This oyster mushroom dish is available at Poole's Diner in some form all year round. In the summer, we might use sweet corn; in the winter, brussels sprouts or cauliflower. But during spring, you'll always find it featuring asparagus, and it might be our favorite version of all. This recipe is excerpted from our cookbook, Poole's: Recipe and Stories from a Modern Diner, which is available for purchase here or anywhere books are sold.
Oyster Mushrooms and Asparagus with Sherry and Cream
3 tablespoons neutral vegetable oil
2 pounds oyster mushrooms, tough stems removed, torn into bite-size pieces
1 ⁄4 cup minced shallots
4 thyme sprigs
2 pounds asparagus, ends trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
1 cup amontillado sherry (I like Lustau)
3⁄4 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
2 tablespoons Porcini Butter (see Note)
Juice of 1 ⁄2 lemon
In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and let sear, stirring a few times, until the moisture they release has evaporated and the edges begin to crisp and they get caramelized. Season lightly with salt.
Add the shallots and thyme and cook for 1 minute, stirring to combine and coat everything. Stir in the asparagus, then add the sherry and deglaze the pan by swirling and scraping the bottom of the pan to release any browned bits. Cook until the liquid is reduced by three-quarters, stirring occasionally; this will take about 3 minutes. Add the cream and let it reduce until it’s thickened slightly and coats the asparagus and mushrooms, about another 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the cold butters.
Stir in the lemon juice, season with salt to taste, and serve immediately.
Note: We make porcini butter by reconstituting 1 ounce of dried porcini mushrooms and blending them with 1 cup (2 sticks) butter. You can substitute regular unsalted butter if you don't want to take the extra step.