> Lemon and Strawberries: Buckwheat with mushrooms à la risotto

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Buckwheat with mushrooms à la risotto

Buckwheat is a very popular ingredient in Polish cuisine and we use it in many ways - as stuffing, addition to soups, fried as cutlets or we serve it cooked with stews and sauces.
I haven't had buckwheat for a long time now, so I got pretty excited when I saw it being sold in the supermarket and immediately got an idea for this dish.
I would call it a variation of traditional Polish buckwheat with mushroom sauce with a "twist". 
Normally you would cook buckwheat in salted water and prepare mushroom sauce separately, but I've decided to make it a little bit differently.
I couldn't find any wild mushrooms like boletus ("borowik" or "prawdziwek" in Polish) so I've used portobello mushrooms as they have more taste and substance than regular white ones.

  • 250g buckwheat
  • 1l mushroom or chicken broth
  • 50ml ouzo
  • 1 big onion
  • 4-5 portobello mushrooms
  • handful parsley
  • 1tsp thyme
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 100g brie cheese 
  • 2-3tbs olive oil
Preheat two pans with some olive oil - one deep where we'll be making the whole dish and another one for frying mushrooms. Cut mushrooms into 2-3cm cubes (they will shrink while being fried) and chop the onion.

Fry onions on a deep pan until they become half-transparent. Fry mushrooms on the other pan for about 10 minutes - add some pepper and thyme to taste, but be careful with salt, because they will let out more juices and it will be harder to get them fried. When ready, take mushrooms out and put aside. Add juices from a pan you fried them on to the onions. Sprinkle with salt to taste and pour ouzo. Let it simmer for few minutes to let the alcohol evaporate and add buckwheat. Mix everything and start adding the broth. Pour one laddle, lower the heat and let it cook until buckwheat soaks it all, then pour another laddle of broth. You need to watch and stir the whole mixture, so it won't get burned.

Whole process takes about 20-30 minutes. After this time buckwheat should be cooked and most of the broth will disappear. At this point add mushrooms to your risotto and mix it with a spoon. Add salt and pepper if needed and let it cook for few more minutes to get all the tastes combined. In the end mix in fresh chopped parsley.

Serve while still hot with few pieces of brie cheese and extra parsley on top. This time I've decided to combine this dish with a very simple cucumber salad - it's called "mizeria" in Polish. Mizeria is one of the easiest and delicious salads - I love it since I was a kid. Traditionally you cut cucumbers into thin slices and mix all the ingredients, but since today we're making a dish with a modern twist, I've changed it a little bit.

INGREDIENTS for the salad:
  • 1 big fresh cucumber
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1tbs finely chopped fresh dill
  • salt, pepper
  • 100g sour cream or natural yoghurt 
Clean the cucumber and use peeler to cut it into thin ribbons. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, mix with your hand and put on a plates with risotto. Add finely chopped onion on top, then 1-2tbs sour cream or yoghurt and finish it off with a pinch of  fresh dill.


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