Apparently my ‘rents have a new hobby: mushroom hunting. So I headed out with them on Saturday in hopes of finding my own spoils. And I did! I can’t say that the entire experience was riveting… mostly just meandering around the woods, eyes to the ground, constantly swatting mosquitoes… but the moment I spied that fatty ‘shroom, it all became worth it. My pops found one too, naturally, as he has eyes trained for spotting by 45 years of hunting mostly anything that moves. His was buried way underground, the golden cap only barely peaking out, while mine was standing tall and proud on what seemed to be its own pedestal between two trees. Hey, I’ll take it.
So the next day when my mother suggest I come out to “the franch” (that’s what she calls her house… not a farm, not a ranch) for brunch, I had just 2 things on my mind: that huge, fresh porcini mushroom and an egg straight from one of her 18 chickens she so proudly touts over..
The rest, however, was a mystery. I’d just have to wait and see what was in her fridge before I could come up with the rest of brunch. Luckily for me, this was not the first porcini feast my folks had had this week. I found some leftover porcini risotto that my mother had cooked perfectly for some guests just a couple days before. Risotto cakes! Yes, that’s much more interesting than toast! I also found some arugula and the basics: garlic, shallots, fresh parsley, EVOO. Sure, that’d work!
So I formed my risotto cakes and placed them in a med-high pan to sear. The sliced mushrooms went in their own pan with a thickly sliced garlic clove and the shallots got a little time on their own to caramelize before being quickly tossed with the arugula. The water was just below a simmer in pot in the back, awaiting the special little eggs.
I assembled like this:
First the risotto cake…
Then the sauteed mushrooms (which I also added the fresh parsley to), and the wilted arugula with shallots…
Next I placed the poached eggs on top. They’re little so they really only needed a 2 minute timer, instead of 3. I scrambled to get them out of the pot when I realized that my ‘sous chef’ had placed the set timer back in the drawer and it went off without our knowing. Ugh. They were certiainly going to be over cooked.
But the company and scenery were lovely as we sat outside and watched the chickens peck their organic flax seed (yes, the most spoiled chickens on the earth!) and the horses mill around the corral (their treats would come later). Our meal didn’t look to shabby either!
I even got a double yolk! Twins! How exciting! Not to mention the color of the yolks: so vivid and bright orange! (No wonder the Italian translation for “yolk” is “the red of the egg”.) I guess the bird’s special treatment is paying off.
My mom lucked out with a slightly more gooey yolk than mine though I wished they were looser, still. In all, it was pretty tasty: crispy, creamy porcini risotto, meaty, earthy sauteed porcinis, fresh, peppery arugula, sweet shallots and a lively, fresh egg. Really, it was right up my alley.
Even my pa liked it… I mean, it was no biscuits and gravy, but it’d do. :) We had some fresh, delicious blueberries and cantaloupe as a little sweet finish.
There’s something about growing/finding/raising the food that’s on your table. I mean, you can’t buy eggs like that in the grocery store! But since I don’t have my own in Chicago, I’ll be headed to the farmers’ market as often as possible while I still can! I’m not sure I’m going to find a deal quite as good as this one on foraged porcinis, though.