08 June 2009

Porcini e Tomini in Pasta Sfoglia

Boletus Edulis/Porcini Moro
The long winter with it's abundance of snow has replenished our somewhat depleted water table making the mushroom population flourish more easily when the conditions lends itself to finding those fat darlings we affectionately call porcini around these parts. The springtime is a short and sweet season, for the most part, usually consisting of what are referred to as the bianci and not the more prized moro. or roughly translated as black, which to my eye seems more in the red color, but it makes sense overall. As I frequently gas on about how my in laws are keen mushroom hunters, they didn't disappoint this spring either. The little basket above is one of their small daily finds a couple of weeks ago and so a few assorted dishes came together. Porcini risotto is a standard favorite in our house, and of course with an number of simple pastas dishes, which of course fresh made pasta always gets my vote hands down. One of my other favorite "easy does it" standards, is a mushroom and cheese strudel. Use your favorite puff pastry, hand made or store bought and get on with it. It comes together quickly and is sure to impress no matter who is lucky enough to enjoy it with you.

Porcino and Cheese Strudel


puff pastry sheet, (250g or 7-8 oz sheet) home made or store bought
you want a rectangular sheet about 9"x12"1/2cm(1/4") thick

250g -300g (8 0z) porcini, fresh, cleaned, thick sliced and cut into chunky bits
8 oz fresh crimini or white mushrooms, sliced
10-15g dry porcini, rehydrated in warm water for a 5-10 minutes
20g (2T) onion, red, white or shallots
1 garlic clove, minced
30g (2 T) butter or a 50/50 mix of olive oil and butter
1 T/sprig or two of fresh thyme, chopped. I like some of the lemon and plain thyme mixed
1 bay leaf broken to release the flavor
5g (2T) parsley, chopped
50-60ml (1/4c) white wine

100g Tomini cheese or soft cheese, ricotta or mascarpone would work also

egg wash (whole egg and a few drops of water whisked together/ or straight whites and water)

Preheat your oven to 190*C/375*

Saute’ the mushrooms, onion, and garlic till soft, about 5 minutes.
Add the herbs and continue to cook another 5 minutes or so.
Before the mixture picks up much color, deglaze the pan with our white wine.
Continue cooking till all the alcohol has evaporated and only pan juices remain.
Use a bit more oil or stock or water if you need a bit more moisture. You do want a fairly dry mixture.
Cool the mix.
Cut your cheese up into 1/4" slices or chunks
Add to the mushrooms when they have cooled down a bit
If using ricotta or mascarpone, you will smear this on the bottom of your sheet of pastry.

Lay your pastry out flat on your sheet tray that has been oiled or on top of a sheet of baking paper, which is my preference.
Fold your pastry length wise in half.
Cut 1/2" wide strips 1/2 of the way to the edge, starting 1 1/2"-2" from the top and bottom.
Carefully open your pastry and lay flat again.
Spread your soft cheese on one side of the uncut pastry, leaving a 1/4 inch empty edge.
Cover with your mushroom and cheese mixture.
Brush the edge with your egg wash.
Bring the pastry over the top and seal by pressing the edges together with a fork or
Work your way around the three cut edges, curling the bottom and top dough together pressing the dough back in on itself, making sure the bottom dough stretches up and over the top dough, making a nice decorative edge and seal.
Brush your whole pastry with your egg wash making sure not to clog your slits so the steam will escape and all will bake and keep it's shape.
Bake in a hot oven for around 30 minutes or until the pastry is cooked on the bottom and the top is crisp and brown.
Cool a few minutes before cutting into wedges.
If you are feeling flush you can even serve it on a bed of sauteed mushrooms

Cooks notes
A couple of puff pastry recipes if you want to make your own.
Easy short cut puff pastry recipe by Gordon Ramsey, here in grams or more traditional variety here in a puff pastry video demo, by Ms Glaze's Pommes d'Amour


Unknown said...

So Marla you are also an excellent cook! I must come to visit you then...

Bella Baita Marla said...

Why thank you. Fabrizio is a great cook too. Yes we would love for you to come and visit. Maybe on your way to Holland sometime.

James Higham said...

As I have an oven, I'll have to try one of these.

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Now how frustrating is that! I can make the strudel do but I have no hope for those fat darlings! Beautiful porcini and the resulting strudel!

Proud Italian Cook said...

Hello Marla, I love the basket of porcini you have and what you,ve done with them, I can just imagine the taste. Hope all is well in your beautiful area!

Bella Baita Marla said...

Sounds like a cunning plan James.
Tanna and Marie, you need to become friends wih some wild crafters who forage around in the woods for these babies. If that doesn't work you'll all just have to come over and we can do a big hunt and cooking session afterwards! Wouldn't that be fun!

Bella Baita Marla said...

Oh yes Marie, the mushrooms and basket are my mother in laws touch. She is always arranging them with the ferns to keep them fresh, it's quite traditional in these parts. When they are out in the field they use a basket so the spores are scattered whilst gathering and the ferns are to keep them fresh, but they are also to keep the competitors prying eyes off of what's in your basket, which is a different type than the one in the photo.

Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

This is my kind of strudel, savory and with cheese.

Anne in Oxfordshire said...

I know where I am going to come for a lovely meal..:-) that looks tasty.

I love mushrooms and I love risotto...:-)

The Passionate Palate said...

Where do I begin to tell you how jealous I am that you live in a place where not only you can buy fresh porcini, but you can go out and gather them, and you have in-laws who are expert gatherers? Ahhh! Okay, yet another reason to visit.

joe@italyville said...

So jealous Marla... I love wild mushrooms and porcini in particular. The basket alone looks delicious not to mention your strudel.

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