porcini omelet

One truly great thing with Sweden is its abundance of forest and hence the accessibility of handpicked high-end food. Of course everything depends on the right season. Now, in January, the newspapers report wolf sightings in this area and I don’t eat wolf. But a ten-minute walk in September can, with luck, produce enough chanterelles to keep me happy for the rest of the day cleaning them. Or porcini mushrooms…

Nobody seems to be able to tell in advance whether there will be a porcini year. Some years nothing grows at all; sometimes, all the caps are infested with tiny maggots. But every five years or so, one comes home from one’s afternoon walk with two bags full of fresh, crisp porcinis. Unfortunately they don’t keep very well. Usually I slice and dry some, freeze a few batches (after heating them up with a pinch of salt), and pickle some nice and young specimens (boil in salt, vinegar and spices and submerge in good olive oil).

Then, for the following two days, some porcini cooking is in order. Here’s the layer omelet:

We want to combine pile-of-pancake fantasies with a fits-all-tastes omelet, that can be cut in wedges and served at room temperature.

Prepare three fillings:
1) Porcini mushrooms.
The idea is to cook the mushrooms according to Marcella Hazan’s model for all kinds of veggies: fry a chopped parsley-garlic mix for a short while in hot olive oil, then add semi-thick slices of mushroom. As soon as they stop frying and start boiling in their juices, add salt and pepper and cook them for a short while. Porcinis that have been collected in wet weather start to draw juice right away; one will have to boil away some of the water and accept their slight sliminess. In Rome I once had such a mush-goo, spiced with quite a lot of salt and pepper, as a pasta sauce; it thus became a spicy concentrate rather than a dish of its own. Set aside to cool.
2) Spinach.
Ideally, one should use fleshy Italian leaf spinach for this, which is coarsely chopped, fried in hot olive oil, spiced with chopped garlic, parsley, salt, pepper and a pinch of ground nutmeg, and set aside. In the winter, I take thawed hacked spinach, and accept the sad fact that it doesn’t fry. One can pre-fry the garlic-parsley mix instead, just long enough for the garlic to turn golden brown.
3) Grate a liberal amount of fresh Parmesan cheese.

Take 2 eggs per person and one or two for the pan, stir them with salt, add just a little water, nutmeg and pepper to taste.
Select a well-worked-in pancake-addiction cast-iron 24 cm skillet and produce many very thin round omelets from the egg mix, using butter as a frying medium.

Now make layers of omelet-mushroom-cheese omelet-spinach-cheese omelet-mushroom-cheese etc. until nothing of the ingredients is left, except for the obligatory too-much-of-only-one-kind that pleases the cook. The last layer should be whatever is nice looking. Set aside to cool and set. Cut in wedges before serving.

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