemon.  Add the mushrooms, bring them to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer them for 5 minutes.

5.  Drain them well and put them in a deep bowl.  Pour the dressing over the mushrooms and marinate them for several hours in the refrigerator or for a couple of days.

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6.  To serve, bring the mushrooms to room temperature.  Remove them from the marinade with a slotted spoon.  Arrange them in an attractive dish and pour some of the marinade/dressing over them by spooning it over the mushrooms through a strainer…

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Caper Berries are a nice addition to go with these mushrooms:

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A Note:  June Platt’s Marinated Mushrooms are one of the hors d’oeuvres in the Dinner Menu:  New Year’s Celebration for the Romantic, the Introvert, the Homebody ~ a Dinner for 2, 4, or 6The recipe is adapted from one in June Platt’s Party Cookbook (1939).  This book is as fun to read as it is to cook from and may be checked out and read online here at openlibrary.org.

Another Serving Suggestion:  June Platt’s Marinated Mushrooms will transport well in sealed pint jars to include in a picnic.

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An Invitation: You are invited to request suggestions from the diplomatickitchen for your own menus for any occasion by clicking on the feature ‘Ask and Tell’ here or in the Menu at the top of the page. Do you have a menu concept with a gap or two that wants filling…or perhaps you are an expat looking for ways to adapt your recipes to what is available in your temporary home…maybe you are just looking for a new way to use a familiar ingredient or would like suggestions on how to adjust quantities of a recipe from the diplomatickitchen for smaller or larger groups…Replies will be published in ‘Ask and Tell’ or sent by email if you prefer.

© Elizabeth Laeuchli, the diplomatickitchen, 2011-2012