Friday, August 28, 2009
Fungus Among Us
We so enjoyed the papardelle that we served with our branzino the other night, that I decided to use those long and wide but whisper-thin egg noodles as the bed for a mushroom stroganoff.
I armed myself with the standard wild mushrooms available at our local market - crimini, shitake and oyster. While originally intended to feature mushrooms only, I decided to add a little, well, beefiness with a couple ounces of slivered sirloin.
The beef strips were quick-seared on high for just a few seconds on each side, then removed from the pan and set aside. With the heat lowered to medium, I poured about two tablespoons of grapeseed oil to the pan.The sliced mushrooms were then added in stages; I wanted different layers of doneness with the mushrooms ranging from lightly cooked and plump to heavily caramelized. The mixture was deglazed with a tablespoon of Cognac three times before being flambeed with about 1/4 cup of the brandy.
After adding two sliced shallots and one crushed garlic clove, a tablespoon of tomato paste was browned in the bottom of the pan. After stirring the tomato paste into the mushroom mixture, I sprinkled sweet paprika and some fresh thyme, poured in about 1/4 cup of chardonnay and blended in about 1/3 cup of creme fraiche. This was allowed to simmer while the pasta was prepared.
Just before taking the noodles off the stove, I added the beef strips and 1/3 cup of sour cream to the mushroom mixture. The noodles were drained and drizzled with porcini-infused olive oil.
Despite the addition of the beef, the mushrooms and papardelle are the true stars of this dish, and could easily make a winning vegetarian offering.