Lou & Lucy’s Leftovers
If you are reading this I guess the world didn’t end like the Mayan calendar predicted. Now we can move on and finish preparing for the holidays.
Don’t ask me why, but I already baked my cookies before the world was to end. A lot of work for nothing if the world had ended.
I was glad I had finished my leftovers from a recent dinner party. They were too good to be allowed to turn into ashes.
In a convoluted fashion, this brings me to my actual subject. Mushrooms. I made a chanterelle compote to go alongside the beef tenderloin roast I had cooked. May I say it was really kinda special. It called for 2 pounds of chanterelles. (I used a mix of chanterelles and shiitakes.) The golden trumpet-shaped wild mushroom. Pricey? Yes. Worth it? Most definitely. (Especially if the world is going to end.)
I hadn’t had chanterelles for years. I don’t see them very often on this side of the bridge. I found them at Whole Foods, thankfully, because I had my mind set on this recipe. I spotted it in a copy of Wine Spectator I snagged off the freebie table at work.
It was fairly simple to make — 3 tablespoons of finely chopped shallots steeped in ¼ cup white wine and 2 teaspoons of tarragon vinegar (I just used a sprig of fresh tarragon and white wine vinegar) with ¼ pound of the chanterelles, chopped, and a teaspoon of minced garlic. Reduce by more than half, cool slightly, then blend in 3 tablespoons of butter. Reserve. Saute the remaining 1¾ pounds of the sliced chanterelles and shiitakes in 3 tablespoons of butter on high heat for 1 to 2 minutes, then add 3 julienned red peppers, 3 seeded and julienned serrano chiles, 12 julienned scallions and a teaspoon of minced garlic. Cook till the vegetables soften and remove from the pan. Add 1 cup beef broth and reduce by half. Add the reserved shallot/mushroom liquid combined with the mushrooms and other vegetables. That’s pretty much it. Serve it alongside the meat.
Next time the world is supposed to end I will still make the cookies just in case and spring for the fancy mushrooms. You only live once, after all.
Weird that you associated the end of the world with mushrooms.
Back in the day when those fun-loving Manhattan Project scientists were working on building the atomic bomb, they all had a very expensive lunch, courtesy of our tax dollars, consisting of beef tenderloin and duxelles. They were so smitten with the mushroom sauce that they thought it would be a hoot to have the atom bomb cloud form what looked like a mushroom.
Thus the phrase “mushroom cloud.”
Richard Feynman wanted the shape to be a bongo drum but Robert Oppenheimer overruled him.
You can look it up. Or not.
P.S. Happy Holidays from both of us.