Wild mushrooms play a huge role in Eastern European cuisine. As Anne Applebaum and Danielle Crittenden describe in their elaborate introduction to the fungus in From A Polish Country House Kitchen, mushroom gathering is a central part of rural Polish life.
During foraging season, mushrooms appear on the Polish table in many forms. They can be sauteed, pickled, and simmered into soups. These Twice-Cooked Wild Mushrooms present a unique technique: the 'shrooms are first boiled basically to smithereens. Once totally tender, they take a trip to a skillet with butter, onions, and dill to become even more silky smooth before being finished with sour cream.
Why I picked this recipe: This two-step mushroom cooking process was a new one, and the promise of silky smooth mushrooms was too good to pass up.
What worked: The final dish was indeed soft, supple, and creamy.
What didn't: I would have liked to introduce a bit of white wine into the mix before adding the sour cream. As written, the mushrooms sucked up much of the sour cream before serving, leaving little to no sauce.
Suggested tweaks: This method would work with any manner of mushrooms. You could also change the herb profile to suit your taste; thyme would be particularly nice here.
Reprinted with permission from From a Polish Country House Kitchen: 90 Recipes for the Ultimate Comfort Food By Anne Applebaum and Danielle Crittenden, copyright 2012. Published by Chronicle Books. All rights reserved. Available wherever books are sold.
- Yield:serves 6 to 8
- Active time: 15 minutes
- Total time:45 minutes
- 1 lb (455 g) mixed fresh wild mushrooms, cleaned and trimmed
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 small onion, peeled and minced
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) sour cream
- 1/4 cup (10 g) chopped fresh dill
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
Cut off the very bottom of each mushroom’s stem. Chop the mushrooms roughly into chunks.
Put the mushrooms in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil, remove from the heat, drain, and rinse. Cover with fresh water, bring to a boil a second time, and continue boiling for at least 20 minutes, until the mushroom caps and stems are completely soft. Drain the mushrooms, and strain the broth through cheesecloth if you would like to use it for another purpose.
Melt the butter in a large saucepan or sauté pan over medium heat. Add the minced onion, cook for 1 minute, and add the mushrooms. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent and the mushrooms are lightly browned. Add the sour cream and dill, stir well for another minute, sprinkle with salt and several good grinds of pepper, and serve immediately.