Saturday, October 18, 2008

Lobster Mushroom Bisque, Fondue

Dinner 10/18

Lobster Mushroom Bisque
(recipe below)



Meyer Lemon Cheesecake

Yes, more mushroom-y goodness from Liz's WF trip -- the ever popular lobster mushrooms...

Lobster Mushroom Bisque
Serves four

2 cups of Lobster Mushrooms
2 tbs. olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, sliced
1 leek, white part only, finely chopped
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
1 1/2 tsp. tomato paste
1/4 cup cognac
3 cups water
1 bouquet garni
salt & pepper
1 cup cashew cream (recipe below)
1 tsp. lemon juice
1 tbs. chives, chopped

Trim the lobster mushrooms, reserve and set aside the best reddish parts for the garnish. Cut the rest of the mushrooms into thin slices.

Over medium/high heat add the oil in a large pot and when it's nice and hot, cook the mushroom slices for 3-4 minutes until you start to see some color. Add the onions, garlic, leeks and celery until the onions are translucent, then stir in the tomato paste and mix well. After another 2 minutes of cooking and stirring, remove the pan from the heat and stir in the cognac. Return the pan to the heat and scrape the beautiful fond off the bottom of the pan. Add the water and bouquet garni, season with salt and pepper, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer over low heat for 20-25 minutes.

Remove the bouquet garni, and carefully add the mushroom & vegetable mixture to a high-speed blender and process until smooth. Return the mixture to the pot and stir in the cashew cream (recipe below), and bring it all to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for another 20 minutes.

While that's cooking, take the reserved "red" lobster mushroom pieces and saute with a little olive oil, salt and pepper until nice and crisp.

Check the bisque for seasoning, stir in the lemon juice and garnish with the chives and lobster mushroom slices.

Cashew Cream

1 cup of water
1/2 cup of raw cashews
pinch of salt

Add the water, cashews and salt to a high speed blender and process until smooth. You may need to play with the water/cashew ratio until you get the desired consistency of heavy cream. Run the mixture through a medium strainer to remove any chunks that may remain.

As for the fondue, all that was missing was the white shag carpet ;)

The fondue ratio was 50% Teese, with the 20% Gouda, 20% Smoked Cheddar and 10% Blue Sheese mixed in. The trick is to use a microplane zester to put in the Sheese, so it'll melt. Also added to the party was a garlic clove, white wine, salt, pepper and a pinch of nutmeg.

And melt it did. The sterno kept the mixture bubbling along, coating the fixings (cubed pieces of Foccacia that Liz made earlier in the day, soy sausages, Melrose apples from our trip to Beckwith's Orchard last Saturday, and lightly roasted cauliflower)

For dessert, Liz knocked out a Meyer Lemon Cheesecake, a straight ahead, no-bake cheesecake that used Follow Your Heart soy cream cheese, sugar, the juice and zest of a Meyer lemon, vanilla extract, with some soyatoo whipped cream folded in. The crust was vanilla wafers, soy margarine and brown sugar.

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