Monday, March 11, 2013

Roasted Parsnip Vichyssoise with Mirin Glazed Shiitake Mushrooms and Savory Parmesan Hazelnut Lace Cookies

It's early spring and yesterday was the first nice day we have had in a very long time.  The sun was shining and the temperatures crept into the low 60's.  Perfect weather for an outdoor luncheon for Heidi's birthday!

This time of year can be tricky when trying to choose seasonal food.  It's a little early for much of the spring produce that will explode onto the grocery stands in about a month, and there is still a bit of winter chill in the air.  So I was thinking about making a dish that straddles that winter/spring line and thought Vichyssoise!

Vichyssoise (vee- shee- swahz) is the classic leek and potato soup, often served chilled, but it is also very good served warm.  But here is the sad thing about this delicious soup.  It is made with leeks.  Now I love leeks, but they don't like me.  They give me, ...well, there is no polite way to say this, they give me gas.

So since I was playing around with the idea of French-Pacific-Northwest- Asian fusion I made up this version of vichyssoise without leeks.  I substituted half the potatoes with Parsnip, substituted the leeks with garlic, and roasted all the vegetables in the oven to bring out their natural sweetness.  The result is fantastic.  The earthy flavors of the soup paired wonderfully with the shiitake mushrooms which were quickly sauteed in butter and deglazed with sweet mirin rice wine.  And the crispy thin savory lace cookie was fantastic!

Best of all this soup was really quick and easy to prepare!

Roasted Parsnip Vichyssoise with Mirin Glazed Shiitake Mushrooms and Savory Parmesan Hazelnut Lace Cookies
serves 8

For the Soup
14 oz parsnip, peeled and cut into chunks
14 oz yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
5 large cloves of garlic. peeled
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp sea salt
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp honey
4 cups chicken (or vegetable) stock
1 cup heavy cream
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Place the parsnip, potato and garlic cloves in a medium glass baking pan, season with thyme and sea salt.  Toss with olive oil and honey and bake for one hour.

Place hot roasted vegetables in a large pot and add chicken (or vegetable ) stock and bring to a simmer.  Simmer for 30 minutes to soften vegetables.

Puree stock and vegetables with an immersion blender.  Add cream and stir until well mixed.  Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.

Serve hot or cold  garnished with a spoonful of Mirin-glazed Shiitake mushrooms.

For the Mirin-glazed Shiitake mushrooms
3 Tbsp unsalted butter
12 oz. shiitake mushrooms, stems removed caps sliced thinly
1/8 tsp salt
3 Tbsp Mirin (Japanese sweetened rice wine)
2-3 drops black truffle oil (optional)

Melt butter in a skillet.  Add mushrooms and saute over medium heat until caramelized (about 20 minutes).  Add salt and Mirin and cook until liquid is reduced to a glaze (about 3 minutes). Add truffle oil and toss to mix.

For the savory parmesan hazelnut lace cookies
1 1/4 cups coarsely grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup hazelnuts, coarsely chopped

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Combine cheese and hazelnuts in a large bowl and toss to combine well. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Sprinkle about 1 1/2 Tbsp of the cheese nut mixture into 3-inch cookies.  Bake until cheese is melted and golden, about 5 minutes.  Cool on wire racks.

These savory cookiescan be made ahead of time and stored in an airtight container.  Then just reheat on parchment at 350 for about 2 minutes to re-crisp.

No comments:

Post a Comment