The original version of this impressive dish was created in honour of Count Stroganoff by a Czarist chef for a cookery competition in the 1890s. Since then Stroganoff has been served at celebratory banquets the world over, and this stunning gourmet vegetarian version will give any occasion a little Imperial magic
I decided to take the original recipe for Wild Mushroom Stroganoff with Herb Crumb Topping, as described above by the Vegetarian Society of the United Kingdom , and add a little bit of the Megabeth flair. (For example, I don’t think the Czarist chef used panko on his version…)
This hearty and earthy side dish was the perfect accompaniment to the cabbage rolls served during our monthly vegetarian club dinner featuring Eastern European recipes. The original recipe also included the final step of dishing out the potatoes on the plate, adding the mushrooms and breadcrumbs then sticking it under a hot grill to brown the top. I did not have the luxury of being able to perform this final step as I needed to be able to carry my dish on the Metro. Instead, I layered it in a casserole dish and let it sit in the oven until browned. Then I wrapped the dish up for its journey across town. It transported very well and, the teeny tiny bit that was leftover, reheated nicely. It’s certainly a different riff on the same old mashed potatoes.
Wild Mushroom Stroganoff with Herb Crumb Topping
adapted by Megabeth from The Vegetarian Society 
1 1/2 lbs yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cubed
1/2 cup milk or soya milk
1 tbsp mixed fresh herbs, finely chopped (I used fresh oregano, thyme and basil)
2 Tablespoons butter or margarine
1 8 oz package, baby bella mushrooms, roughly chopped
1 8 oz package, white mushrooms, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 cup double cream
1 cup panko
2 Tablespoons fresh herbs, finely chopped
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Bring large pot of water to a boil. Add potatoes and cook until tender. Drain and add back into pot.
Pour milk over potatoes. Mash well. Stir in chopped herbs, add butter/margarine, salt and pepper to taste.
Melt 1 Tablespoon butter in saute pan. Add mushrooms and garlic and cook until heated through and soft – about 5-8 minutes.
Stir in cream. Cover and reduce heat to low to keep warm.
Melt the last Tablespoon of butter in a pan, stir in panko and herbs. Let panko toast and warm a bit. Remove from heat.
Lightly cover the inside of a casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray. Put potatoes in as thick bottom layer leaving enough room for the mushrooms to sit on top of them.
Put mushrooms and sauce on top of potatoes.
Sprinkle top with panko. Place in oven preheated to 400 degrees. Leave in oven until top is golden brown – about 10-15 minutes.