Wild mushrooms and truffles are the easiest ingredient addition to capture the earthy depths of flavors in Southwestern French cooking. Cepes are the French word for the wild mushroom Boletus edulis. These mushrooms are the same as Italy’s porcini and United States’ king boletes.
Cepes of Gascony – Earthy Mushrooms in the Style of Gascony
- Small bowl
- Large skillet
- 1 oz Dried porcini mushrooms or cepes
- 2 cups Water, warmed
- ¼ cup Extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves Garlic, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp Jambon de Bayonne or prosciutto, finely chopped
- 1 lb Whole white or crimini mushrooms, quartered
- Salt and black pepper, to taste
- ½ medium Lemon
- 2 tbsp Flat-leaf parsley, chopped
- Soak the dried porcinis in warm water for 30 minutes. Gently remove porcinis from the top of the liquid without disturbing the sediment at the bottom. Lightly squeeze excess liquid and set aside. Pour the soaking liquid through a paper coffee filter to separate liquid from the grit at the bottom. Reserved liquid.
- Heat oil in a skillet over high heat. Sir in the porcinis and then reduce heat heat to medium-high. Add ham and garlic and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add strained soaking liquid and boil until it reduces to a glaze, about 15 minutes.
- Add the fresh mushrooms and season with lemon, salt and pepper. Sauté over medium-high heat until all the moisture in the pan has evaporated, about 7 minutes. Stir in parsley and serve hot.
- Dish may be made in advance by finishing cooking, letting it cool uncovered, covered, and refrigerated. Gently reheat in a pan or the microwave.