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!
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.
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
¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) butter
1 ½ cups chopped shallots
1 ½ pounds mixed fresh wild mushrooms of the season, stemmed and sliced
1 ½ pounds white button mushrooms, sliced
¾ cup sweet Marsala (preferred JH note – I’d use a Bual or Malmsey) or Sherry
2 cups (or more) whipping cream
2 teaspoons porcini powder
Fresh Thyme leaves, to taste
Outerbridge’s Hot Pepper Sherry Sauce or Tabasco, to taste
1 head of roasted garlic pulp
2 French-bread baguettes, sliced
Black Truffle Olive Oil
¾ cup chopped fresh parsley
Divide butter between 2 heavy large skillets and melt over medium-high heat. Divide shallots between skillets; sauté until beginning to soften, about 5 minutes. Divide mushrooms between skillets. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Sauté until almost tender, about 8 minutes. Divide Marsala between skillets; stir until evaporated, about 1 minute. Pour 1 cup cream into each skillet and ½ of the roasted garlic pulp in each skillet and 1 teaspoon porcini powder per skillet (if using); cook until sauce thickens, stirring occasionally, about 3-4 minutes.
Season with salt, pepper, thyme and hot sherry sauce or Tabasco (if using). Combine mushrooms in 1 skillet. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cool slightly. Cover; chill. Before serving, rewarm over medium heat, thinning with more cream if necessary.)
Preheat oven to 350°F. Place bread slices on baking sheets. Brush with black truffle olive oil (or butter if you prefer); sprinkle with pepper. Bake until beginning to brown, about 15 minutes. Stir parsley into mushroom mixture; transfer to chafing dish. Serve with toasts.
If you have any leftovers, puree them with beef or vegetable broth for what may be the best cream of mushroom soup you’ll ever taste…