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Portobello Mushroom Fritters with Aioli

From The Secrets of Success Cookbook:
Signature Recipes and Insider Tips
From San Francisco's Best Restaurants

2 medium garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 egg yolks
3 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup pure olive oil
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1 tablespoon minced shallot
1 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup pure olive oil

4 cups all-purpose flour
Pinch of salt, plus 1 tablespoon
4 eggs
1/4 cup water
4 cups panko crumbs (see note)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1 pound stemmed portobello mushrooms, cut into 1/2-inch thick strips
6 cups peanut oil for frying


4 cups loosely packed arugula
1/2 cup thinly shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1 tablespoon rinsed and coarsely chopped capers

To prepare the aioli: Whisk the garlic, egg yolks, lemon juice and salt in a medium bowl. Gradually whisk in both oils until the mixture resembles mayonnaise. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

To prepare the vinaigrette: Whisk the vinegar, shallot, salt and pepper in a small bowl to blend. Gradually whisk in both oils until well blended.

To prepare the fritters: Combine the flour and a pinch of salt in a large bowl. In another bowl, whisk the eggs and water until frothy. In a third bowl, combine the crumbs, thyme and 1 tablespoon of salt.

Dip the mushroom strips one at a time into the flour, then in the egg mixture, then finally in the crumbs. Transfer to a cookie sheet until ready to fry.

Heat the peanut oil in a large saucepan to 350ºF. Fry the mushrooms 6 at a time until golden brown. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the mushrooms to paper towels to drain.

Toss the arugula with 9 tablespoons of the vinaigrette in a large bowl. Divide among 6 salad plates. Top with the hot mushrooms. Scatter shaved Parmesan over the salads. Mix the capers with the remaining vinaigrette and drizzle over. Serve the aioli in small individual cups for dipping.

Yields 6 servings.

Note: Panko (Japanese bread crumbs) are available in Japanese markets and the ethnic aisles of some supermarkets.



(Updated: 10/27/08 SN)

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