Mushroom Caps with Bone Marrow

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As far as I know, this recipe is an original of Stars, and comes of my love of grilled mushrooms and marrow on toast. The cheese could be Fontina or Gruyère, but I like the aged dry Jack as made by the Vella cheese company in Sonoma. The mushrooms could be shiitake, field, or large domestic mushrooms, or even fresh cèpes or porcini. This first course is very rich.

Ingredients

  • 6 large shiitake or field mushroom caps
  • ½ tablespoon fresh thyme, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 cup loosely packed Italian parsley leaves
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 2 large center-cut marrow bones, cut 4 inches long
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 7 slices aged dry Jack cheese, as large as the mushrooms

Method

Rub the mushroom caps all over with a mixture of the thyme, garlic, and olive oil, and let sit covered for 30 minutes.

Puree the parsley and stir into the mayonnaise.

Put the marrow bones in salted water to just cover and bring to a boil. Cook for 1 minute and then plunge into ice water.

When the bones are cool enough to handle, wipe them dry. Using a very thin-bladed knife, cut around the inside of the bone to remove the marrow in sausage-shaped pieces. Cut the marrow into ¼-inch-thick rounds and set separately on a plate. If the pieces are still warm, refrigerate until cool and then hold at room temperature.

Start a charcoal fire or heat the broiler.

Wipe the garlic and thyme off the mushrooms and season them on both sides. Put them, undersides down, on the grill. Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes and then turn them over. Put the marrow in the center of the caps and a slice of cheese over the marrow. Cook until the mushrooms are tender, the marrow is warm, and the cheese starts to melt, about 7 more minutes. Put the mushrooms on a platter and spoon the parsley sauce on the centers of the mushrooms.