Famed reality TV Chef Rocco Dispirito drops by with these fabulous creations!
• Bouillon of Forest Mushrooms with Sherry
Yield: Serves 4 to 6
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
2 shallots, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
20 ounces fresh cultivated mushrooms, such as white button or cremini
12 ounces fresh wild mushrooms, such as morel, chanterelle, or porcini
1/2 cup port, preferably white port
1 cup chicken stock
3 cups water
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons finely chopped chives
2 tablespoons sherry
Chop cultivated and wild mushrooms together. Cut them any size you like, as long as they fit in a spoon when finished (remember that they will shrink while cooking). Small mushrooms may be used whole.
In a large pot over medium heat, melt butter. Add shallots and garlic, season, and cook until translucent and soft, about 3 minutes. Lower heat and add all mushrooms. Season, cover, and sweat, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms are soft and fragrant, about 20 minutes.
Add port to the pot. Use a wooden spoon to loosen any brown bits from the bottom of the pot. Raise heat to medium and cook 5 to 7 minutes, until very little port is visible. Add chicken stock and water, bring to a boil, then remove pot from the heat. Steep uncovered for 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Ladle bouillon into soup bowls and garnish with chives. Float several dashes of sherry on the surface of each bowl of bouillon. Serve immediately.
• Sweet and Sour Tamarind Shrimp on Rosemary Skewers
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Active Time: 35 minutes
Yield: 6 appetizers
6 thick, woody branches rosemary
18 large or 30 medium raw shrimp, shelled and deveined
1/4 cup liquid tamarind concentrate, or 1 tablespoon tamarind paste mashed with 3 tablespoons hot water
1/4 cup orange marmalade
1/4 cup olive oil
1/8 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper
1 bunch arugula
Pick off the rosemary leaves near the base of each branch. To skewer the shrimp, place shrimp flat on their sides on a cutting board so that they look like letter Cs. Insert a rosemary branch through the tail end of the first shrimp (the bottom of the ÒCÓ) and push it through to pierce the head end (the top of the ÒCÓ). Continue skewering the shrimp, dividing them evenly between the skewers. Place skewers in a baking dish or on a large plate.
Place tamarind concentrate or softened paste in a small bowl. Add orange marmalade and olive oil and stir to combine. Brush skewered shrimp with mixture. Cover with plastic and refrigerate 15 minutes.
Light a grill or preheat a grill pan over high heat. Season marinated shrimp with salt and pepper. Place as many skewers as will fit on grill. Cook until shrimp are firm to the touch and opaque, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Repeat with remaining skewers.
Spread arugula over a large serving dish. Arrange shrimp skewers over arugula. Serve immediately.