You get deep umami richness from mushrooms and soy sauce—no need for any meat drippings or poultry/meat stock. Cremini mushrooms have a deeper flavor than button mushrooms, but you can use those in a pinch. For even deeper, more savory flavor, replace half of the cremini with shiitake mushrooms.Thyme and mushrooms are a match made in heaven. If you don’t have fresh thyme, you can use 1/2 tsp. dried thyme. Make ahead: You can store in the fridge a couple of days in advance of when you need it, but we wouldn’t recommend freezing.
The addition of mushrooms—what a forager might find—makes for a delicious twist on classic shepherd's pie.
Caramelized Sherry Onions
For real, true, buttery-soft caramelized onions, you have to be patient. Cook low and slow, and the onions will “melt” down to the most wonderfully silky texture. If you try to rush the process and increase the heat, your onions will likely brown to much or burn. You can freeze these. If you’re doing so, freeze in small 1/2-cup portions so they’re easier to thaw. Use these as a pizza “sauce,” sandwich or burger topping, or pasta toss-in. Or chop the onions and stir into sour cream with some chopped green onions for French onion dip. You can also turn them into French onion soup; combine with hot beef stock or vegetable stock, and float a Gruyere-topped crouton on top.
Sherried Green Beans and Mushrooms
Add color and crunch to your meal. Associate Food Editor Julianna Grimes created this recipe: "Everybody expects to see green beans at the holiday table, but I wanted to add some unexpected flourishes."
This stuff would make a great holiday/hostess gift. Package it up in a cute Mason jar, and tie on a festive ribbon. Add a card that suggests ways to use it.
Ways to enjoy: on its own, as you might enjoy applesauce; on toast, pancakes, or waffles; as a condiment with pork chops; stirred into Greek yogurt or oatmeal. You can store this in the fridge for up to 10 days, and it’ll stay good. The sherry really does enhance the flavor. But if you don’t have sherry, you can just use water.
Pork and Asparagus Stir-Fry
Cannellini beans, native to Tuscany, work beautifully in this rustic soup because they hold their shape after simmering in the flavorful broth. Serve with a crusty Italian bread, such as ciabatta, and a salad of bitter greens.
Shaved Melon Salad with Lemon-Sherry Dressing
For the best flavor, choose a good bottle of sherry. For a nutty taste, go with amontillado; for something sweeter and slightly richer, use oloroso. If you don't have a mandoline, you can cube the melons or scoop them with a melon baller; we did not have luck shaving the melon with a vegetable peeler.
Bucatini with Mushrooms
A large assortment of mushrooms, including luxurious dried porcinis, is the key to the huge earthy fall flavor of this dish. It's meatless, but you'd never know it with all the savory flavor of mushrooms, Parmesan, and truffle oil. A generous splash of cream gives the sauce its luscious texture.
Sherried Pineapple Pork Tenderloin
Chinese Wide Noodles with Barbecue Pork and Dried Mushrooms
This quick version of char siu pork amps up pork tenderloin with a marinade of sweet-salty hoisin sauce and aromatic five-spice powder. Then slivers of this meat meld with meaty wood ear mushrooms among chewy noodles bathed in a salty-sweet sauce.
Green Beans with Sherried Mushroom Sauce
Here's a faster, fresher take on green bean casserole that's done all on the stovetop—one less thing to try to work into oven rotation on the big day. Although we use fresh beans and make our own creamy sauce, we've kept the French-fried onions (arguably the best part of traditional green bean casserole). To speed prep, you can purchase bags of fresh, pretrimmed green beans from the produce section.
Roasted Lion's Mane Mushrooms with Sherried Shallots
Lion's mane mushrooms are an amazing discovery—incredibly meaty, with a faint, almost livery nuance—so this dish plays off the classic liver-and-onions combo with sweet and tangy shallots. Serve as a light entrée with a fall salad and crusty bread, or as a hearty side dish with robust meats such as lamb or beef.
'Shroom subs: Shiitake, cremini