Cream of the Crop: A Thank You to BlogHer Food
Consider this post a hymn of gratitude to 35o people. The Mushroom Channel had a tremendous opportunity this weekend. To be your friendly fungi at a conference full of people who love food, love to cook and love to eat, we were truly in our element and I want to thank the team at BlogHer Food for helping us do that.
And a big thank you to everyone who came to our dinner at RN74 and stopped by our table for a chat and some soup (or quinoa-stuffed portabella). And everyone who was there with us in spirit, if not IN San Francisco.
We had a beautiful dinner, a great display, our mushrooms were used by a Top Chef and taken home by a James Beard award winner. We ran out of soup just in the nick of time with familiar faces returning for seconds. I cannot imagine a better weekend and we’ll have photos coming to you on Monday.
Speaking of the soup, as promised, I give you Mushroom Soup with Bacon-infused Cream and a Mushroom Crisp. As a welcome, as a thank you, as a promise to keep delivering. We had some great conversations about every kind of recipe, about vitamin D and mushrooms’ role in breast cancer prevention. Your blogs have been and will continue to be a tremendous resource for us and I hope you’ll see us returning the favor.
Mushroom “Cappuccino” (8 servings)
4 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup leeks, white parts only, sliced
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 1/2 cup crimini mushrooms, sliced
1 1/2 cup oyster mushrooms, sliced
1 cup shiitake mushrooms, no stems, sliced
3/4 cup sherry, dry
1/4 each thyme bunch, leaves only
1/2 each tarragon bunch, leaves only
1/8 cup cornstarch, dissolved in ¼ cup of water
4 1/2 cups chicken stock (can be subbed out for vegetable or mushroom broth)
1 teaspoon cocoa powder, ground cinnamon or mushroom powder
Savory Bacon Cream (optional)
3/4 cup cream, 38%
2 each apple smoked bacon slices, cut in 1″ strips
Pimentón Mushroom Crisps
1 pound portabella mushrooms Olive Oil, for brushing Pimentón, to taste Kosher or sea salt, to taste
For Mushroom Cappuccino: Caramelize shiitake mushrooms in butter. Deglaze pan with ¼ cup of sherry. Add leeks, onion, and garlic and cook about 8 minutes, until the onion is transparent. Add more sherry if needed to maintain texture and moisture. Meanwhile, heat chicken stock separately. In a separate pan, sauté remaining mushrooms in batches until they are golden and wilted. Lightly salt them to increase release of their liquids. Deglaze sauté pan with sherry or some of the chicken stock to dissolve brown particles stuck on bottom. Add sautéed mushrooms to shiitake and onion mixture with fresh herbs. Mix in hot stock and bring to a simmer, stirring often. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer until mushrooms are tender, about 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
While stirring, add cornstarch mixture to thicken, if needed. Working in batches, purée soup in a blender or processor until it is smooth. Return soup to pot. This soup can be prepared ahead of time by covering it and refrigerating it. It can be reheated over low heat before serving.
For Savory Bacon Cream(optional): Combine cream and bacon, place in double boiler for 30 minutes. Strain and chill below 36°F. Remove any firm bacon fat from surface.Using hand held wire whisk, beat cream to a soft peak. Keep it cold until serving.
For Pimentón Mushroom Crisps: Preheat oven to 400°F. Hold mushrooms by stems and, using a sharp slicing knife or mandoline, slice each mushroom cap crosswise or horizontally into thin, almost translucent, slices. Reserve stems for another dish. Lay out mushrooms in a single layer on sheet pan (you may require more than one). Brush each mushroom with olive oil and sprinkle with pimentón.
Bake for about 15 minutes, until golden brown. Season with salt, place on a paper towel to drain and serve. For each serving, to order: Ladle soup into coffee cups or small glasses. If you ‘d like, place dollop of Savory Bacon Cream over soup. Top with cocoa powder or mushroom powder and garnish with a few Pimentón Mushroom Crisps.