Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Le beurre et l'argent du beurre

The French really know their food. They are renowned for their amazing culinary arts and creations. One of my favourite French dishes is a French pasta.

For this dish, you will need a mixture of Portobello and white button mushrooms.

Side Note: I have heard of people not washing their mushrooms and cleaning them simply by brushing off the dirt. I think that is absolutely disgusting. I wash my mushrooms just before use and they always turn out properly!

Chop your washed mushrooms thoroughly and sauté them with a little bit of olive oil, sea salt, freshly-cracked black pepper, oregano and chili flakes (optional). You will need more mushrooms than you think, so don't be afraid to fill your pan generously. Also, you really do not need much oil for this process.

Hint: To help your mushrooms release their water, cover the pot at the beginning of the cooking process, so that the steam produced will quicken their cooking.

Once cooked, your sautéed mushrooms should look like the picture below. You want to leave some liquid in the pan, as you will use some of it in the dish.

Next comes the butter. Remember that this is French fare. Therefore, butter is a requirement and not a choice. I prefer to use salted butter for this part.

Take a good knob of butter and slowly melt it in a pot. We are creating a "beurre noisette", which literally means hazelnut butter.

The butter will quickly melt and look like the picture below. Do not stop here! We are browning butter and not just melting it. Save this version for your popcorn.

Slowly, the butter will start to develop a brownish color with some small grainy bits. The beurre noisette is going to provide a nutty and more complex flavour to the recipe.

Finally, it's time for the pasta. You want to purchase an egg-based lasagna sheet-type pasta. This pasta has a wonderful golden color and a heavy texture.

Boil the pasta in salted water and according to the directions to make it al dente, or firm to the tooth.

Hint: Add a little olive oil or butter to the water, before putting in your pasta, to prevent it from sticking together.

Take one sheet of pasta on a plate.

Place a layer of the sautéed mushrooms on top.

Cover the mushrooms with another layer of pasta.

Now drizzle a little beurre noisette on the top layer and garnish with a few mushrooms.

You will die after eating this! (In a good way.)



    Thank you Asif!!! I'm coming to your house for dinner!!

  2. Zia, You can come over any time! Let me know how yours turns out!