Food Buzz

Because maybe you do care what I had for lunch...

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Sausage, mushroom, pear...fricassee?

It's not technically a fricassee (no cream or flour), but I have to call it something.

This dish was inspired by the mushroom fricassee at L'Impero, one of my favorite restaurants. I used to work at the edge of the universe, on 38th Street and 1st Avenue. The only advantage to this location was its proximity to Yamada Sushi and L'Impero in charming Tudor City (company-paid business lunches). If you have the time and about three dollars, dig up Eric Asimov's review of it in the Times. I found it a particularly nice piece of food writing.

Anyway, L'Impero's mushroom fricassee comes in a little copper dish, and you pour it over creamy polenta. It is indescribably delicious (er, well, somehow Asimov found a way to describe it), rich, buttery, flavored with thyme.

Needless to say mine is a little different, but I did serve it over polenta. I started by sauteing some chopped garlic in olive oil. I browned some sausage (chicken with mushroom and sun dried tomato) in the same pan and added about half a cup of chicken stock, 1/4 cup red wine, and 1 tablespoon of butter. I simmered this for about a minute and then added about two cups of thickly-chopped cremini mushrooms and a sprig of rosemary because my thyme is dead now. I simmered this for about fifteen minutes and then added one chopped pear (I could have added more). I simmered that for a few minutes and then took everything out, leaving just the liquid. This I reduced almost to a syrup, and then I threw everything back in, mixed it all together, and then served over the polenta. I had mixed some thinly-sliced spinach in the polenta itself.

So it wasn't the ambrosia of L'Impero. It was still tasty. As I mentioned, it could have used a little more pear. But I really liked the chewy mushrooms and the rosemary went nearly as well as thyme would have.

And now for the regular abrupt change of subject: I am excited to report that Jasper now understands the concept of "same" and "different!" He's still growing verbally by leaps and bounds, and comes out with words I don't even remember teaching him. Thankfully I finally got a handle on my pirate language. Now he regularly says "doggonit" and "shoot." He's still so intense and deliberate. He screams and waves his hands in frustration if he can't perform a fine motor skill-related task like unscrewing a bottle. I'm trying to teach him to be patient and go slowly, but that's a tough lesson for all of us to learn.

Lane woke up at 3 a.m. last night fretting over a painting he's been working on. He managed to go back to sleep for a few hours, but by morning he couldn't wait to go to work and tackle the painting. He was so focused that he didn't take a break until 4:00 in the afternoon. So it's no wonder Jasper is the way he is. He's a high-energy, intense little guy, just like his dad.


Anonymous said...

Isn't it L'Impero? Just in case anyone wants to go there. It really is fab! I also heartily recommend going there on someone else's dime (my inhouse friend's local counsel, in my case).

newbrooklyner said...

How happy I was to see Jasper crossing the threshold of the kiddie barber-shop where my boy's hair was being destroyed! How happy I am that Jasper got out without his hair being destroyed too.

So, does WIMFD take requests?

I'd like to make a squash soup. Something with a little ginger perhaps.

What have you got?

Adriana Velez said...

JaneAnne, yes, it's L'Impero. Duh -- this is what comes of writing my blog at night when I'm completely fried.