One food I always look for in the fall is chanterelle mushrooms. They grow rampant here in the Northwest. I love mushrooms because of their earthy qualities. Roasting them and adding a bit of sherry really brings out that earthiness while adding just a touch of sweetness. Roasting mushrooms is very easy. I try to keep a batch in the fridge to add to things like scrambled eggs or soup. Cocoa-dusted bacon may sound a bit out there but it really works. Trust me, everyone who tried it, loves it! At first you get a bit of bitterness from the cocoa powder but then the salty, sweet flavor of bacon kicks in and it is amazing. It also pairs well with the mushrooms. I like to serve this with fresh parmesan and a big, simple salad of bitter greens.
Pasta with Sherry Roasted Mushrooms and Cocoa-Dusted Bacon
1 pound of cooked pasta
Sherry Roasted Mushrooms **
Salt and pepper to taste
Toss pasta with mushrooms, a drizzle of sherry vinegar, some salt and pepper. If the dish seems to dry add a bit of olive oil. Then garnish each serving of pasta with a slice or two of cocoa-dusted bacon. Enjoy!
8 slices of bacon
¼ cup cocoa powder
An hour and twenty minutes before you are going to eat, pre-heat oven to 350◦F. While oven is preheating line a large flat baking pan with sides (like a jelly roll pan) with foil. Set a metal rack (like the kind you set cookies on to cool) on the foil. You are going to bake the bacon but do not want it it sitting in the fat. Pour cocoa powder into a pie pan. Holding each end of a single slice of bacon, press it down in the cocoa powder to cover one side. Set the bacon on the rack with the cocoa side up. Keep coating each slice of bacon and lining them up on the rack. When oven is pre-heated bake bacon for 40-50 minutes depending on how crispy you like it. When cooked, set aside until you serve the pasta.
Sherry Roasted Mushrooms
2 cup of button mushrooms
3 TBL olive oil
¼ cup dry sherry
Pre-Heat oven 400◦F
Add oil to a baking dish. Add mushrooms and toss around to coat them with oil. Arrange mushrooms, so caps are sitting on the bottom. Roast mushrooms 20 minutes, then turn the mushrooms over and finish roasting another 10 minutes. Pull pan out of oven and pour sherry over mushrooms. Important: If using a glass or ceramic roasting pan do NOT use chilled sherry, it could crack your pan. Use room temperature sherry. The sherry will sizzle and bubble. Wait 2 minutes and scrape everything into a bowl. When mushrooms are cool enough to handle, slice or halve them. Add mushrooms and juices to cooked pasta.
1. I love the wide pasta pappardelle but any pasta would work. The only pasta I would not use is angel hair or thin spaghetti.
2. Use medium to small mushrooms. Large mushrooms do not roast as well.
3. Trader Joes has an excellent, inexpensive sherry.