4 May 2012

Gaele Greene's Game Changing Mushroom Cappuccino

Bouillon de Champignons Comme un Cappuccino
(Mushrooms Cappuccino)

Gael Greene was New York Magazine's famed restaurant critic for over 30 years and the Insatiable Critic columnist. She became New York magazine's restaurant critic in fall 1968, at a time when most New Yorkers were unsophisticated about food and there were few chefs anyone knew by name. She was a passionate "foodie" before that word was even on our radar and in our vocabulary. Indeed, the American edition of The Foodie Handbook credited her with first using the word.  She created her image as the mysterious woman with the hat covering her eyes when she was reviewing a restaurant since she wanted to be able to subsequently venture to a restaurant when she wasn't working and not be recognized.  

She co-founded Citymeals-on-Wheels with James Beard in 1981 and continues to remain a force serving as board chair. Greene made a significant impact on the city of New York through her work with the organization, rallying food world peers to make a commitment to help feed the city's homebound elderly. Citymeals, the largest public/private partnership in the country, has raised over $220 million in its twenty-eight year history to help feed the city's frail elderly.

She is a New York Times best selling author. Her latest book is a memoir, Insatiable, Tales from a Life of Delicious Excess, which was published in April 2006. 

She is neither chef nor cookbook author but has earned her place on "the list' of Gourmet Lives 50 Women Game Changers for her role. Our group began this journey of chronicling recipes from the Gourmet Live's list of 50 Women Game Changers back in June. Whether you agree or disagree with the authors chosen fifty on the list of 50 Women Game Changers and their order it has been an enjoyable and creative outlet to cook from the masters and those we admire with a group of dedicated ladies. There have even been a few successful bloggers on "the list". We have checked out books from the library, borrowed cookbooks from friends, surfed the Internet and browsed our own cookbook collections seeking that one recipe that will highlight that weeks outstanding woman. This group is spearheaded by my favourite well-travelled blogger Mary of One Perfect Bite who invited bloggers to travel along on this culinary journey throughout the year. 

What have we been up to with this weeks Game Changer...

Val of More Than Burnt Toast - Bouillon de Chamignon un Cappuccino (Mushroom Cappuccino)
Susan of The Spice Garden 
Taryn of Have Kitchen, Will Feed -Chocolate Wickedness
Heather of Girlichef - Orange Pour Cake
Miranda of Mangoes and Chutney - Bubby's Watermelon Lemonade
Jeanette at Jeanette's Healthy Living - Kung Pau Chicken with Walnuts
Kathleen Van Bruinisse at Bake Away with Me -Scallop Pasta
Linda of There and Back Again - Moms Macaroni and Cheese
Barbara of Moveable Feasts - Blueberry Pie with Orange Pecan Crust
Mireya - My Healthy Eating Habits - Apple Crisp
Veronica of My Catholic Kitchen - Bubby's Watermelon Lemonade 
Claudia of Journey of an Italian Cook - Asparagus with Sabayon Sauce
Alyce of More Time at The Table Corn Soup with Sautéed Scallops and Bacon
Amrita of Beetle's Kitchen Escapades - Lemon Glazed Tea Cakes
Martha at Simple Nourished Living - Morning After Orange Fruit Soup
Jill at Saucy Cooks - Pineapple Mango Upside Down Cake
Sarah at Everything in the Kitchen Sink

Michelin three-star chef Alain Chapel wowed author Gael Greene with this innovative "cappuccino", a rich, earthy soup made with mushrooms. To foam the broth, use the 
steamer attachment on a cappuccino machine, or froth it in a blender. I have a small 
hand heeled frother which worked quite well also. I removed about 1/2 cup of the hot
 broth and put it in a cup. Frothed it and topped each tea cup of _cappuccino with froth!

I have had this recipe on my "bucket list" of recipes to make for quite some time since
 I first spied it in Saveur magazine.For a presentation that will wow your guests this is 
highly recommended. Your can use whatever mushrooms are in season in your area. 
We are experiencing the magic of morels.

**Bouillon de Champignons Comme un Cappuccino (Mushroom Cappuccino)**
6 tablespoons butter
1 lb. button mushrooms, halved
8 oz. mixed mushrooms, such as oyster, shiitake, and blue foot,thinly sliced, trimmings reserved
1  oz. dried shiitake mushrooms
1 1⁄2 cups heavy cream  
Kosher salt, to taste
Cayenne pepper, to taste
12 crayfish tails, cooked and shelled, or 4 oz. cooked lobster meat, cut  into bite-size pieces
4 sprigs fresh chervil or tarragon leaves

Heat 3 tablespoons butter in a 3-qt. high-sided skillet over medium heat. Add button mushrooms and mushroom trimmings and cook, stirring often, until they release their liquid, about 10 minutes. Add 3⁄4 oz. dried shiitakes and 4 cups of water; boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until liquid has reduced to 3 cups, about 10 minutes. Set a fine-mesh strainer over a 2-qt. saucepan.

Strain broth, pressing mushrooms with the back of a spoon to extract liquid; discard solids. Add cream to mushroom broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until flavours meld, about 10 minutes. Season broth with salt and a pinch of cayenne and set aside.

In a spice grinder, grind remaining dried shiitake mushrooms to a fine powder.Transfer mushroom powder to a small skillet over medium-high heat and toast, swirling pan constantly, until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Transfer mushroom powder to a small bowl; set aside.

Heat remaining butter in the skillet over medium heat. Add mixed mushrooms, season with salt, and cook, stirring gently, until tender, 4–5 minutes. Add crayfish, season with salt, and cook until hot. Remove pan from heat and set aside.

To serve, foam reserved broth on high speed in a blender or with the steamer attachment on an espresso machine. Mound crayfish mixture in 4 teacups or small bowls, and ladle in broth. Spoon foam on top, dust with mushroom powder, and garnish with chervil.


You are reading this post on More Than Burnt Toast at http://morethanburnttoast.blogspot.com. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and or owner of More Than Burnt Toast. All rights reserved by Valerie Harrison. Best Blogger Tips


  1. so very cool! i love a good word play with food . . . nice pick!

  2. Wouldn't you love to be a restaurant food critic? Love the name of this special soup.Saving this one! Thanks.

  3. Wonderful and ever so fragrant!



  4. love this soup and sounds delicious Vall, love your china og course!:))

  5. Very interesting soup..looks delicious! I love mushrooms and know I would enjoy this. Nice post!

  6. Spectacular presentation of the soup Val. Wow and double wow.

    Love the photo of her in the hat. Speaks volumes about her personality and what she stood for.

  7. In all the seasons I watched top chef, I never realized gael wasn't actually a chef! Crazy.

  8. Gael's a character, isn't she? Was fun to research and write about.
    Your dish sounds wonderful, Val, and the way you presented it is perfect. Those dishes! The color! Love it.

  9. Just the idea of mushroom cappuccino makes me happy (love those funghi). This is a spring mouth-watering treat. Your opening photo makes me yearn.

  10. Val, this is just lovely. Your presentation of the soup is really wonderful. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

  11. Nice job on photo styling, Val. I've got to work on that, but I'm always rushing to eat! :)

  12. What a unique presentation, just lovely. I think it would be fun to be a restaurant critic!

  13. That looks silky and glorious! I love the way you presented it :D

  14. Wow! This really sounds delicious!!! I adore the idea of the froth which is always my favorite part of my coffee drinks :)

  15. I'm only familiar with the current Gael Green - and I love her!

  16. Lovely post and presentation. I'm a huge mushroom fan and am envious that you are enjoying morels at the moment. I can still remember the first time I tasted them.

  17. Now this soup is what I'd say fits into the category of gourmet. It sounds lovely! (I'm sorry I missed commenting when it came out).

    Mireya @myhealthyeatinghabits


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