Unanticipated? He didn't like BEANS. And neither does his fiancee. How is that even possible, to not like beans? I mean, aren't they like, a staple? One of the few things that you can keep dried or canned, and can really find a way to incorporate into anything? I mean, maybe its me, but... how can you not like something that you can eat with breakfast (breakfast burritos with black beans is a favorite), lunch (cold in salads or hot in soups), dinner (cassoulet, stews, anything mexican)??? I just don't get it.
This was a surprisingly multi-stepped meal, from what it looked like on the page. First up: mushroom stock. It was supposed to be truffle-infused mushroom stock, but I couldn't find any truffles locally (and I didn't remember to order one), so it was plain ol' 'shrooms.
I blanched everything, diced it -
Then cooked it all together and added water. At least I assume I added water at some point, since it was stock.
Like all stocks, I strained it, strained it again, strained it again. You had to be extra careful with not dumping the whole thing through, since there was a lot of dirt/icky stuff on the bottom.
Next up: beans!
I soaked the beans for a long time (I don't remember how long, but it was like twice as long as the instructions said).
Then I simmer the beans, again for a very long time, with the aromatics.
Hearts of palm:
I had never worked with fresh hearts of palm before, and was totally surprised at how soft they were from the outside. If I didn't know better (having gotten them from Specialty Produce, best place ever), I would think they were cooked already. But, knowing they were raw, I cooked them more.
In the meantime, i got started on the filling: weighed the brioche (luckily I didn't need a lot, since me/angry toddler had totally ripped into the amazing Bread & Cie brioche when I bought it on friday morning)
Mis for the filling:
I processed the bread until it was crumbs:
Then added the mascarpone, salt, and pepper, and processed it more. I finished by drizzling the truffle oil into the mixture.
By this point, the hearts of palm were cooked and cooled, so I set about cutting them:
Then hollowed them out. The hollowing-out process sounded like it was going to be really difficult, but I found that my fingers (and fingernails) could actually poke the centers out pretty easily)
I picked the best out, then using a ziploc baggie and pastry tip, filled them (then leveled them off with an offset knife).
A few quick tomato diamonds and herbs for flavor...
Then it was time to cook the hearts of palm! Breaded in panko, then sauteed on either end... I wish I could eat ALL my food this way!
It was pretty good, especially the hearts of palm/beans/mushroom mix, but I didn't love the overwhelming sense of truffle oil. Maybe it would have been better if I had the truffles that were supposed to be in the bean mix/stock. I think that i'm just not a fan. I love mushrooms, I love truffles, but truffle oil just seems.. fake... compared to truffles. In short: a lot of work for something that was 'eh'... not staying on the permanent list. You know, that list i'll make in 5 years, after i've cooked through all of Keller, when I will totally remember making this.