Whenever you encounter a “julienne” dish in the Russian cuisine, you’re going to see hot appetizers made in single servings.
2 lb white mushrooms
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/3 teaspoon salt
2 oz butter
1 heaping tablespoon flour
¾ cup milk
1.5 oz hard cheese
These dishes are baked with the béchamel sauce. Mushrooms are the most common filling for julienne. This dish is traditionally served in small metallic or ceramic pots with one handle.
Why such small portions? Well, the mushrooms are delicious but too rich to have a lot at once, and after all, this is an appetizer.
Besides mushrooms julienne can be made with chicken, boiled tongue or even fish; regardless of the ingredients the cooking method is the same: the prepared filling is placed into the small single-serving pot, covered with the sauce and baked in the oven. If desired, it can be sprinkled with cheese.
If you don’t have these special small pots for julienne, you can make it in any oven-proof dishes such as ramekins. If you wish you can make one large julienne for all your guests to share – as long as you’re going to eat it all at once while it’s hot.
Slice the mushrooms into large pieces.
Place into a skillet and put on the stove.
The mushrooms will release a lot of liquid.
Stir them periodically till all the liquid evaporates and the bottom of the skillet becomes dry.
Add the oil to the mushrooms, sprinkle with the salt and sauté carefully.
Since the mushrooms have been cooking in their liquid for a while they will sauté very quickly, in about 5-7 minutes.
Arrange the mushrooms evenly in the 4 baking dishes.
To make the sauce, melt the butter on the skillet.
Add the heaping tablespoon of the flour.
Cook the flour in the butter making sure there are no lumps.
Cook the flour quickly and carefully until the white foam appears on the surface.
At this point carefully pour in the cold milk.
Use a whisk to stir the milk with the cooked flour.
Continue cooking the sauce stirring constantly with a whisk.
The sauce should thicken.
The cooking of the sauce should take no longer than 2-3 minutes. The sauce may not boil, so don’t wait for it; the most important is to thicken it to the consistency of the sour cream.
When the sauce is ready, place 2 tablespoons of it into each baking dish with the mushrooms.
Use a moistened spoon to smooth the sauce in each dish.
Sprinkle with grated cheese.
Place the baking dishes with the juliennes into a preheated oven (400F) for 15 minutes.
Take out of the oven and serve immediately – these should be eaten while piping hot.
Julienne is typically eaten with a teaspoon.