Grilled Mushrooms with Smoked Crème Fraîche
"Wood can be as essential and impactful an ingredient as fat or salt. As it burns, wood releases chemical compounds that deliver delicious flavors and aromas to food. In this dish, inspired by the cooking of Swedish mushroom forager and chef Elle Nikishkova, applewood and juniper add layers of flavor to oyster and chanterelle mushrooms and rich crème fraîche. Seasoning the oyster and chanterelle mushrooms with salt and pepper and letting them rest for a long stint in the refrigerator before cooking draws out moisture, helping them caramelize quickly on the grill while staying meaty and tender. When you're ready smoke the mushrooms, place an applewood log alongside coals or place wood chunks directly on coals. For the crème fraîche, place a juniper branch or juniper berries directly onto the coals.
Mushrooms and crème fraîche may be cooked up to 2 days ahead. Let cool, cover, and refrigerate; reheat before serving.
Woodsy, savory Italian red: Isole e Olena Chianti Classico