According to Lucy Waverman and Beppi Crossariol, every great dish has “a centre of gravity, an overarching flavour or essence that pulls together other ingredients into a compelling whole.” This is why in their new cookbook The Flavour Principle, recipes are organized by key flavours and exquisitely paired with the blissfully perfect wines, cocktails and spirits. Below, we highlight a recipe from the “Earthy” chapter: Chestnut-Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms.
Chestnut-Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms from The Flavour Principle (Serves 6)
12 large portobello mushrooms
½ cup olive oil
¼ cup butter
1 cup chopped onions
1 cup chopped celery
1 tsp cracked fennel seeds
1 tbsp chopped garlic
21⁄3 cups vacuum-packed peeled roasted chestnuts (about 14 oz/400 g), chopped
4 cups fresh bread crumbs
½ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1⁄3 cup unsweetened apple juice
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
2. Cut off mushroom stems flush with caps and chop. You should have about 1½ cups.
3. Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a large skillet over high heat. Working in batches, add mushroom caps to pan and fry for 1 to 2 minutes per side or until just beginning to soften. Transfer gill side up to a baking sheet. Repeat with remaining mushroom caps, adding more oil to pan as needed. Reserve.
3. Melt butter in the same skillet over medium heat. Add onions, celery and fennel seeds and sauté for 10 minutes or until slightly caramelized. Add garlic, chestnuts and chopped mushroom stems and sauté for 2 minutes or until mushrooms are juicy. Remove from heat.
4. Stir bread crumbs and parsley into stuffing mixture. Add enough apple juice to moisten stuffing well. Season well with salt and pepper. Divide stuffing into 6 portions and place on top of each of the mushroom caps on the baking sheet. Top with remaining 6 mushroom caps, gill side down, to make a kind of sandwich. Do not totally enclose the stuffing.
5. Roast for 15 minutes or until mushrooms are tender and stuffing is crisp around the edges.
It is also recommended to drizzle Rich Red Wine Sauce on the mushrooms. To make the sauce yourself, check out page 227 of The Flavour Principle!
Recommended Pairing: White Burgundy
Try this inventively woodsy, earthy dish with a nutty, mineral-laden white Burgundy (such as Macon or, if budget permits, Puligny-Montrachet) and bask in the subtle decadence. The wine is great for the Brussels sprouts too. Alternative: If you prefer red, uncork a Chianti.