Sunday, December 6, 2009

O.T.W. Fun #3

Saturday night we hosted our annual Mighty Mushroom party. This was the menu:

Breads: millet sourdough
Pizza bread stuffed with truffle-scented cheeses
Gevrek (Turkish sesame flatbread)

Dips & spreads: Hummus (by Alice Barner)
Black trumpet butter
Duxelle of Agaricus augustus (Prince mushrooms)
Olive oil and Za’atar (roasted thyme and sumac)

Assorted cheeses and salami

Devilled eggs with cnanterelle mushrooms,
sweet red peppers and salmon roe

Morel risotto dressed with black trumpet mushrooms

Corn custard with N.J. porcini

Pork loin rolled in yam butter and lacterii mushrooms
(volumis and corrugis)

Shrimp grilled with royal trumpet, beech and Grifola frondosa
(hen-of-the-woods) mushrooms

Shrimp grilled with leeks

Sauce: reduction of white wine, soy sauce
& sushi vinegar with chilis and ginger

Brussels sprouts caramelized in walnut oil
and maple syrup

Quinoa flour and black cocoa cupcakes
With espresso-cocoa frosting

Buckwheat-almond shortbread cookies

Cinnamon-pecan sticky buns drizzled
With Turkish mastic (a spicy tree sap)

Chocolate-drop cookies

Sour cherry pie-lets

If you're wondering about the inspiration, it's in the woods. For example, chanterelles:

People who attended (the party) voted my corn custard their favorite. Some begged me for the recipe. I hedged, but that's b/c it's not so original: just a combination of Corn Custard from "The America's Test Kitchen Cookbook" and boletes in creamed corn from Jack Czarnecki's "A Cook's Book of Mushrooms." Still, if you don't want to go to your fav. bookstore, here's my recipe:

Sweet corn from 8 ears cooked & scraped from ears; frozen or fresh
2 cups heavy cream 
5 eggs
1-3 packets dried porcini (storebought) or a couple of pounds fresh or maybe 4 oz. dried (I had a small baggie of dried porcini from last September; I didn't weigh it :( Take note that New Jersey Porcini are more mild-flavored than most other varieties. You might want to start with one packet and use more only if mushroom flavor is overwhelmed.)
(black trumpet mushrooms would work. So would B. bicolor and B. veripes)
1 1/3 TBLS cornstarch
2 tsp salt
1 tsp soy sauce (I use a gluten free brand)
1 1/3  tsp sugar
1 cup milk
5 TBLS unsalted butter
1/4 tsp ground cayenne pepper

Break the porcini into thumbnail sized pieces. Place them in a medium bowl. Add one cup of the cream, stir well to separate flakes, and allow to stand 1 hour or more. Turn the damp porcini from time to time to be sure all are wetted. 

Line a large turkey roaster with a thick kitchen towel. Grease a large pyrex baking dish and set in the towel. Fill a teakettle with water (or put 4 cups in pyrex measuring cups in the microwave).

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Melt the butter in a heavy pan. Sauté the corn until almost all the liquid is evaporated. Add 1 cup of the cream. Continue to simmer until cream is very thick. (A stirring spoon passed across the frying pan bottom leaves a thick track.) Add porcini and their soaking liquid and stir well. Add the soy sauce, salt and sugar. Continue to simmer until cream thickens as above. 

Start heating the teakettle or nuking the water.

Remove corn/porcini from heat and pour into a large bowl. Whisk in the milk, cornstarch, eggs and cayenne. Pour into prepared baking dish. 

When water boils, place roaster w/ baking dish in oven. Carefully pour boiling water over towel until water level is 1/2 way up the side of the baking dish. Bake @30', or until surface is set.

Allow to cool a bit, but serve warm.

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