Mushroom WAG

A few weeks ago, we held another edition of our (somewhat) quarterly WAG (wine and gourmet) potluck dinner club. This time, David and Hillary were kind enough to host the event at their place in Mill Valley, and they also suggested that each dish feature mushrooms, in the spirit of Iron Chef.

Katherine signed us up for dessert, knowing we’d get extra props for pulling off a fungal dessert. She did all the background research and decided we’d make meringue mushrooms (faux mushrooms) and candy cap mushroom ice cream (real mushrooms). We picked up the candy caps at Far West Funghi at the Ferry Building Marketplace. It turns out that putting a couple tablespoons of ground candy cap mushrooms in an ice cream or cheesecake recipe imparts a flavor almost indistinguishable from maple, without a hint of shroomy earthiness.

Our menu for the evening:

Quartet: Morel Meringue, Hot and Cold Mushroom Soup, White Chanterelle Terrine with a Portobello Bull’s Eye

with Laurent-Perrier Cuvee Brut Rose Champagne

Wild Sea Scallop with Porcini Mushroom and White Truffle Salad

with 1999 Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru

Mushroom Street Snacks Intermission: Crispy Mushroom Rice Ball, Cinnamon Cap Soy Skin Crepe, Mushroomlike Blue Corn Fungus

Lobster Ravioli on a Bed of Cauliflower Fungus in a Chanterelle Saffron Cream Sauce

with 2002 Stag’s Leap Napa Valley Viognier

Meringue Mushrooms and Pumpkin Spice Cake Drizzled in Dark Chocolate with Candy Cap Mushroom Ice Cream on a Pool of Burnt Caramel Sauce

And here is the photographic evidence:

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I had to include two shots of our dessert, one is a close-up of a meringue mushroom, which to me look almost real. Also notice the last photo. David & Hillary get great creativity points for using a shiitake mushroom log as the centerpiece. They harvested their shiitakes for brunch a few days later. As David observed afterwards, “everyone brought their A-game” to this edition of WAG. Thanks to David & Hillary, Ezra & Shireen and Dan & Stephanie for a great meal and a great time!