Thursday, October 24, 2013

Whenever we return from a trip, it always takes a couple of days to recover, do laundry and simply catch up on everyday things.

Our recent trip to the Białowieża National Park (Białowieski Park Narodowy), located in eastern Poland, was an amazing, magical place. We saw a couple of bison, two boar and a fox in the wild. I took nearly 500 photos in two days so I have much to share with you soon.

In the meantime, I’ve had a busy week preparing for some upcoming baking classes with a local cooking program called CookUp Studio in Warsaw. My first class is tomorrow, which is sold out with 16 participants.

However, there’s still time to sign up for my next class on Wednesday, Nov. 5, which will feature American Sweet Potato Pie and Mini Pecan or Walnut Tarts. These are two of my favorite recipes for the Thanksgiving holiday. (Please check the studio’s website to sign up for my next class.)

Besides baking, I usually end up cooking something for dinner as well. One of my recent dinners featured the Polish chanterelle mushrooms (kurek or kurka in Polish). On the blog’s Facebook page, I had asked readers what I should make with the lovely batch of kurek. If I had Turkish yufka, a mushroom börek would have been a great idea!
I settled on using one of my old, but favorite recipes for risotto, cooked the chanterelle mushrooms in white wine and stirred the mushrooms into the risotto later. I served this hearty, fall risotto with garlic-yogurt marinated chicken breasts. It was a delicious dinner!

Remember as you’re cooking the mushrooms, it’s okay to enjoy some of the white wine for yourself like I did! A little wine for the mushrooms and a little for your glass!

Polish Chanterelle Mushrooms in Risotto

2          T.         olive oil
1          ea.        medium yellow onion, cut into small dice
1          cup       Arborio rice (approx. 210 grams)
2-3       cups     chicken stock (approx. 480-720 ml.)
1       T.            butter
½         c.         grated Parmesan cheese (more to taste)
To taste           salt and pepper
Garnish:           fresh Italian parsley, chopped

2          T.         butter
½                     medium onion, cut into small dice
16        oz.       Chanterelle mushrooms (about 500 grams), cleaned and trimmed
1          cup      dry white wine such as a Chardonnay (240 ml.)
2          ea.        bay leaves
A few sprigs of fresh thyme
To taste           salt and pepper

1. In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until softened, about 10 minutes.
2. Then, add the rice and stir with a wooden spoon until toasted and opaque, about 5 to 10 minutes.
3. Add a 4-ounce ladle of the stock to the risotto and cook. Continually stir this mixture until the liquid is absorbed. Add more stock. Stir again. Repeat this procedure until all the stock is fully absorbed.
4. Cook the rice until it is tender and creamy, but a tad al dente, about 20-30 minutes. As the risotto cooks, just taste a bite of it. If it seems too al dente, add more stock and keep cooking and stirring.
5. Lastly, stir in the butter and cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Pull the pan off the heat if you are still finishing the mushrooms.
6. While the risotto is cooking, heat a second saucepan for the mushrooms. Add the 2 Tablespooons of butter. Once melted and hot, add the onion and sauté until translucent.
7. Then, add the mushrooms, thyme and bay leaf into the pan. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms have released their moisture and turned golden brown.
8. Next, add the white wine and cook until most of the liquid is absorbed. (Pour yourself a glass of white wine too!)
9. Lastly, fold the mushrooms, removing the thyme and bay leaf stems, into the finished risotto. Add as much chopped, fresh parsley as you like. Season with more salt and pepper as needed.

Tagged: , , , , ,


jaz@octoberfarm said...

this looks wonderful! i can't wait to see photos from your trip!

Joy said...

@Joyce, HI, I've been posting some on the blog's Facebook page as well as Instagram. Been too busy to put together a proper blog post though! Soon! :-)

BacktoBodrum said...

I'm glad to hear you've started your classes in Poland.

Joy said...

@Annie, so am I! Should be a great experience!