Pinot Noir Marinated Portobellos – 2016 SLH Pinot Noir
This is a riff on a sandwich I did for a restaurant many years ago. The mushroom flavor goes well with the savory notes of this Pinot Noir. Originally, the mushrooms were served on a brioche bun with a little homemade mayonnaise, a couple slices of ripe late season tomato, and some butter leaf lettuce. You could also slice the mushroom like a steak or cut it into cubes and grill it. It would go well with farro with sautéed or grilled radicchio and gently sautéed carrots chunks.
4 large Portobello mushrooms, stems removed and saved for something else. If the gills are dark, remove them using a spoon or table knife. Hopefully you selected Portobellos that have pale pinkish gills and a decurved cap lip, so this will not be necessary*
½ C good quality red wine vinegar
½ C +2 tablespoons River Road Pinot Noir
½ C light flavored EVOO or grape seed or avocado oil
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary needles, minced
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, minced
2-3 medium cloves garlic, finely sliced or minced
Salt and pepper to taste
Water if needed
In a non-reactive bowl, combine vinegar, wine, herbs, salt and pepper, and garlic, and whisk violently to thoroughly combine. Allow to macerate 20 minutes.
Whisk in the oil in a thin steady stream, or use an immersion blender. This will yield what is known as a “slack” dressing and will not fully emulsify due to the ratio of oil to acid. Taste the dressing, and if it is really sharp add a little water to take the edge off.
Put mushrooms into a non-reactive container that will hold the mushrooms closely. Drizzle with dressing, getting them wet, but not submerging them. Roll the container around so the mushrooms are totally coated I dressing. Cover and refrigerate 30 minutes. Check to see how fast the fungi are absorbing marinade. If a lot of marinade is gone, add more, tossing to get all of the mushroom coated.
Check after another ½ hour. Then, allow two hours of marination, but don’t exceed 6 hours or the mushrooms will start breaking down.
When ready to cook, remove mushrooms from marinade and preheat oven to 425°F. When oven is hot, put mushrooms into oven-proof pans (pie wans work well here). Put in the center of the oven and cook 12-15 minutes until tender.
Serve hot as mentioned, use sliced into ribbons for pasta, or cool and slice for panini with buffalo mozzarella and tomato. These mushrooms are great in salads, and work well ground up as a stuffing or in pasta.
Chef’s Notes: *Slice stems thinly lengthwise, then dry in an oven with pilot or set on lowest setting. Powder the dried stems and use with bread crumbs to coat things like chops, or use to add umami flavor to vegetable stocks and soups. Dark gills and a flat top are sure signs of age in a mushroom and will yield a mushroom with a bitter flavor.
Source: Chef Andrew E Cohen