Poetaster, which I had thought was pronounced poe-taster, like a person who eats 19th century Baltimore writers, or a cross between a potato and a flower. Joanna Newsom reminded me today that it is, in fact, poet-aster, which makes the etymology oh so much clearer.
This is a dish I made for the New Year’s Iron Chef : Battle Champagne party at my friend Usama’s swank pad. Champagne is used thrice in the recipe. The initial idea was given to me by Alexandra, and the fresh chanterelles were generously donated by Michael and Elizabeth (he picks them fresh in the Berkeley hills). Here’s what it looks like:
1 cup champagne or cava
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 Ttbsp shallots
1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
2 lbs raw shrimp, deveined and peeled, leaving tails
- Mix marinade ingredients together with shrimp in a large plastic bag. If you’re like me and are bag-deficient, use a tupperware and toss the shrimp every once in a while to be fair. Let them marinate for around an hour.
- Take out the shrimp and skewer them (if grilling) or place them on a lightly oiled broiling pan (if broiling). Make sure the broiler rack is high. Discard the marinade and bag (it is tainted with disgusting shrimp cooties).
- Broil them for 2-4 minutes on each side until they look cooked/grilled. Let them cool and transfer to a serving dish or bowl.
3 tbsp shallots
1.5 cups champagne or cava
5 tbsp champagne vinegar
1.5 cups heavy cream
1/2 lb fresh chanterelle or other fancy-pants mushrooms
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp thyme (or more to taste)
2 tbsp honey (or less to taste)
salt and pepper
- Put shallot, champagne, and vinegar in a saucepan over medium heat util it boils and reduces to 1/2 to 2/3 of its original volume.
- In the meantime, chop the chanterelles roughly and sautee in olive oil until they give up some juice. Once they are cooked, take them off the heat.
- After the sauce reduces, add the heavy cream and return it to a boil until it reduces to about 3/4 of its original volume. Add the mushrooms, thyme, honey, salt, and pepper. Reduce it until it’s thick and creamy. You can add a little flour to thicken it up if things aren’t working quite right.
Serve the shrimp with the sauce on the side. Spoon a little onto the shrimp and munch away. Of course you can make any substitutions you like, especially to lower the fat content…