The Chef in the Hat

The Chef In The Hat is Thierry Rautureau, the talented force behind Loulay Kitchen & Bar and Luc restaurants, bringing a French twist to the best of Pacific Northwest cuisine.

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Chef Thierry at Chicago Gourmet on 9/25: Wild Mushroom Salad with Potato Galette

Wild Mushroom Salad with Potato Galette, Roasted Shallots, and Pecans Season: Fall

4 whole shallots plus 2 teaspoons minced shallot

3 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons olive oil

2 teaspoons thyme leaves plus 1/4 teaspoon minced thyme

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 Yukon Gold potatoes (about 8 ounces each)

3 tablespoons clarified unsalted butter

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more if needed

8 to 10 ounces mixed wild mushrooms (such as chanterelle, hedgehog, lobster, honey and/or cauliflower mushrooms), cleaned, trimmed, and thinly sliced

Pinch minced garlic

1/4 cup cherry vinegar or red wine vinegar

2 teaspoons minced chives

1/2 cup pecan pieces, toasted

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Trim the root ends from the whole shallots. Set the shallots in the center of a large piece of foil, drizzle with 2 teaspoons of the olive oil, sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of the thyme leaves, and season with salt and pepper. Wrap the package up securely and roast until tender, 1 to 1 1/4 hours. Set the packet aside to cool.

While the shallots are roasting, peel the potatoes and cut them in 1/16-inch slices with a mandoline or a knife. Put 2 tablespoons of the clarified butter in a large bowl and add the remaining 1 teaspoons of the thyme leaves with a good pinch each of salt and pepper. Add the potato slices and toss well with your hands, separating the potato slices so that they are each evenly coated in butter and seasonings.

Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon clarified butter in a medium ovenproof skillet, preferably nonstick, over medium heat just until warm. Take the skillet from the heat and arrange the potato slices overlapping in the skillet, starting with the larger slices around the outside edge, working toward the center with the smaller slices, making 1 even layer. Cook the potatoes until lightly browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Drain off excess fat from the skillet into a small dish. Flip the potato cake onto a plate or an unrimmed baking sheet, then carefully slide it back into the skillet to cook until the bottom is browned and the potato is tender, about 5 minutes longer. Set aside in the skillet.

Heat the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat until it is melted to medium brown and slightly nutty smelling. Cook each mushroom type individually, each with a pinch of salt and pepper, then transfer them to a large bowl, adding more butter to the skillet as needed. Firmer mushrooms may take 5 to 7 minutes, more tender mushrooms just 2 or 3 minutes. When all the mushrooms have been cooked, return them to the skillet and add the minced shallot, minced thyme, and garlic, and continue cooking until well blended and aromatic, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer the mushrooms to a bowl, reserving the skillet.

Add the vinegar to the skillet and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Boil until reduced by half, 2 to 3 minutes. Whisk in the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil, then take the pan from the heat and strain the dressing over the wild mushrooms. Add the chives and toss to evenly mix. Peel away and discard the skin from the roasted shallots, then cut them into quarters.

To serve, cut the potato galette into 4 wedges and set them in the center of warmed plates. Scatter the roasted shallot pieces and toasted pecans around the galette. Spoon the mushrooms onto the potato, flattening to an even layer, leaving excess vinaigrette behind in the bowl. Drizzle the vinaigrette around the salad and serve right away.

Makes 4 servings

Thierry Rautureau

The Chef In The Hat™

Rover’s Cookbook © 2005