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mushrooms

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A fine weeknight dinner for two – endive salad & filet mignon with marsala mushroom sauce

January 4, 2011
filet mignon with creamy marsala mushroom sauce

 

filet mignon with creamy marsala mushroom sauce

Sometimes you just feel like a good meal, and if you can cook, you know you can either make a much nicer one for less money at home, or something better than what you could eat out. So, when my gentleman asked me what I’d like to do that evening, I said, “cook.”

For the Steak
2 filet mignons of a size appropriate to you
1/2 lb crimini or other meaty mushrooms, diced
1/2 leek, sliced finely and sauteed in butter, set aside
dry sherry
leftover bechamel sauce or some cream if you’re desperate (or make a roux and add some milk and salt)
butter

Heat the oven to 375. Using a metal skillet (not non stick) big enough for both steaks, heat enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan and add 1-2 T butter, melting at high heat. Salt & pepper the raw steaks. Add to the pan, cooking on one side until browned (about 2 minutes). Flip the steaks, cook 2 more minutes and then without moving the steaks, put the whole pan in the oven. For medium/medium rare, it should take about as long as it takes to make the sauce (5-8 minutes).

In a sautee pan of your choosing, heat 1-2 T butter until melted. Add the chopped mushrooms, cooking at medium heat until slightly shriveled and browned. Raise heat slightly and add 1/2 C sherry, cooking until mostly reduced. Add the bechamel sauce, warming and combining. Add salt & pepper to taste, keep warm.

I served this with wilted spinach (zest of 1 small lemon, juice of same lemon, into a big, hot pan), and couscous (cooked in vegetable stock).

endive salad with bleu cheese, bosc pear, candied lime walnuts

For the salad
2 endives, cleaned and trimmed into seperate leaves
1/3 C candied walnuts (or plain ones, but why bother with going halfway?)
1 bosc pear (or apple, etc), sliced thinly
Blue cheese
Juice of 1 lemon
1-2 tsp walnut oil

Whisk lemon juice and blue cheese together. Use a bit of heat if necessary, the dressing should be fairly thick. Add oil and salt & pepper. Taste and adjust. Dress the endive leaves and assemble on plates, alternating with pear slices. Add more blue cheese crumbles on top and place the walnuts into the salad.

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Matsutake Mushroom Gnocci with Watercress

October 31, 2010
matsutake gnocci with watercress

Preface: The only other context I’ve eaten matsutake is in dashi and in a quesadilla (a delicious quesadilla). I don’t think I would make this dish exactly the same next time; I think it would be better in more broth, without the creme fraiche, with egg noodles (Asian style). I used really good quality, fluffy, fresh gnocci for this dish and I think it was really competing with the matsutake, which is a shame because they should have been the feature of the dish.

matsutake gnocci with watercress

matsutake mushrooms cooking

Luckily, matsutakes had a bumper crop this year and they were only $20/lb. In SF, they can be found for $40 or more most years, so this was a really nice surprise last time I popped in at the Japanese market. Yesterday, I even saw them at Rainbow Foods!

I do think simmering the matsutakes in dashi (it was small amounts of mirin, soy sauce, sake, walnut oil and then a larger amount of straight up dashi–water infused with kombu and i-forget-the-name tuna flakes) worked well, I just would have made more of it next time and omitted the creme fraiche I added. The watercress also worked well. So go ahead and do that, and sub those gnocci for egg noodles and I’m pretty sure you’ll have a delicious meal.

Anyway, no recipe here since I won’t stand behind it, but thought you might learn from my experience.