BY VERONIQUE DEBLOIS
Year round, the New Jersey/New York metro area is a mushroom forager’s heaven. There are morels to pick in the spring, chanterelles to be plucked in the summer and various species such as hen-of-the-woods, boletes (also known as porcini), puffballs and honey caps popping up in the fall.
We asked two well-known New Jersey chefs to demonstrate innovative and creative ways the mighty mushroom can be used in the kitchen. Chef Anthony Pino of Porter Collins in Hoboken and Chef Martin Kester of Summit House in Summit provided two compelling recipes featuring some of their favorites fungi.
Porter Collins: Wild Mushrooms e Pepe
Chef Anthony Pino started Anthony David’s Gourmet Specialties 15 years ago with his spouse and business partner Liz, after they graduated from Johnson & Wales University. The Pino empire expanded in 2002 with the opening of Anthony David’s, followed in 2008 by Bin 14 and the recent opening of Porter Collins in burgeoning uptown Hoboken.
* Makes four portions
- 2 cups roughly chopped wild mushrooms
- 2 cloves of garlic, sliced
- 2 ounces extra virgin olive oil, plus a drizzle for the finish
- 4 ounces heavy cream
- 4 ounces Tallegio cheese, diced
- 1 pound fresh vucatini, cooked to al dente
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 ounces Pecorino cheese, grated
- Sea salt to taste
- In a large pan over medium-high heat, sauté the mushrooms and garlic in the olive oil until mushrooms are lightly golden brown (about 5 minutes). Once the moisture from mushrooms has evaporated, add the cream and Tallegio.
- Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 3 minutes.
- Add the bucatini to the sauce and toss, then add the pepper and salt.
- Finish with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and the Pecorino.
Chef Martin Kester is the executive chef of recently opened Summit House. He joined the restaurant after six years as chef de cuisine of Ninety Acres in Peapack, NJ.
A 2003 graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, Chef Kester has trained in highly rated kitchens throughout New Jersey and New York, including the NoMad in NY, Elements in Princeton and Blue Hill at Stone Barns in Pocantico Hills, NY.
- 1 ounce vegetable oil
- 3 ounces Maitake mushrooms (Also known as hen-of-the-wood), cleaned with damp cloth
- 1 tablespoon high-quality butter
- 3/4 ounce sea beans
- 1 tablespoon each of fresh parsley and fresh chives, finely chopped, combined then divided
- 3 ounces sunchokes
- 3 tablespoons salt (plus finishing to taste)
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Using the tip of a pairing knife, gently split off portions of the Maitake mushrooms, maintaining the integrity and shape of the small bunches, about 1-2 inches in length and 1/2 centimeter in thickness. The goal is to achieve a meatier texture throughout the base of the mushroom and crispy ends.
- Place heavy-bottomed sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add 1/4 ounce of vegetable oil and, once hot, the mushrooms. Do not crowd the pan. Cook the mushrooms, undisturbed, for 45 seconds. Toss the mushrooms, turn heat down to medium, add 1/2 tablespoon of butter and cook until evenly browned (About a minute). Add the sea beans and continue to sauté for 2 minutes. Finish the mushrooms with 1 tablespoon of finely cut herbs and salt to taste.
- Wash sunchokes and peel them. Add to a large pot of cool water with 3 tablespoons of salt and the lemon juice, then bring to boil. Gently slide a pairing knife into the sunchokes, remove them from heat and strain. Add to a blender and purée on high. If needed, add a bit of vegetable oil to smoothen. Season with salt to taste.
- On a hot plate, add the mushroom and seabean preparation in 3 bunches. Add 3-4 tablespoons of sunchoke purée around the plate, but not on the mushrooms. Finish with fresh herbs and a pinch of Maldon salt, if desired.