sautéed with Goat Cheese (and optional Ham) on a “Planche”
Suddenly, some people, including our son-in-law Jason, are growing shiitake mushrooms at home. Locally grown ones are also often available in Georgia in fancier supermarkets, produce markets, as well as Asian grocery shops. Here’s a way of serving them like the French prepare seasonal wild mushrooms, typically as a starter course.
The “Planche” is a long, diagonally cut slice of French baguette buttered on both sides and fried until golden. English muffins split in half are a readily available substitute. The “wild” mushrooms are either fresh shiitake or a combination of shiitake and oyster mushrooms. But locally collected chanterelles, “Hen of the Forest,” or morels would be more authentic. The ham is optional, but makes the dish richer in flavor. Country ham was Joe Truex’s choice, but smoked ham from the deli counter works well. The ham is easily chopped finely, or minced, on a cutting board with a chef’s knife.
The recipe serves 4 to 6, depending on how the dish is used in the meal.
1 pound shiitake mushrooms or a mixture of small fresh shiitake and oyster mushrooms
2 tablespoons minced country ham or smoked ham (1-2 slices from deli counter) -- optional
1 tablespoon minced shallot or green onion
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons white wine
3 tablespoons water, plus more as needed
4-6 ounces soft goat cheese
Salt, if needed (may not be needed if using salty ham)
Juice of 1/2 of a small-medium lemon
Minced parsley for garnish
4-6 slices baguette cut 1/2-inch thick on a long, flat bias to make oval slices 4 to 6 inches long (or split English muffins)
Butter for the bread
Prepare ingredients for mushrooms. Rinse mushrooms, and for shiitakes, cut off stems. Slice mushrooms about 1/2-inch wide. Mince the ham, if used. Mince shallot or green onion. Have other ingredients ready.
Slice the bread into the number of
planches needed, or use one English muffin, split, per person. Lightly butter both sides. Fry them gently in a wide frying pan on both sides until golden. Set on serving plates.
Reheat frying pan. Gently fry minced ham, if used, and shallot or green onion in olive oil until shallot is softened. Add mushrooms and stir and fry until looking slightly softened. Add wine and water, and simmer, stirring frequently, until liquid is reduced to half.
Stir in goat cheese, until melted. If sauce is thick add a little water. Remove from heat. Taste for salt, and add a little if needed. Squeeze in lemon juice. Mix briefly.
Spoon mixture onto the fried planches. Dust lightly with minced parsley.