It’s been raining, I’ve finally got to wear the blazer I bought in London a few months back, we are heading to IKEA this weekend to buy candles in bulk and there are already Christmas treats in the supermarket. That means it’s Autumn. Another unequivocal seasonal sign is the need for creams, soups and comfort food in general. Oh, and mushrooms. It’s mushroom season and we can’t be happier.
Last weekend we prepared this hearty funghi porcini cream with thyme and mascarpone, which is basically all you will need for embracing Autumn with open arms. It’s fulfilling, delicious, easy to prepare and a take on a good old Jamie Oliver’s recipe. In Autumn we all go back to basics, don’t we?
You will need (serves 2):
A handful of dried porcini
Extra virgin olive oil
300 g mixed fresh wild mushrooms
1 clove of garlic, peeled and finely sliced
1 red onion, peeled and finely chopped
A knob of butter
A handful of fresh thyme, leaves picked
1 liter chicken or vegetable stock
A handful of fresh parsley, leaves picked and chopped
2 tablespoons mascarpone cheese
First place the porcini in a bowl and add boiling water to cover them.
Get a large pan and over medium to high heat add a couple of lugs of olive oil and the fresh mushrooms. Stir for a minute and add the garlic, onion, butter and thyme.
While that cooks, drain the porcini. Some people use the water of the porcini to cook, but we don’t like it because of its really strong earthy flavor. Too much for us!
Now add most of the drained porcini to the pan. Make sure you reserve just a few to sauté afterwards.
Add the stock to the pan, bring to the boil and simmer for 20- 25 minutes. After that, remove half the broth from the pan and purée your mushrooms while adding the broth back gradually until you have the texture you prefer. Sprinkle the chopped parsley and stir well.
Before serving, sauté the few porcini you reserved before. Heat a large saucepan and add a splash of extra virgin olive oil. When the oil is hot, add your porcini. Season to taste (we like to use fresh parsley and black pepper) and cook them over low heat for about five minutes.
To serve, sprinkle your sauté mushrooms over the cream, add a tablespoon of mascarpone, grilled crostini and a few drops of extra virgin olive oil.
And that’s Autumn in a bowl. Now put on your old, comfy socks, crawl up in the sofa, light some IKEA candles (or Jo Malone if you are feeling fancier), put on your favourite film or TV show and enjoy your bowl of cream goodness. That’s the best plan for a rainy, Autumn night, isn’t it?
PS: If you love mushrooms, try this recipe too.