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food in this book is all about. ~ Thomas
Keller, 'ad hoc at home'
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Morel Mushrooms Among Violets, Morchella Esculenta, Central USA
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La Belle Cuisine
Ad Hoc at Home
Copyright © 2009 by Thomas Keller
Makes about 3
2 pounds assorted wild mushrooms such as
small shiitakes, morels, chanterelles, small
porcini, hen-of-the-woods, trumpet
2 cups extra virgin olive oil
2 bay leaves
4 sprigs thyme
One 6-inch rosemary sprig
1 teaspoon piment d'Espelette *
3 tablespoons sherry wine vinegar
Fresh cracked black pepper
Dave Cruz learned this technique for preserving mushrooms from a chef
in the Basque region of Spain, and it's so tasty and versatile that you'll
find many uses for it. The method is simple -- mushrooms are steeped in
medium-hot aromatic oil for 5 minutes and then seasoned with vinegar
and salt. Mushrooms prepared this way are both earthy and acidic, ex-
cellent served hot with meats, or as a base for fish. They are also good
cold, as a condiment, as a component of a salad, or even as the main
component, garnished with shaved radishes and similarly preserved
tomatoes. Use a variety of mushrooms for textural and taste contrast
-- oyster, hen-of-the-woods, trumpet, shiitake, chanterelle, porcini, and
morels. Strain and save the oil when you're finished with the mush-
rooms to use in vinaigrettes or as a flavored oil.
Just before cooking, rinse the mushrooms to remove any dirt. Remove the shiitake
stems and any other stems that are tough, and discard, or set aside
for another use (such as a vegetable stock). Trim the end of other stems
as well as any bruised areas. Leave small mushrooms whole. Cut larger mushrooms
into pieces or into slices; or slice mushrooms with meaty
stems, such as porcini or trumpet mushrooms, lengthwise in half, then
use the tip of a paring knife to score the inside of the stem in a crosshatch
pattern. The pieces of mushroom will shrink as they cook, but the finished
pieces should not be larger than one bite. You should have about 10 cups
of trimmed mushrooms.
Combine the olive oil, bay leaves, thyme sprigs, rosemary and Espelette in
a large, wide pot, put a deep-frying thermometer in the pot, and heat over
medium to medium-high heat until the oil reaches 170 degrees F (it may
be necessary to tilt the pot and pool the oil to get a correct reading on the
thermometer). Add the mushrooms to the pot and gently stir them in the
oil. When the oil reaches 170 degrees F again, adjust the heat as necessary
to maintain this temperature and cook for 5 minutes, gently turning the
mushrooms from time to time. The mushrooms will not initially be sub-
in the oil, but will wilt as they steep.
Remove from the heat, stir in the vinegar and salt and pepper to taste,
and let the mushrooms steep in the oil for 45 minutes. Transfer the
mushrooms, oil and herbs to a covered storage container; the mush-
rooms should be covered by the oil. The mushrooms will keep for up
to 1 month in the refrigerator. Serve hot or at room temperature.
* Piment d’Espelette – If you haven’t tried piment d’Espelette (Espelette
pepper), it’s worth seeking out. These ground dried chile peppers, from
the village of Espelette in Spain’s Basque region, will give a fruity heat
to any number of dishes. The powder is more flavorful and less hot
than cayenne. Piment d’Espelette is available
[Alternatively, we suggest a good smoked hot paprika. MG]
Serve hot with Santa Maria-Style Tri-Tip (recipe in cookbook).
Serve as a component of Mushroom and Leek Salad with
Oven-Roasted Tomatoes and Radishes (recipe in cookbook).
Featured Archive Recipes:
with Mixed Mushrooms
Sautéed Morels with Goat Cheese,
Spinach, and Beet Vinaigrette
Warm Camembert with Wild
More from Chef Thomas Keller:
Butter-Poached Lobster with Leeks,
Pommes Maxim & Red Beet Essence
Lemon-Brined Fried Chicken
Recipes from 'The
Roasted Rib Steak with Golden
Chanterelles... aka "Yabba Dabba Doo"
Index - Vegetable
Rites of Spring Recipes
Recipe Archives Index