This was an experiment that resulted in something a little unusual, but really interesting. The mushroom and chestnut puree was the thing that drew the more conventional ingredients together.
I do like to try interesting combinations of ingredients. Usually they do not work out so well, but every so often one does. I had tried this chestnut and mushroom puree in different settings (e.g. with fish). It didn’t work. But I liked the puree itself so I persevered. The roasted potatoes, roasted garlic, and asparagus allows the chestnut and mushroom puree to shine. These other ingredients are not just for show though… the baby potatoes are roasted with the assistance of butter and parmesan cheese, and the garlic… I hope you can get these really huge cloves. Roasted for an hour they are so sweet and delicious. If you cannot get this special type of garlic, use normal roasted garlic.
Chestnut and mushroom puree, roasted baby potatoes, roasted garlic
- 1 Tbsp butter
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion
- 1 leek
- 4 cloves garlic
- 200 g shiitake mushrooms
- 150 g enoki mushrooms
- 1 jar dried porcini mushrooms
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup milk
- 200 g jar of prepared chestnuts
- 1 sprig thyme
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 8 baby potatoes
- 20 g butter
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan
- 8 cloves garlic – the LARGE cloves
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- pinch of salt and pepper
- 1 bunch Asparagus
- Enoki mushroom tops
- 10 g butter
Chestnut ad mushroom purée
- Melt the butter in a large saucepan along with the olive oil.
- Clean any grit from the shiitake mushrooms and chop coarsely, stalks included.
- Cut the course gritty bottom off the enoki mushrooms. Then cut the cute tops off and reserve for the garnish. Retain the centre stalks of the mushrooms to add to the broth.
- Add the dried porcini to a cup of warm water and allow to sit for 10 minutes.
- Stir around a bit to loosen any grit.
- Trim and dice the onion and leek. Add the the saucepan and sauté until transparent.
- Crush the garlic and add to the saucepan. Also add the chopped shiitake mushrooms and the enoki mushroom stalks.
- Continue to sauté until the mushrooms have released their moisture, about 10 minutes.
- Add 2 cups water to the saucepan.
- Remove the porcini mushrooms from the soaking water and add them to the saucepan, being careful to leave the grit behind.
- Add the sprig of thyme, salt, and black pepper.
- Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 45 minutes.
- Strain the broth through a fine strainer, fine enough so that any remaining grit from the porcini mushrooms is caught.
- Add 1/2 cup milk to the broth, together with the chestnuts. Blend until smooth. Add more milk if necessary to bring to a sauce like consistency.
- Pre-heat the oven to 180 degC.
- Clean the potatoes well, keeping the skin on.
- Make multiple cuts across each potato, about 5mm apart, and about 3/4 of the way through the potato, being careful not to cut all the way through.
- Force some butter into the cuts.
- Place on a baking tray and bake in the oven for 1 hour.
- Immediately on removal from the oven, sprinkle with freshly grated parmesan.
- Cut the pointy end off each clove of garlic.
- Lay on the baking tray, cut side up.
- Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with a pinch of salt and pepper.
- Roast, along with the potatoes, for 1 hour.
- Stir fry the enoki mushroom tops in butter until starting to brown. Remove and drain on paper towels.
- Stir fry the asparagus in the same butter until the colour brightens but they are still crisp.
- Spread some chestnut and mushroom puree on a plate. Arrange potato and garlic and top with asparagus and enoki mushrooms.