Recipe Vector: Egg Noodles with Mushroom Cream sauce

Tonight at Laura’s behest I made a mushroom cream sauce, incorporating leftover chicken. We were going to put it on top of normal noodles, but Laura suggested we get egg noodles, which were exactly the right thing for this somewhat Stroganoff-like dish.

I hesitate to say that I “made up” the recipe — it’s remarkably similar to Mushroom Mystery Casserole from The Enchanted Broccoli Forest, except that instead of bread and milk and cheese there’s pasta and cream, instead of onion there’s shallot, and I cut out the celery but added chicken. (It would have worked nearly as well without the chicken.)

I didn’t follow that recipe, or any other, to make the dish, but obviously I just adjusted the recipe to meet my goals, and ended up almost exactly where I’d hoped to. This reminds me of what I read about people who become expert at muddling through foreign languages: they’ve memorized certain typical sentences, and then learn how to modify those by changing tense, subject and verb, and so on in order to produce the sentence they desire. So tonight’s dinner was made through a sort of “recipe vector” similar to those sentence vectors.

Without further ado, the recipe:

Egg Noodles with Mushroom Cream sauce
Time: 30 minutes
Serves: 4


  • 8 oz egg noodles
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 large shallot, diced
  • 2 lbs mushroom caps, cleaned and quartered
  • 2 Tbsp flour
  • 1/2 cup dry sherry
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup chopped chicken
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Put on water to boil, to prepare egg noodles. (When the water boils, cook the egg noodles, drain, and set aside.)
  2. Put butter in large saute pan over medium heat. Wait for the butter to melt and the foam to subside.
  3. Add shallot to pan. Cook for a minute or so, until starting to soften.
  4. Add mushrooms to pan. Sprinkle with salt to taste, and toss to mix it in.
  5. Cook, stirring frequently, until the mushrooms express liquid and reduce in volume to about two cups. (It’s about this time that the water should be boiling and you can cook the egg noodles.)
  6. Add flour to pan and toss to coat mushrooms evenly. Some flour may stick to the bottom of the pan. Don’t worry about it.
  7. Add sherry to pan and bring to a boil. Scrape stuck bits from bottom of pan and stir frequently until sherry has nearly evaporated.
  8. Turn heat to low. Add cream to pan and stir. Add chicken and stir. Add black pepper to taste and stir.
  9. Cook for a few minutes until sauce is thick. Taste and adjust seasonings. About this time, the egg noodles should be done.
  10. Divide egg noodles into four portions. Scoop sauce on top of each. Serve hot!

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