Citizens – please accept my apologies for the lack of posts these last few days. Two very dear friends passed away over the weekend, one due to a tragic accident, the other from a heart attack: both were taken far too soon. After an appropriate period of mourning, we are back with our regular posting schedule.
Today, we visit Eastern Europe and the proud country of Poland, reflecting centuries of history. The recipes of Poland reflect the great love of the wilderness that all Poles share, especially their renowned wild mushrooms.
The city of Kraków in particular is noted for its aristocratic recipes and I have created my own version of a wild mushroom dish that could easily have been found gracing the table of a Polish prince!
As noted on polishfoodutica.com:
Boletus edulis is the scientific name for our beloved Dried Polish Mushroom – Borowik. You may better know it as the Porcini Mushroom, Cepe (French), Steinpliz (German), Procino (Italian). The Borowik is the King of mushrooms, prized for its meaty texture and flavor. Dried mushrooms have a more intense flavor and 10 lbs of dried mushrooms are equivalent to 100 lbs of fresh mushrooms. That is why they are priced at a premium.
Another common Polish dried mushroom is the Podgrzybek Brunatny or Boletus badius also known as Bay Boletus. It is also a tasty Polish Forest Mushroom.
The best value are dried Borowik Caps, like the mushrooms on a string because they are pure Porcini. Sliced mushrooms contain the cap and stems; it is the caps that have the best flavor. Soaked dried mushrooms tend to be woody in texture so often they are chopped and added to recipes along with fresh mushrooms. In any event the broth from soaking dried mushrooms may be the best treasure, and is used to flavor many traditional foods.
Here, cream, Marsala, domestic and wild mushrooms find a delightful harmony with herbs, shallots and a LOT of roasted garlic! I’ve also amped up the wild mushroom quotient by using porcini powder, which you can easily make by whizzing a dried porcini or two in a spice grinder.
The bread is toasted with black truffle oil, admittedly gilding the lily and an optional step if you don’t have any. You can purchase the delicious Outerbridge sherry pepper sauce here.These may not be Polish ingredients per se, but they are a delicious adjunct to the recipe!
Citizens – this recipe is in honor and memory of two great and aristocratic men: Dave Goldberg and David Morgenstern. I hope you enjoy the recipe as much as I enjoyed their friendship and rich, positive impact on my life.
Battle on – The Generalissimo