Monday, April 5, 2010

Prosciutto Enoki Mushroom Wrap

Late Easter Edition of Rabbit and Carrots?

This is a simple recipe for a pre-dinner appetizer that will wow your guests and keep them entertained while you work on the rest of the meal. For the vegetarians, we have the "rabbit", which is Garlic and Herb Boursin Cheese on Garlic and Herb Cracker. The rabbit's ear is rosemary leaves. Cheese, crackers, and rosemary are readily available at any major grocery store.

For the meat eaters, we have the "carrot". This is French Styled Smoked Prosciutto wrapped around enoki mushroom and green onion.

Enoki is this tiny white mushroom on a long thin stalk. It is not pungent like other mushrooms. Instead, Enoki is delicate and slightly fruity. It is not chewy at all. It comes in cans, bottles, or packed fresh in plastic (which I prefer). You can buy this in ethnic grocery stores or Whole Food on Cambie. My grandmother used to put this in our udon soup along with seaweed and green onion. Prosciutto Enoki Wrap is sort of a fusion twist to the flavour of that childhood udon.

Now, don't just use any random prosciutto. Because of enoki's delicate flavour, you want say away from overly sharp flavoured bacon. I spent 20 minutes trying out different prosciutto at Oyama Sausage Company at Granville Island, and I felt the French Styled Smoked Prosciutto compliment Enoki the best. It does not overpower the delicate flavour of the mushroom and brings the perfect balance of salt and smokiness to the dish.

The wrap is simply: thinly sliced green onion and enoki wrapped with prosciutto. It can be made early, covered, and stored in the fridge overnight. Before guests arrives, pop it in the oven for 5 minutes. Super easy.

Wine pairing: Because this would be the first item on the menu, we need a complex wine, preferably something with modest intensity with both fruitiness, little bit grassiness, and a little bit earthiness, but with enough structure to stand up to the green onion and salty pork. An Australian or American Pinot Noir, preferably something from California, would have sufficient weight, structure, fruit, and oak to stand up to the dish. Alsace Riesling would do too, and maybe Fumé Blanc from California would be good too. If you are feeling adventurous, Velpolicella, Semillon, or Garnacha would make interesting pairings.

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