Je suis désolé.
I feel this new post and recipe are long overdue and I thank you for your tweets and emails asking me when Frenchie and the Yankee would be back and if I was taking a break.
The truth is I have been involved in a new project taking pictures for a client who hired my services to update their website.
A first for me! And an exciting first I should add.
I can’t let you know quite yet what it is for and who it is, but once the pictures are visible online, you will be the first to know.
For now, I can only show you a bit of the fun I’ve been involved with for the past couple of weeks with this collage below.
These are some of the pictures from the project – products hidden, of course.
At the same time, I have been furiously planning a vacation coming up which will take me from the Napa and San Francisco area to the Costa Blanca of Spain from Alicante to Barcelona.
It’s wedding season and these are 2 weddings I am very much looking forward to attend.
While I know San Francisco very well, it will be my first trip to Napa as well as Spain – I’m not counting the one day spent in Figueres when I was 12.
So if you have any tips, tricks, addresses and unknown places from the majority of tourists to share with me, please feel free to include something in the comments section.
I am all ears and welcome any suggestions.
When my friends “A. and B.” asked me to stop by so I could see how their new twins have grown since the last time I visited, I did not expect for them to introduce me to trumpet mushrooms.
Cooking and eating them was that much fun.
And with several vegetarian out-of-town guests coming my way, I knew the next recipe must be a vegetarian recipe.
Trumpet mushrooms are also known as King Trumpet or French Horn.
En français, des pleurotes.
And what better way to serve them to vegetarians as “fake scallops” with a lemon caper cream.
The aromatic bitter hints from the ajwain seeds (also known as carom seeds) mixed with the gomasio and nutmeg add an extra layer of flavor to the dish.
A bit crunchy and eye-catching with the black spots on top.
And since one of my favorite thing to do is to pan-sear scallops with vanilla, it only made sense to include nutmeg in this recipe pairing deliciously with the mushrooms.
It took me a while to be happy with the cream sauce.
Too much of, too little of etc.
The final result is a perfect combination of shallots and capers with a seasoned lemony and creamy finish.
A new favorite.
And the texture… just like scallops!
I promise a full report on California and Spain with pictures and new food inspirations.
A bientôt !
Pan-Seared Trumpet Mushroom with Mace Brown Butter Lemon Caper Cream
1 teaspoon of ajwain seeds (replace with dry parsley or thyme if necessary)
1 teaspoon of black gomasio (as in black sesame seeds and sea salt)
1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground nutmeg
3 Tbsp (42.5 g) of butter
1 Tbsp of whole mace
1 big shallot – finely chopped
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1/4 cup (50 ml) of dry white wine
1 Tbsp of capers – roughly chopped
2 Tbsp of Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon of Szechuan peppercorns (replace with black peppercorns if necessary) – crushed with a pestle and mortar
1/2 teaspoon of sea salt
3-4 Tbsp of olive oil
3-4 medium trumpet mushroom – cut 3/4 in. (1.9 cm) thick
Optional: 1/4 teaspoon of lime zest
First, start by making the topping. In a medium pan, dry roast the ajwain seeds on high heat for 2 minutes.
In a small bowl, mix the gomasio, ground nutmeg and the roasted ajwain seeds. Set aside.
Prepare the brown butter ahead as well.
Melt 2 Tbsp (28 g) of the butter – set aside the remaining 1 Tbsp (14.5 g) for now – in a small sauce pan. When the butter is almost melted, add the mace and continue to melt the butter until it turns light brown and the mace starts to make a bit of noise as it gets softer.
Pour the mace brown butter in a small bowl and set aside. Let the mace release its flavor for at least 30 minutes in the brown butter.
In the same medium pan used to roast the ajwain seeds, melt the remaining 1 Tbsp (14.5 g) of butter.
Add the chopped shallot and cook for 2 minutes.
Add the lemon juice and the wine. Continue cooking for 4 minutes while gently mixing the sauce in the pan.
Add the capers and keep cooking for another 1 minute. Keep stirring.
When the sauce is done, set aside in a medium bowl.
To finish preparing the mace brown butter lemon caper cream, pour the mace brown butter through a strainer in the medium bowl with the lemon caper sauce to remove the mace pieces. Mix well.
Add the Greek yogurt, the ground Szechuan peppers as well as the sea salt and stir.
Pour the olive oil over the mushroom in a big bowl and mix well with your hands. They need to be well coated and absorb the oil.
Warm a big pan on high heat. When smoke comes out of the pan and when it’s really hot, set the mushroom discs in the pan. Allow to sear for 2 minutes.
Flip the discs and continue searing for another 2 minutes.
When ready, serve the “vegetarian scallops” aka trumpet mushrooms on top of a dollop of the sauce, or next to the sauce.
Sprinkle the slices of mushroom with the gomasio mix and a bit of lime zest.