Marx Foods was kind enough to send me some samples of their gourmet foods with the challenge of making something using the ingredients. It was a fun project for me, especially since I had never used dried mushrooms or dried chili peppers before.
The end result? Spicy Wild Mushroom Alfredo With Truffle Scallops! Although it came really good, half way through I thought it was going to be a disaster, because I had so many things cooking at once, and started to freak out a little.
Spicy Wild Mushroom Alfredo With Truffle Scallops
by Michelle Maskaly, The Adirondack Chick
What I used:
Marx Foods organic maitake mushrooms (dried)
Marx Foods organic oyster mushrooms (dried)
Marx Foods chipotle chilies (dried)
Marx Foods tellicherry peppercorns
Marx Foods Black Truffle Salt
1 pound bay scallops (defrosted if frozen)
2 cups heavy cream
12 oz. bowtie macaroni (cooked as directed)
2 sticks salted butter (maximum to have on hand while making this)
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese (minimum to have on hand… I ended up using a few extra handfuls)
7 cloves of garlic
dry white wine
Let them sit for at least a half hour or until they are firm.
In the meantime, pour yourself a glass of white wine, and finely chop all seven cloves of garlic. It sounds like a lot, but it’s going to be divided up between the alfredo sauce, mushroom and chilies mixture and scallops.
Combine them in a bowl, adding some of the chopped chopped garlic and sprinkling with cracked tellicherry peppercorns.
Mix well and let sit.
Discard the chilies’ water, but keep the water from the mushrooms.
Put the scallops in a strainer and rise thoroughly. Put the strainer with the scallops over another bowl and sprinkle with the black truffle salt. Mix, and sprinkle with a little more of the salt and set aside. About 10-15 minutes later sprinkle with more of the salt and mix. This not only added flavor to the scallops, but helped drain excess water out of them.
Coat the bottom of a pan with olive oil and heat. Add the mushroom and chilies mixture, and a laddle full of the mushroom water. Cover and cook for about 5 minutes. Add a little more mushroom water if needed and more of the ground peppercorns. Keep the mushrooms on simmer or low and let them cook.
Coat another pan with olive oil and melt two tablespoons of butter. Add more garlic, and heat.
Add the scallops by spoonful, cover with white wine (about a 3/4 of a cup to a full cup), stir, bring to a boil and then lower heat.
Next up is starting the alfredo sauce (if you haven’t started the macaroni yet, you should).
Melt six tablespoons of butter in a pot. Add garlic and let cook for about a minute (make sure it doesn’t burn!) Add two cups of heavy cream and stir continuously. Bring to a boil and lower the heat to a rolling simmer, till it gets a little thicker. After about 5 minutes, stir in the Parmesan cheese, and lower the heat.
Mix the scallops and sprinkle again with a little bit of the truffle salt. They should be starting to almost carmalize. Remember to also mix the mushroom and chilies mixture.
If the alfredo sauce doesn’t thicken after a few minutes, make a roux by melting an equal amount of butter with flour. I had to do this because it was just a little too watery. I also stirred in a little more cheese here, too. And, yes this is also where I started to get a little flustered because I wanted to make sure everything was cooking at a good temperature, but also didn’t want to burn anything!
Pour the alfredo sauce over the the macaroni and mix. Place the macaroni on a plate. Add scallops, draining any excess juice and then place several spoonfuls of the mushroom and chilies mixture in the center. Using a scissor, snip thin pieces of scallion and spread all around the plate. Serve immediately.
Serve with the rest of the dry white wine.