Wild Mushroom Stew with Creamy Grits, Fried Grits, and Fresh Herbs
A favorite southern food, grits are incorporated into this dish in a surprising new way. Creamy grits are simmered slowly then nestled amidst a wild mushroom stew; fried grit cakes are then placed on top. Start a day ahead, as the grit cakes need to chill overnight.
- Fried Grits
- Water - 4 cups
- Yellow grits - 1 cup
- Unsalted butter for frying
- Egg - 1, beaten
- Creamy Grits
- Heavy Cream - 6 cups
- Yellow grits - 1 cup
- Salt to taste
- Wild Mushroom Stew
- Veal Stock - 3 cups
- Shiitake Mushrooms - 2 cups, cut in thin julienne
- Button mushrooms - 2 cups, cut n thin julienne
- Oyster Mushrooms - 2 cups, trimmed
- Clarified Butter - 1/2 cup (see Cooking Basics)
- Shallots - 1/3 cup, minced
- Garlic - 1 tablespoon, minced
- Fresh Rosemary - 1 tablespoon, minced
- Fresh Thyme - 1 tablespoon, minced
- Enoki Mushrooms - 1 cup, cleaned
- Fresh Rosemary - 4 sprigs
- Fresh Thyme - 4 sprigs
To prepare the fried grits: Press foil over half a sheet pan and raise the edge to form a lip. Press the foil very smooth, and butter it. In a large saucepan over medium high heat, bring water to a boil; add grits all at once. Return the mixture to a boil and let simmer until it has thickened to a nice smooth texture, stirring occasionally to prevent lumps. Remove from heat and pour into the prepared half sheet pan (layer should be approx. 3/4 inch in thickness). Cool; cover sheet pan with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator overnight. When ready, slice refrigerated grits into diamonds or preferred shapes using a cutter or knife. In medium skillet over medium high heat, melt the butter. Dip grit cakes into beaten egg, then place in the skillet. Saute grit cakes in butter 30 to 45 seconds per side until golden brown. Remove from skillet and reserve in a warm place.
To prepare the creamy grits: In a large saucepan over medium high heat, bring one third of the cream to a boil. Incorporate the grits all at once, stirring constantly. Bring the mixture to a boil; lower heat and simmer. When the grits have absorbed all of the cream, add another one third of the cream and repeat until all of the cream is incorporated. Repeat process with the last one third of the cream, stirring constantly to blend. Remove from heat and keep warm.
To prepare the wild mushroom stew: In a large saucepan over medium high heat, place veal stock and bring to a boil. Meanwhile, trim and slice mushrooms. Add mushroom trimmings to veal stock and continue to cook until veal stock is reduced by half. In a large skillet over medium high heat, melt the butter, then add shallots and garlic. Cook until softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Add rosemary and thyme; add mushrooms and saute until mushrooms are cooked half-way through. Add veal stock reduction to mushrooms and continue to simmer an additional 8 to 10 minutes over medium heat.
To serve: Spoon creamy grits into the center of each serving plate; spoon mushroom stew over the grits using the natural juice as the sauce. Place 2 fried grit cakes on top of each. Garnish with enoki mushrooms, rosemary and thyme.