Saturday, February 21, 2009

Mushroomania 2009

To celebrate Booty Queen's birthday and visit to Richmond, i decided to create a menu centered around her favorite food, mushrooms.

Mushroomania 2009
Mushroom ravioli with balsamic brown butter sauce
Stuffed button mushrooms with basil oil
Champignon German Brie with water crackers
Black Bottom Ricotta Cupcakes with Chocolate blood orange butter cream
(cupcakes look like mushrooms- and lets face it- we love them)
(potlucked- Garlic Knots, Tuscan white bean stew, guacamole, and grape and orange soda.... somehow i think they missed the concept of mushroomania- but it was delicious all the same)

(These pictures were taken with my cellphone.. so hopefully I'll get a nicer camera eventually.. )

I had some really great helpers with this feast, Coco Carnage, an awesome pivot with a deadly behind, member of the Poe's Punishers team on River City and a general foodie, and Scarriet Tubman my derby wifey, captain of the Uncivil Warriors team on River City, up and coming jammer and a better cook than she thinks.

Mushroom Ravioli

They started out as triangles, moved to whole squares as we got lazy (stuffing ravioli takes time!), and then we started cutting shapes out of the dough-- this here is a flower ravioli- which impressively stayed together in the boil.

i doubled this recipe to feed a crowd

1/2 pound fresh mixed mushrooms-not button
1 small package of dried woodland/Forrest blend mixed mushrooms
1 package of small won ton wrappers
1/2 medium white onion, chopped finely
3 cloves garlic
10 ounces ricotta cheese
4 ounces shredded asiago or Parmesan cheese, plus more for sprinkling over top of finished pasta
olive oil

1 egg, beaten with 1 tsp water
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil, plus more for topping

1 stick butter
1/4-1/3 cup good quality balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper

Reconstitute dried mushrooms with 1/2 cup of boiling water. drain mushrooms after they have plumped, and chop roughly chop mushrooms roughly, mince onion and garlic.

In a stainless pain, heat pan over medium heat, add olive oil to coat bottom, and once the oil smokes a little and add 1/2 of the mushroom onion garlic mixture. cook well- tossing frequently, until cooked. I like my mushrooms to have a little bite left- and since they'll be cooking briefly in the boiling pasta water- leave them a little chewy. Leave mushrooms in pan and deglaze with a scant 1/4 cup of good sherry. once sherry has been cooked out or absorbed, remove mushroom mixture and place in a large bowl. repeat this process with 1/2 half of mushroom mixture.

once all of you your mushroom mixture have been cooked, add ricotta, asiago (or parm) and salt and pepper to taste. mix well and set aside.

set out a large baking sheet- and clear out some room in your freezer! place one whole won ton wrapper on a cutting board, and brush edges with beaten egg. add one heaping teaspoon of the mushroom mixture to the center,and add another won ton wrapper over top, directly lining up the edges. using the back of a fork, press the edges together to make a tight seal. set on baking sheet and repeat. once you've filled up your sheet- you can place some parchment paper over the top and do another layer. i don't recommend doing more than 2 layers per sheet as won ton wrappers can tear- and contents will empty themselves in the boiling pasta water- which is very sad after all that work.

you can also take a large simple shaped cookie cutter- like a flower, sun, moon or plain circle, and cut out shaped- taking care to ensure that the edges are still pressed together. We also did some triangle raviolis- using less filling and folding 1 ravioli corner to corner.

set a large pot of water on the stove top and turn on high. once its almost at a simmer- start your sauce. when it boils- add a couple good pinches of kosher salt.


Balsamic Brown Butter Sauce
in an extra large pan (the largest frying pan you have) melt a stick of butter on medium/medium low heat. once the butter is melted- brown the butter just by heating it. the milk solids in the butter will take on a darker hue- and the color will be similar to a caramel color. be careful though-- you don't want burnt butter- just once that has been achieved add 1/4-1/3 cup balsamic vinegar and reduce.

Once raviolis float on the surface of the water- you know they're done. toss the raviolis in the sauce and serve immediately. If the sauce seems too thin-- add just a dash of the pasta water to it and toss well, or leave raviolis in there to cook some more- tossing gently. top with a chiffonade of basil and asiago cheese.

Stuffed Button Mushrooms
1 package of large button mushrooms
1 cup of mix from the olive bar-- can be just olives- but i used marinated onions, garlic, 4 types of olives, italian sweet peppers, and a dash of everything else on there. just make sure to pit the olives- and stay away from anything with stuffed almonds. yuck.

1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese
salt and pepper
basil oil

preheat oven to 400

clean the mushrooms using a damp towel- don't rinse them- they become all water logged and slimey. just take the time- and wipe them off. remove the stems carefully- and throw away- or save for later- a great topping for pizza. set aside caps.

chop finely anything you got from the olive bar at the grocery store. if your grocery store doesn't have a good olive bar-- get an olive medly jar instead. mix with grated cheese, and add salt and pepper to taste. on a large baking sheet, fill mushroom caps with as much mixture as will fit and drizzle with basil oil. cook 15-25 minutes or until done. mushrooms will have reduced in size, cheese will be melted.

Black Bottom Ricotta Cupcakes with Chocolate blood orange butter cream

We didn't have any cream cheese, but since i had the ricotta on hand for the ravioli, we just substituted it out. I was planning on making plain ol chocolate butter cream, after some debating with Co Co on what sort of icing we should make, we settled on this unique combination. I had the blood oranges on hand- and they were so ripe they were screaming to be used. I thought of those chocolate oranges you get around Christmas- and thought what a great combination orange and chocolate can be. the blood orange made it seem more deluxe than regular orange, and the icing was simultaneously sweet and tart- with just enough sweetness to make you feel decadent and just enough tart to surprise you. the blood orange was significantly more tart than a regular orange- and the color of the orange mixed with the chocolate was a lovely mauvey brown color that perfectly accented the black and white cupcakes.

Black Bottom Cupcakes
8 ounces ricotta
1 egg
1/3 cup white sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup white sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup water
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Line muffin tins with paper cups or lightly spray with non-stick cooking spray.
In a medium bowl, beat the ricotta, egg, 1/3 cup sugar and 1/8 teaspoon salt until light and fluffy. Stir in the chocolate chips and set aside.
In a large bowl, mix together the flour, 1 cup sugar, baking powder, cocoa, baking soda and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Make a well in the center and add the water, oil, vinegar and vanilla. Stir together until well blended. Fill muffin tins 1/3 full with the batter and top with a dollop of the ricotta mixture. Bake in preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes.

Chocolate Blood Orange Butter Cream
2 sticks butter, room temperature

1 pound powdered sugar
dash salt
2-3 tbl blood orange syrup

1 tsp blood orange rind

1/4 cup semi sweet chocolate chips- melted and smooth.

if you can't find blood orange-- use a mandarin or clementine. red grapefruit would be nice too. you'll need less sugar because of the tartness of the blood orange. I haven't tried this with lime or lemon yet-- but i suspect that the results are just as good...
Blood orange surup

squeeze the juice of 1-2 blood oranges. you'll need about a third of a cup of blood orange juice. in a small sauce pan. reduce the blood orange juice to a thick syrup slowly- do not add sugar. set the pan in an ice bath and stir until cooled.

using a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment beat the butter until it is smooth and fluffy. if your butter is cold- start with a paddle attachment- and then switch over to a whisk once your butter is sticking to the sides of the bowl. Whisk the butter on high- and scrape sides as needed. alternating with tablespoons of chocolate and the blood orange sauce, beat the mixture together. once all of the chocolate and blood orange has been incorporated, slowly add powdered sugar and beat on low. when you've added 2/4 a pound of powdered sugar- taste for sweetness. add more if desired. add orange rind and whip well.

a note. use immediately-and store in the fridge. or you can leave the icing in the mixer and beat on high ocassionally-- since fats and liquids don't really like eachother- there's definitely a possibility for seperation here- and it's always a shame to have to waste icing.

1 comment:

  1. Man, I love mushroom ravioli. You're making me jealous.