This is my recreation of a favorite appetizer from Saxon + Parole, the restaurant in NYC that has yet to reopen from the pandemic lockdown. I first had it as part of the tasting menu several years ago, and became obsessed. And I've found that even friends who claim that they "don't like mushrooms" end up loving the dish when I bring it to potlucks and gatherings--something I'm looking forward to after the pandemic ends! —Lampert
- Prep time 10 minutes
- Cook time 2 hours
- Serves 6
Portobello mushroom caps, coarsely chopped
other mushrooms (crimini mushrooms do well, but grab anything)
medium onions, sliced
cloves of garlic, minced/smashed
heavy cream (or half & half)
herbs du Provence (or, for something simpler, use a mix of basil and thyme)
agave (or some other sweetener, if you prefer)
crackers or bread (for serving)
- In a large skillet, heat the butter and 2 Tbsp. of the olive oil; when hot, add the onions and sautee. Ten minutes later, lightly sprinkle with salt. Continue to sauté the onions until they are a rich brown color. During the last three to five minutes, add the garlic and continue to sauté.
- Remove the onions and garlic from the skillet with a slotted spoon; add the remaining 2 Tbsp. of olive oil to the drippings in the pan, and bring back to hot. Add the sliced (non-Portobello) mushrooms and sauté until soft and browned.
- Remove the sliced mushrooms from the pan with a slotted spoon. Add the Portobello mushrooms and sauté until the mushrooms turn dark and expel their liquid (5-10 minutes).
- Add the herbs to the skillet, and continue to sauté for a few minutes; then remove mixture from the pan.
- Deglaze the pan with red wine, scraping the bottom of the pan to loosen anything stuck to the bottom as the wine boils. Continue to simmer until bottom of the pan is relatively clean, and wine has reduced by 1/3 to half.
- Transfer the mushrooms, onion/garlic mixture, and wine to a food processor. Add the heavy cream and 1 Tbsp. of salt (to taste—you can always add more as you’re mixing). Blend the mixture to a smooth paste.
- Transfer the mixture to a large, shallow dish—a 7 or 8-inch pie plate works well—and place in the refrigerator to cool.
- In a small saucepan, combine the bourbon and vegetable broth. Sprinkle the gelatin over the liquid, and allow it to stand for 1 minute.
- Heat the liquid/gelatin mixture over low heat, until the gelatin is fully dissolved (3 to 5 minutes). Remove from heat, add the agave, and allow the mixture to cool for a few minutes.
- Gently pour the gelatin/liquid mixture over the top of the mousse, until the surface is completely covered to a depth of about 1cm; you probably will not use all of the liquid. Return the dish to the refrigerator for at least half an hour to set the gelatin.
- Serve the mousse with crackers or toast points, using a knife to scoop up both mousse and some gelatin topping.