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Old 03-07-2011, 08:02 PM   #1
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GCC-Mushroom - DaveSoMD

DaveSoMD GCC Mushroom Dinner


This was a challenge for me in more ways than just the mushrooms. Not only had I had not cooked with any of these types of mushrooms before (white button has been my staple), I also, for reason only understood by the deepest recesses of my sub-conscious, came up with recipe ideas with new things too. I had never made a cheesecake before and never worked with puff pastry.

I did do some research on the different mushrooms that I found were available here for me to work with. I have used what I think of as “woodsy herbs” (rosemary, thyme, oregano) with other dishes that had mushroom in them so I figured they would work with these also.

This is what I came up with as a meal, I hope you enjoy it.

The Menu:

Bloody Maria (cocktail)
Portobello Puff (appetizer)
Porcini Manicotti with Tomato Cream Sauce (entrée)
Oyster Mushroom Mascarpone Cheesecake (dessert)
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Old 03-07-2011, 08:06 PM   #2
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Cocktail: Bloody Maria
This was the hardest part of the challenge for me. Once I decided on the final menu I thought that the porcini liquid might be a good way to get mushrooms into a cocktail.


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Old 03-07-2011, 08:10 PM   #3
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Cocktail: Bloody Maria



Recipe:


Ingredients
(makes 3 drinks)

1 1/2 cups Tomato Juice
1 Jigger of Vodka
3 Tbsp of porcini soaking liquid, cooled
2 pinches salt
A few grinds of black pepper

Add ice to a cocktail shaker.

Add the remaining ingredients and shake.

Strain and serve in a tall glass with a spring of basil.

Cook's Critique:

The porcini liquid was a nice replacement for the Worcester sauce. It added a "woodsy" flavor to the tomato juice without overpowering the drink. I had to up the initial amount of the mushroom liquid because it wasn’t “reading” through the tomato juice.

Diner's response:

Once a little extra mushroom juice and ice were added it tasted yummy.




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Old 03-07-2011, 08:12 PM   #4
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Appetizer: Portobello Puff
This was originally one of my entrée options but with chicken pate instead of the cheese, then I decided to do a meatless meal and switched things up. I thought the garlic and rosemary infused butter/olive oil would add some earthy flavor to and go well with the meaty texture of the roasted Portobello and the mozzarella would be an interesting surprise when you cut open the puff.



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Old 03-07-2011, 08:13 PM   #5
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Appetizer: Portobello Puff

Recipe:


Ingredients
(makes 4 appetizers)

4 Portobello Mushroom caps (close in size), cleaned
3 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3 Tbsp Butter
1 sprig of rosemary, about 6” long, stripped of leaves
3 cloves garlic, crushed
Fresh mozzarella, one slice for each puff
1 package puff pastry
Egg-wash (1 egg mixed with 2 Tbsp of water)
Parchment Paper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and place rack in the top 1/3 of the oven.

Put the olive oil and butter into a small heavy-bottomed, lidded pan and heat over low heat until the butter is melted.

Add the rosemary and garlic, cover and heat on low for approximately 7 -10 minutes to infuse the butter/evoo.

Brush the bottoms of the mushroom caps with the mixture, season with salt and pepper, flip over and repeat with the tops.

Place the caps on a baking sheet brushed with the mixture and put in the oven.

Check and flip after 7 minutes.

Check and flip after another 7 minute.

Check and flip one more time and brush with more butter/evoo mixture and cook for another 5-7 minutes until cooked. Actual time will depend on size and thickness of the caps.

Remove from the oven and place on paper towels to drain any remaining liquid and cool.

Defrost the puff pastry according to the package instructions.

On a floured board, seal the seams on each sheet.

Using a small plate or bowl, that is about 1-inch larger than the caps, cut out the puff rounds using a pizza cutter.

Line a baking tray with parchment paper.

Flip the cut rounds bottom-up on your baking tray and dock the center with a fork to stop the center from puffing up.

For each puff, place a slice of the cheese on the center and cover it with a mushroom cap. Add a pinch of salt and some pepper on top of the cap.

Carefully brush the outer edges of the puff with the egg wash, taking care not to get any on the edges.

Note: you can slice the left-over puff pastry into 1” strips and back on another baking tray for later use.

Bake in a 400 degree oven for 15 minutes until the puff is golden brown and crisp.

Serve immediately.


Cook's Critique:

The mushroom was perfectly roasted and the butter, rosemary and garlic complimented the "meaty" flavor and texture of the Portobello. The combination of the creamy melted mozzarella, meaty texture of the mushroom, and the light flaky pastry was a very nice trio-of-contrast that worked very well together.


Diner’s response:

The mushroom was roasted to perfection, the pastry was puffy and the cheese was gooey. It was just perfect.
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Old 03-07-2011, 08:14 PM   #6
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Entree: Porcini Manicotti with Tomato Cream Sauce
I thought the smoky / slightly meaty flavor of the Porcini would go well in a manicotti along with thyme and lemon. I used a traditional filling with ricotta cheese, egg, and added fresh thyme, lemon juice, lemon zest, and nutmeg. I didn't use a traditional tomato sauce as I didn’t want it to overpower the manicotti, so I decided to make a tomato cream sauce to soften the acidity and taste of the tomato.


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Old 03-07-2011, 08:15 PM   #7
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Entree: Porcini Manicotti with Tomato Cream Sauce

Recipes

Tomato Cream Sauce


Ingredients:


1 can tomato sauce (29 ounce), NOT pasta sauce
1 cup half-and-half
3 cloves garlic, grated or diced very fine
1 Tbsp shallot, diced very fine
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 tsp ribbon-cut fresh basil
1 tsp chopped fresh oregano
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp black pepper

Heat olive oil in a lidded, heavy bottom pot over low heat

Add the onion and garlic and sauté for about 2 minutes, stirring to prevent the garlic from burning.

Add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine.

Simmer over low heat for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Taste and adjust seasoning about half-way though cooking.

Be sure to keep the sauce at a simmer, DO NOT BOIL.

Cover and keep warm over lowest heat if necessary.

Manicotti


Ingredients
(makes 4 servings):

8 manicotti shells
Boiling water
1 container (16 ounce) whole milk ricotta cheese
2 Tbsp shallots, diced
4 cloves garlic, diced
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 egg
3 Tbsp grated Asiago Cheese
1 package (1 ounce) dried porcini mushrooms
3 cups very hot water (not boiling)
1 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
1/8 tsp lemon zest
1 Tbsp lemon juice
Pinch of ground nutmeg
Salt
Pepper

Place the dried porcini in a large bowl and cover with the hot water. Let soak for 30 minutes. Drain them in a mesh strainer lined with 2 paper coffee filters. Once drained, wrap them in paper towels and press down to get all the remaining liquid of then. Save the liquid for other cooking uses.

Place the manicotti shells in a pan or casserole dish and cover with boiling water and let sit for 20 minutes to soften the shells.

Rough chop the porcini.

In a small pan, heat the olive oil and sauté the shallots, garlic, and mushrooms until shallots are soft and the porcini are dry. Let cool

Add the ricotta cheese to a bowl and break up with a fork.

Add the cooled mushroom mixture, egg, thyme, lemon juice, lemon zest, nutmeg and asiago cheese. Mix to combine and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Place about a half-cup of the sauce to the bottom of a lidded casserole dish and spread out.

Fill each manicotti with filling and place in the pan in a single layer.

Pour about one-cup of sauce over the manicotti and cover the casserole with foil and the lid.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes or until manicotti are soft and filling is cooked.

To serve place two manicotti per person on a plate and cover with additional sauce.

Cooks Critique:

The filling was very creamy and flavorful, the thyme giving a nice contrast to the smoky flavor of the porcini. The tomato cream sauce was a subtle combination for the mushrooms and the oregano and basil were not overpowering to the mushroom flavor.

Diner’s Response:

The manicotti was very good. The mushrooms really added meatiness to them. The sauce was delicious and creamy.
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Old 03-07-2011, 08:16 PM   #8
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Dessert: Oyster Mushroom Mascarpone Cheesecake with Frangelico Whipped Cream.

This is one of two desserts I was considering and the one everyone turned up their nose at when I described it. But this is a challenge so I decided to go for it. My idea was that the velvety texture and very mild flavor of the oyster mushrooms would be a nice compliment to the very smooth and creamy texture of a cheese cake. I decided to use mascarpone cheese to complete the very Italian feel that the meal had developed. Sine this is a sweet dessert I used nuts to add some flavor compliments like the “woodsy” herbs did in the two previous courses.


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Old 03-07-2011, 08:17 PM   #9
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Dessert: Oyster Mushroom Mascarpone Cheesecake with Frangelico Whipped Cream.
Recipe


Ingredients:


Crust:


1/2 cup ‘Nilla Wafer crumbs
1/2 cup ground almonds
4 Tbsp melted butter
3 Tbsp granulated sugar
3 drops of Almond Extract

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Grease a 9” spring form pan and wrap the bottom tightly with 2 layers of heavy-duty aluminum foil, making sure the ends of the foil are close to the top of the pan.

Mix all ingredients together and press into the bottom of the pan

Place the pan on a baking sheet and bake for 10 -12 minutes.

Cool on a baking rack.

Filling:


4 ounces oyster mushroom, cleaned, trimmed, and diced fine
Butter
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
2 8-ounce containers of Mascarpone cheese, softened
2 8-ounce packages of cream cheese,softened
1 cup granulated sugar
2 Tbsp Lemon juice
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp Almond extract
4 eggs beaten
Hot water

Heat a small non-stick skillet over medium heat.

Using a fork, rub butter onto the pan to just coat the surface,

Add the oyster mushrooms and cook until most of the moisture has cooked out and they are fairly dry. Cool.

In a large bowl of a mixer, beat the cheeses, sugar, vanilla, almond extract, and lemon juice, until very smooth.

Reduce the speed to low and add the eggs one at a time, making sure each in well combined before adding the next.

Turn off the mixer, clean the beaters, and then fold in the mushrooms by hand.

Pour the mixture into the prepared pan.

Place the pan into a large roasting pan and add hot water to come about 1-inch up the side of the cake pan.

Bake at 325 degrees for 60 minutes or until the center of the cheesecake is just set.

Remove from roasting pan and cool on a wire rack for at least one hour.

Refrigerate overnight or at least 10 hours before serving.

Whipped Cream


1 Cup Heavy Whipping cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 Tbsp Powdered Sugar
3 Tsp Frangelico liqueur

Chill the mixing bowl and beaters in the freezer for at least 1 hour before making the whipped cream.

Add all ingredients to the mixing bowl and whip until soft peak form. Be careful not to over mix.

Refrigerate the whipped cream until ready to use.

Cut a slice of cheesecake and top with the whipped cream.


Cook's Critique:

The mushrooms added a smooth, almost velvety mouth feel to the cheesecake. There were just enough to add subtle flavor and contrast to the smooth cream cheese. The vanilla and almond crust added a nice nutty crunch to the mouth feel and the Frangelica added a nice hazelnut flavor to the whipped cream.

Diner’s Response:

Perfect! Light, airy, with a mild taste of mushrooms in the cheesecake and just a touch of hazelnut in the whipped cream topping. A slightly crunchy crust with a hint of vanilla and almond.
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Old 03-07-2011, 08:17 PM   #10
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So there you have it, my mushroom challenge meal.

Thanks for having a look.
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