Sunday, February 7, 2010
Barcelona's Mushrooms with Herbed Goat Cheese
A few months ago my friend Andy Pforzheimer gave me a copy of his restaurant cookbook, the Barcelona Cookbook. I love eating at Barcelona Wine Bar -- I've tried almost 75% of their tapas by now -- but I also like making his tapas at home.
Tonight I decided to serve his wild mushrooms with herbed goat cheese. It was easy and delicious, particularly with a few short cuts. For example, I bought herbed goat cheese instead of making it. I also used whatever mushrooms I could conveniently find at the grocery store.
One of the best things about this dish was that I could make it in advance and then throw it into the microwave to warm it up. It made entertaining very stress-free.
If you'd like to find out about or buy this wonderful cookbook, more information can be found at the book's website or Amazon. What a great gift to give for Valentine's Day!
Note: I found this recipe already typed out at Leite's Culnaria, so I'd like to credit the blog here and thank them for saving me a lot of work.
Champiñones Salvajes con Queso de Hierbas
by Sasa Mahr-Batuz and Andy Pforzheimer with Mary Goodbody
from The Barcelona Cookbook
(Andrews McMeel Publishing, 2009)
This is a flavor combination that Andy has always liked—wild mushrooms and balsamic vinegar. It’s the way he used to prepare them at Stars in San Francisco, where they also used goat cheese as a counterpoint. At Barcelona, our original recipe used a piece of French goat cheese, but now we use an garlicky herbed goat cheese mixture, which melts much better and more evenly. This dish perks up quickly in the microwave, so it’s a great last-minute piece of a meal
For the herbed cheese
Two 8-ounce logs goat cheese, at room temperature
1/4 pound cream cheese, at room temperature
Leaves from 6 sprigs fresh thyme, minced
Leaves from 3 sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley, minced
Leaves from 2 sprigs fresh rosemary, minced
1/4 bunch fresh chives, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the wild mushrooms
3 tablespoons olive oil
10 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and sliced
10 ounces oyster mushrooms or other forest mushrooms, torn into 1/4-inch pieces
10 ounces cremini mushrooms, all but 1/4 inch of stems removed, sliced
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
4 shallots, thinly sliced
1 1/2 cups veal stock
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
Prepare the herbed cheese
1. In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and set on medium speed, mix together the goat cheese, cream cheese, thyme, parsley, rosemary, chives, and garlic for about 1 minute. Season to taste with salt and pepper and beat for 2 to 3 minutes longer or very well blended.
2. Spread a sheet of plastic wrap about 12 inches long on a work surface. Spread about half of the herbed cheese along the bottom third of the plastic wrap, leaving 1 inch on each end. Roll the plastic wrap around the cheese to make a log approximately 1 to 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Twist the clean ends of the plastic wrap closed. Repeat with the rest of the cheese to make another log. Refrigerate the logs for at least 3 hours and up to 3 days.
Prepare the wild mushrooms
1. In a large saute pan, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over high heat. Add a third of each of the wild mushrooms, season with salt and pepper, and cook for 6 to 8 minutes, or until the mushrooms develop a golden crust. At this point, lift the mushrooms from the pan and set aside. Add more oil and cook the next batch of mushrooms. Repeat with the rest of the mushrooms and oil.
2. Reduce the heat to medium and add the shallots to the pan. Return the mushrooms to the pan and cook for about 7 minutes or until the shallots are translucent.
3. Add the stock, vinegar, and thyme leaves, increase the heat to high, and simmer rapidly for 9 to 10 minutes, or until the liquid reduces to about 1/2 cup. The mushrooms should be juicy but without much extra sauce.
4. Remove the cheese logs from the refrigerator and slice into rounds about 3/4 inch thick. (This is very easy to do with dental floss.) Reserve any extra for another use.
5. Put about 1 cup of the wild mushroom mixture into each of 4 microwave-safe serving bowls. Top each serving with 1 or 2 rounds of herbed cheese. Microwave for about 1 minute, or until the cheese softens and the mushrooms are piping hot. Serve immediately.