in Puff Pastry Capped Potato Shell
Ingredients:(Yields: 4 servings)
• 1 oz dried porcini or Black Chanterelle mushrooms (or a combination of both)
• 2 cups warm water
• 1 ½ tablespoons virgin olive oil
• 10 whole Shiitake, Morel or Golden Chanterelle (or a combination), stemmed & diced
• 2 tablespoons shallots, finely minced
• Salt & pepper, to taste
• 1 small onion, thinly sliced
• 1 small carrot, thinly sliced
• 1 medium leek, white part only, julienned
• 2 tablespoons Spanish Sherry Vinegar
• 8 fresh basil leaves, coarsely chopped
• 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced
• 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
• 2 tablespoons soy sauce
• 2 tablespoons fresh chives, finely sliced
• 1 whole tomato, blanched, peeled, seeded, and diced
• 4 russet potatoes (about 12 oz each)
• 4 oz puff pastry dough
• 1 egg yolk, whisked
• 4 sprigs fresh thyme, for garnish
Place the dried mushrooms in a mixing bowl and add the warm water. Let soak for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Remove the mushrooms and strain the liquid to remove any grit or impurities. Set the liquid aside. Dice the re-hydrated mushrooms.
Heat ½ tablespoon of the olive oil in a non-stick sauté pan and sauté the re-hydrated mushrooms, fresh mushrooms and shallots over medium heat, for 5-7 minutes, or until the shallots just begin to turn color. Season the mushrooms with salt and pepper. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.
To complete the ragout, heat the remaining 1-tablespoon of the olive oil in a heavy-bottomed saucepan and sauté the onion, carrot and leek over medium-high heat for 8-10 minutes, or until browned and caramelized. Deglaze the pan with the vinegar. Add the mushroom soaking liquid, basil, parsley, garlic, soy sauce, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a food processor or blender and puree until smooth. Strain into a small saucepan, add the sautéed mushrooms, the chives and tomato, and bring to a boil. Reduce theheat to low, adjust the seasonings if necessary, and keep warm.
Cut a ½-inch slice off the ends of each (unpeeled) potato. With a melon baller, hollow out the potatoes from one end; taking care not to break through the skin or the other end. Discard the cooped-out flesh, or use for soup or another purpose (store in water to prevent discolouration). Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil and add the potato shells. Lower the heat and simmer gently for 8-10 minutes, or until tender. Remove the potatoes and drain well. Preheat the oven to 375F.
Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper and stand the potato shells on the baking sheet. Fill the shells with the ragout, the ragout should not come up higher than the edge of the potatoes.
Roll out the pastry dough on a lightly floured work surface to a thickness of 1/16-inch. With a knife, cut out 4 ovals just a little larger than the top of the potatoes. Brush the dough and the edge of the potatoes with the egg yolk. Lay the dough over the filling, and press very lightly to form a seal. Place the potatoes in the oven and cook for 12-14 minutes, or until the pastry dough is golden brown.
Place the finished potatoes on a serving platter and spoon the remaining ragout around the potatoes. Garnish with the thyme and serve.