Nov 12, 2008

mushroom mania! (day 6 - guest spot, part two)

to celebrate foraging season and "mushroom mania," here are some terrific recipes created by executive chef alan kantor of maccallum house restaurant in mendocino, california...a marvelous place for mushrooming. 

see my previous post for words of fungi wisdom from my foodie friend, jude, who also happens to be the director of public relations for mac house and the marketing wiz behind branding salon. within this post, she shares culinary tips+tricks us to complement these dishes. super 'shroomy stuff!

fun fact: 
i took this porcini pic in mendocino during the mendocino wine + mushroom fest in november 2004.

RECIPE #1 - savory wild mushroom bread pudding
1 # day old sourdough bread, 3/4" dice
2 cups heavy cream
1-1/2 cups rich chicken broth
1/2 cups rich beef broth
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
1/2 cup dried porcini
1/2 # fresh porcini, thinly sliced (or other favorite wild or domestic mushrooms)
4 tablespoons butter
1 large onion, 1/2" dice
8 egg yolks
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

place bread in 9-1/2" x 13" baking dish. place cream, stocks, thyme, and dried porcini in a pot; bring to simmer and turn off heat. let steep until ready to use.

sauté fresh porcini in 2 tablespoons butter in two large sauté pans so they sear well; season with salt and pepper. sauté onion in 2 tablespoons butter until soft and semi-carmelized. season with salt and pepper. strain the cream/stock liquid and season with salt and pepper.

chop dried porcini into 1/4" pieces. toss dried and fresh porcini and onions with bread.

place egg yolks into bowl. temper egg yolks by adding hot cream mixture slowly while whisking; then blend all liquid into yolks. pour over bread and push bread down into the liquid. let sit 1/2 hour. bake uncovered on top shelf of oven at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes until set. let cool 1/2 hour before cutting.

instructions for making ahead: 
make as indicated and cool in refrigerator. reheat by putting a little melted butter and chicken broth on bottom of a pan and place cut pieces of butter on top. use hot oven 450-500 degrees for 10 minutes. if you are roasting or sautéing meat or chicken, you can place bread pudding pieces in the same pan at the end of cooking in the oven to heat and absorb flavorful juices.

RECIPE #2 - porcini butter (makes 1/4 pound)
1/4 cup dried porcini, packed
1/2 tablespoon minced shallots
1 stick (4 oz.) softened, unsalted butter
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

simmer porcini in 1 cup of water until tender, approximately 15 minutes. once the porcini are tender, reduce the heat and simmer until the pan is almost dry so that the flavorful juices are absorbed back into the mushrooms.

melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a small saucepan and add shallots. sweat over low heat until tender, no cover; approximately two minutes

chop porcini fine with chef's knife; dice remaining butter and place butter, porcini and shallots in a mixer with paddle. beat until smooth. (do not overbeat or it will get too soft. if this happens, refrigerate until it sets up again.) season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.

roll into cylinders in plastic wrap, about a quarter in diameter and refrigerate.

for porcini mashed potatoes, add slices of the butter to the top of the potatoes and let melt in just before service. 

sublime on steak.
maccallum house restaurant 
executive chef alan kantor
45020 albion street, mendocino, ca

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