Normally, when we have friends over for dinner, I spend a few days carefully planning what I am going to make. I love that process, poring through my cookbooks to get inspirations, reading my recipes over and over, thinking of who is coming and what I think they might like.
Not so yesterday. Our friends were invited to dinner last-minute, and we went to the market after lunch, which for me means, no inspiration whatsoever. I mean, I’m stuffed, I’m not thinking of what I want to make for dinner???
This whole dish was inspired by Paolo’s choice of wild mushrooms. There were some beautiful chanterelles, and he asked me if I could make a dish out of one of his favorites mushrooms. So, I started wracking my brain, and normally when I think wild mushrooms, I think game meats or beef. But we had a large chunk of meat for lunch, so that was out of the question. He suggested seafood, and I thought, ok, my version of surf and turf!
I am quite impressed how well this turned out, none of the flavors masked the other, rather, the briny shrimp paired perfectly with the sautéed chanterelles, over an individual “Pommes Anna” laced with a sultry porcini sauce. Everyone said that this should be my signature dish, and I agree.
This dish is very simple to prepare. It just takes a bit of organization. But totally worth it!
So here’s what you’re going to need:
1 large russet potato
400 g fresh chanterelle mushrooms
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
20-25 large shrimp, head on
1/4 cup olive oil
4 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 porcini stock cube, or pre-soaked dried porcini, reserve them for later, and use the soaking liquid about 1 1/2 cups
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp instant cornstarch
Salt and Pepper to taste
First, pre-heat the oven to 200 C.
In a bowl, add the shrimp with a couple of sprigs of thyme, the olive oil and Worcestershire sauce. Mix well and refrigerate and marinate them for at least 30 minutes, up to two hours.
Oil a baking sheet, set aside. Slice the potato really thinly with a mandoline (if you have one). Soak the potatoes in salted water while you are slicing so they won’t turn brown. Rinse and pat dry, and make individual round “cakes”, layering the potatoes in a circle on top of each other, overlapping. Place on the oiled baking sheet and put a pat of butter, salt and pepper on each. Lower the heat to 190 C, and place in the oven and cook until golden and crispy, about 15 minutes.
In a stockpot, place 1 1/2 cups of water and the porcini stockcube. (If you don’t have it, add the drained soaking liquid from the dry porcinis.) Heat to high, and add the butter. When it is boiling, reduce the heat and add the cornstarch. Cook, stirring until it thickens. Keep warm.
In the meantime, add half a tablespoon of oil to a large sauté pan over high heat, Add the garlic cloves and the chanterelle mushrooms and cook for about 7-8 minutes, until the mushrooms are fully cooked. Add a little salt and pepper, and place in a heat proof bowl and put them in the oven.
Drain the shrimp,and discard the thyme sprigs, leaving only about 1 tbsp of oil and sauce. Add that to the same sauté pan, and over high heat. When it is almost smoking, add the shrimp and sauté, tossing, for about 5 minutes until the shrimp start to curl and are fully cooked.
To assemble the dish, place the potato round on the plate. Top with some of the sautéed chanterelle mushrooms, then 5 shrimp arranged over the chanterelle. Spoon some of the porcini sauce over the shrimp, mushrooms and potatoes.
You are going to love it!
From my kitchen to yours,