november 3, 2009

Jennifer was in the mood for mushrooms. Christopher was in the mood to cook.

Mushroom Vol-au-Vents

2 frozen vol-au-vents shells
mushrooms (crimini, oyster, white)
2 tbs butter
1/2 pint heavy whipping cream
3 garlic cloves, minced
fresh thyme
shallot, minced
1/2 cup cognac
salt/pepper

Bake frozen vol-au-vents shells according to packaged directions. Once cooled, remove and reserve tops.

Combine butter, shallot, and garlic. Cook 2 minutes. Add chopped white mushrooms and cook five minutes. Blend with immersion blender until mushrooms are finely chopped. Add heavy cream and three sprigs thyme. Simmer covered for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, in another pan, melt butter. Add remaining mushrooms and cognac. Cook for two minutes or until mushrooms are just tender. Combine both mushroom mixtures. Remove thyme stalks and salt/pepper to taste.

Spoon mushroom filling into vol-au-vents shells and cover with pastry tops. Return to oven for 5 minutes to re-warm shells. Remove and serve with salad.

Salad

mixed greens
red grapes, halved
blue cheese, crumbled [we used Valdeon]
dried currants
chestnuts, oven roasted, peeled and thinly sliced

Toss all ingredients with salad dressing.

Salad Dressing

dark beer [we used Anchor Steam Porter]
green onion, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
salt/pepper

Bring vinegar and green onion to boil. Reduce heat and simmer until vinegar is reduced by half (should stick to back of a spoon). Strain out green onion. Add oil and third of beer to vinegar reduction and whisk together. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Toss with salad and serve.






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