Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Porcini Weather

"Porcini Weather" is the title of a poem I've been working on and it's been raining and warm and muggy lately, so when I walked gingerly around the empty lot next door stretching my bad back after tweaking it playing basketball, I was pleased to see peaking through the the weeds and tall grass several chestnut-suede buttons of the delicious and nutritious boletus edulis, more commonly known as porcini in the Italian, or ceps in France, or King Bolete in English. I picked three yesterday and four today, about a third of what I found growing. Sometimes the most difficult thing to do is to leave a few alone to to their work so they keep coming back.

They're terrific in soups and sauces, pasta and risotto, or just sauted in butter, and I'm looking forward to finding something delicious to do with them, something that will accompany the chickens I smoked yesterday. Last night I contributed to a dinner at a colleague's house by stir frying a few buttons with saffron rice, butter, garlic, and shallot. Simple and flavorful. Tonight, who knows? But these four beauties will find a place on our plates.

Speaking of smoked chickens, Amy "drew" a picture to show how it's done 'round these parts and how it's spelled:

Update: Harvested half a dozen more (12-16 oz), plus an Agaricus Campestris. Smoked Chicken and porcini rigatoni alfredo last night. Risotto con porcini tonight. Omelets tomorrow.

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