Friday, September 25, 2009

Holy Shiitake Batman

As most of you know, we have a place up in West Virginia. We co-own that place with my parents. My parents have made friends with a couple Brian and Ocea and besides supplying us with free range eggs, raspberries, squash and other goods, they apparently had a bumper crop of Shiitake mushrooms that they generously shared. This was a hard decision for me. What to do with them.?? I also had a terrible time deciding on a picture. I never realized quite how lovely these little guys were before. So you are getting a few. As for how to prepare it, I decided this time, simple was best and to do something I thought would let the tender flavor of the shiitake shine. It doesn’t get much simpler than the below. Typically, I would have thrown in some white wine but we didn’t have any open and I didn’t feel like any so didn’t want to open a bottle. Again, typically I would rely then on dry vermouth, however for some reason when I opened the liquor cabinet to grab it the sweet vermouth called me. I am glad it did, the light sweetness and heavier herbal- ness (is that a word??) of the sweet vermouth was outstanding.

2 tbs butter
1 small onion
1 small clove of garlic grated or one large minced
2 cup sliced shiitake
3 tbs sweet vermouth
1 cup of milk, half-n- half or mix
1 tbs of flour

Melt butter in a skillet and add onions and garlic and cook over medium low to sweat the onions. Add shiitake and cook covered for about 3 minutes. The mushrooms should have thrown off some water. Add about a tablespoon of flour, just enough to thicken but not form a roux. Add sweet vermouth (if you don’t have this vermouth or brandy could be nice) and milk (I used half skim and half -n-half and half, and it was great, however the more milk fat you have the richer and thicker it will be), cook until thickened.

Season to taste, toss with pasta and serve.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Just Another Plug

Okay, I have fallen off the blog wagon. However, October I should be back on. Tristan will be in preschool and that will free up 2 hours a day for me. Also, it will be getting cooler which means more cooking. We planted a fairly big garden this year, which meant a lot of fresh veggies… and not a lot of cooking.

That said, let me get to the point of this post. I have said it before and I will say it again….Bistro 27 is one of my favorite restaurants in Richmond. We went there last night for my mom’s birthday and yet again it did not disappoint. Last night we tried the escargot. The sauce had a touch of Pernod. Incredible. Unexpected. Unbelievable. The waiter tried to take the plate away and my father just about stabbed him with is fork and ordered…no demanded …more bread to sop the sauce up with. Fantastic. We all had the carrot soup, it a was a cold soup that had a great ginger flavor and a bit of heat. It was amazing as well. Everyone except me had the ravioli. Joel and my mom had the ravioli on the menu, my father had the special which was a seafood ravioli. They all cleaned their plates, all the while grunting…pigs. I had the Linguini with pesto and scallops. I am not quite sure how they did it but it was buttery. It was amazing. I ,however, have some waiting in the fridge for lunch for me…or maybe breakfast!!!

It was perfect. Really . Except one major, major hitch. When we arrived on the table was a announcement that they are having a wine tasting tonight (Thursday). They have brought in this vintner from Uruguay and are pairing the different wines with the most amazing courses. I believe there were 5-6 courses in all, all for $70. Nothing like starting you meal mad! Think it would be too much to go again tonight???? Sigh.

Also Richmonder’s go check them out on Twitter, they are offering an amazing deal. If you have never been it is good incentive!! I swear I don’t work there…but I would if they would feed me J