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2007-03-21

>Italian parsley shoots

Per Se restaurant Tasting of Vegetables menu #5

>FOREST MUSHROOMS
Herb Roasted Cake, Sweet Garlic, Preserved Tomato
and Tuscan Chickpea Sauce with Italian Parsley Shoots

Or per Per Se
>FRICASSEE OF FOREST MUSHROOMS
Herb Roasted Panisse, Sweet Garlic, Tomato Confit
and Tuscan Chickpea Coulis with Italian Parsley Shoots

Larousse Gastronomique’s definition of fricassee:
“...Formerly in France, the term denoted various kinds of ragout of chicken meat, fish, or vegetables in white or brown stock. The meat is cut into pieces, an aromatic garnish is added, and it is then sautéed over a low h
eat, without browning. The meat is then coated with flour, some white stock is added, and the meat is cooked in the thickened liquid. A fricassee is usually cooked with cream and garnished with small glazed onions and lightly cooked mushrooms… Subsequently, the word became distorted to fricot, which in popular parlance, designates any simple but popular tasty dish.”

Panisse:
“In Provence, a cake made from a thick porridge of chickpeas or cornmeal which is cut into rectangles when cold.The pieces may be rolled in grated cheese and fried in olive oil, or eaten without cheese and sweetened.”

Confit:
“A piece of pork, goose, duck, or turkey cooked in its own fat and stored in a pot, covered in the same fat to preserve it. The confit is one of the oldest forms of preserving food and is a specialty of southwestern France...”

Coulis:
“A liquid puree of cooked seasoned vegetables or shellfish (see bisque). It may be used to enhance the flavor of a sauce, it may itself be used as a sauce, or it may be used as an ingredient in soup... In the past, sauces of any kind were called coulis and were prepared in advance using type of funnel known as a couloir (hence the name).

The server of this dish wasn't sure about the types of mushrooms. He guessed alba (perhaps) and matsutake (I didn't find any). The bulk of it tasted similar to common oyster mushrooms. Nothing spectacular there.

The most refreshing herb garnish here - the parsley shoots. When parsley plant is young, it sprouts tiny leaves different from the eventual jagged adult leaves.

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