Porcini Risotto

Porcini Risotto

Risotto is a quick (25 minutes!) meal to make at home. With mastered cooking method, you can easily make different kinds of healthy and delicious restaurant-quality risotto in a comfort of your own kitchen. Make sure you have the right ingredients! This recipe features whole frozen porcini mushrooms and Italian Superfino Arborio rice. They are available at our local Astin foods stores: Central Market has the rice, and Borderless European Market (BEM) — the mushrooms. The BEM porcini mushrooms are foraged in Lithuania and distributed by AmbeRye (AmbeRye Boletus Mushrooms, packaged 300 g / 10.58 oz).

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Пища наша: Buckwheat with King Trumpet Mushrooms

Buckwheat with King Trumpet Mushrooms

Buckwheat is mostly unknown in the U.S., or at least in Southern states. Which is one the most mysterious culinary facts for me. Since we are conscious about gluten tolerance and actively discover ancient grains, doesn’t this Eastern European delicacy deserve to trend worldwide?

Buckwheat is one of the healthiest ingredients that makes the most delicious main and side dishes. It is available in bulk sections of supermarkets, sold either unroasted or roasted. Each form requires specific cooking methods and timing and can’t be substituted in recipes. Unroasted buckwheat grain is relatively soft. Even raw and dry, you can bite and easily crumble it with your teeth. It’s flavor is very subtle, and it makes a porridge when cooked with hot liquid. Good roasted buckwheat has darker tannish color and a very hard grain that doesn’t crumble. When cooked, it has fluffy texture and rich earthy and nutty taste.

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Pickled Oyster Mushrooms

There are a few species of Lactarius genus, commonly known as milk-caps, that are very popular salt pickled in Slavic cuisines — L. deliciosus/Ryzhik, L. resimus/Gruzd’, etc.

Today in the U.S., mentioned above milk-caps are either unknown or deemed inedible, while in Easter Europe they are traditionally considered among the best edible mushrooms. After removing the bitterness, they are salted and later enjoyed as a condiment (there is no better companion for a shot of ice-cold vodka!) or as an ingredient in other dishes. Salted mushrooms are fleshy, juicy, and have a unique flavor.

When gruzd or ryzhik mushrooms are not available, my second favorite are P. ostreatus or Oyster mushrooms. Luckily, they are farmed by Kitchen Pride just about two hours away from Austin, in Gonzales, TX.

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Beef Wellington

Beef Wellington Served with Caramelized Califlower and Mushrooms and Miso Butter Sauce

Prime beef tenderloin wellington is the king. You can make it pretty decent with pork or poultry, but beef is fabulous. I am adding Beef Wellington to my romantic/date dinners menu. When I ate it the other day, I just realized I forgave myself everything…

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Chicken and Portobello Mushrooms Julienne

Portioned Chicken amd Mushroom Julienne

While the rest of the world used this word to describe a matchstick knife cut, for Russian-speaking culinary community julienne has always been a chicken and mushroom casserole en cocotte. This legendary dish was extremely popular during the Soviet era in high-end restaurants as well as at home. Naturally, the assumption was that the recipe is a result of French influence on pre-revolution Russian cuisine. All stories I know about this dish are mostly anecdotes. Many different recipes claim to be original. Some insist on using mushrooms, preferably porchini. Other include cooked chicken and other vegetables. Restaurant versions often add bechamel or mornay sauces, while home cooks prefer sour cream. Everybody makes this dish adjusted to their personal taste, keeping the same only basic ingredients and the way it is served. Russian julienne has to be cooked individually portioned in mini casseroles and covered with a generous amount of cheese to melt on top. It is simple and delicious!

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Real tenderness can’t be confused…

Hackleback Caviar and Black Truffle Omelette

Real tenderness can’t be confused,
It’s quiet and can’t be heard.
Don’t bother, there’s really no use
In wrapping my shoulders with fur.
In vain you whisper sweet lies
About falling under love’s spell,
Your stubborn and hungry eyes –
I’m afraid, I know them too well!

1913

By Anna Akhmatova

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