Plan B for Black Friday
Nov. 23, 2011
By Kim Dannies
If you’ve got a houseful this weekend, or you’re simply tired of cooking and want to relax at home, a nice antidote to the turkey fiesta is an earthy mushroom pasta dish filled with fragrant funghi. Why not uncork a nice Tuscan wine and sip a bit while you and the gang whip up this 10-minute meal? Use clean, bagged greens for a light salad to follow the pasta, and finish with a Vermont cheese board. This meal is so much kinder to body and soul than braving Black Friday crowds and waiting lines. I promise that your family will thank you (sincerely, and multiple times) for having a Plan B.
FUNGHI FRICASSEE & PASTA HANKIES
Purchase an assortment of pre-cut mushrooms that are variety packaged at the supermarket. Look for combinations of oyster, button, cremini, shitake, Portobello, and supplement with any other mushrooms that look appealing. Plan for a loose handful of mushrooms per eater.
In a large sauté pan melt 2 tablespoons of butter per pound of mushrooms and sauté for 8 minutes on medium heat, stirring often. Add 3-4 minced garlic cloves in the final minute. Deglaze with some wine or drinking sherry scraping up charred bits of fond. Add 1 cup (or desired amount) of crème fraîche or heavy cream and simmer 2 minutes so the mushroom sauce thickens a bit, stirring well. Season with kosher salt and pepper to taste.
Concurrently, boil strips of flat lasagna according to package directions. Drain and cut into 3-inch squares, or desired size. Place 2-3 pasta “hankies” in individual pasta bowls; top with a generous scoop of the funghi fricassee and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.
DESSERT CHEESE BOARD
I asked my sister, Jody Farnham, co-author of “The Joy of Cheesemaking” and an expert on paring cheese, what to serve with this meal. She suggested: Chèvre log slices (Vermont Creamery), with honey; Garrotxa (Spain), with roasted hazelnuts; Vermont Shepherd (Majors Farm) aged sheep’s-milk cheese, with cherry compote; Creamy White Stilton (England), with chunks of pear and apple and Bayley Hazen Blue (Jasper Hill Farm), with shaved dark chocolate.
Kim Dannies is a graduate of La Varenne Cooking School in France. She lives in Williston with her husband, Jeff; they have three 20-something-year-old daughters who come and go. For archived Everyday Gourmet columns go to kimdannies.com.