After venturing into the crawl space under our house (which serves as an additional wine cellar for us*) to pull out the wines to be drunk in 2012, the hubby was all excited to crack open a bottle of Ridge 2003 Santa Cruz Mountains Estate Cabernet Sauvignon.
*I realize that this is totally ghetto, but we have a wine buying habit with which our storage space just can’t keep up. We tested the temperature during the hottest part of the summer, and it stays cool down there, so why not?
In honor of the occasion, I set off on a search to come up with a vegetarian dish that would pair well with the wine. I found it in a recipe for wild mushroom ragout (which I was easily able to vegetarian-ize) that I served over slices of fried quinoa polenta with a salad. It was excellent, and the pairing was amazing.
The hubby pronounced it “grand,” so I know it was a hit. The original recipe says it freezes well for later use, so this is something I will definitely make again in a bigger batch.
Wild Mushroom Ragout
Based on this recipe
1 lb mixed fresh wild mushrooms**
1 Tbs unsalted butter
2 shallots, peeled and finely chopped
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
3/4 cup vegetable stock
1 tsp Better Than Boullion mushroom base (optional)
1/3 cup cream
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 Tbsp chopped chives
Trim the mushrooms, reserving the stems for another use.*** Slice the larger caps and leave smaller caps intact.
Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the shallots and garlic and cook until tender, stirring occasionally. Add the mushrooms and cook until they release their liquid. Add the stock and cook for about 5 more minutes. Stir in the mushroom base, if using, and cream, and cook until it starts to thicken, about 5-7 minutes. Add thyme and chives, then season to taste with salt and pepper.
Serve over polenta or pasta, finishing off with a light dusting of grated parmesan or gruyère.
** I used an 8-oz “Chef’s Sampler” pack of gourmet mushrooms, supplemented with sliced cremini mushrooms.
*** I’m saving mine for either a small batch of mushroom stock, or to throw into vegetable stock (where it adds a nice depth of flavor).