Monday, 15 May 2017

Chestnuts and Porcinis (Boletus edulis)

These are perfect partners in nature and on the table. Nothing could be a better autumn celebration.
Some of our favorite recipes.

Patè of chestnuts and porcini mushrooms
This is a great dish for a lazy afternoon.. I want to ramble on about the thick, rich texture of chestnuts and how they are hearty and sweet yet deeply savoury at the same time, how well they go with  porcini mushrooms, after all they have a symbolic relationship and are available at the same time.
You can however use any kind of mushrooms for this recipe including ordinary cultivated ones. Serve at room temperature with pickled gherkins, onions, lots of nice toasted bread and a bottle of red. Spread thickly.
  • 100g fresh porcini mushrooms
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small red onion finely diced
  • 250g Nirvana chestnut meal.
  • 25g butter
  • freshly grated nutmeg
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 5 or 6 juniper berries (optional)
Clean the mushrooms by wiping them with a damp cloth; never rinse mushrooms or they become soggy. Chop the mushrooms finely.

Porcini Mushroom Confit
500gm fresh Porcini mushrooms (Boletus edulis), cleaned.
1 teaspoons salt
3 cloves garlic, peeled and lightly crushed
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 sprigs fresh rosemary
1 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
1 cups extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
1. Preheat oven to 135°C. Slice mushrooms into bite-sized pieces (smaller ones may be left whole). Place in colander set into large bowl, toss with, and let stand for 30 minutes to drain, stirring occasionally.
2. Transfer mushrooms to oven dish with lid, along with garlic cloves, thyme, rosemary, bay leave and black pepper, and toss to combine. Add oil, stir to combine, and transfer to oven.
3. Cook, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms are tender, 1-1/2 to 2 hours. Allow to cool. Discard herb stems and bay leaves. Pack mushrooms in jars, along with enough oil to cover.
4. Seal. Process using a valoca or similar. Take to 92°C over 60 minutes. Hold at that temp for 30min.remove from water bath, check seal, and allow cooling and storing in a cool place. Once opened store in refrigerator.  

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