How-To: Reconstitute Dried Mushrooms

Follow these simple steps to reconstitute the beautiful mushrooms for this week’s risotto.

Dried Porcini mushrooms

Medium saucepan
Handheld strainer
2-3 cups warm water, stock or wine

1. Place mushrooms in a medium saucepan. (Dried mushrooms will reconstitute to 6-8 times their dry weight.)

2. Cover mushrooms with warm water, stock or wine. Bring to a boil, then turn off heat. Allow to soak in liquid for at least 15-20 minutes; gradually the mushrooms will begin to soak in moisture and plump.

3. Drain mushrooms of liquid with the strainer. Reserve the flavorful soaking liquid for use in soup, stocks and more! Briefly sauté the reconstituted mushrooms in a little butter or olive oil, add a splash of white wine if desired, add salt and pepper to taste, and then use according to your recipe.

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Cinnamon Cap Mushroom & Ricotta Crostini

This elegant little starter is a beautiful showcase for this week’s Cinnamon Cap mushrooms.

Extra-virgin olive oil
3 ounces Cinnamon Cap mushrooms, wiped clean and trimmed
1 clove of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
2 miniature sweet red peppers, seeded and sliced
4 tablespoons ricotta, drained
A few sprouts of chives, or other combination of fresh herbs, such as parsley or lovage, snipped
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 slices Italian Rustica bread

1. Set a heavy frying pan, big enough to hold all the mushrooms in one layer, over medium high heat and add a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil. Add the garlic and shake the pan to coat the garlic and keep it from sticking, cooking until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes. Add mushrooms and peppers, salt and pepper and fry gently for a few minutes until peppers have softened and mushrooms are golden.

2. Meanwhile, drizzle the bread slices with a bit of olive oil and toast under the broiler on both sides. When toasted, divide ricotta and sautéed vegetables between the slices. Sprinkle with the snipped herbs and serve immediately.

Baby Shiitake Mushroom Risotto

Topped with sautéed mushrooms, this creamy and delicious risotto is a favorite here at the farm.

1½ cups Arborio rice
4 cups chicken stock
½ cup white wine (if desired)
½ finely chopped onions or shallots
1-2 tablespoons chopped garlic (if desired)
8 tablespoons butter or olive oil (can use a mixture)
¼ cup grated Grana cheese
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
2 cups baby Shiitake mushrooms, sautéed in butter
Sea salt and ground pepper to taste

1. In a saucepan, bring the chicken stock to a boil and then turn down to a simmer to keep hot.

2. In another large saucepan over medium low heat, melt 4-5 tablespoons of butter and cook the onions until soft but not brown. Add garlic and continue cooking for about 2 minutes. Turn the heat up and add the Arborio rice, stir for about one minute. Add a ladleful of stock to the rice and continue stirring until almost absorbed.

3. Add another ladleful of stock and the wine (if using) and continue stirring. Repeat until all the stock is gone and the rice is creamy and tender.

4. Stir in the remaining butter and grated Grana until melted. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add a generous helping of sautéed mushrooms to each portion of risotto, and sprinkle with fresh parsley and a grating of Grana-style cheese before serving.

Variation: Give this risotto a springtime twist by adding coarsely-chopped pea shoots, blanched peas and crispy pancetta as well!

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Winter Warm-Up Recipes

There’s nothing quite so gratifying after a long, chilly day as a bowl of steaming-hot risotto served with crisp bread and a glass of wine. In that spirit, this week we invite you to enjoy an earthy wild mushroom risotto crafted with F&L chicken stock, baby Shiitake mushrooms and our own duxelles. Paired with smoked salmon, eggplant caponata and fresh produce such as kale rapini, leeks and Kabocha squash, plus all the ingredients for an apple galette tart, this menu will satisfy both body and soul.

Here are a few recipe ideas for the week:

Savory Mushroom Galettes
These rustic tarts make for a stunning, and incredibly satisfying, appetizer!

Wild Mushroom Risotto
Crafted with baby Shiitake mushrooms and duxelles, this creamy risotto is a favorite here at the farm on chilly evenings.

Garlic Butter-Roasted Baby Shiitake Mushrooms
Roasted with capers and garlic, this simple mushroom dish is a real show-stopper.

Ginger-Honey Kabocha Squash
Fresh ginger and sweet honey add a delightful twist to this essential steamed squash recipe.

Honey-Glazed Bolero Carrots
The inherent sweetness of fresh carrots is further enhanced in this glazed side dish from local chef John Sundstrom’s Lark: Cooking Against the Grain.

Crispy Fried Shallots
These crisp little nibbles would be wonderful served atop this week’s risotto.

Rustic Apple Galette
This country-style tart is topped with cinnamon sugar and a gorgeous honey glaze.

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