Help me imitate a fantastic dish from Tasca in Brighton
A month or so ago the BF and I had a fantastic dish at Tasca, a great little tapas place in Brighton. They're no longer serving this dish, but I wrote down the description:
"gnocchi tossed with portabella mushrooms, shallots and black mission figs in a truffle and cracked pepper cream sauce"
II know how to make gnocchi from scratch, but I need some ideas with the sauce. I'm pretty sure the sauce had sherry in it ... if you had to make this sauce from the description how would you prepare it?
Saute garlic, shallots; add mushrooms. Deglaze with sherry. Add chicken or beef stock? Stir in heavy cream? Season w/ pepper ...?
Any ideas would be really appreciated!
You're very close on the sauce. After sauteing the shallots, a small amount of minced garlic and the portabellos in clarified butter, I would deglaze with either Sherry, if that's what you think was used, (I'd prefer Madiera with the figs, but you're making the dish) then a bit of demi glace or well reduced mushroom stock, and more of heavy cream, reduce until coats a spoon, swirl in whole butter and freshly cracked pepper, toss with gnocchi, adjust seasoning. You could probably even skip the demi glace. The figs were dried, I assume? Rehydrate them before using, preferably in the alcohol you're deglazing with, cut into halves or a size similar to the gnocchi, and simmer them in the cream while it's reducing. You mentioned truffle as well, was it part of the sauce or a garnish? Garnishing with truffle is very nice and adds to the visual luxury of the dish.
When I saw the restaurant as located in Brighton, I though Brighton, England or Brighton, section of Brooklyn NY, had to look at your profie; of course, Brighton MA!
haven't tasted it but you might add your chopped figs before you deglaze, and add minced truffle and/or drizzle w/ truffle oil to finish. maybe it's one too many flavors for you, but a little chopped cooked bacon might add just the right smoky element! (i.e. when in doubt, add bacon!) I think it would play well w/ the other elements.