A Definition of the Culinary Term Duxelle

Get acquainted with this staple filling

Mushrooms & Black Garlic Duxelles
"Mushrooms & Black Garlic Duxelles" (CC BY-SA 2.0) by Edsel L

What is the definition of the cooking term Duxelle? With this review, get better acquainted with the food and the dishes in which it is used. Find out what makes this dish so tasty!

What Is a Duxelle?

In the culinary arts, the word Duxelle (pronunced duck-SELL) refers to a mixture of chopped mushrooms, onions, and shallots that is sautéed and used as a filling for a number of different dishes, including pastries and sauces.

 In fact, mushroom Duxelle is one of the ingredients featured in the classic beef Wellington recipe. Given the popularity of this dish, it's likely that you may have sampled Duxelle before, even if you didn't know what the filling was called. In addition to being used in pastries, entrees, and sauces, Duxelle is also used as a garnish.

Moreover, it is used as a filling in omelets, ravioli or served on top of toast with goat cheese. At just 85 calories per serving by some accounts, Duxelle is not only delicious and nutrient-filled but also low in calories. That makes it a guilt-free food, especially if you want to serve it as a garnish and are worried about overeating, which is easy to do with garnishes.

The Origins of the Name

Duxelle is often spelled Duxelles, and as you've likely noticed, this food item is capitalized. Why? The food is named after the French Marquis d'Uxelles, who lived during the 17th and 18th centuries.

The marquis was a French general and a foreign minister. He was also a knight, a marshal of France and a diplomat. In addition to these roles, he was known as one of the most famous gay men of his time.

An Adaptable Filling

The great thing about Duxelle is that there are no hard and fast rules about how to make it.

You can add more or fewer ingredients to your liking. Generally, if you have shallots, garlic cloves, mushrooms (such as shiitake or cremini), parsley, salt, pepper, and butter, you have what you need to make Duxelle.

You'll whip up these ingredients in a skillet and have the tasty filling needed to make any number of dishes, including puff pastry.

Where Can You Find Duxelle?

If you'd rather not make Duxelle on your own or want to see what the dish tastes like professionally made, you don't have to go abroad to get a sample. Research online to find the French restaurants in your area. If you live in a big city, finding such an eatery shouldn't be a problem. Call the restaurant and ask if the chefs use Duxelle in any of the dishes. Find out which ones and make a trip to the restaurant to try these dishes firsthand.

If there aren't any French bistros in your community, you can see if there are pubs nearby. A pub may make beef Wellington, a surefire way to try the French filling known as Duxelle.