Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Hake and Porcini

  I've been trying to get out on the bike and in to the woods as much as possible after work these past few weeks, as I don't want to miss out on the spoils of this spectacular mushroom season.  As with any mushroom-er, I have my 'spots' where I know there will be edible 'shrooms in great profusion, though I was feeling adventurous yesterday afternoon and so decided to explore new territories, and I'm glad I did.

Along with Saffron Milkcaps, Oak Milkcaps, Parasols, Brown Birch Boletes, Hedgehog Fungus and a glut of Bay Boletes, I found 4 or 5 perfect Porcini specimens, and I think one of them has to be the best I've ever found.  I felt it would be a disservice to this most perfect of specimens to merely dry it out, so it got made in to something quite delicious, with a little help from some homegrown tomatoes, the humble spud, and some fresh seafood.

You can imagine my delight when stumbling across this!

The gills were still firm and white - perfect for the pan

No recipe was followed for this, I just threw the ingredients together, cooked everything simply, and, if I may so myself, it turned out rather well.

The tomato plants in the garden have been providing us with tomatoes quicker than we can consume them (I'm not complaining, honestly), so along with creating homemade sun-blushed tomatoes (dehydrating them and storing in olive oil), I have also been roasting them and creating sauces galore. For this dish, however, no blitzing, crushing, mashing or mushing was necessary, the tomatoes were just slow roasted with red onions, garlic, olive oil, fresh thyme and sea salt, creating a delicious base for a fish supper.  No fancy culinary voodoo was cast upon the Porcini either, they were just fried with sage, a small knob of butter, and seasoned. The sage was added later as it takes less time to crisp up than the Porcini to cook.

As the Porcini were frying, the hake was pan fried and the mussels steamed in white wine. The fish was served on a dollop of creamy mash with the slow-roasted tomatoes. Delicious.

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