recycle … or red wine!
Recycling is a wonderful thing… not only with paper and plastic, but with food too. Of course, the most basic form of food recycling is reusing leftovers, taking the leftover beef from a roast and making burritos, for instance. Or in this case, using the red wine poaching liquid from the poached pear post on 11/18/09 and using it to flavor this wonderful Thanksgiving side dish. Don’t fret if you didn’t make the poached pear recipe but want to make this, just use red wine in place of the poaching liquid.
I’m using frozen “petite whole onions” also known as pearl onions for this recipe. Until about a month ago, I did not even know that pearl onions were sold peeled and frozen. What a find, all these years I’ve been meticulously boiling and peeling them myself!
The soaking liquid for the dried mushrooms is also reused here. If you have any left after using the 1/2 cup asked for in this recipe, freeze it and use to enrich sauces or deglaze pans in the future. And be sure to recycle those Thanksgiving leftovers too! I’ll post plenty of ideas after Thursday.
Red Wine Pearl Onions and Wild Mushrooms
1 ounce dried wild mushrooms
1 pound fresh wild mushrooms
4 large shallots, peeled, and quartered
3 garlic cloves, peeled and coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups reserved poaching liquid (from poached pear recipe on 11/18/09 post) or 1 1/2 cups red wine, divided
14-ounce package frozen pearl onions, thawed
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Fresh thyme leaves, for garnish
Place dried wild mushrooms in bowl and pour boiling water to cover, soak until soft, about 35 minutes. Lift out mushrooms, squeezing out excess liquid. Rinse mushrooms in a sieve to remove any dirt or grit and squeeze dry again. Strain the mushroom soaking water through a cheesecloth (or coffee filter) lined sieve to remove the grit and set aside the soaking liquid.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Halve or quarter large fresh mushrooms, keep smaller ones whole (about bite-size), transfer all mushrooms to a 9 x 12-inch baking dish. Add shallots, garlic, thyme, 1 tablespoon olive oil, salt, and pepper to baking dish with mushroom and toss well to coat. Cover tightly with foil.
Toss pearl onions with remaining tablespoon oil in an 8 x 8-inch baking dish, generously season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Leave uncovered.
Place both baking dishes in preheated oven. Roast for about 48 minutes, stirring pearl onions every 12 minutes and switch position of baking dishes after the first 24 minutes. After total roasting time, remove pearl onions from oven and set aside.
Remove foil from mushrooms and stir in 1/2 cup poaching liquid (or red wine). Continue roasting mushrooms in middle of oven, uncovered, fort 30 minutes, stirring halfway through. Add in pearl onions plus 1/2 cup of the reserved mushroom soaking liquid and another 1/2 cup of the poaching liquid and roast 15 minutes more.
Meanwhile, place the remaining 1/2 cup of poaching liquid and the balsamic vinegar in a large skillet and boil until reduced to 1/4 cup. Remove baking dish from oven and pour mushroom-onion mixture into skillet, toss to coat.
Taste and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Place in serving bowl and garnish with fresh thyme leaves.
May be made 1 day ahead, cool completely,cover and refrigerate. Remove from refrigerator 1 hour before reheating and allow to come to room temperature.
Serves 6 to 8