sweet potato with king oyster mushrooms, guanciale and a poached egg

November 14th, 2008 · 27 Comments

i realize the name of this dish probably sounds a bit random and that the picture is not helping. but let me explain…

this past week there have been 2 cooking classes held in my home with 16 students in total. the topic was handmade pasta and well, it really was a lot of fun. we made 3 dishes – a sweet potato tortellini, batali’s fettuccine capricciose and the roman classic, amatraciana with an extruded bucatini.

next month we’re holding a bruschetta and biscotti class. we’ll make a few wonderful bruschettas, we’ll drink some chianti and we’ll bake and bake, everyone going home with a big bunch of cookies for the holidays. be there.

anyway, we had leftovers of the tortellini filling, so last night i invited a friend over with no real thoughts on what i might make for dinner, but somewhere between washing my face and putting on my fuzzy lined merrell’s, it came to me in a flash… i had somehow once again channeled my inner ‘gabrielle hamilton’ and came up with this dish.


i realize it doesn’t look like much. thank god for parsley. but here’s exactly what’s going on. ok. ready? the tortellini filling contained mashed sweet potatoes, egg, parmigiano, nutmeg, parsley and finely diced prosciutto. i formed it into 2 patties and rolled them in panko crumbs. i had bought a couple of king oyster mushrooms to use in my fettuccine dish, but the second night of class used only the regular oyster mushrooms. so i had this beauty sitting in my fridge. phallic? perhaps… i sliced the mushroom into long rectangular strips and grilled them until crisp. my friend had recently been to seattle and stopped into salumi, batali’s dad’s charcuterie shop and brought over some guanciale. we sliced 4 pieces thinly and grilled them as well.

think 8 inches long at the very least…. (image swiped from wiki)

so, king oyster mushrooms. who knew? i’m now totally in love with this cultivated funghi. i saw them at the asian market and had to check them out. they only run about $5 a lb and are fleshy, dense and meaty – almost like abalone in texture. just slice them in long vertical strips and they grill up nice and crispy on the edges. huge surprise. which only goes to prove that i need to get out more…

so class, to review:

  • pan fried sweet potato cakes filled with prosciutto and parmigiano
  • king oyster mushrooms sliced and grilled
  • guanciale sliced and grilled
  • with a poached egg on top
  • a drizzle of balsamic syrup
  • and a sprinkling of chopped parsley.


this post is dedicated to these 3 bloggers who inspire me to try and be a better cook: jennifer from last night’s dinner. peter from cookblog. and heather from gild the (voodoo)lily.


Tags: eggs · mushrooms · pork · potatoes

27 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Julie // Nov 14, 2008 at 7:05 am

    Wait! You’re giving cooking classes? I want to hear more.

    Gabrielle would be proud. And look how perfect your poached eggs look. Mine always look malformed.

    Off to check out king mushrooms.

  • 2 Julia // Nov 14, 2008 at 8:06 am

    Lucky Friend! And I agree with Julie, I want to hear more about your cooking classes… They sound fun, fun, fun!

  • 3 Rachel (S[d]OC) // Nov 14, 2008 at 8:34 am

    Those sweet potato cakes look gooooood. The whole presentation is lovely.

    But it is confusing. I read the title of your post and asked, “So what exactly is this dish comprised of?” 😉

  • 4 Jack // Nov 14, 2008 at 9:04 am

    Wow! That looks like it would make a good breakfast too, but better still for dinner with a glass of something dry and red. The king oyster looks gender confused albeit delicious, but more labial than phallic Maybe they should call them Queen Oysters!

  • 5 Sara // Nov 14, 2008 at 9:19 am

    That looks really delicious! I have some guanciale that’s been sitting in my freezer for awhile, I need to use it up.

  • 6 Peter // Nov 14, 2008 at 11:02 am

    Aaaaawww… thanks, Claudia. You’re the best. That looks a hell of a lot better than what I made last night.

  • 7 lisaiscooking // Nov 14, 2008 at 11:19 am

    Once again, I’m coveting someone else’s mushrooms. I need more mushroom options here! And, that egg looks amazing.

  • 8 lo // Nov 14, 2008 at 12:08 pm

    Can’t argue with that gorgeous mushroom. And the sweet potato concept sounds amazing. Definitely greater than the sum of its parts.

  • 9 Robert // Nov 14, 2008 at 1:23 pm


    Musta been some sophisticated students, thems some big food names.

    I do know what sweet potatoes are, but that other stuff…………….

  • 10 Heather // Nov 14, 2008 at 2:03 pm

    Aw, shucks! That’s so sweet! You inspire me to be better-looking, more intelligent and a wittier conversationalist. And to be a better cook. 🙂

    I love king oyster mushrooms, incidentally. I’ve been trying to finish up my chanties and shiitakes before I pick up more mushrooms, but they’re showing up in the Asian stores now. The guanciale and poached egg are giving me the she-boner, though.

  • 11 The Italian Dish // Nov 14, 2008 at 2:49 pm

    Fret: I am so impressed! You must be channeling Grant Achatz or someone to be that creative! What will you come up with next!

  • 12 Kristie // Nov 14, 2008 at 4:18 pm

    Looks amazing, really. I am totally into “exotic mushrooms” right now in a way that I haven’t been since high school. I bought some hen-of-the-woods today at the market, and am pretty jazzed about them.

  • 13 Kristie // Nov 14, 2008 at 4:18 pm

    BTW, if you ever cook anything with, say, candy corn, I want you to say I inspired you.

  • 14 Marie // Nov 14, 2008 at 11:47 pm

    Just look at that! I would certainly say you’ve become inspired. Love that runny egg!

  • 15 Donald // Nov 15, 2008 at 1:38 am


    We’re a couple of hours away from THIS!!! And we get no ringy ringy.



    Okay then. I like this a lot. And off the cuff? I love guanciale.

  • 16 Judy // Nov 15, 2008 at 6:33 pm

    Yummmm! That looks so incredible. Inspired? Most definitely!

  • 17 Kim // Nov 16, 2008 at 7:35 am

    Interesting, and I am so glad you explained it more. Cooking classes, I would sign up in a heartbeat with you as the teacher-as long as we weren’t graded on spelling.

  • 18 Abby @ mangerlaville // Nov 16, 2008 at 9:40 pm

    That is awesome that you teach classes. This dish sounds quite delicious.

  • 19 Meg // Nov 16, 2008 at 10:33 pm

    Cooking classes? Very cool. Did you give them before you blogged? Did blogging lead, somehow to cooking classes? Doesn’t salumi’s guanciale rock? Their pancetta is mighty good, too. November may be gray, but it’s nice to be in the same town as Salumi.

  • 20 Brittany // Nov 20, 2008 at 1:34 am

    Wow. i wanna come over for baking class. And that egg is oozing just so fucking perfectly that I want to lick the computer screen

  • 21 michelle @ TNS // Nov 20, 2008 at 11:43 am

    poached egg on top of anything = i’m there.

  • 22 NOBLE PIG // Nov 20, 2008 at 12:43 pm

    I don’t think that mushroom is circumcised. Tee-hee. But the food is amazing looking.

  • 23 We Are Never Full // Nov 20, 2008 at 6:36 pm

    very interesting combo! i can definitely see how it all went together. thank you for the play-by-play as all i was really staring at was that running egg.

  • 24 robin // caviar and codfish // Nov 21, 2008 at 2:11 pm

    Those eggs look peerrrrfect! And—goddamn!—that mushroom is frightening! 😉

  • 25 maybelles mom // Nov 23, 2008 at 11:38 am

    wow, I love when the disparate becomes unified into something grand.

  • 26 TaratheFoodie // Nov 29, 2008 at 9:54 pm

    This looks amazing… Ooh just look at that egg. Love it!

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