Our wine of the week, Paul Mathew Vineyards, 2018 Bohemian Vineyard, Russian River Valley Pinot Noir ($ 65), is a sweet and pretty wine with a translucent glow in the glass and a delicious delicacy on the palate. The aromas include a kiss of rose petals and the tangy scent of just cut rhubarb.
On the palate, this rhubarb aroma resolves into a suggestion of rhubarb itself, with flavors of Queen Anne’s cherries, summer strawberries and the slightest hint of vanilla. The acidity is crisp, crisp and refreshing.
These qualities come together to create a quaffer that generously opens its arms to a wide variety of foods, from delicate seafood and braised vegetables such as fennel and radicchio to rare duck breast and lamb. It is excellent as an aperitif but can accompany a meal from start to finish. Creamy polenta with olio nuovo and Gorgonzola cheese, romanesco broccoli braised in butter and crème fraîche, and spaghetti carbonara are all great companions.
For today’s recipe, I am inspired by the generosity of fresh black chanterelles that have just appeared on farmers’ markets. If you don’t feel like preparing a full meal, sauté a few chanterelles in butter and serve on toast on the hearth topped with crème fraîche.
For a more complete meal, try this dish. It’s best when made with wild Gulf Coast shrimp, available locally at Santa Rosa Seafood and several other markets.
Black Chanterelles and Shrimps with Pasta and Fresh Cream
Makes 2 servings
5 to 6 ounces of dried fettuccini or pappardelle
3 tablespoons of local organic butter
1 small shallot, minced
4 ounces of black chanterelles or maitake mushrooms, broken into pieces
½ cup of dry white wine
6 to 8 large Gulf shrimp, heads and legs removed
cup of fresh cream
Black pepper in a mill
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
Fill a large saucepan halfway with water, salt generously and bring to a boil over high heat. When the water boils, stir in the pasta and cook according to package directions. Drain the pasta but do not rinse it.
While the pasta is cooking, put 2 tablespoons of butter in a medium sauté pan over medium heat and cook slowly until the butter melts, begins to brown and gives off a nutty aroma similar to hazelnuts; do not let it smoke or burn.
Remove from the heat for about 2 minutes. Return to medium-low heat, add the shallot and sauté until tender, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add mushrooms and sauté until softened; the weather varies depending on the type of fungus. Season with salt, increase the heat to high, add the white wine and simmer until the wine is reduced to only a tablespoon or 2.
Push the mushrooms to the side of the pan and add the shrimp. Sauté shrimp for 1 minute, turn and sauté until opaque, about 90 seconds more. Do not overcook the shrimp.
Working quickly, divide the pasta between bowls or pasta plates. Garnish both portions with shrimp.
Return the pan to the heat, add the remaining tablespoon of butter and the crème fraîche, move the mushrooms to the center of the pan and simmer gently for about 2 minutes, until heated through and thickened a bit. . Season with black pepper, taste and correct for salt.
Pour the sauce and mushrooms over the shrimp and pasta, sprinkle with chives and enjoy immediately.
Michele Anna Jordan is the author of 24 books to date, including “The New Cook’s Tour of Sonoma”. Email him at [email protected]