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29 Sep 2009

Dark Tones of Flavors

Yesterday night I thought of pushing my sauce experimentations using some Zinfandel from California. During my last catered dinner, I came in touch with Shiitake mushrooms for the first time and I thought that their decisive taste could compliment well the red wine. So here we go:

Zinfandel-Shiitake cream sauce

- 1cup Zinfandel wine;
- Few pieces of sliced cooked ham;
- 1 three fingers pinch of sugar;
- 6 dried Shiitake mushrooms;
- Ca 1tbsp heavy cream;
- Few drops of Worcestershire sauce;
- Salt and pepper.

To start with, soak the mushrooms in 1 cup of warm water, cover and let them aside. In the meantime, start reducing the wine with the ham and the sugar. When the wine would have reached 1/3 of a cup in volume, discard the ham from the saucepan, add the cream and let reduce slightly. By now the mushrooms should be ready, chop them in quarters. Add the mushrooms and the sifted soaking water to the saucepan and reduce back to roughly 1/3 cup of liquid; season with the Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper (and a splash of fresh wine).

This sauce is perfect with rough pasta like Spaetzle but since I cannot eat much wheat, I opted for some potato gnocchi.

The sauce came out quite interesting, it had some truffle tones that were quite appealing so, today I decided to include the same sauce in my lunch. This time the meal was protein based: Scrambled eggs soufflé with herrings in Zinfandel-Shiitake cream sauce.
Yummers! Pity that the dish was too small, sigh! The saltiness of the herrings was complimenting the fluffy neutral nature of the eggs; the sauce linked the two with its richness and tangy feel.

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