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Old 03-12-2011, 01:24 PM   #1
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GCC-Mushroom-Goodweed of the North

For my part in this challenge, I wanted to explore the flavors and textures of different mushrooms, both dried and fresh. The mushrooms are definitely the star ingredient in every part of this meal, sometimes delicate, and sometimes bold. Seasonings were kept to a minimum to let the mushrooms shine through.

My appetizer was Popovers with saute’d portabella strips, snow peas, and strips of strip steak. I was very pleased with the results, as was my wife. In fact, she gushed a little about them. And let me tell you, getting high praise from my DW is no small feat. The popovers came out perfect, with a lofty rise and mostly hollow in the middle, like a great profiterole, only much larger.

Appy Recipe – Shitake/Cremini. Beef, and Snow Pea stuffed Popovers
2 large eggs
1 cup AP flour
1 cup milk
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup each – Shitake and Cremini Mushrooms

Preheat oven to 450’ F
Generously grease six compartments in a sturdy muffin pan.
Scald the milk and remove from the heat. Add the flour and salt. Stir until smooth. Let cool to touch. Beat in the eggs to make a smooth batter.

Fill the muffin compartments half-full. Carefully place in the hot oven and bake for 15 minutes. Turn heat to 350’ F. And bake 15 minutes more, or until puffed and golden. Carefully remove popovers by running a butter knife all around them. Put onto a platter. And let cool.

For the stuffing, broil a 1/2 inch thick New York Strip steak for 3 minutes per side, two inches under hot broiler. Lightly salt and let rest for ten minutes. While the meat is resting saute’ the mushrooms in butter until over a medium flame until they just begin to brown. Do the same with the snow peas. Cut the tops off of the popovers to expose the hollow insides. Scoop out any extra cooked pastry from inside. Alternate the steak strips with the snow peas, standing them on end to make a circle inside the popovers. Fill the center with the saute’d mushrooms

The pictures are a bit fuzzy, but do show the color and arrangement nicely.

Main Course – Stuffed Rouladen, or Beef Mushroom stew with green leaf lettuce/hazlenut salad and truffle/Balsamic Syrup Vinaigrette, broiled Potabella Caps stuffed with cottage cheese and Bunashimeji Mushrooms

Due to demands made on me by my family, I didn’t get this part of the meal started until 9 p.m. and tried to cut corners to get it done in time for me to get at least 4 hours of sleep before I had to arise for work the next day. That was a mistake, and is why the stew is included. Now let me just say that the vinaigrette was wonderful, even to my wife who thought I was just strange to try and make a mushroom based vinaigrette, especially when she doesn’t like vinaigrette. But she liked this one. The sweetens of the balsamic syrup balanced the black truffle oil, and white vinegar to make a salad dressing that went very well with the green leaf lettuce and whole hazelnuts. The portabella caps with drizzled with vegetable oil, lightly salted, and broiled on both sides until soft, but with enough texture give teh mushroom some bite. I’ve found that overcooking potobella caps can make them mushy inside, with a leather-like skin. I made sure to avoid that. And the gills were left in for added flavor. The Bunashimije Mushrooms look like Enoki Mushrooms, but are light brown in color. I broke the 6 inch diameter clump into 6 separate clumps and saute’d them in butter. I didn’t like the flavor and thought about it for a moment. The flavor was sharp, almost medicinal. I added fresh rosemary and let them steam for another three minutes. That flavor blend worked, to my relief. The rouladen was stuffed with a mixture of orzo, cooked in turkey broth, with dried oyster, and chanterelle mushroom. The liquid was all used up when evrything was done just right. The flavor was amazing. I removed the reconstitute shrooms and chopped them before adding back with the orzo.

Rouladen Recipe:
2 lb. round steak, flattened with a heavy meat mallet
1 tsp. Kosher Salt

3/4 cup orzo
1 oz. Dried chanterells
1 oz. Dried oyster mushrooms
6 oz. Button mushrooms, chopped
6 oz. Button mushrooms, minced
3.5 oz. Fresh Bunashimije Mushrooms broken into 6 clumps
2 cups water
2 tbs. Better Than Bullion brand Turkey flavor soup base
1 onion, minced

Rehydrate the dried mushrooms by adding to the water, orzo, and soup base. Add the minced onion. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer for ten minutes. Remove from heat, and let cool for ten minutes. Spread the filling evenly over the round steak. Jelly roll the steak, and tie with butcher’s twine. Place the rouladen into a heavy dutch oven (cast iron) and place in a 450’ oven for ten minutes. Turn down the heat to 350 and cook for twenty minutes more. Add 1 cup water, cover, and braise for twenty minutes more. Remove and place on a decorative platter, seam side down.

Drippings from the roast
Remaining mushrooms, sliced
Cornstarch slurry
1 tsp. fresh rosemary

Combine the liquid from the roast with everything but the cornstarch slurry. Bring to a boil and simmer for ten minutes. Thicken with the slurry. Spoon over the roast evenly.

Stuffed Portobella Caps:
Drizzle two potobella caps (about 4 inch diameter caps) with veggie oil. Lightly salt. Broil four inches under the broiler for three minutes per side. Remove and place onto the serving place, gill side up. Fill with cottage cheese, and stand Bunashimije Mushrooms in the center. Serve hot with slices 2 inch slice of rouladen and salad.

My Beverage is a Truffle infused Tomato Fresca, with cottage cheese.

This drink was made from tomato puree, with a splash of white truffle oil, and cottage cheese to to add the require salt component, and to balance the rich truffle oil. The flavor was very good, but could have used a bit of Tabasco Sauce, or Sriracha (wife can’t eat or drink anything even mildly hot-spicy). As expected, the truffle oil overpowered the tomato flavor and needed to be ballanced with another component. The cottage cheese worked wonderful, and gave texture to the drink as well.

1/8 cup low salt tomato puree
½ tsp. white Truffle Oil
6 oz. Ice Water
2 heaping tbs. large curd, 4% cottage cheese

Combine the tomato puree, truffle oil, and water together. Stir until all ingredients are well blended. Add the cottage cheese and swirl to create a marble effect.

And finally, I give you dessert.

Candy Cap Sweet Rolls

Again, I wanted to stay true to the the mushroom flavor. I used dried candy cap mushrooms, sugar, and butter to make this delectable dessert. The mushrooms surprised me. I read on the internet that they smelled and tasted like maple. This isn’t entirely accurate. They give the aroma of maple flavoring, coupled with a delicate aroma of field mushrooms. And they aren’t sweet by themselves. I wasn’t quite sure what I was going to do with them. My options were, candy cap flan, or sweet rolls. I’m glad I chose the latter. They came out wonderfully tender and flavorful. The candy caps added a mapley magic that was balanced with the combined flavors of butter mushroom, and pastry to create something more elegant than a cinnamon roll, but still assertive and for lack of a better term, refreshing. They weren’t heavy, or overly rich as I thought they might be. They left you feeling like you had the perfect end to a meal. Usually, I have to have a glass of milk after eating something like a sweet pastry. I didn’t have to with the candy cap sweet roll. The flavor was clean, and sweet, without cloying characteristic of so many pasty desserts.

My wife, having the ultimate sweet tooth, loved these light and fluffy sweet rolls. She said that if I’d told her three months ago, that she woul be eating sweet rolls, with mushroom in them, that she would have proclaimed me a crazy man. And she was impressed. I write these words for her, as she doesn’t type.

Here’s what they look like, and the recipe.


Pastry Dough Ingredients:
1 cup warm milk
3/4 cup cooking oil
3 3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 tbs yeast
2 tsp. salt
3/4 cup mashed potato flakes
4 cups all purpose flour
3 tbs. finely minced candy cap mushrooms

Heat milk to about 110’ F and add the yeast to it. Set aside until the yeast forms a froth on top (proof the yeast). In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt, and sugar. Add the eggs, oil, and potato flakes to the milk/yeast mixture and stir until smooth. Add the liquid to the dry ingredients and knead until an elastic, but sticky dough is formed. This dough should be fairly loose. Add more flour, a little at a time, as needed to make the dough workable, but still on the sticky side. Knead until each addition of flour is completely absorbed into the dough. Brush the top of the dough-ball with oil, cover the mixing bowl, and place in a warm place until the dough doubles in volume (about 40 minutes)

While the dough is rising, bring 4 cups (1 quart) of water to a boil. Add four cups of sugar and stir until the sugar is completely dissolved. Add teh mushrooms and boil for twenty minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.

When the dough is risen, flour a large work surface and punch down the dough. Place the dough onto the floured surface and spread into a rectangular sheet with you hands. Sprinkle flour on top and use a rolling pin to spread the dough into a rectangular sheet about an eighth of an inch thick. Spoon cooled mushroom syrup evenly over the dough. Let sit for five more minutes and jelly roll the dough, along the long side. The syrup will force itself into a wave of excess before the roll as you roll the dough forward. Remove the excess with a spoon and add to the syrup pan. When the dough is rolled, use a very sharp knife to cut it into 2 inch thick pinwheels and place onto a parchment paper lined cookie sheet, or pizza pan. Drizzle the sweet rolls with syrup until they are well coated.

Heat your oven to 110 to 115 degrees and turn it off. Place the sweet rolls into the oven and close the door. Let rise for 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and heat the oven to 375’ F. Place the rolls back into the oven and bake for 45 minutes, or until lightly browned on top. Remove from the oven and let cool.

One more time, I gotta tell you, these babies are really good.

Hope you have enjoyed my entry in the GCC Mushroom challenge.

Oh, I have to be honest with this thing. Due to the demands of my family, I tried to hurry the rouladen so I could get to bed before the clock read 3 a.m. I badly overcooked the rouladen, and though the filling was perfect, the meat was dry and tough. To save the roast, after the meal was completed, I took the remaining roast and placed in into a plastic zipper bag and filled it with water to cover the roast. It was then refrigerated for supper the next night, hoping that the meat would absorb some of the water. It did, but not enough. So I sliced it into coarse chunks, and added potato, onion, carrot frozen baby peas to make a stew. I stewed the mixture of meat and veggies until the veggies were soft. The seasoning was plenty for the stew. It came out very good, with tender meat, and a flavorful mushroom gravy that surrounded and permeated everything in the stew. The left-over mushroom gravy was also added to the stew. That was a satisfying and delicious meat.

I had trouble placing the pictures in between the text, and so they all show up at the end. The Popovers are the last picture, but should be the first.

Seeeeeya; Goodweed of the North

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“No amount of success outside the home can compensate for failure within the home…"

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Old 03-12-2011, 02:23 PM   #2
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It all looks really good. We might end up trying those sweet rolls as we still have plenty of candy cap mushrooms left.

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Old 03-12-2011, 02:39 PM   #3
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Wow, sweet rolls with mushrooms! Between this and Kathleen's ice cream, I have to get me some candy caps! I will definitely try the popovers and really love the rouladen! Great work Goodweed!
"Variety is not just the spice of life, it is the key to life" - Chef Michael Smith

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Old 03-12-2011, 02:58 PM   #4
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Wow, a wonderful hearty meal!
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Old 03-12-2011, 04:36 PM   #5
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Excellent, looks and sounds fantastic. I'm still not sold on spending the money for candy cap mushrooms, but I'm sure I'll be trying them.

Very nice Goodweed!
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Old 03-12-2011, 05:24 PM   #6
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It looks terrific! Nice blend of colors and very creative! Frank and I cannot stop talking sweet rolls! Knowing the fabulous taste of the candy caps, I bet they were just awesome! Great job!!!!
A little bit Ginger. A little bit Mary Ann.
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Old 03-12-2011, 06:03 PM   #7
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That all looks really good GW. I love the puffs, they sound and look great, but I specially like the sweet rolls.
Quoth the chicken, "Fry some more."
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Old 03-12-2011, 09:59 PM   #8
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Thanks everyone. This was a lot of fun. Actually, though the popovers, and sweet rolls came out so very good, my favorite parts were the orzo/mushroom filling, and the salad with the balsamic syrup/truffle oil dressing, and whole hazelnuts. The gravy from the roast was really good too. But I think that everyone who would eat this meal would think as the rest of you, and love first the sweet rolls, and then, the popovers. If I had the Webber Kettle up and running, the portabella caps would be spectacular. Broiled, their still very good, but not spectacular.

I personally think that though creativity was there in my offerings, the other offerings were executed better. And I learned that when preparing something like rouladen, you just can't cut corners. You have to do it right. It made a great stew though. Nothing went to waste and I learned something. And best of all, I worked with mushroom flavors that I'd never tried before, and the flavors worked. That's what this is all about.

Ok, so I've picked the theme ingredient for the last three challenges. What's the next ingredient, and when do we want to do it?

Seeeeeya; Goodweed of the North
“No amount of success outside the home can compensate for failure within the home…"

Check out my blog for the friendliest cooking instruction on the net. Go ahead. You know you want to.- http://gwnorthsfamilycookin.wordpress.com/
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Old 03-12-2011, 10:17 PM   #9
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I think it would be a sincere kick to do something like a Convenience Mart Challenge. Something like a 7-11 or Tiger Mart....a place without a deli, etc. To make four courses: appetizer, main, dessert, and drink. To be able to use no more than six ingredients in your kitchen, including salt and pepper.

An odd challenge, but one anyone could try and would definitely take us all out of our comfort zones - with VERY fun results.

A little bit Ginger. A little bit Mary Ann.
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