Mushrooms: I love them. At the West Acton farmers market all Fall, one of the exciting vendors was Myco Terra Farm, a provider of fresh local gourmet mushrooms. Early this month I was shopping there, and I saw some mushrooms that were totally new to me: Lion’s Mane and Chicken Mushrooms. They could not be more different.
Lion’s Mane is delicate, looks like a small, shaggy brain, and needs to be cooked simply to bring out its charming flavor. Chicken mushrooms are firm, sturdy, and need to ne cooked more slowly for longer times, and indeed, they are reminiscent of breast of chicken. I thinly sliced the Lion’s Mane and sautéed it with olive oil until lightly browned in a skillet. Finished with a little lemon juice and Maldon sea salt, it made a delicious appertizer, reminiscent of the flavors and texture of crab meat.
On the other hand I cut moderately-thick slices of the Chicken Mushrooms and decided to braise them with vegetables and white wine. A very good choice.
Here’s my approach to the Chicken Mushroom recipe:
- 1 leek, cut into 1/4″ to 1/2″ slices
- 1 small onion, peeled and cut vertically into small wedges
- 1″ knob of fresh ginger root, trimmed and diced
- take a sauté pan, add as much olive oil as you’re comfortable with, and sauté the aromatics above over moderate heat until tender and lightly colored
- 1 carrot, peeled and cut into small pieces
- broccoli florets, cut into small pieces
- Chicken Mushrooms, sliced 1/4″-1/3″ thick and then cut into medium sized pieces
- add the three vegetables above to the pan, along with salt and pepper to taste
- sauté for a few minutes so that the vegetables have begun to be tender
- add 1/4 cup or more of a dry white wine, and cook until alcohol has evaporated
- add 1/2 pint of homemade vegetable stock and simmer until tender
- add more stock if needed
- serve in pasta bowls
Each was marvelous, in its own way.
Next on the agenda was some Greek cooking. When in Portland, OR, I went to Powell’s Book Store, an amazing place. My only purchase there was a cookbook (naturally), in this case about the foods of the Greek islands. It kept me happily occupied on the coast-to-coast flight home, and it supplied several very good meals later. Here is one.
On a different night I made a greens and potato gratin, served with a Jan D’Amore-sourced Rossese di Dolceacqua from Liguria.
Posted in Food, Vegan, Wine
I’ve pretty much given up trying to keep this blog chronological. When I get behind, there’s so much material to share that I pull it up as best I can. This brief post is about some fine dishes during this October.
One of my favorite wines this year is Villa Creek’s 2013 Fiano, a Campania grape that somehow appears to do beautifully in Paso Robles, CA. The other night I needed a late night snack. The solution was pan-fried Shishito Peppers with sea salt from Ibiza, some slices of a vegan cheese (Chao), and two glasses of Fiano. Perfetto!
Another night I decided to use my favorite small French copper pot to braise some small white and red onions from our CSA. I bought the pot over 20 years ago at Dehillerin in Paris, and I have always loved how well it cooks. Here is the before and after braise views:
For a different dinner, Barbara and I collaborated to make Spinach and Tofu Wontons in Homemade Vegetable Broth, from Martha Rose Shulman in the New York Times. This is a superb recipe, and we were delighted with the results.
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The original target of these Spring travels was, in fact, Venice, so the last four days were dedicated to exploring that unique city. I hadn’t been there in 18 years, but then again, not much has changed in a lot … Continue reading
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Through my contacts in Cambridge and New York, I was able to arrange visits in Friuli, and to get a taste of their wonderful foods and wine. One winery, Edi Keber in Cormons, is partnered with my friend Jan, who … Continue reading
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This past Spring (late April, early May) I spent two weeks exploring food and wine in three places: Slovenia, Friuli, and Venice. I should not let much more time pass without sharing those delicacies with you now. Let’s begin in … Continue reading