Oyster and Fennel Stew
Many people claim that lobster mushrooms have an affinity for seafood and even taste a little like lobster. At any rate, they go very well with oysters and make this hearty oyster stew memorable. Fennel pollen is an optional, but highly recommended ingredient. Its delicate flavor adds a bright note to the robust flavors of this dish.
Trim the stem from the fennel bulb, cut in quarters lengthwise and slice thinly. Slice the onion lengthwise into strips. Peel the carrot and dice into 1/4 cubes.
Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the fennel, onion and carrot and cook, stirring occasionally, until they begin to soften, about 5 minutes.
Add the stock, the reconstituted dried mushrooms and the cut fingerling potatoes. Continue to cook for about 10 minutes. Mix the milk and flour thoroughly until smooth, making sure there are no lumps. Add the milk/flour mixture to the pot, stirring well. Reduce the heat to low and continue to cook until slightly thickened and the potatoes are fork-tender.
Add the oysters and cook for 5 minutes more. Ladle into bowls and garnish with a pinch of fennel pollen if desired.