Lapsang-Scented Mushroom Stroganoff

Serves 6 to 8.

Note: Lapsang souchong tea is a smoky variety that's available almost anywhere tea is sold. Corn flour is finely ground cornmeal, available in a package (Bob's Red Mill brand carries it) or by grinding the cornmeal yourself. From "Mildreds: The Cookbook," by Mitchell Beazley.

2 lb. mixed mushrooms, trimmed

Cooking oil (such as canola, peanut or sunflower)

2 Lapsang souchong tea bags (see Note)

• 2 1/2 c. boiling water

• 2 tbsp. butter

• 2 onions, finely sliced

• 6 garlic cloves, minced

• 1 tbsp. smoked paprika

• 2 tbsp. corn flour (see Note)

• 1 3/4 c. heavy cream

• 2 tbsp. Dijon mustard

• 2 tbsp. tomato paste

• 1 c. sour cream

• Salt and pepper

1 bunch fresh dill sprigs, chopped

Walnut and Leek Pilaf (see recipe)

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Cut mushrooms into even, bite-sized pieces. Drizzle a little oil into a roasting pan, add the mushrooms, and toss together thoroughly to coat. Roast for 10 to 15 minutes, or until mushrooms are tender but have not yet begun to shrivel. Set aside.

Put tea bags into a bowl, cover with 2 1/2 cups boiling water, and let stand to infuse for 4 minutes. Remove and discard tea bags and set the liquid tea aside.

Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat, add onions and cook, stirring for 5 minutes, or until soft. Add garlic and paprika and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes. Add corn flour and stir together well. Stir in the tea and heavy cream. Then add mushrooms, mustard and tomato paste. Bring to a simmer and cook gently for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until sauce has begun to reduce and thicken slightly.

Add sour cream and cook for another 5 minutes, or until stroganoff is thick and creamy. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Divide between serving plates, scatter with chopped dill and serve with Walnut and Leek Pilaf.

Walnut and Leek Pilaf

Serves 8 to 10 as a side dish.

Note: From "Mildreds: The Cookbook," by Mitchell Beazley.

• 1 c. walnut pieces

• 2 tbsp. butter

1 leek, trimmed, cleaned and sliced

1 celery rib, trimmed and diced

1 1/2 lb. basmati rice, washed thoroughly and strained

• 3 1/2 c. boiling water

1 bunch fresh dill sprigs, leaves picked and chopped

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place walnut pieces on a baking pan and toast in the oven for 8 to 10 minutes, or until just beginning to color. Remove from oven and set aside.

In small saucepan, melt butter. Add leek and celery, and sauté for 5 to 8 minutes until soft. Add washed rice and 3 1/2 cups boiling water, cover, and simmer over low heat for 8 to 10 minutes, or until rice has absorbed all the water and is tender. Remove from heat and let cool a bit in the pan, then stir in the walnuts and dill.