Two of my favorite edibles are mushrooms and sausage. So why not combine the two? And here it is, the dish given below. I added a sweet note by adding raisins and, instead of the usual dry wine as a stock, I decided on a sweet wine: it could be sweet sherry or even muscatel. Remember, back in the Bowery, the old days, when cheap muscatel was the favorite of the old drunks? Those days are gone—you can’t afford the rents in the Bowery these days unless you’re rich. I wonder what the old rummies are drinking now?
In this entrée, in terms of mushrooms, any wild mushroom, such as chanterelle, is preferred. I used a combination of crimini and shitaki.
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound mild pork sausage, casing removed, cut into 1-inch rounds
1 medium red onion, peeled and thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1/4 cup sweet sherry
1/2 pound wild mushrooms, cut into 1-inch pieces
3 fresh thyme sprigs
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons raisins
2 tablespoons pine nuts
Salt to taste
2 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley, chopped
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 bunch fresh leaf parsley, rinsed and dried (can substitute curley endive or chicory, if desired)
- Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large pan or skillet over medium heat. Add sausage and brown on all sides until cooked through, about 4 minutes. Transfer sausage to a plate and set aside.
- Reduce heat to low, add onions and cook, stirring, until onions are soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook 2 minutes more. Increase heat to high and add wine. Cook until alcohol evaporates. about 30 seconds.
- Reduce heat to medium. Add mushrooms, thyme and bay leaf. Cook until mushrooms brown, 3-4 minutes. Return sausage to pan; add raisins and pine nuts. Cook, stirring, until nuts are toasted, about 2 minutes. Stir in parsley. Remove pan from heat.
- In a small bowl, whisk remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil with lemon juice. Season with salt, and toss lettuce with enough dressing to coat lightly.
- You can serve the mushrooms with sausage on a large platter atop the red leaf lettuce. Or you can divide mushrooms and sausage with salad on four individual plates.
Yield: 4 servings.