Taste Buds: A festival of mushrooms at Prince Albert

Posted at 10/27/2011 6:46 AM | Updated as of 10/27/2011 6:23 PM
One of the mushroom dishes served in Prince Albert Rotisserie's mushroom festival.

MANILA, Philippines - Exquisite mushroom-based dishes created by some of Intercontinental Manila's talented chefs are being paired with selected wines this month as Prince Albert Rotisserie rolls out its mushroom festival.

On October 14, Prince Albert Rotisserie served a special haute cuisine four-course degustation matched with Italy's best wines. The menu featured a consomme made from portobello mushroom, cream of mushroom and sea bass dishes with French chantarelle, and seppe with some lamb.

The mushrooms are flown in from France, Italy and Holland.

"It's the best season for us to pick up the mushrooms because it's very humid," said Laurent Casteret, director for food and beverage at Intercontinental Manila.

"Mushroom is not a spice. It's not an herb. It's in between. It amplifies the taste of the dish. If you have a lamb or a beef, the taste of the lamb or the beef will be even more tasty thanks to the mushrooms," he added.

Ranging from delicate to powerful, certain mushrooms are best suited for certain dishes, Casteret noted.

The delicate vase-shaped chanterelle mushrooms, which are available dried or canned, can be pan-fried like a fricasse or cooked with cream for salads, sauces and risotto.

The commercially available portobello, on the other hand, gives a deep, meat-like flavor and can be grilled, broiled or roasted for appetizers, entrees or sides. Much like the shiitake mushrooms, its full-bodied flavor and dense texture makes portobello a good meat substitute for vegetarian dishes.

The porcin is smooth and pungent and can be cooked in many different ways, while the gelatinous but firm wood ear is popular in soups and stir fry dishes.

The long-stemmed enoki is ideal for sandwiches, salads and as garnishes, while the seppe is usually cooked with omelettes and potatoes.

The French abalone mushroom has a woody, earthy and smoky taste and adds complex flavors to a dish. Then there's the black truffles, dubbed "king of the mushrooms" for its rarity, which are one of the most expensive ingredients in the world.

Because of their exquisite flavor, truffles work best in delicately flavored dishes and cream sauces.

"If you have meat, you will use mushroom that will be stronger in taste. The chanterelle is a nice match with the white wine and some very delicate dishes. It will match entrees and salads and some of the seafood dishes," Casteret said.

Chef de cuisine Benedict Mendoza prepared a creamy pappardelle pasta with several mushroom varieties including the abalone, chanterelle, shiitake and enoki. The cream sauce is cooked with white wine and onions, reduced, mixed with the pasta then topped with slivers of black truffle.

There is a mix of textures and flavors in the pasta ranging from the very subtle chanterelle to the heady taste of the black truffle. The dish is best enjoyed with a glass of white wine.

Chef Mendoza's mushroom dish.

PAPARDELLE WITH MUSHROOMS AND CREAM SAUCE

  • 70 grams pappardelle pasta or fettuccini
  • 20 grams butter
  • 40 grams each of different mushrooms (chanterelle, etc.)
  • 10 grams garlic
  • 30 ml cream
  • 20 grams butter
  • 40 ml white wine
  • 30 grams Parmesan cheese
  • 30 grams sun dried tomatoes
  • 5 basil leaves
  • black truffle
  1. Cook the pasta in boiling salted water.
  2. Add butter in a fry pan. Saute mushrooms with garlic. Season to taste.
  3. Add cream and white wine and reduce for two to three minutes to make a sauce.
  4. Toss the pasta in sauce and finish with grated Parmesan cheese.
  5. Garnish with sun dried tomatoes, basil leaves and black truffle.

Prince Albert Rotisserie is located at Intercontinental Manila at 1 Ayala Avenue, 1226 Makati City, Philippines. For reservations, call (632) 793-7000 local 776 to 777.

"Taste Buds," a weekly food segment at "Mornings@ANC," airs on Tuesdays between 10:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. It features chefs and talented foodies, their food ventures, house specialties and new items.