This traditional French fish stew is a favorite in the southern Provençal region of France. The original recipe is made with different kinds of fish and shellfish; but this version uses different kinds of mushrooms instead. This recipe is also much simpler and less expensive than the traditional recipe. You can still enjoy these savory, authentic flavors without spending too much time or money. Lobster mushrooms were wonderful for this recipe; but using any mix of mushrooms will work and add lots of flavor. (Though I wouldn’t recommend using white button mushrooms for this dish since they don’t have much flavor). The lobster mushrooms really do have a lobster flavor and color. It’s not exactly like the real thing; but that’s the point! No live lobsters in boiling water, and less cost to you. It’s a win-win! I get the lobster mushrooms dried from Nuts.com. Check out some of their other dried varieties that you can try too. You just need to reconstitute them in hot water; then cook them into your recipe. I used lobster mushrooms, shiitake mushrooms and cremini mushrooms in this recipe. The broth with the potatoes, garlic, wine and lemon is delicious. So grab a baguette and enjoy this elegant, yet rustic, comfort food!
If using the dried lobster mushrooms (or any other dried mushroom variety), pour boiling water over them in a glass bowl, and let them soak for 20 minutes. Drain and set aside. In stockpot or large saute pan, add the olive oil and butter and add in the cremini mushrooms. You may have to cook in batches so that they have enough room so you can brown them a little. Remove them from the pan and repeat with the shiitake mushrooms (or next batch of mushrooms of choice). When lightly browned, remove them from the pan and set aside with the other cooked mushrooms. In the same pan, add the potatoes (add a little more oil if needed). Sautée until they start to soften; then add in the garlic. Continue to cook for another minute and then slowly add in the broth and wine. Add in the tomato paste, Old Bay Seasoning, salt and pepper. Then add in the lobster mushrooms and stir together. Bring to a boil and then simmer. Add in the lemon wedges and thyme and continue to simmer for about 30 minutes. Serve hot with a baguette.