Setas al Jerez (mushrooms sautéed in sherry)

A MARRIAGE OF CULTURES: Husband-and-wife team Felix Meana and Katie Button blend their respective American and Spanish cultures in their Thanksgiving celebration. Photo by Cindy Kunst

Katie Button

Serves four to six as a small plate

In Jerez, sherry ends up in countless dishes and is often cooked with mushrooms, which readily soak up the woodsy alcohol. To intensify that classic dish, I’ve created a shortcut mushroom stock here that simply simmers dried mushrooms in water. I’m so happy with how much earthy mushroom flavor the stock develops in only five minutes. The stock turns this into a quick side dish that can come together even faster if you find cleaned and cut mushrooms in your store. The seared and saucy mushrooms make a great accompaniment to any kind of meat, especially grilled steak.

1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms, divided
1 pound fresh mixed mushrooms, such as oysters, shiitakes, and creminis, divided
8 tablespoons blended oil, divided
3 tablespoons minced shallot
6 thyme sprigs
1/2 cup dry sherry wine
1 teaspoon kosher salt

Bring the dried porcinis and 1 cup water to a boil in a small saucepan. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for five minutes. Remove from the heat and strain through a fine-mesh sieve, pressing on the solids to extract as much liquid as possible. Discard the solids. You will be left with an intense, rich dried-mushroom stock broth.

Clean the mushrooms by gently brushing the dirt away with paper towels. Do not wash them with water because this makes them much more difficult to sear. If they are extremely sandy or dirty and you have to use water, put them in a salad spinner to dry them out as much as possible before proceeding. Trim the cleaned mushrooms and cut into 1-inch pieces.

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over high heat that’s very hot and almost smoking. Add one-quarter of the mushrooms in a single layer and cook, turning every once in a while, until seared to nice deep golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a bowl. Repeat with the remaining mushroom in three batches, replenishing the skillet with 2 tablespoons oil for each batch.

Reduce the heat to medium-high and return all the mushrooms to the skillet. Add the shallot and thyme and cook until the shallot has softened, one to two minutes. Then add the mushroom stock and salt, bring to a simmer, and cook until almost all the liquid has evaporated, stirring often, about 2 minutes. It is important that you take the stock until it’s almost dry, but not so far that the skillet starts to burn. Add the sherry and reduce again until almost dry, about three minutes.

Transfer to a dish and serve hot.

Note: This recipe was excerpted from Katie Button’s recently released cookbook, Cúrate. Reprinted with permission from Flatiron Books.

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About Gina Smith
Gina Smith is the Mountain Xpress Food section editor and writer. She can be reached at gsmith@mountainx.com.

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