Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Mushrooms In The Pasta Pantry

The very best and most authentic mushrooms for pasta are the meaty textured, earthy flavored porcini and boletus varieties, but cultivated cremini and portobello mushrooms, especially in combination with dried porcini, are an acceptable and economical substitute. White button mushrooms, however, are not. To boost and enhance the flavor of cultivated mushrooms, mix 1/2oz (15g) of dried porcini with 8oz (250g) fresh mushrooms. Never wash fresh mushrooms under running water. To clean, use a damp cloth or piece of paper towel and wipe away any dirt.
When buying dried porcini, choose the packets with the largest mushroom pieces, as they come from the caps. The smaller, crumbly bits are the dried stalks and have less flavor than the caps. Porcini should be reconstituted in hot water for a minimum of 30 minutes. Try the following alternative method when making creamy mushroom sauces: place the porcini in small pan with equal amounts of water and milk to cover. Bring to a boil and boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat and leave to soak for 20 minutes. Use the soaked mushrooms and flavorful milky soaking liquid in the sauce. Dried porcini will keep in a cool, dark place for up to 1 year.

No comments:

Post a Comment