Posts Tagged ‘Kitchen Swap’

Kitchen Swap: The Pump Room’s Portabella Mushroom Wrap

The Pump Room opened in 1938.  In its hayday, the restaurant’s old school elegance and illustrious guests made the Pump Room one of Chicago’s top dining destinations to see and be seen. In addition to being famous for its lofty customers and history, we have the Pump Room to thank for inventing the Bloody Mary!

Located in Chicago’s Gold Coast inside the Ambassador East Hotel, the Pump Room has served the likes of Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Judy Garland, Frank Sinatra and Paul Newman among many other celebrities and socialites. Of course, the shining star of them all is the Pump Room’s delicious Portobello Mushroom Wrap. In accordance with its old Hollywood style, the Portabella Mushroom Wrap is made with mascarpone cheese and a port marinade for a chic and tasty twist.

The hotel and restaurant were recently purchased by Ian Schrager, the man behind Studio 54. While business may have slowed in recent years, we have every confidence that someone who knows a little something about iconic nightlife will be able do the restaurant justice and that it’s famed portabella wrap will continue adding to a long history of star power.

Portabella Mushroom Wrap

Recipe courtesy of Chef Joe Kindred, The Pump Room, Chicago
Yield: 24 servings

  • 6 Red onions, quartered in rings
  • 3 ounces port wine
  • 1 1/2 ounces balsamic vinegar
  • 24 Bell peppers (red, yellow, green)
  • 2 pounds large garlic cloves (skin on)
  • Olive oil as needed
  • 24 Portabella mushrooms, stemmed and gills
  • removed
  • 8 Shallots, thinly sliced
  • 12 ounces balsamic vinegar
  • 3/4 cup minced fresh thyme
  • 3/4 cup minced fresh chives
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons minced fresh basil,
  • divided
  • 6 Egg yolks
  • 48 ounces mascarpone cheese
  • 24 Large spinach tortillas
  • 1 1/2 pounds fresh mozzarella cheese, grated


Combine the onion rings (keeping them intact), port, and balsamic and refrigerate overnight. The next day, drain off the marinade and grill the onions until softened.

Toss the peppers and garlic with olive oil to coat and roast in a 350-degree oven until the pepper skins have begun to blacken and the garlic is tender. Slip the garlic from the skins into a food processor. Peel and seed the peppers.

Combine 2 cups olive oil, the shallots, 12 ounces balsamic, the thyme, chives, and 3/4 cup of the basil. Season with salt and pepper and gently toss the mixture with the mushrooms. Place the mushrooms, upside down, on a sheet pan lined with parchment or aluminum foil. Put the shallots and herbs in the mushrooms, but reserve any liquid left in the bowl. Roast until the mushrooms are tender. Return them to the remaining marinade to cool slightly.

Put 6 roasted red peppers in a food processor with the garlic. Add the yolks and remaining 6 tablespoons of the basil. Puree until fairly smooth, then add the mascarpone 4 ounces at a time and puree until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

For each serving to order: Warm a tortilla and spread it with 2 tablespoons of the red pepper mascarpone. Slice and lay 1 mushroom on top and add several pepper strips. Top with 1/4 onion, separating the rings. Sprinkle 1 ounce of mozzarella evenly over the vegetables. Melt the cheese. Slide the hot tortilla onto a plate.

Kitchen Swap: The Fabulous Flavors of Fusion Fungi at China Grill

Mushroom Profusion Pasta

China Grill is a fusion restaurant chain not afraid to think outside the wok. Eating at China Grill takes you on a globetrotting journey through its Italian, Japanese, French, Chinese and American influences. Mushrooms, being the versatile cross cultural ingredient that they are, pop up all over the menu.

Executive Chef Philippe Pinon shared his recipe for Mushroom Profusion Pasta with Sake Madeira Cream Sauce with us.  A blend of Portuguese Madeira, Japanese sake and exotic mushrooms make this pasta sauce deliciously international.

Mushroom Profusion Pasta with Sake Madeira Cream Sauce


Sake-Madeira Sauce
3          pounds mushroom stems, washed
3/4        cup sliced shallots
6          tablespoons minced garlic
2          cups sake
1          quart Madeira wine
3          quarts heavy whipping cream
Kosher salt, to taste
Togarashi pepper spices, to taste

Mushroom Pasta
6          Portabella mushrooms, gills removed
3          pounds dried linguini
3          ounces unsalted butter
1          pound 3 ounces sliced white mushrooms
1          pound 3 ounces sliced oyster mushrooms
1          pound 3 ounces sliced shiitake mushrooms
3          cups sliced scallions
1 1/2     cups sliced oil-packed, drained sun-dried tomatoes
6          tablespoons minced garlic
1 1/2     cups mushroom or vegetable stock
1 1/2     cups Madeira wine
1 1/2     cups sake
12         ounces grated parmesan cheese
3/4        cup chopped fresh thyme


  • To make the sauce: Sweat the mushroom stems, shallots, and garlic. Deglaze the pan with the sake and Madeira. Simmer to reduce by half. Add the cream and reduce until slightly thicker, or desired consistency.
  • Puree the contents of the pan. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer, pressing on the mixture lightly, and discard the solids. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cool the sauce in an ice bath.
  • To make the pasta: Toss the Portabella mushrooms with olive oil, salt, and pepper to taste. Roast in a 350-degree oven until tender. Set aside to cool.
  • Parcook the linguini.
  • Melt the butter and sauté the sliced mushrooms, scallions, sun-dried tomatoes, and garlic until lightly browned and soft. Season with salt. Deglaze the pan with the broth, sake, and Madeira. Add in the Sake-Madeira cream sauce, 6 ounces of the parmesan, and the thyme. Simmer until slightly thickened and flavorful. Set aside to cool.
  • For each serving, to order: Reheat 1 cup of linguini. Reheat about 1 cup of the sauce and vegetables over low. Thinly slice a Portabella and reheat 3 to 4 slices under the broiler. Plate the linguini, top with the sauce, Portabella slices, and a sprinkling of parmesan.