Chanterelle mushrooms and the Kinokoda Martini.
By NICK and JESSICA PUGH
One of my students at Weatherford College owns the Texas Mushroom Company with her boyfriend.
Tabitha and Rowdy live in Weatherford. They have developed a mushroom growing facility and have made quite a splash locally with their stunning fungal offerings.
Tabitha asked if Jessica and I would like to have some mushrooms in exchange for developing some recipes for them.
We have sampled a number of their mushrooms including Oyster, Lion's Mane, and wild Morrell's, all of which were either grown or harvested in and around Parker County.
Tabitha brought a sample of Chanterelle mushrooms harvested in the piney woods of East Texas. She and Rowdy gathered them by hand.
These mushrooms are particularly desired for their high umami content (the flavor cherished by the Japanese and commonly associated with perfectly cooked steaks, tomatoes, mushrooms, soy sauces, etc.)
Tabitha asked if she thought we could craft a cocktail using the Chanterelles and, as I'm sure you know, Jess and I were keen to dive in.
After tasting the mushrooms and considering that prized umami flavor, it occurred to us these Chanterelles (Coral, Golden, and Black Trumpet) would work very well with Japanese flavors.
Thus the Kinokoda was born.
WHAT’S IN IT
1 1/2 oz high quality Texas vodka
Mirin (a sweetened sake used in Japanese cooking)
Toasted sesame seeds
Texas Mushroom Company Chanterelles (three per serving)
SHAKE IT UP
Chill vodka on ice in a martini shaker.
While vodka is chilling, add 1 tablespoon of mirin to a chilled martini glass. Swirl the mirin being sure some of the mirin runs to the edge of the glass.
Pour the excess mirin into the martini shake with the vodka.
Rim glass with toasted sesame seeds. Pin Chanterelles together and hang on the lip of martini glass.
Stir vodka and mirin well to combine. Fill martini glass and enjoy!
After several samples, we are utterly convinced that this cocktail would work spectacularly with a sushi menu heavy on fresh fishes and high-quality Japanese soy sauce.
ABOUT THE PUGHS
Residents of Weatherford, Jessica and Nick draw on 20 years of culinary experience and a vast love of food and family.
Their culinary instruction partnership, Salt Horse Culinary, is a regular contributor to the food and fun at the Rhymes & Vines Festival at Melody Mountain Ranch.
Additionally, the husband and wife team operate "Larry Joe Gator's," a food trailer specializing in gourmet burgers and fried alligator.