This week I am focusing on a particular product rather than a recipe. Don't worry there is still a delicious recipe for everyone to make - just wanted to talk about the wonderful dried porcini mushrooms that I picked up from my good friend Shawn over at Slo Food Group!
What Are Porcini Mushrooms?
Porcini mushrooms are a prized possession in many a chefs kitchen. They come both fresh and in this case dry. In France, they are referred to as "cepe". The porcini mushroom is grown in France, Spain, Italy, parts of Asia and North America. They are naturally cultivated and typically found at the base of pine trees. Described as meaty, earthy & woody these little beauties are pure umami and are super versatile for home cooks, wannabe masterchefs and actual masterchefs 😉
Dried Porcini Mushrooms
If you go into your local grocery store you will typically find porcini mushrooms in the dried form. Dried porcini mushrooms like many dried foods have a great shelf life. I find it's best storing them in either a plastic airtight container or bag in a dark place. Shelf life (depending on what you read) is anywhere from 6 months to indefinitely but personally, I think about a year is a good time frame.
What Can I Use Dried Porcini Mushrooms For?
Tons! These delish earthy mushrooms are wonderful in soup (the recipe below!), as stock, risottos, stews, in pasta or sauces. To use dried porcini mushrooms you need to rehydrate them in warm water for a minimum of 20-30 minutes but longer if possible. The longer you leave them the more intense the mushroom flavour will be. The mushrooms themselves can be used directly in any of the above but the rich umami flavour from the "stock" is what excites me the most. Use it in place of vegetable or chicken stock and bask in the mushroom glory 😉
Wild Mushroom Soup
As mentioned the recipe I created using my dried porcini mushrooms was a delicious mushroom, leek & parsnip soup. The weather right now is dark, gloomy & rainy and boy did a bowl of this soup come in handy to warm me up!
I used the liquid in the soup along with sauteed button mushrooms, leeks, garlic & parsnips. Finished it with some cream because you know what - who cares about the diet! Topped the soup with some more mushrooms, thyme and garlic croutons for a little texture. This dish took about 45 minutes from start to finish to make and it was tough not to have seconds!
FYI - half of these were eaten before I even had the soup done! That's how addictive they are. Simply, cut or tear if you are feeling rustic some old bread up, toss it in a little oil, salt, garlic powder and thyme and roast them in the oven. Could it be easier? They will last for about 3-5 days in an airtight container too.
Slo Food Group
You may have heard me talk about these guys before. I started using their products a little over a year ago now and the quality of the products from dried porcini mushrooms, gold leaf if you are feeling a little extra, cinnamon, cloves to their amazing (and signature product) Madagascar vanilla is second to none. They ship worldwide, have great pricing and are simply great people to deal with. Currently, I have about 10 or so of their products in the pantry and am always finding new ways to incorporate them into dishes. In fact, I'll be whipping up some of my MOREISH chocolate brownies later using their vanilla!
Alternative Mushroom Recipes
Wild Mushroom Risotto by Yours Truly
Mushroom Salt by Gabby Campbell of 'Sustainable Urban Table'
Mushroom Ossobucco by Yours Truly
- 50 g dried porcini mushrooms
- 600 g mixed mushrooms button, chestnut, portobello
- 100 g leek
- 200 g parsnips peeled
- 2 cloves garlic crushed
- 250 ml heavy cream
- 2 sprigs thyme
- salt & pepper
- 60 g butter
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 50 g bread
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 pinch garlic powder
- 1 sprig thyme
- 2 mushrooms (per bowl) sliced
- sprinkle thyme
- drizzle cream
- Chopping board
- Chef Knives
- Measuring utensils
- large saucepan
- stick blender
- frying pan
- baking tray
- Soak dried mushrooms in 2L of warm water for 30min to overnight (the longer you soak the stronger the mushroom flavour).
- Chop the mushrooms, leeks & parsnips into similar sized pieces.
- Sweat the leeks in 1/2 of the butter and olive oil for 3 minutes.
- Add the parsnips and garlic and cook for a further 5 minutes.
- Add chopped mushrooms, salt, remaining butter and thyme and cook for approx. 7 minutes until mushrooms are softened.
- Add mushroom stock and porcini mushrooms and simmer for 20 minutes (make croutons).
- Remove from heat, add cream and blend until smooth.
- Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary.
- Cut/break bread into small bite sized pieces.
- Toss in oil, salt, garlic powder & thyme and bake @ 180c for 5 minutes.
- Fry mushrooms in a little oil on high heat, add a knob of butter at the end.
- Place soup in a bowl and top with cooked mushrooms, croutons, thyme & drizzle of cream
- the longer you soak the mushrooms the stronger the mushroom “stock” will be.
- when frying mushrooms ensure the pan is hot and you leave the mushrooms undisturbed to get a nice colour on them. Finish with a knob of butter for the last 20-30 seconds to add extra colour and flavour.
- soup will keep in the fridge for 3-4 days