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Jul 31, 2017

Cinnabar Chanterelles and Sour Cream with Fried Potatoes

Yesterday I had friends over to make Czech fruit dumplings. When I make dumplings I usually proceed the dumpling course with a course of salads. In this instance, I made a raw beet salad, a grated carrot salad, and a dish of cinnabar chanterelles and sour cream with fried potatoes. I am fortunate that there’s a nice patch of cinnabars growing a few blocks from my house. I have been able to forage meals from it on three occasions over the last month. I adopted a recipe from the New York Times for the meal:

Cinnabar Chanterelles and Sour Cream with Fried Potatoes

1 lbs cinnabar chanterelles
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
4 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 lbs small potatoes
1 cup finely chopped onions
3 tablespoons sour cream
salt and pepper to taste

Step 1

Clean the mushrooms. Take three medium bowls. Place the foraged mushrooms in one bowl and fill the second with water. Working one at a time, quickly place a mushroom in the water and shake it to knock loose any debris. Then put the mushroom on a cutting board and, using a small paring knife, cut or scrape away any remaining debris. Place the cleaned mushrooms in the third bowl.

Step 2

Place the potatoes in a small saucepan of salted water. Bring to a boil and then cook until they are just about fork tender. Remove from heat, drain, and then cut into halves or quarters, depending on the size of the potatoes. Ideally the potato pieces should be bite-sized.

Step 3

Heat three tablespoons of olive oil in an iron skillet over medium heat. Add the potatoes and fry until golden brown, about 10 minutes. When the potatoes are ready, remove them from the heat and place in a small bowl.

Step 4

Return the skillet to the stove, add the butter, and melt the butter over medium heat. After the butter has melted, add the onions and cook until they are translucent.

Step 5

Add the mushrooms to the onions and continue cooking until all of the liquid has evaporated. Cinnabar chanterelles give off a lot of water so don’t be surprised if the mushroom and onion mix initially has a soupy consistency.

Step 6

Once the liquid has evaporated, stir in the potatoes and cook for another minute or so. Then add the sour cream and cook for an additional two minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

Note: If you want to make this recipe with yellow chanterelles (the kind you can sometimes buy in the grocery store) increase the butter to 2 tablespoons. They are a lot less watery and, consequently, do well with a bit more fat from the butter.

CommentsCategories Food Tags Cinnabar Chanterelles Recipe Fruit Dumplings Foraging

Aug 21, 2014

Marketa's Czech Fruit Dumplings

Several years ago the photographer, and close family friend, Marketa Luskacova taught me how to make Czech fruit dumplings. I try to make the dumplings most summers, just as I make pierogis most winters, and this week we're having a dumpling party for friends. The recipe is so great that I thought I would share. 

Marketa's Czech Fruit Dumplings

Makes about 16 dumplings, depending on the size of the fruit used


1 cup rough ground white wheat flour or refined flour mixed with semolina
2 cups ricotta cheese
1 egg
pinch of salt

Let the dough rest for at least one hour.

Then, a piece at a time, pinch off an inch diameter ball of dough, flatten and wrap around the fruit. The dough should be very thin around the fruit. If you are using apricots, plums or cherries keep the stones (pits) in the fruit (other popular fruits are strawberries or apples cut into quarters)*. As you form the dumplings make sure your hands and the dough are both well covered in flour. Otherwise the dumplings will stick.

Immediately before serving boil the dumplings for about six minutes. Apricot and plum dumplings require slightly longer to cook. The dumplings will be ready when they float and the water returns to a boil.

Serve with melted butter, sugar, ground poppy seeds, bread crumbs, dry farmers cheese and sour cream.

*An alternative version requires pitting the fruit before forming the dumplings. When this is done a sugar cube is put in the place of the pit. Cherry dumplings are made three cherries to a dumpling.

CommentsCategories Food Tags Summer Marketa Luskacova

Jul 3, 2013

Kathy's Wild Black Raspberry Sauce

When I was a kid my mother used to make this amazing raspberry sauce. We would eat it on fresh and home canned peaches, ice cream and yogurt. In the last few days I have found an abundance of wild black raspberries growing near where I live. Yesterday I called Mom up and asked her for her recipe.

Kathy’s Wild Black Raspberry Sauce

3 cups wild black raspberries
1/4 to 1/2 cup sugar depending on the tartness of the berries
juice of 1 lemon

1. Wash the berries and and mix with the sugar in a moderate sized mixing bowl.
2. Place about half of the berries in a sieve. Holding the sieve over a clean mixing bowl press the berries through it. The sauce should start to come out in globs. Continue pressing the berries until all of the juice is gone and you are only left with seeds and pulp. Repeat with the second half of the berries.
3. Mix in the lemon juice.

The sauce freezes well so you have a wonderful blast of summer in the depth of winter. This recipe makes about 1 cup. I reserve the remaining seeds and pulp and then soak in some cheap rum to make a cordial. You have to, of course, filter the rum before you drink it.

CommentsCategories Food

Jun 28, 2013

Porcini Mushroom Risotto

In Barcelona’s Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria Sara and I were lucky enough to find cheap and plentiful dried porcini powder. I bought a bunch. Last night we had friends over for dinner and I made what might be the best mushroom risotto ever. Here’s the recipe:

2 T butter
3 cloves garlic finely minced
1 shallot finely minced
1 T porcini powder
1 oz dried porcini
1/2 lbs king trumpet mushrooms, roughly chopped
1/4 cup white wine
2 cups arborio rice
5 cups vegetable stock
1 cup grated parmesan cheese

1. Place the dried porcini in a bowl and cover with about 1 cup boiling water. Let sit 30 minutes. Remove the porcini from the water and chop. Reserve the water.
2. Add the mushroom water to the vegetable stock. Bring to a boil in a medium sized sauce pan.
3. Melt the butter in a 3 or 4 quart french oven or similarly sized pan. Add the shallot and garlic and cook until fragrant.
4. Add the trumpet mushrooms and sauté until soft.
5. Add the wine and porcini powder. Cook until thickened.
6. Stir in the rice and cook until translucent and well coated with the powder, garlic, shallot and butter mixture. This should take no more than 2 or 3 minutes. Do not let the rice brown.
7. Stir in the stock mushroom water mixture 1/2 cup at a time. Make sure the liquid is completely absorbed before adding more. Make certain to scrap the bottom of the pan so that the rice doesn’t stick.
8. Stir the porcini when half the liquid has been used.
9. When you have only a cup of liquid left stir in the cheese and then the balance of the liquid.
10. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with grated parmesan cheese.

CommentsCategories Food

Mar 30, 2013

Mom's Haroset Recipe

In honor of Passover, and because we're going to a Seder tonight, I thought I would post my mother's recipe for haroset. 


Makes 3 cups

2 large, crisp apples, cored and partly peeled
½ cup raisins
¼ cup almonds
½ teaspoon each ground ginger and cinnamon
4 to six or more tablespoons sweet red kosher wine

1. Coarsely chop raisins and almonds to desired consistency, do not over chop. Use food processor
2. Coarsely chop apples
3. Mix together with other ingredients and refrigerate 4 hours for flavors to blend

CommentsCategories Food

Feb 25, 2013

Some Sides for Pierogis

In case you're curious, this beet salad and this cucumber salad both go well with my perogis. 

CommentsCategories Food

Feb 24, 2013

Anarchist Vegan Pierogis

Well, it's that time of year again, time for my vegan anarchist perigois. They're vegan because, well, they're dairy and egg free, and they're anarchist because, well, I'm the one who makes them.

Anarchist Pierogi (Vegan)
adapted from Saveur issue 37


1 egg worth egg replacer
3 tbsp melted vegan margarine
2 tsp salt
5 1/2 cups flour


4 medium potatoes, peeled and halved
10 tbsp melted vegan margarine
2 heads garlic, diced
1 onion, chopped
8 ozs mushrooms, diced
1/2 cup sauerkraut
salt and pepper to taste

1. For the dough: Put egg replacer, vegan margarine, salt, and 2 cups warm water in bowl and mix until combined with either an electric mixer or a wooden spoon. Gradually add flour, continuing to beat. Keep beating until a soft, elastic dough forms. Transfer dough to a floured surface and knead to form a smooth ball. Cover dough with a damp cloth and set aside for at least 30 minutes.

2. For the filling: Put potatoes in a medium pot of cold salted water, bring to a boil over high heat, and cook until tender, 20-30 minutes. Drain, then return potatoes to pot. Add 5 tbsp vegan margarine and mash potatoes with a potato masher or fork until smooth. Season to taste with salt.

Meanwhile sauté two thirds the garlic 4 tbsp of margarine when it becomes translucent. Add the mushrooms and cook until the mushrooms are soft and then add salt and pepper to taste.

Concurrently sauté the remaining garlic and the onion in the remaining margarine until the onion and garlic and soft and a little golden.

Divide the potatoes into three equal portions and mix the sautéed mushrooms into one portion, the onions and garlic into the second and the sauerkraut into the third.

3. Divide dough into 2 balls. Roll out 1 dough ball about 1/8" thick on a floured surface, then cut out 3" circles. Spoon 1 heaping tsp. of filling into center of each circle, then fold in half to form a semi-circle. Pinch edges together to seal. Repeat with remaining dough and filling. (Freeze pierogi, if you like, and cook later without thawing).

4. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Cook pierogi in batches, until dough is tender, about 5 minutes. Lift pierogi from boiling water with a slotted spoon and drain well. Serve hot with melted butter or sour cream.

CommentsCategories Food