Since discovering that one magical place where I could find all my favourite mushrooms, I have been back couple of times. Now on my hand I had about 30 king bolete mushrooms, also known as Penny Bun, cep or porcini.
What a joy is to find them like this.
Then I also found red-capped scaber stalk, which also belongs to the bolete family, equally as tasty too but turns dark brown when treated with heat or injured, hence losing aesthetic looks and perhaps that is the reason why it is less valued and loved.
And with a full basket filled with different kinds of bolete, I had to come up with a dish that captures the very essence of wild mushroom taste. I did not have to think long – it was bound to be a classic Russian dish – mushroom Julienne. It has nothing to do with French cuisine, it is utterly Russian.
When I tasted what came out of the oven, I thought that if I serve it at a restaurant, there would be some connoisseurs who would think I added MSG to the dish. It was that rich and flavoursome that you get a sensation of being full taste-wise rather than through stomach.
I made it with 8 rather big bolete (mixture of ceps, red-caps and bay bolete), slightly caramelized (this takes about 10-15 minutes as the wild mushrooms need to release liquid which then has to evaporate) and then sauteed with 200 ml of cream and one tablespoon of sour cream. Added a chopped clove of garlic, twist of nutmeg and a couple more of pepper and waited until the sauce became thick and creamy, about 5 minutes. Transferred to an oven-proof pot, topped with grated cheese like Tilsiter, Emmental or mild cheddar, as these cheeses have close resemblance to cheese produced in Russia. At about 200℃ for 8 minutes when the cheese starts to bubble and brown a bit, it’s ready. Eat it like a fondue, with crusty bread, and you will realize – it is just a tiny bit better.