Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Cooking Italy-Sliced Potatoes with Mushrooms

This pick from the Cooking Italy group was the perfect accompaniment to the Pan Roasted Lamb with Juniper Berries I served as part of my dinner party menu. This dish would really go well with most meat dishes. I love how perfectly tender the potatoes came out. I had trouble finding dried porcini so I ended up using a dried mushroom mix which had porcini in it. This dish has lots of flavor and was fairly simple to assemble. I liked the technique for cooking the potatoes so much I would consider making it without the mushroom as well and possibly changing up the herb combinations to suit the dish I was making. I know others in the group had issues with the cooking time but mine cooked fine in the time specified in the recipe. I used Yukon gold potatoes so I'm not sure if that made the difference.

Sliced Potatoes Baked with Porcini and Fresh Cultivated Mushrooms, Riveria Style

A small packet or 1 oz dried porcini mushrooms, reconstituted
The filtered water from the mushroom soak
1 pound small new, waxy boiling potatoes
1/2 pound fresh, firm white button or cremini mushrooms
An oven to table baking dish no larger than 11 inches by 7 inches or its equivalent
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons garlic chopped, very fine
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
Black pepper, ground fresh from the mill

1. Put the reconstituted mushrooms and their filtered water into a small saucepan, turn on the heat to medium high and cook until all the liquid has boiled away. Set aside.

2. Preheat oven to 400.

3. Peel the potatoes, wash them in cold water, and cut them in 1/4 inch slices.

4. Slice off and discard a think disk from the butt end of the fresh mushroom's stem without detaching the stem from the cap. Wash the mushrooms rapidly in cold running water, taking care no to let them soak. Pat gently, but thoroughly dry with a soft cloth towel. Cut them lengthwise into slices the same thickness as the potatoes, keeping the stems and caps together.

5. Choose a baking dish which all ingredients will fit without being stacked any higher than 1 1/2 inches. Put the olive oil, garlic, potatoes, the porcini and the sliced, fresh mushrooms, parsley and several grindings of pepper. Toss several times to mix the ingredients evenly, and level them off with a spatula or the back of a spoon. Place the dish on the uppermost rack of the preheated oven. Bake for 15 minutes, then add salt, toss to distribute it well, return the dish to the oven and continue baking until the potatoes are tender, approximately another 15 minutes.

6. After taking the dish out of the oven. let it settle for a few minutes before bringing it to the table. If you find there is more oil in the dish than you would like, spoon away the excess before serving.
Source: Marcella Hazan, Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking, Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., 1992.


Foodie with Little Thyme! said...


Anonymous said...

These look great! I was kind of expecting something sort of creamy, but this lets me know that that's not at all what it! Great job!

Junglefrog said...

This looks great Brandi and well, definitely better then mine. I do think the type of potato makes at least some difference to the final outcome, but I probably sliced too thickly

Kayte said...

Your's looks so much better than mine, I have to go in and give this another try. They tasted really good, however!