1UP Mushrooms

There once lived a princess who liked pretty things and loved to eat fabulous food. She drank delicious cosmopolitans while bathing in champagne and only dined on white truffles, caviar and uni. And she refused to eat any desserts other than macarons from Laduree. The princess really loved macarons. She also really loved shoes and everything sequin. The princess lived a gluttonous life and was about to learn the repercussions of her fabulous life. One sunny day, the princess put on her favorite green jeans. But to her surprise, she could not zip them. She forced the zipper shut but then it broke. The princess called 911. After a thorough check, the physicians diagnosed her with fatty liver syndrome and a sudden increase in waist size from too much fabulousness. The doctors put the princess on a strict diet of only mushrooms, spinach and potatoes, else her ass would get ginormous that it would need another zipcode. The princess did not want that. So she started her diet. She tried stewing the veggies, roasting it, puree-ing it, and even tried to eat it raw. But it just wasn’t pretty. It was far from fabulous. The princess could not bare this diet any longer. She ordered her elves to bring her some mouth-watering macarons from Laduree. However, as she was about to eat a macaron, the princess had a fabulous idea. A mushroom macaron with potato and spinach puree filling? The princess put her elves to work immediately! And voila!

The princess loved the mushroom macarons that looked like the supermario 1up icon. She was able to stick to her diet and lived happily ever after in her green jeans.

All that was just a joke. Well, kind of. So here is the recipe!

Macarons de Champignon (Mushroom Macaroons)

So the real story behind this recipe is that I placed #2 in culinary school with this as one of my many side dishes to my beautiful seabass. The French didn’t see it as a macaron but more of a burger…

MAKES 8 PIECES

INGREDIENTS:
16 medium sized white mushrooms

2 medium size potatoes peeled, cut into 1” cubes
3½ cups (¼ pound) of loosely packed spinach leaves

¼ cup of mascarpone cheese
2 tablespoons of oil (vegetable or peanut)

2 tablespoons of unsalted butter

1 tablespoon of chives, chopped

Salt and freshly ground pepper

A pinch of nutmeg

PREPARATION OF THE FILLING:
Put the peeled and cut potatoes in a medium size pot and add cold water so the potatoes are completely submerged. Add a teaspoon of salt and boil until the potatoes can be easily pierced with a fork. About 10-15 minutes.
While the potatoes are cooking, prepare the spinach. In another medium sized pot, heat water and a teaspoon of salt. Once the water starts to boil, add the spinach and cook for about 3 minutes until the spinach is completely wilted. Refresh the spinach in cold water to keep the beautiful green color. Then drain and squeeze out as much of the water as you can. Chop into small pieces. Set aside. When the potatoes are ready, drain and transfer them to a bowl. Mash the potatoes with a fork. Combine the spinach, mascarpone and nutmeg. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Keep warm.

PREPARATION OF MUSHROOMS:
Clean the mushroom caps with a wet paper towel and remove the stalks. Heat oil and butter on medium heat in a large sauté pan. Lay the mushrooms top side down and let it cook for about 5 minutes. The mushrooms will let out water, but do not worry. Turn the mushrooms and cook for another 5 minutes. Turn up the heat to high and turn the mushrooms top side down again. The cooking is finished when all the water has evaporated and the mushrooms are well colored and have a golden hew. About 2 minutes.

ASSEMBLY:
Place a mushroom cap top side down. Take a tablespoon of the filling and place it on top. Then, cover with another mushroom cap. Top with some chopped chives. Repeat the process. Serve as a side dish or individual finger food.

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May 18, 2009. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Magic Shrooms

There are 3 grocery stores in this world that I love to death. Wegman’s in Ithaca, NY. Le Grand Epicerie in Paris. And the grocery section in the Hyndai department store in Seoul. I drop by the GE religiously, that some of the rude French workers have taken a liking to me and greet me in Korean. Weird. But cool. The other day, I couldn’t help myself and bought some yellow oyster mushrooms (pleurots) and tiny mousserons. I know it’s not mushroom season, but they just looked so pretty on display. And I really like pretty things. I came home…abracadabra…et voila!

Sauteed Wild Mushrooms with Creamy Polenta

FOR 4

INGREDIENTS:
1 pound wild mushrooms
1 cup instant cook polenta
3 cup milk (or water)
½ cup grated parmesan cheese
½ cup mascarpone cheese
2 tablespoon oil (vegetable or peanut)
4 tablespoon unsalted butter
3 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

PREPARATION of Polenta:
Heat the milk over high heat. Once the milk comes to a boil, add the polenta and 1 tablespoon of butter. Cook on low heat for about 5 minutes constantly stirring with a wooden spoon. At the end of cooking, incorporate 1 tablespoon of butter, mascarpone and the grated parmesan. Season with salt and pepper. The polenta should be supple and creamy. Keep warm.

PREPARATION of Mushrooms:
Heat the sauté pan with the oil until it is smoking, then add the mushrooms in a single layer. Leave them for about 2 minutes to get the heat back in the pan. Continue frying the mushrooms for another 3 minutes, stirring them a little, until all the juices have evaporated and the mushrooms are well colored. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and let this cook to a nutty brown, about 1 minute, then add the parsley and as soon as the aroma hits you, season with salt and pepper.

FINISH:
Divide the polenta among 4 dishes, then top each with the sautéed mushrooms. Serve and eat immediately.

The dish was almost perfect. Only if they had some Girolles (baby chanterelles)…woulda been perfectly amazing…

May 18, 2009. Mushroom. Leave a comment.

If you make it…they will come

So, a little bit about me.

I moved from NYC to Paris about a year and a half ago to pursue my passion in gastronomy. French gastronomy! I came to France because it has an abundance of everything fabulous, like champagne, Hermes, bearnaise sauce, and unpasturized stinky cheese. But I haven’t been able to find one of the greatest inventions ever, also known as soup dumplings. I have searched chinatown, even asked local chinese with my pathetic French, but no. They just dont make them in France.

They couldn’t be so hard to make. Right?

And about an hour later…VOILA!

They turned out pretty ugly, but the taste was superbe! I plan on perfecting my dumpling pleating skills in the very near future and will post a new set of pictures soon.

The following blog called The Cooking of Joy was extremely helpful. She has some pretty detailed instructions with video. http://the-cooking-of-joy.blogspot.com/2009/01/xiao-long-bao-steamed-soup-dumplings.html

May 17, 2009. Soup Dumplings. Leave a comment.

Pizza Pizza!


Gastronomical travels, j’adore! I just got back from a much needed vacation in Italy and Provence and ate pizza till it hurt! I still have a jillion places to try, but so far, my favorite was at Pizzeria Da Baffetto in Rome. Too bad I was completely enomoured with my food and forgot to take pictures. But here are some delicious pictures of ooey but not so gooey Neapolitan Pizza’s.

Pizzeria Da Michele. The best Marinara in the whole wide world!


Pizzeria La Notizia

On the way back to Paris, I stopped in Provence, in a small village called Mouries. I stayed at the most charming B&B, Mas de Vincent, where I had Flemmekueche or Alsatian Pizza, whatever you want to call it. This was probably the best pizza on the French side of the boarder!

Vacations are so wonderful!

May 9, 2009. Pizza. 1 comment.

The Ultimate Guide to Everything Fabulous!

Food! Food! Food!!!
Welcome to my blog.

I’ll guide you through my fabulous discoveries in everything gastronomical and hope to keep ya’ll entertained.
I’m an American girl living in Paris, trying to uncovering every hidden treasures of French cuisine and just food in general. I love eating, drinking, throwing fabulous dinner parties, gastronomic travels, and of course cooking. I love love love food and everything fabulous. And I hope ya’ll will love everything Jamie as well.

Mille bisous,

May 8, 2009. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.