Looks pretty amazing does it not?
I love mushrooms, it’s one of my favorite ingredient to cook. They are fast, they pretty much go with anything you mix them with and there are so many to choose from! I’m partial to the wild variety, which are often more flavorful. After many years of cooking them I learn to never rinse mushrooms in water, they will absorb water and turn mushy when you cook them. So the best way to prepare them is to wipe them off. Dried mushrooms are great substitutes for fresh and the soaking liquid can add more flavor to any dish.
And knowing all of this I decided to try my hand at creating the perfect little bite for a dinner party.
I ended up with a powerful small morsel, full of bold flavor, with a fun twist.
The Mushroom Ragu is a blend of wild mushrooms: Baby Bella, Oyster, Portobello and Shiitake mushrooms with the bold taste of dried Cremini mushrooms along with their soaking liquid. I wanted to have the flavorful Ragu pair with a crispy bite, and along came the idea of a rice cake. Made with Basmati rice cooked in Pacific Foods Organic Free Range Chicken Broth into a creamy consistency then sauté to golden brown.
When put together it creates the perfect little appetizer for any dinner party.
For the Rice Cake:
- 1 Tablespoon of butter
- 2 Tablespoon dice shallot
- 1 Cup basmati rice
- 2 Cups of Pacific Foods Organic Free Range Chicken Broth (low sodium or regular)
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 Egg (beaten)
- 2 Tablespoon of chopped parsley
- 2 Tablespoon of Parmesan cheese
For the Mushroom Ragu (you can cook this ahead and then warm up when ready to serve):
- 4 Tablespoon of Olive oil
- ½ Cup of hot Pacific Foods Organic Vegetable Broth (for soaking the dry mushrooms)
- 4 ounces of dry crimini mushrooms
- 2 Tablespoon of butter (unsalted)
- 2 Tablespoon yellow onion (about half of a medium onion), minced
- 2 Tablespoons garlic (about 3-4 cloves), minced
- 8-ounces of wild mushrooms mix: Baby Bella, Oyster, Portobello and Shiitake (you can use any other kind or preferences) remove the stems, wipe clean and sliced.
- 3 Tablespoon of dry white wine
- 1 Tablespoon each finely chopped fresh oregano, rosemary and thyme.
- ½ Cup of heavy whipping cream
- ¼ Cup of shredded gruyere cheese
- salt and freshly ground pepper to taste (you may use more, so taste the dish in different stages of cooking)
- 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh parsley for decoration
- Line a baking pan with parchment paper or silpat
- Heat the butter in a medium pot over medium heat, add the chopped shallots and cook until translucent. Add the rice and stir until coated with the butter. Add the Pacific Foods Organic Free Range Chicken Broth and bay leaf. Cover and simmer slowly for 20 minutes, until the broth is fully absorbed. The rice should look like a paste when done.
- Transfer the rice to a bowl and let it cool until is warm to the touch. At this point mix in the parley, the beaten egg and the cheese.
- Spread the rice mixture on baking pan, spreading it into an even layer about ½ inch thick. Cover with another sheet of parchment paper and refrigerate overnight.
- When ready to make the rice cake. Take cold rice out of the refrigerator and with a 1 ½ -inch cookie cutter cut rounds and place in a plate. Let them sit out about 15 minutes before you cook them.
- Start with soaking the dry crimini mushroom in the hot Pacific Foods Organic Vegetable Broth, put aside for about 5 minutes, then drain (reserved the liquid) and sliced.
- In a medium sauté pan, over medium-high heat, add the butter and olive oil and let it get hot. Add the onions and garlic and cook for about 2 minutes (make sure the garlic does not burn). Add the slice mushrooms, including the crimini as well and sauté. Season with salt and pepper and taste – if it needs more add more. Cook the mushrooms until they begin to sweat and turn a deep brown. They need to lose some of their own juices, and be a bit dry before you start to add the liquids.
- Add the white wine and let it evaporate. Add the reserved Pacific Foods Organic Vegetable Broth liquid and cook a bit more until it reduces almost to half. At this point add the fresh herbs and mix. Add the cream and bring to a simmer and let it reduce to about a third. Taste, and if needed add a bit more of salt and pepper.
- At this point add the shredded gruyere and mix until melted. Take off the heat and put aside.
To put the bites together:
- Take the rice cakes and place on a serving plate/platter, Top each cake with a dollop of the Mushroom Ragu. Garnish with some of the fresh parsley and served.