The Ardent Epicure

An Ode to the Pleasures of Food

 Roasting Up Blue Foots and Other Goodies

Happy 2013 everybody! I am wondering how long it will take to get used to writing 
that. It always seems that it takes me several months with each new year.

And since we are starting off a new year, we tend to want to follow a more
healthy approach to daily life. Not that there is ever a shortage of fresh
fruits and vegetables around here, roasted and otherwise.

But then again, my intense love of cheese, butter and cream is probably
no secret either. So for my first post of the year, we are going 
to stick with my favorite cooking technique for fall and winter...Roasting!

It all starting with a trip to Whole Foods that my son and I took after work.
It was a Friday and our shop does not close until eight. So a late evening
trip it was going to be. They were having a sale on  Dungeness crab and
Truffle Shuffle aka Adam, was in hot pursuit. 

Sadly not a crab in sight, so the poor guy had to settle on a smoked duck.
Now while there was a good deal of brooding going on in the sea food section.
I was of course playing with mushrooms :) And to my delight, the pretty specimens
were in reach, maybe not so much price wise, but hey it was the holidays.

Yes these lovelies are Blue Foot mushrooms, a cultivated variety of the wild
blewit. I have yet to personalty try a blewit as they primarily grow in France.
But I did read somewhere that they can also be found growing in Coastal
Northern California. A considerably shorter trip for me, but still out of reach
none the less. 

The mushrooms have a smooth velvety feel and are meaty, similar in density
to the King Oyster. They hold up beautifully in just about any dish, with a
earthy flavor and delicate texture. They are sent to be milder in flavor that,
their wild counter part, but I found them fully flavorful with a deep
woodsy aroma.

And you know how I can not resist grabbing a variety of fresh goodies, I though
these gorgeous red apples would add a wonderful texture along with a bit of
extra sweetness.

What you will need:
1/4 pound blue foot mushrooms
2 fennel bulbs 
1 pound haricots verts
2-3 large apples
2-3 tablespoons sunflower oil
1/2 teaspoon  freshly ground Tellicherry peppercorns
1/4 teaspoon fennel salt

Let's get cooking:
Starting with the mushrooms, remove any debris with a dry pastry brush.
Slice mushrooms in half or thirds for larger ones.  Place mushrooms in
a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. 
Brush mushrooms with oil and cover mushrooms loosely with foil.

Begin roasting mushrooms in a pre-heated oven at 425 degrees F 
for about 20 minutes, turning them midway though roasting time.

While your mushrooms are roasting, prepare fennel and apples
by slicing each into 1/4 inch slices. Remove the mushrooms
from the oven, push them off to one side making sure not to overlap.

Place fennel, apples and haricots verts onto the baking sheet
with the mushrooms. Brush with remaining oil, adding more if
desired. Toss beans to make sure oil is distributed well.

Sprinkle with fennel salt and pepper. Cover beans loosely with foil.
Place baking sheet back into the oven and continue baking for
an additional 25-30 minutes removing the foil from the beans
and turning vegetable and apples midway through cooking time.

*Note: The Blue Foot mushrooms should be thoroughly cooked
prior to eating.

Serves 4

Alisha~Magic of Spice

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