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Dried cepes (porcini)


grahamtigg
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I’ve always soaked dried ceps and found the resulting liquor full of flavour for boosting a sauce, but the re-hydrated ceps themselves have always been left with a low key flavour and somewhat wilted spongy texture.

Completely by accident I made a personal discovery the other day that resulted in transforming dried ceps into succulent flavour packed specimens that were delicious morsels on their own. I was making duck  “confit” by poaching (for several hours at up to 85 deg.C) duck legs in olive oil to which I’d added sliced shallot, garlic, bay leaf, thyme, dried orange peel and, of course, a few bits of dried ceps. It was when I came to strain the cooled oil that I discovered how the ceps had been transformed.

I’ve never bought ceps preserved in oil. I must experiment further. Has anyone else tried this?

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Wow, no! Sounds wonderful!

Mark Bittman had a "Minimalist" recipe in the NY Times a couple of years ago that's become a favorite of mine. Basically, you grind dried porcini and pumpkinseeds into a powder, then use it to dredge salmon. Pan fry it up and it's incredibly good! Come to think of it, it's the oil/porcini combo, too, isn't it?

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There is a couple of Batali's recipes on foodtv.com

where he just puts 1-2 ounces of dried porcini into duck stew

(veal is also good). it's a great technique, which gives a rich flavor to the stew and where mushrooms keep their flavor, and somehow the sand seems to dissapear.

BTW, couple of online stores, aw well as Williams-Sonoma carry porcini of the very good quality, and they don't contain a lot of sand.

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Reconstituting in water is great if you're making a porcini risotto because the soaking liquor can be part of the liquid used to build the risotto.

They don't really seem to reconstitute completely in extra virgin olive oil, even if it is warmed. You do wind up with great oil though.

I reconstitute them in white wine quite often, sometimes clam juice.

A quick rinse to remove impurities and then right into a sauce works well.

"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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Speaking of sand, I was once reconstituting some porcini in liquid and the recipe called for filtering the mixture and using just the liquid. It smelled marvelous, but when I looked at what was left in the filter, I saw a bunch of tiny maggots! This wasn't completely surprising, because when you're hunting porcini in the wild (boletus edulis), your primary competition is not other mushroom hunters but the same tiny maggots. They're less than the size of a pin head, and they start at the bottom and work their way up the stem to the cap. If you cut the stem horizontally, you can see small brown spots that mark their trails. Other hunters I know have varying standards of whether, or how many, they will tolerate. I will tolerate just a couple.

So what did I do with the liquid? I was suitably grossed out, but with no alternative in the cupboard, I used it, and said nothing to my companions, figuring that the steaming liquid, plus the drying process, rendered the insects physically, if not esthetically harmless.

What would you have done?

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Exactly the same.

"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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In a casserole/stew I find any grit sinks and stays on the bottom of the dish.

What seems to have happened is that underneath all the olive oil the ceps poached gently in a little "liquid" that would have seeped from the duck legs, onion and garlic.

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Who hasn't found weevils in grain, scooped them out, and gone on?

Maggots, schmaggots. More protein. :wink:

"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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Didn't we have a cheese mites thread?  In the (great) new book The Cheese Plate by Max McCalman, he advises that if you want to know whether you have cheese mites on your rind, put a bit of rind scraping on the table and see if it's moved a few minutes later.  Then he goes on to imply that he would be proud to eat cheese mites.

B Edulis, no one responded (gosh, why) to my thread about eating pureed beetles, but if you read it, maybe you won't be surprised that I think you did the right thing, too.

Matthew Amster-Burton, aka "mamster"

Author, Hungry Monkey, coming in May

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Congratulations, blh. You're a better man than I. Teehee. :wink:

Really though, while I believe in straining, straining, straining stocks until they're crystalline, if there's just no time to do anything else, I'd strain out the weevils or maggots.

But then I've eaten big fat white larvae in Africa.

"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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Sorry, blh. :sad:

Tell you what. Why not post on ceps? :wink:

"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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Warning: sensitive readers, look away:

On the old cheese mite thread, I reported second hand from a cheesemaker friend, that those mites are highly prized as they help construct the rind. Artisanal cheesemakers are quite used to scraping or rinsing them off before sale.

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LOL! Maybe Ruby is right, we do seem to degenerate awfully frequently into disgusting areas.

This is off topic, but there's a terrific book by William Ian Miller, The Anatomy of Disgust . All serious foodies should read it. He really deconstructs the emotion. An example: one category of disgust is things not disgusting in themselves, becoming disgusting in proximity. Spit in your mouth is not disgusting. A glass full of spit is. Bringing us to another example: things that okay when they are few in number, disgusting in large amounts. Ever seen an infestation of thousands of ladybugs? Gross as termites.

One of the reasons that kids around the age of 7 get so picky about food is that they're just learning what's disgusting and what's not and they sometimes take extreme stands: the pot liquor from the peas absolutely can not touch the mashed potatoes (disgusting in proximity).

The book covers some absolutely horrible territory -- there's a whole chapter on bodily fluids. Interesting, don't you think? Has anyone else read this book? I think that if we're going to continue to be disgusting, we might as well be informed!  :wink:

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I worked in the deli-bakery of a crappy grocery store in my college town for one summer. During that terrible experience, I formulated a theory that foods which are tasty in small quantities are disgusting in large quantities. For example, frosting...love it on my cake, hate it in a bucket.

I feel vindicated. I must read this book.

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This is off topic, but there's a terrific book by William Ian Miller, The Anatomy of Disgust .

Thanks for the pointer.

tommy, you've lost your chance an Amazon to get it cheap;

i fetched the cheapest copy.

Maybe we should start the egullet reading group, using this book for the first session...

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  • 4 months later...

Frozen porcini! Nicastro's La Bodega in the Byward Market in Ottawa had them. Packaged three to four, around $10 a package. I say "had" them because I bought their stock.

"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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Helena, but they're not in season now.

While I love dried porcini in many applications, fresh are another kettle of...um...porcini. I plan to to saute a few in clarified butter with an fine herbs omelette and a baguette. That will tell me where to go from there.

"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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