Braised Mushroom Pairing: Lobster Mushrooms and Portobellos
To me the trick with exotic or wild mushrooms is to prepare them in such a way as to not hide their distinctive, delicate flavor. Also, I like to be able to see their differing shapes and colors in the finished dish. This leads to very simple approaches, such as this side dish in which lobster mushrooms were paired with small portabella mushrooms. The main goal here was to emphasize the bright red-orange of the lobster mushrooms and allow their flavor and al dente texture to come through. Serving the lobster mushrooms with a softer, darker and more strongly flavored mushroom, with each prepared the same way, allowed the different flavors and textures to be compared, highlighting the specific pleasures of each.
The portabellas and lobster mushrooms were prepared separately but in exactly the same manner:
6 oz each of lobster and small portabella mushrooms
3/4 cup dry white wine for each 6 oz of mushrooms
1/4 tsp nutmeg, freshly grated, for each 6 oz of mushrooms
white truffle oil
salt, hot sauce
flat leaf parsley, minced
3/4 C heavy cream
Clean the mushrooms and slice. Sauté the lobster mushrooms in olive oil with a tablespoon of butter over moderately high heat, stirring constantly, until they give up their moisture and then start to dry out. Add the wine and the nutmeg and continue to cook and stir until the liquid has reduced to a syrupy consistency. Stir in a tablespoon of softened butter and toss gently to be sure the mushrooms are all well coated with the buttery liquid. Season with salt and hot sauce and remove to a side plate and keep warm. In same pan, prepare the portabella mushrooms following the same procedure.
When all the mushrooms have been cooked, add the cream to the pan and, scraping all around the bottom and sides with a silicone spatula, reduce the cream to about 1/2 cup over moderately high heat. Correct the seasoning.
To serve, place a pool of the sauce in the plate and arrange the mushrooms in separate heaps. Scatter with the parsley. Be sure to have some crusty bread on hand to sop up the sauce!
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