This is one of the best courses I have created in a long while. I cannot stop eating it at the moment. My brilliant wife is a tough foodie critic. Her star ranking goes from 1 to 5 stars. She is famously frugal with her stars. This particular dish earned the full allotment of 5 stars. The combination of flavors at work here is mesmerizing.
An influential stimulating force for this dish was watching the work of Pierre Gagnaire. Chef Gagnaire has reinvented modern French cuisine in his amazing 37 year career.
When conceptualizing a dish I ask myself three important questions. What do I want to see on the plate? What do I want to smell? What textures do I want in my mouth? This course is an eccentric confluence of textures, consistencies, colors, and flavors.
The base of the dish is a sauté of shiitake mushrooms, Yukon gold potatoes, and shallots. The middle portion is a succulent, immoral, wickedly tasting Yukon gold puree. Next up following in the footsteps of yesterday’s Florida tomatoes post is a medley of diced plum, purple Cherokee, and tangerine tomatoes tossed in balsamic. The final flourish is a crunchy Parmigiano-Reggiano crisp.
An extraordinarily earthy veggie course even the most dedicated meat-lover will take pleasure in.
Yukon Gold Two Ways with Shiitake Mushrooms
For the Sauté:
2 small Yukon gold potatoes - (diced)
5 Shiitake mushrooms – (small chop)
2 shallots - (small dice)
1. In sauté pan heat 2 tbs olive oil over medium heat.
2. Add the Yukon gold potatoes. Cook for about 10 minutes.
3. Add the shiitake mushrooms. Cook for about 5 minutes.
4. Season with sea salt and smoked paprika.
5. Add the shallots. Cook for 3 minutes.
6. Sprinkle with marjoram. Take off the heat.
For the Yukon gold puree:
4 small Yukon gold potatoes – (peeled)
Half and Half
1 cinnamon stick
1 vanilla bean – (split)
2 bay leafs
1 stick of butter – (unsalted)
1. Place the potatoes in a stockpot
2. Cover with half-and-half.
3. Add the cinnamon stick, vanilla bean, 2 bay leafs.
4. Season with allspice, ground nutmeg, brown sugar, and sea salt.
5. Simmer till potatoes are tender.
6. Remove the potatoes to a plate.
7. Strain the poaching liquid – (reserve)
8. Clean the inside of the stockpot. Put the stick of butter in the clean stockpot.
9. Rice the potatoes, using a potato ricer, into the stockpot.
10. Over low heat mix the potatoes and butter well.
11. Add a bit of the reserved poaching liquid. Whisk hard and fast to emulsify.
For the Tomatoes:
1 purple Cherokee tomato – (diced)
1 tangerine tomato – (diced)
1 plum tomato - (diced)
In a bowl combine the tomatoes with a splash of balsamic and olive oil. Season with sea salt. Mix well.
For the Parmigiano Crisp:
1. Preheat the oven to 320 F.
2. Using a Microplane grater finely grate the cheese.
3. Place a Silpat mat on a baking sheet.
4. Using the ring mold, make mounds of cheese.
5. Bake in oven for 10 minutes.
Silpat Mats are the best baking tool known to man. Nothing sticks to it and clean up is quick and easy. If you do not have one...get one you will not regret it. Demarle Silpat 11-3/4-by-8-1/4-Inch Nonstick Silicone Baking Mat
That's it for now...till we exchange a few words again...Peace!