Portobello Mousse with Cherry/Fennel Compote


One of my favorite dishes at Dirt Candy is the Portobello Mousse.  So when Amanda’s cookbook came out, I was super excited to see she had included the recipe.  The dinner party I had was for four, so the original recipe has been cut in half.

Sur La Table carries these cute little Italian canning jars that the mousse fit perfectly in.

Agar Agar is a ‘natural’ gelatin made from seaweed and comes in a powdered form.  You can order a small jar from here.

Thanks Amanda….I can have a little piece of New York in my home now!

Cherries and Fennel Compote:

½ cup diced fennel

2 cups unripe pears, peeled, seeded, and cut into ½-inch pieces 

2 tablespoons honey

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

½ tablespoon ground fennel

2 tablespoons chopped crystallized ginger

¼ cup chopped soaked dried sour cherries

Pinch of salt

Soak the cherries and crystallized ginger in 1 cup hot water until soft, about 30 minutes.  Drain and finely chop.

Sweat  (dry pan/ low heat) the fennel in a saucepan until it’s soft but not mushy, approximately 10 to 15 minutes. Add the pears and cook until partially soft. Add the honey, cider vinegar, fennel, ginger, and cherries; season with salt. Cook for an additional 10 minutes, or until everything is soft.

Portobello Mousse:

½ cup (1 stick) butter

1/8 cup finely chopped white onions

¼ cup heavy cream

3 cups chopped Portobello mushrooms ( about 3 large Portobello)

3/4 teaspoon + 1/8 teaspoon agar agar

1/4 teaspoons salt

1/4 teaspoon truffle oil

Remove and discard the stems from the mushrooms, then scrape the gills from the underside of the caps.

Melt 1 tablespoons of the butter in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until very soft.Add the cream, reduce the heat to low, and cook for 10 minutes. Add the remaining butter and cook over low heat for 10 minutes.

Add the agar agar, stir gently, and let come to a simmer.  Immediately remove from the heat and pour into a blender.

Add the mushrooms to a blender and blend until extremely smooth.  Add the salt and truffle oil and blend until incorporated.

Pour the mousse into any mold or small jar.  Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.


Truffled Toast:

¼ cup olive oil

½ tablespoon truffle oil

½ baguette, thinly sliced

For the Truffled Toast: 
Mix the olive oil and truffle oil and brush on each slice of baguette. Grill each piece of baguette until grill marks show and the bread is crisp.

For the Balsamic Reduction:

1½ cups of Balsamic Vinegar

Cook the balsamic vinegar over low heat until it’s reduced to 1/3 cup.


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