Posts Tagged ‘porcini’

dried mushrooms, cream and flavor

February 3, 2008

Mushrooms always come in large batches. You may walk the woods daily, and there’s literally nothing out there, for weeks. But a few days of rain and a bit of sunshine at the right moment, and the porcinis pop out of the ground like, well, mushrooms. All of a sudden a casual half-hour walk leads to a most intimidating pile on the kitchen table, waiting to be cleaned and dealt with. It’s even worse with their lesser cousins, the redcaps that grow under birches. These not-so-little guys usually grow all at once, and there are lots of them around.

A quick manner of working through such a pile is to clean the mushrooms, slice them in quarter-inch thick slices, distribute them loosely on a rack and to put them in a warm place with some air circulation. They will be dry within a few days. Then they can be stored in a closed container for years, or ground into a powder.

So now we have a container full of dried porcini slices (non-Swedes buy them in a grocery store, they’re just as good) and a jar with mushroom powder and what now? (more…)


porcini omelet

January 5, 2008

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: (more…)