Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Wine Cap and Gingered 
Hash Brown Cakes

This recipe, adapted from Antonio Carluccio's treasure of a recipe book "The Complete Mushroom Book: The Quiet Hunt"  is basically a hash brown cake with sauteed Wine Cap spooned on top. Wine Caps harvested as buttons and quartered make for a crisp yet succulent topping; a vegetable in its own right. Wine Caps keep the dark red color and white solid stems, and the taste and texture are mildly reminiscent, at least in this recipe, of a tender bok choy. If you are in a hurry and don't want to mess with cutting potatoes into sticks, you could even make it with bagged frozen hash brown potatoes. Working with these beautiful mushrooms though, (not to mention new potatoes from your garden) is utterly satisfying in its own right.

Wine Cap and Gingered Hash Brown Cakes
Serves 4

For the mushrooms:

1 1/4 c quartered fresh Wine Cap mushrooms, preferably buttons
4 T olive oil or butter
large clove of garlic, minced
pinch of ground red pepper flakes
3 T chopped chives or green onion
salt and pepper to taste
3 T chopped cilantro or parsley for garnish

For the hash brown cakes:

2 1/4 lb Yukon Gold, red potatoes, or similar variety, cut in thin strips or grated on large hole of a box grater for a more homey presentation
2 oz fresh peeled ginger, cut or grated as above
8 T oil , divided
Fresh lemon or lime to squeeze on cakes to taste


Clean, trim, quarter (or slice if you have more open caps) Winecaps. You can use the stem as long as it is tender and solid. Heat the olive oil or butter in a frying pan and add onion/chives, garlic, and red pepper flakes; saute until just tender. Add mushrooms and saute until mushrooms are cooked through. Season to taste and keep warm until potatoes are cooked.

For the cakes, pat sliced or grated potatoes and ginger with a towel and lightly salt. Divide in two portions. Heat half the oil in the fry pan and mound the mixture in the center and flatten to a pancake. Cook on a medium to medium low flame for about 10 minutes, flip onto a dinner plate, add the remaining oil and slide the uncooked side of the cake onto the hot pan, cooking another 10 minutes or until golden. Do the same with both potato portions. Lift the cakes with a spatula onto a serving platter and spoon mushroom mixture on top, garnishing with lemon or lime slices and cilantro.

To further impress yourself or anyone else who approaches with a fork, serve with a crisp chilled white wine or cold summer shandy beer. Perfect.

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