"This is one of my favourite entrées. Pine mushrooms are great when they're in season. This dish caters to vegetarians, but also tastes great with the addition of grilled bacon. It features mushrooms three ways: raw, puréed and cooked."
- 9 pine mushrooms (about 600gm), trimmed, wiped clean with a damp cloth
- 40 gm butter, coarsely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 8 golden shallots, thinly sliced into rings
- 2 thyme sprigs
- 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
- To serve: lemon juice (to taste) and baby parsley
- 120 ml milk
- 1 fresh bay leaf
- 1 thyme sprig
- 6 black peppercorns
- 50 gm butter, coarsely chopped
- 100 gm plain flour, sieved (2/3 cup)
- 50 gm Gruyère, finely grated
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 100 gm soft fine white breadcrumbs
- For deep-frying: vegetable oil
- 1For Gruyère beignets, bring milk, thyme, bay leaf and peppercorns to the simmer in a small saucepan over low heat, then set aside until milk is infused (15-20 minutes). Strain (discard solids), set aside. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat until foaming, add half the flour and stir continuously until incorporated and sandy coloured (3-5 minutes). Gradually add milk, beating continuously until mixture is thick and smooth, then remove from heat, stir through cheese until melted, season to taste, cover directly with plastic wrap and set aside to cool to room temperature. Roll mixture into 3cm-diameter balls, then refrigerate until well chilled (20-30 minutes). Place remaining flour, egg and breadcrumbs in separate bowls, roll beignets first in flour, then egg, then breadcrumbs, shaking off excess in between, and set aside. Just before serving, preheat vegetable oil in a deep-sided saucepan or deep-fryer to 180C. Deep-fry beignets, in batches, until golden (2-3 minutes; be careful as hot oil may spit). Remove with a slotted spoon, drain on absorbent paper and keep warm.
- 2Meanwhile, refrigerate 5 mushrooms until required. Coarsely chop remainder and set aside. Heat 30gm butter in a wide saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and half the shallot and sauté until tender (10-12 minutes). Add thyme, chopped mushrooms and 50ml water and cook, covered with a lid, until mushrooms are tender (4-6 minutes). Remove lid and cook until liquid evaporates (1-2 minutes). Remove from heat, discard thyme, process in a food processor until finely chopped, season to taste and set aside.
- 3Heat olive oil and remaining shallot and butter in a frying pan over medium heat. Cut four of remaining mushrooms into wedges, then add to pan with 20ml water and fry, turning occasionally, until tender (5-6 minutes). Set aside. Keep warm.
- 4Place quenelles of chopped mushroom mixture onto a serving platter, add sautéed mushrooms, top with Gruyère beignets and thickly sliced remaining mushroom, drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil and lemon juice, scatter with baby parsley and serve.
This recipe is from the July 2010 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.
Drink Suggestion: Pinot from the Côte-de-Beaune Villages. These wines have plenty of red-fruit aromas and great texture. Drink suggestion by Marty McCaig and Frederic Blevin