Tag: porcini

Porcini and Chanterelles Spaghetti with Orange Butter and Sage

Porcini and Chanterelles Pasta with Orange and Sage

Three bags full of porcini, chanterelles and king oyster mushrooms fresh from the market and a sudden change of recipe: mushroom gnocchi were on my mind, aromatic porcini finely chopped and mixed into a soft potato dough, but kitchen life doesn’t always go to plan. My recipe didn’t work out at all. A complete kitchen disaster, which I had to save by turning the gnocchi dough into a completely different kind of dish. Although it ended successfully, I felt exhausted but that’s another story and recipe to share another time (soon!).

The frustration about the unexpected failure and my growing appetite could only be cured by my most beloved comfort dish – pasta. Spaghetti with a little finesse, stirred in fruity orange butter – smooth like velvet – I mixed them with my leftover mushrooms. Sautéed until al dente with a topping of woody, crisped sage leaves, they were delicious! I was in peace again, with mushrooms and gnocchi and experimental recipes.

Porcini and Chanterelles Pasta with Orange and Sage

Porcini and Chanterelles Spaghetti with Orange Butter and Sage

Serves 2

spaghetti, cooked al dente, 200g / 7 ounces
butter
olive oil
porcini, cut into 1 1/2 cm / 1/2″ pieces, 60g / 2 ounces
chanterelles, cut in half (lengthwise), 100g / 3 1/2 ounces
king oyster mushrooms, cut into 1 1/2 cm / 1/2″ pieces, 100g / 3 1/2 ounces
fine sea salt
black peppercorns, crushed in a mortar
fresh sage leaves 15
freshly squeezed orange juice 5 tablespoons
zest of 1 orange, for the topping

Heat 1 tablespoon of butter in a heavy pan and sauté the porcini for 1 minute on high heat until golden. Stir constantly, season with salt and pepper and transfer to a plate. Heat 1 tablespoon of butter in the same pan and sauté the chanterelles for 1 – 1 1/2 minutes, season with salt and pepper and transfer next to the porcini on the plate. Heat 1 tablespoon of butter and a splash of olive oil and sauté the king oyster mushrooms for 2 – 2 1/2 minutes until golden brown and with bite, season with salt and pepper and lay on the plate with the other mushrooms. Add 2 tablespoons of butter to the pan and fry the sage leaves on medium-high heat for about half a minute until golden and crisp but not dark, transfer to a plate and pour the orange juice into the hot pan. Scrape off the bits and pieces and add the cooked pasta and mushrooms to the pan. Season with salt and pepper to taste, sprinkle with orange zest (to taste) and crisp sage leaves and enjoy warm.

Porcini and Chanterelles Pasta with Orange and Sage

 

Porcini and Chanterelles Pasta with Orange and Sage

 

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Earthy Porcini Lentil Soup with Honey and Ginger

Porcini Lentil Soup

A couple days ago I ate a very aromatic porcini soup at one of my favourite restaurants and I was very surprised when the chef and owner told me where the mushrooms for this wonderful meal came from, the desert. The dunes of the Kalahari in southern Africa produce sensational truffle and porcini in season from now till May. I savored this dinner together with my family and we were all surprised and impressed at the same time! I’ve never seen mushrooms from the Kalahari in a store or at the markets before but I will definitely look out for them!

The soup was so tasty that it aroused my appetite for mushrooms and I had to think of a lentil soup my aunt Ursula had told me about (she was at the dinner as well). It combines the earthy flavours of lentils and porcini. I went for dried porcini (from Italy not from Africa). My aunt recommended them for this meal as you have to shred them finely into a very concentrated porcini flour which you cook together with the lentils. I used my Swabian Alb Leisa Lentils from South Germany for this meal which conveniently don’t need to soak in water. Their taste is strong enough for the aromatic porcini, so strong that I could even add a piece of ginger, some thyme sprigs and a spoon of honey. The result is an absolutely delicious lentil soup full of wintery aromas.

Porcini Lentil Soup

Porcini Lentils with Honey, Ginger and Thyme

This is great to cook in large batches to keep in the freezer for quick dinners!

For 4 people you need

lentils 350g / 12.5 ounces
(I use a small dark type which doesn’t need to soak)
dried porcini mushrooms, shredded finely in a blender, 50g / 2 ounces
medium sized onion, chopped, 1
garlic, crushed, 1 clove
broth 1000ml plus more for cooking depending on the lentils
thyme 5 sprigs
ginger, thumbnail sized
bay leaf 1
honey 1 tablespoon
salt and black pepper
olive oil for frying

In a large pot, fry the onion and garlic in a little oil on medium heat until golden, add some more oil and the shredded porcini and fry for 1 minute. Add the lentils, ginger, thyme, bay leaf and the broth. Don’t season with salt yet or the lentils will stay hard. Close the lid and let it cook for about 30 minutes. The cooking time depends on the lentil type, mine needed 30 minutes. When the lentils are soft, add the honey, season with salt and pepper and take out the thyme sprigs, bay leaf and ginger.

Potato Porcini Gratin with Raclette and Thyme

Potato Porcini Gratin

Imagine bubbling Raclette cheese, golden potatoes, earthy Porcini and aromatic thyme and you have all the strong but well balanced flavours of my hearty gratin. Add some cream, salt, pepper and nutmeg and you’re pretty much done. It’s a quick one, the potatoes are boiled already and I used dried Porcini which only had to soak for a couple minutes. Normally I make my gratin with raw potatoes, sliced very thinly, several layers stacked on top of each other with cheese in between. It takes longer to prepare and to cook, I didn’t have the time so I went for a quicker one.

I like to cook with dried Porcini. It’s convenient as you can use them all year round and they are really tasty, even more intense than the fresh ones. I always use the liquid after I soak them in water as it absorbs lots of the mushroom’s taste. It’s great for risotto or, in my case, to mix with the cream. It makes a lighter sauce than my usual gratin milk and cream mixture. I add some thyme which is the perfect herb for Porcini (parsley also fits well but the thick thyme leaves give it this nice wintery touch). I cut the potato slices quite thick, I don’t want them to become mushy when they soak a bit of the sauce. To finish it off it just needs some strong meltable cheese sprinkled on top. Swiss Raclette became one of my my favourites over the past years as it tastes really strong. I don’t like to drown my poor food under piles of cheese for a bit of taste, I rather use less of a good and aromatic one.

Potato Porcini Gratin

Potato Porcini Gratin

For 4 people as a side dish, or for 2 as a main, you need

boiled potatoes, cut into thick slices, 800g / 1 1/2 pound
dried Porcini, soaked in 120ml of warm water, chopped, 20g / 1 ounce
(keep the water, you will need 100ml for the sauce)
heavy cream 100ml
Raclette cheese, grated, 50g / 2 ounces
thyme leaves of 2-3 sprigs
salt and black pepper
nutmeg, ground
olive oil to brush the baking dish

Set the oven to 200°C / 390°F.

Arrange the potato slices in the oiled baking dish. Mix the cream, Porcini water, chopped Porcini, cheese and thyme leaves. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg and pour over the potatoes. Bake for 30 minutes or until bubbly and golden. At that point you can also put the gratin under the grill for a couple minutes so that the cheese becomes a bit crisp.

Potato Porcini Gratin