Photo by Annaliese Bischoff
Provenance of Dish
This dish celebrates Matsutake mushrooms I have paired these with crimini mushrooms for a mushroom east-west fusion dish. The final invention was to pair bamboo rice with Italian carnaroli rice. I am trying to fuse, cross pollinate, or maybe variegate is a more apt verb here, some Japanese with Italian. I used my homemade stock, which happened to have vestiges of duck this week, fresh herbs, and abundant vegetables. This recipe is sized for a 14 inch paella pan.
4- 4 1/2 cups your best homemade heated stock
pinch of saffron threads
Arcun or olive oil
1 pound Matsutake mushrooms, sliced
1 pound crimini mushrooms
1 red bell pepper, cored and sliced into 1/2 inch strips
6 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
2-3 cippolini onions or 1 very large yellow onion, chopped
1 inch fresh ginger, grated (and peeled)
1 small heirloom tomato, grated, seeded, salted, and drained (mine was yellow this time)
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup sake
kosher or sea salt to taste
fresh milled pepper to taste
3/4 cup bamboo rice, rinsed
3/4 cup carnaroli rice, rinsed
1 bunch Japanese trefoil or cilantro
bunch of flat leaf parsley, chopped
2 scallions, chopped
8 fresh lemon wedges
3/4 cup bamboo rice, rinsed
Heat the oil in the paella pan. Saute the mushrooms quickly and remove to a plate for later. Saute the red pepper and set aside.
Saute the ginger, onion and garlic until translucent in the paella pan. Add the tomato. Cook until it darkens.
Take 1/2 cup of the heated stock and add the saffron in a cup. Let this steep. Then add it back to the stock.
Blend the two rices together. Add them to the paella pan; distribute the rice evenly across the pan. Stir until coated and opaque, about 1-2 minutes. Add the white wine and sake; reduce over medium heat.
Arrange the mushrooms and red peppers on top of the rice. Add salt and pepper to taste. Next, add the heated broth. Do not stir the rice from this point onward. Simmer vigorously over medium heat. When the rice is at the same level as the liquid, reduce the heat to medium low. Rotate the pan if needed across the burners to distribute the heat. Add more liquid if needed.
After the rice is al dente (test a grain of rice below the top layer: it should have a tiny white dot in the center), increase the heat to medium high for about 2 minutes to create the crusty socarrat. The bottom layer of rice will begin to caramelize quickly. Do not burn. Remove from heat immediately if you smell burning.
Remove the pan from the heat and cover for about 5 minutes. After letting the paella rest, garnish with lemon wedges, the trefoil or cilantro, parsley, and scallions. Bring the pan to the table and invite folks to eat directly from the pan, starting from the perimeter and moving towards the center.