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Old 03-11-2011, 10:02 PM   #1
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GCC - Mushroom - LPBeier

Okay, okay guys, take it easy. Here is my menu, with pics and critiques. I am going to post the recipes in their normal categories and link them here....just in case anyone is silly enough to want to make them

I say silly, because I really let my passion for food and love for mushrooms let my creativity walk a little on the whimsical side. I hope you like them as much as I loved putting this all together.

Appetizer - Spinach & Mushroom Soup with Mushroom Tempura Croutons

Main - Mushroom and Steaks with Mashed Sweet Potato and Broiled Tomato with Spinach Pesto

Beverage - Porcini Latte

Dessert - Truffle Truffles in Dirt

I am giving the menu to you here as a bit of a teaser and will put each course up separately as fast as I can compile them.

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Old 03-11-2011, 10:17 PM   #2
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Spinach and Mushroom Soup with Tempura Mushroom Croutons

I love mushroom soup - of any kind. My dear hubby can not have dairy and so I have been experimenting with broths and different mushrooms. I originally used four mushrooms - white, crimini, enoki and oyster; however, by the time I was to make the croutons the oysters that were left were no good so for that part I was only able to use the other three.

DH was my "judge" here and had some great comments, as he was testing it through the different stages of preparation. Thanks to him I added some hot sauce and more salt and pepper.

The idea of making tempura "croutons" came from a competition at school where my partner and I were giving mushroom soup (guys against girls) and we made deep fried cheese ball croutons....and won! With the appetizer bowl you can mostly dip the mushroom in the soup, but it did add an extra level of flavour and texture to the dish. You could just as easily eat the tempura on its own.

The soup itself was nice. The onion, garlic and hot sauce didn't stand out, but definitely would have lessened the flavour if they hadn't been added. The vegetable broth really highlighted the mushroom juices. The spinach, which was added just before serving, added colour, flavour and another layer of texture.
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Old 03-11-2011, 11:05 PM   #3
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Mushroom and Steaks

I love a good play on words and when this all started I knew my main would be a grilled portabello! I got hooked on these when I was a vegetarian and still love them. The "steaks" part became the mushrooms of an ordinary steak dinner. I grilled a striploin to medium rare, sliced against the grain and then placed 1 inch pieces over and around as you would sliced mushrooms on a steak. The portabello was marinated in a lemon garlic mixture, while the steak was seasoned with salt, pepper and olive oil. Thyme was used for both and the finished dish was dabbed with a Red Chili compound butter.

The sweet potatoes were boiled and mashed with butter, salt and pepper. I pressed them into a ring mould to act as a base for the tomato. The tomato was brushed with olive oil and sprinkled with salt and pepper. Then it was covered with a spinach pesto, topped with cheese and placed under the broiler.

My judge (again DH) was thought that the presentation was excellent (pictures are slightly blurry) and overall the different elements blended well together. The mushroom was well cooked (grilled) though the marinade was a little acetic for his taste. The steak was cooked perfectly and the chili butter played well with the tartness of the marinade and sweetness of the vegetables.
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Old 03-11-2011, 11:14 PM   #4
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Porcini Latte

Okay, my "secret ingredient" can be revealed! I wanted to make a latte as my drink and new porcini was the correct mushroom for the job. I was going to just get some dried mushrooms and either grind them to a powder or, as Dave did with his drink, use the re-hydrating liquid. Then I remembered that a gourmet store I love carried a porcini powder. It is about an hour away and I only seem to get there when I go see my doctor in that area. Well, we were able to procure it on Wednesday and it did not disappoint at all.

I used a bit of boiling water with a good half a teaspoon of porcini powder in the bottom of my mug and brewed the expresso over it, mixing the two together before adding the frothing milk. I then sprinkled more powder over the milk as you would cocoa or cinnamon. The fragrance of the porcini melded beautifully with the undertones of the espresso. While you might think it would be gritty, having made the paste first left the mushroom powder very smooth and the drink had an almost velvety texture. I could drink these all the time and DH was impressed as well.
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Old 03-11-2011, 11:21 PM   #5
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Truffle Truffles in Dirt

Okay, that is probably the most unappetizing names for a dessert; however, it actually contains two chocolate elements many people love - truffles and chocolate mousse (sitting in as the "dirt").

I experimented with the truffles, adding truffle oil. At first I added way too much and almost decided to scrap the whole thing and think of something else. However, I added more chocolate and once they were rolled in cocoa the little chocolate morsels became more appetizing. And when placed in the mousse (a cooked chocolate custard with chocolate whip cream folded in) the two blended very well.

My father can't stand mushrooms but loves chocolate and has no problem with Dairy so he rated the mousse for me and said it was very light, airy and chocolaty, but not two sweet. This coming from a true chocoholic!

DH must be careful with anything containing Dairy but he tasted the truffles (agreeing that the oil could be a little less, but when he took a small bite of the two together said it was a nice blend).

Edit: I made the mousse look more like "dirt" by sprinkling the surface with chocolate shavings before adding the truffles.
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Old 03-11-2011, 11:22 PM   #6
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Okay, there is my entry. I will post the recipes, if not tonight, then by tomorrow morning (PST). Thanks for taking a look.
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Old 03-11-2011, 11:39 PM   #7
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It all looks fantastic and sounds delicious! This is going to be so hard to vote on. We have all had different takes!
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Old 03-11-2011, 11:58 PM   #8
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Thanks, Princess. Your meal is something I could really see myself enjoying and I loved your presentation! I agree voting is going to be challenging. And we still haven't heard from Goodweed!
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Old 03-12-2011, 12:13 AM   #9
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Looks good. I really want to try the latte... (ok, I want to do it all, but the latte really intrigues me). Oh.. and we have the porcini powder.
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Old 03-12-2011, 12:19 AM   #10
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Yeah, I want a sip of that latte, too! All of it is making me hungry again and I'm off to bed!
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