1small butternut squash,halved lengthwise and seeded
Salt to taste
1large hen of the woods mushroom,sliced into steaks
Salt to taste
2cupsbeef or vegetable stock
1/2cupfresh mushrooms, chopped(any kind)
1/4cupminced shallot or onion
1/4cupred vermouth or dry red wine
Salt and black pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Slick the cut sides of the squash with a little oil, then set them cut side down on a baking sheet and roast them until they are soft, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Scoop out the flesh of the squash and run it though a food mill or mash it with a potato masher. Add butter and salt to taste. put this in an oven-proof bowl, cover and set in the no turned-off oven to keep warm.
While the squash is roasting, bring the stock to a boil and add the dried mushrooms. Cover and turn off the heat. Let this steep for about 20 minutes. When the mushrooms are soft, remove, squeeze out excess moisture back into the bowl, and chop the mushrooms finely. Set the mushrooms aside. Strain out any debris from the stock and reserve the stock.
After the mushroom steaks are seared, you'll finish the sauce. Add a little more oil to the pan you cooked the mushroom steaks in and sauté the fresh mushrooms and shallots. As they are cooking, add the chopped rehydrated mushrooms, thyme, and garlic. Let this cook until nicely browned, about 5 minutes.
Pour in the reserved stock and the vermouth or wine and boil furiously over high heat. You want this to cook down by 2/3 or so. Strain off the debris, reserving the sauce. Pour the sauce back in the pan, set over very low heat. Add the butter one tablespoon at a time, swirling it in to melt before adding the next tablespoon. Taste for salt and serve over the mushroom steak and puree.
Once you have the squash in the oven, lube up the mushroom steaks and salt them lightly. Let them sit on the cutting board while the squash cooks.
You'll want to sear the mushroom steaks after you've finished the squash puree. Get a large sauté pan very hot. Add the canola oil and swirl it around. Pat the mushroom steaks dry and set them down in the pan. Put a heavy weight over them to sear. Let them sear like this for a solid 4 to 6 minutes without disturbing them. You want a heavy sear. Turn them over and sear under the weight again for another 3 to 5 minutes. Remove the mushroom steaks and set them on a baking sheet in the oven while you finish the sauce.
Once everything is ready, set the squash on people's plates, then top with a mushroom steak and then pour some sauce over everything. A little black pepper is nice here, too.
NOTE: This recipe works with larger porcini, lobster mushrooms or big hedgehog mushrooms, too.