How to Cook with Porcini Mushrooms
Porcini mushrooms are in a category of their own. With a flavor profile that is earthy and unique, this delicious mushroom takes well to many different dishes. Beef and onion dishes are two favorites. Tomato based pasta sauces also take on a deliciously different taste profile when both the mushrooms and their reconstituting liquid are added. Of course the traditional Italian dish risotto con funghi (rice with mushrooms) would never be the same without the porcini. You can also combine porcini mushrooms with polenta. Because its own flavor is so assertive, porcini mushrooms work very well with strongly flavored fish which is unusual for a mushroom. Try adding porcini mushrooms to a bchamel (balsamella in Italian) and then spreading it on toast. Arugula and sauted porcinis also marry nicely. Finish this off with a good quality balsamic vinegar dressing. To re-hydrate dried porcini, soak them in just enough warm water to cover for about thirty minutes. Drain the mushrooms through paper towels and rinse carefully. Never throw out the flavorful porcini liquid. Remember to refrigerate or freeze the flavorful liquid. Use them in recipes where the flavor of the porcini mushrooms will enhance the dish. Soups and stews are great for adding the porcini liquid. As a rule of thumb, one ounce of dried porcini mushrooms serves four people when added to soups or stews. To store dried porcini, always keep them in a cool, dry place. Even better the refrigerator or freezer works best for storage.