Wednesday 21 November 2012

Potatoes and Porcini

A fantastic combination. The potatoes soak up the wonderful flavour of the mushrooms, like blotting paper, and somehow end up tasting even better than the porcini did in the first place. It's a versatile dish - I made it several weeks ago first of all to serve with roast haunch of pork, and the leftovers were re-heated a couple of days later, to be served with sautéed rabbit, and (arguably best of all) the final spoonfuls were eaten cold a couple of days later from a plastic box in the fridge. As a summer cold-potato-salad, made a couple of days in advance and left to go cold, this would be positively ambrosial.

Properly speaking, the recipe calls for fresh porcini, which are not only not always available, and even if they are, you risk wandering into second-mortgage territory with the cost of the things (at about three euros per the amount needed for one serving). Hence the advisability of using reconstituted dried porcini instead. As follows:

 For two servings.

Ingredients: Two medium-large Potatoes; four or five good-sized pieces of dried Porcini; 2 oz Butter; 1 clove Garlic; half a small Onion; a glass of white wine; seasoning.


1. In a small bowl, cover the dried Porcini with boiling water and allow to sit for 30 minutes, to soften; then filter the liquid through a paper-lined sieve (reserve the soaking liquid) and rinse the softened mushroom pieces before chopping them finely.

2. Peel the Potatoes and cut into dice of about half an inch. Par-boil them for three minutes in boiling salted water, then drain.

3. Melt the butter in a pan which has a lid. Saute the garlic (pressed) and onion (chopped fine) for a couple of minutes, until softened, then add the chopped porcini, and saute for another minute, stirring. Add the wine and the reserved mushroom liquid, and raise the heat just enough to bring the liquid to a boil.

4. As soon as the liquid boils, turn the heat down to medium, and add the par-boiled Potatoes. Stir together, then cover and allow to cook gently together for about ten minutes, until the Potatoes are cooked (and are even starting to fall apart slightly - thay way they absorb even more of the mushroom flavour). Taste and add seasoning as required.

This dish is best made completely in advance, and then reheated (covered and in a medium oven, for about ten minutes) just before serving; the more time the flavours have to blend, the better the end result.

1 comment:

Judith Weingarten said...

Last night I made my own dried porcini and potato dish, a variation on Marcella's recipe. Simpler than yours and utterly delicious. I'll tell you how I did it on the train to Genova.