The Ardent Epicure

An Ode to the Pleasures of Food

 Crimini Mushroom and Plum Wine Consommé

As some of you may already know this is my first piece as a
Contributor to Honest Cooking the Food Magazine. Please stop by
and say hello, you will find a glorious variety of recipes, food news,
articles and so much more. So please join me...

I chose a Classic French starter the Consommé with just a few minor
changes :) You are more apt to find this dish served as a beef or even
chicken soup or broth, and likely during a five to seven course menu.
Today however we are going to create a wonderful vegetarian version...

What you will need:
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, halved
2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar, halved
8 ounces crimini mushrooms, sliced
1 large onion, sliced
1 large shallots, sliced
5 cups vegetable broth, chilled
2 cups plum wine, chilled
2 tablespoons butter
4-5 sprigs thyme
2-3 sprigs tarragon
2 sprigs meadow rue, optional
1 teaspoon pepper corns, whole
A pinch of sea salt, course
3 medium tomatoes, chopped
1/2 head celery, chopped
4 ounces carrots, chopped
1/2 ounce ginger, sliced
4-5 egg whites
Large sock pot, large sauté pan, food processor,
fine mesh sieve and cheese cloth
Optional garnishes:
1 large leek, sliced and par boiled
2 baby carrots, shaved and par boiled
Finishing salt to taste

Let's get cooking:
Begin by slicing mushrooms, onions and shallots as uniformly as possible.
 Heat half of the olive oil in a sauté pan and the other half in a stock pot. Place
 mushrooms in a single layer into the sauté pan while placing onions and shallots into
 the stock pot. Caramelize these on each side for about 2 minutes without stirring. 
Set aside and allow stock pot to cool.

Place broth, wine, butter, salt, pepper corns, herbs, mushrooms and onions/shallots
 in a cooled stock pot and set aside.

Place chopped tomatoes, celery, carrots and ginger in a food processor until finely 
chopped. Place egg whites in a large mixing bowl and whip slightly, add vegetables 
and mix until incorporated.

Add this mixture to the chilled broth mixture then bring to a boil stirring frequently. 
Once the mixture has come to a full boil, reduce heat to low and allow to simmer until 
liquid has reduced by at least 1/3 for a single Consommé or by 1/2 for a double 
Consommé (preferred). You will begin to see a foamy crust layer at the top, do not
 stir or disrupt this foam know as a raft. Continuing to simmer for 1 to 1 1/2 hours uncovered.

Once your liquid has reduced by at least 1/3 you can push aside a small are of the raft
 with a spoon for a taste test. Continue to reduce further if desired.

Now that you have reached your desired taste and consistency, begin by pushing 
aside your raft and ladling out your broth into a fine mesh sieve placed over a large
 bowl. Continue this process until you have removed all of your base broth.

Taking another large bowl repeat this filtering process until you have a clear broth. 
Generally  about 4 times. Then for final clarification process take your clean sieve and
place a double layer of cheese cloth over it, running your broth though this to remove
any final impurities replacing cheese cloth as necessary.

Return your clarified broth to a clean pot and keep very hot until ready to serve, 
adding desired garnishes just before serving.

Get this look:
It is best to sever this dish in warmed or heated bowls and severed immediately.
 And for both a lovely presentation in addition to a functional way to keep the bowls
 hot, try using a larger serving bowl filled with stones then placing a smaller dish of
the Consommé on top. These rocks can be purchased at any gardening center.

Alisha ~ Magic of Spice

My Menu On Honest Cooking

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