With a number of vegetarians dining with us at the restaurant it is always good to have one or two suitable dishes to call on if the need arises. This dish is simply called ‘mushroom, mushroom, mushroom’, which seems to sum it up.
I call this a ‘proper’ restaurant dish — all about exploring flavours and textures, yet based on one ingredient. It would make a great dinner party starter, ideal if a vegetarian is among the guests.
Mushroom, mushroom, mushroom
- Pre-heat oven to 170°C.
- First make the cep wafers. Melt 50g of butter and whisk in the plain flour, cep powder and egg white to make a runny dough.
- Place four teaspoons of the mixture separately on a non-stick baking sheet and spread each out to form a thin disc. Bake in the oven for six or seven minutes until golden brown. Carefully remove each wafer from the baking sheet and allow to cool on a wire baking rack. Carefully transfer to an airtight container.
- Next make the chestnut mushroom purée. Sweat the chestnut mushrooms and shallot in a little butter, then add the vegetable stock and cook until quite soft. Add the cream and transfer to a food processor and blend until smooth. Season. Reserve in a warm place or reheat when needed.
- To finish, sauté the shitake, oyster and button mushrooms with the garlic in the remaining butter. When just about cooked, throw in the parsley and stir round a few times in the pan.
- To serve, place a small quenelle of mushroom purée on each plate. Opposite this, arrange the sautéed selection of mushrooms and finish by leaning the cep wafer against them.
And for the wine…
Dr Neil Wright, a GP in Stoke on Trent, says: ‘This dish sounds rich and full of creamy mushroom flavour. It will need a balanced wine that is fresh, crisp with ripe fruit flavours but not too acidic. My choice would be a Pouilly-Fuisse white Burgundy. These wines are 100% Chardonnay from the Maconnais. Serve lightly chilled.’
Dr Raanan Gillon, a retired GP from London says: ‘This lovely recipe needs a relatively delicate white wine that won’t obscure any of the different fungal flavours but which has some steel to cut the creamy purée and the garlic butter. The minerally Chardonnay of a young Chablis would be perfect. A more adventurous alternative would be the bone dry tang of a fino sherry or Manzanilla.’