Morrete de Setas – Mushrooms with Potatoes

If like me, you are the sort of person who is not put off by strange translations into your native tongue of a dish you encounter on your travels, this one is for you. Coming across this dish in a small local restaurant near our mountains in Southern Spain, you’d probably read something like “Mushrooms to the wild, cooking with soft potatoes of the saffron dressing up in vinegar”. Or some such bizarre description.

It doesn’t even look that pretty, as the end dish is indeed “with soft potatoes” and has rather a look of mush about it. What you would be served with, however, is a dish with simple ingredients combined in a way you’ve probably never tasted before, and a flavour that makes you say “ooh, that’s so good…I really didn’t expect that”!

Morrete de Setas 004

Around our neck of the woods (or Up Our Mountain), the most commonly eaten mushrooms are Oyster mushrooms. We have grown them ourselves in the past and Big Man would often come home with a crate of them for me to turn into dishes like Mixed Mushrooms with Cinnamon and Lemon or Braised Mushrooms. This dish is made across Andalucía but is probably known by other names outside of the radius of our local villages. Here’s our local version, the simplicity of the ingredients hides a wonderful combination of flavours. It is vegetarian/vegan and can be served alone as a tapa or starter, or alongside other dishes as part of a meal. A poached or fried egg is a wonderful accompaniment.

Ingredients (to serve 6-8 as a tapa, 4 as a starter or 2 as a hearty main course)

  • 1 kg peeled and cubed potatoes (cut into small cubes)
  • About 600g of thickly sliced mushrooms (I used a mix of Shitake, Chestnut and Forestiere Mushrooms)
  • Olive oil for frying
  • 1 level teaspoon of sweet pimentón
  • ½ level teaspoon of hot pimentón
  • A pinch of saffron or turmeric (in Spain though you find they usually use food colouring)
  • About 60g of stale bread
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • About 240ml water
  • About 2 tablespoons of white wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper

You will need 2 frying pans (or you will need to cook the potatoes and mushrooms separately. In one pan with about ½ cm of oil to cover the bottom, slowly cook the potatoes until they are soft and just starting to brown at the edges. Mix occasionally as they cook. You don’t want them to be crispy like chips.

In another pan, add a little oil, the mushrooms and some salt and cover with a lid. Slowly braise the mushrooms until soft and releasing their juices. The potatoes and mushrooms both take about 20 minutes to cook.

Meanwhile, put the bread, water, garlic, spices and 1 tablespoon of vinegar into a blender jug and blend (I use a hand blender) until you get a mix which resembles slightly runny porridge.

Drain the potatoes from the oil and add to the mushrooms and pour in the bread/water mix. Cook gently for about 10 minutes until it all thickens up (you may need to add a splash more water). Just before serving, taste and season and add a further tablespoon of white wine vinegar. Think of the resulting taste in the same way that you would use lemon juice to “lift” a dish.

Serve with plenty of crusty bread and if you’re feeling a bit cheffy, some chopped parsley on top makes it look pretty. But don’t tell the local village ladies I said that as they’d be horrified at any such nonsense.


49 thoughts on “Morrete de Setas – Mushrooms with Potatoes

  1. I’m suffering form a tortilla and salsa brava bocadillo overdose, but I think I could manage a couple of forkfuls of morrete de setas – it looks delicious! I’ve seen a few people at farmers’ markets selling mushroom implanted logs which a friend of mine tells me are very good. I think they might go very well with potatoes and saffron 😉

    1. Hope you’ve now recovered from the tortilla and salsa brava overdose 😉 Now you’ll have space for some of this! Will have to see if we can track down some of those mushroom logs here….

  2. This looks both pretty and delicious. I’m going to print out the recipe to try later. Thanks Chica. I also want some of Mad Dog’s mushroom implanted logs 🙂

  3. Simple, amazing, full of the promise of some serious flavour bombing going on and perfect for narf. You did it Ms Chica! I love this kind of thing and the more mushy it is, the better ;). Scooped up with gorgeous fresh bread this would be a meal fit for a king (or a narf 😉 ). What a lovely share and love that picture of Alfie half in, half out of his bed, knackered (and no doubt stinky) from his week next door 😉

  4. Have learned something again! Somehow had the obviously totally incorrect idea that mushrooms implanted in logs were ‘an Asian thing’: quite expensive here and oft unavailable . . .now I know better 🙂 ! Altho’ I but rarely eat potatoes this recipe makes me want to go to that bag at the back of the pantry cupboard . . .the taste seems most attractive!!

      1. Yes well, comes from all the 25 + years of studying nutrition on top of medicine: one tends to apply it to oneself also 😀 !!! I do buy them 2-3 times a year and steam in jackets!!!!

      2. Aha – you have an interesting background! In Spanish cooking we use a lot of hot or cold boiled potatoes which are cooked in their skins – will have to try steaming them.

    1. Yes, the food colouring is widely used in Spain and not at all frowned on – if I don’t have saffron I’d rather use turmeric which changes the flavour a little but not in a bad way!

  5. This sounds a really tasty meal! I bought a jar of mixed mushrooms in Lidls awhile back which I’ve been wondering what to do with. Seems like I’ve just found the perfect recipe!

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