Wild Mushroom Napoleon with Brown Butter and Chèvre
Since being named the executive chef of Malia’s in downtown Aiken, Chef Jason Tufts has earned a reputation for showcasing local products on his seasonally driven menu.
“We’re introducing the public to South Carolina ingredients that they may have never seen before while highlighting these small farmers and getting their food out there,” says Tufts.
“Napoleons were a special treat my grandmother would buy for us to share after a long day of shopping for a family event, they hold so many wonderful memories. I have tried to adapt them to savory applications over the years as a way to pay homage to the woman who gave me my love of food and culture while giving it my own signature.”
Ben Crawford and Rebecca Goldberg, co-owners of Circular Farm, are on a mission to make a positive impact on their local community’s health and wellbeing—all through the power of mushrooms. Fungi plays a vital role in the health and well-being of every existing ecosystem, and mushrooms are widely known for their amazing health benefits. A rich, low-calorie source of fiber, protein and antioxidants, mushrooms also pack a powerful flavor punch.
“Lion’s mane is this big, beautiful mushroom and we want to eat it. Not only is it tasty, it’s so good for you,” says Goldberg. “You can find lion’s mane mushroom around here, but you need to wait for it to rain. We knew that if we wanted to eat these mushrooms, we had to grow them ourselves. It is incredibly exciting to cultivate a wild South Carolina food.”
By growing inside a shipping container, they’re able to monitor and control the humidity, temperature and CO2 levels and ensure that they have enough mushrooms to bring people every week.
“I’ve been eating at Malia’s for years, and it’s awesome to see the transition from eating there, loving the food and now providing food to that restaurant. It’s really exciting to see this happen,” says Crawford.
Malia’s Wild Mushroom Napoleon
One box phyllo dough
8 parsley leaves
1/2 tsp caraway seed
1 cup melted butter
1/2 pound each Circular Farm Mushrooms:
1 large shallot, minced
1 extra large clove garlic, minced
3/4 cup marsala wine
Salt and pepper to taste
For the jus:
2 shallot, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 bay leaves
1/2 tsp whole peppercorn
1 cup marsala wine
3 cup water
1 tsp salt
Chèvre (goat cheese)
Cherry tomatoes on the vine
For the Brown Butter
In a medium sauce pot, bring whole butter to a boil. Cook until milk solids start to turn brown, and a nutty aroma is achieved. Allow to cool slightly and strain through cheese cloth or a coffee filter. Set aside.
For the Phyllo Shells
Place one sheet of phyllo on a clean work surface. Using a pastry brush, gently brush entire layer with melted butter, then place a clean sheet of phyllo dough on the top. Continue layering each sheet brushed with melted butter until you have eight sheets. Using a biscuit cutter of your desired size, make indentations on your pastry sheet, careful not to cut through. Arrange parsley and caraway seeds on the top of only three in a design of your choice, inside your indentations. Layer with two final sheets of phyllo dough, brushing both with butter. Using your biscuit cutter, cut out your phyllo along your pre-marked indentations. Bake at 375° for about 10-12 minutes until brown. For presentation, remove the very top layer. This will need to be done twice, as you will get roughly 6 pieces out of one phyllo set up.
While phyllo is cooking, cover the cherry tomatoes with olive oil and kosher salt, roast until skin starts to blister.
For the Mushroom Mixture
Tear the oyster and chestnut mushroom caps into 1/2” pieces. Reserve the stems. Prepare the lions mane by simply pulling it apart. It will separate nicely into small “shreds.”
In a medium sauté pan, sauté the shallot and garlic in brown butter until translucent, and a medium caramelization is reached. Add mushrooms and more brown butter, cook until just soft, deglaze with marsala. Reduce until almost dry. Taste for salt and pepper.
For the Mushroom Jus
Jus, a French word that roughly translates to juice, is a gravy consisting mainly of the natural juices that occur during the cooking process.
In a medium sauce pot, caramelize the shallot, then add the garlic, bay leaf, peppercorn and reserved mushroom stems. Reduce heat and continue to cook until garlic is sweated, but not brown. Deglaze with marsala and reduce mixture by 50%.
Add water, salt and pepper, and reduce until about 85%, or until it is a super-rich, dark sauce.
One teaspoon of the jus in the center of the plate and place one of the phyllo rounds on top. Add a spoonful and a half of the mushroom mixture, until it covers the phyllo edge to edge. Sprinkle a few crumbles of goat cheese on the top. Follow the same steps for the second layover. For the “crown” use the decorative tops. Using a tablespoon, nappé sauce onto plate in a circular pattern taking care not to get too much on the phyllo dough. Garnish the rest of the plate with the roasted cherry tomatoes, some of the left-over mushroom mixture, and goat cheese. Drizzle the plate with a touch more brown butter.