4/20/14. On this segment of Foreman and Wolf on Food and Wine, Tony and Chef Cindy discuss mushroom varieties, how to get flavor out of them, dishes where the mushroom is the main flavor and dishes where the mushroom is a flavor agent.
Segment 1: Chef Cindy on how to get the magic out of the mushrooms.
Mushrooms are 80-90% water, so you want to remove some of the water content of the mushrooms.
You have to cook them slowly and for a long period of time depending on the mushroom.
Morels – To wash them, swish them in small batches in cold water quickly and let drain immediately. Cook them in a wide-surface stainless steel sauté pan; do not overload the pan. Cook them slowly in whole butter or oil at medium heat.
Button mushrooms: Sauté quartered button mushrooms for 18-20 minutes to allow the water to come out and to allow them to caramelize.
Chef’s favorite mushrooms to work with: porcinis, chanterelles and oyster mushrooms. Fresh porcinis should be white to light brown, the cap should be solid, not soft or fleshy, and the gills should be bright and tightly attached.
Store mushrooms in a cold, dark environment with some sort of absorbent paper wrapped around them.
Segment 2: Chef Cindy discusses some classic backdrops where mushrooms are the main flavor of the dish, including creamy polenta, creamy grits and risotto.
Recipe for Creamy Grits: stone ground grits with milk, a tiny bit of butter and salt. Cook slowly on low heat in a heavy bottom pan for 40 minutes, stirring often. Once the grits are cooked and creamy, add asparagus and morels. Cut the body of the asparagus (blanched in highly salted water) and sauté the morels butter, then use this as a garnish for the grits with beurre blanc as a sauce, add some fresh chives. Wine to pair with this: Chablis.
Eggs are a good backdrop for mushrooms as well. Tony suggests poached eggs with chanterelles on a brioche toast or grilled baguette. Rose pairs great with chanterelles.
Chef shares her recipe for Porcini Soup: In a large stainless steel pot, sauté onions and shallots in butter until they caramelize. Split open the porcinis, wash the caps gently with your hand, trim down the stem, chop them, add more butter to pan and add the porcinis. As they begin to throw off liquid, deglaze the pan with a little cognac or brandy, add a little bit of stock and cream, some salt and pepper, and let cook 30-40 minutes.
Using mushrooms as a flavor agent to accent a dish:
Fish: Turbot – sauté in corn oil in a steel pan with a combination of mushrooms. Drizzle a roasted garlic oil onto the place with the turbo and the mushrooms.
Meat: Sweetbreads - poach and perch the sweetbreads first, then cut them into small pieces and pull off the membrane. Lightly dust them with flour, sauté in small pan with oil or clarified butter, brown the sweetbreads beautifully, add your favorite kind of mushroom, sauté and deglaze the pan with Madeira or cognac, make a cream sauce for this, and finish with little bit of salt and pepper.
Tony shares a recipe using Hedgehog mushrooms: Rub filet mignon in good salt and oil, roast it, slice it thin, lay the slices on plate, and use warm mushrooms and the butter they are cooked in as sauce for the dish. Pair with Pinot Noir or Red Burgundy.
Segment 3: Interview with Wine Importer Peter Weygandt of Weygandt-Metzler Importing. The epiphany wines that influenced Peter’s decision to become a wine importer were: a 1969 Chambol-musigny, and a burgundy made by Jacky Truchot. Peter had a fondness for morels cooked with a roast chicken or chicken in a cream sauce. According to Peter, a few places with soulful wines that pair well with mushrooms include Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Italian Barolo, Barbaresco, and Austrian Riesling.