Saturday, September 25, 2010

Hunting and gathering

So obviously my MOJO is not really back, as I had hoped. But I got so sick of the pork-pic (not to mention that the photo leaves a lot to be desired) as the first thing one sees when coming to Food Good to Eat, so I decided to post something. It's quick and easy and seasonal. There's an abundance of mushrooms in Estonia this fall, the more paranoid are suspecting nuclear radiation but I'm going with the slightly less morbid suggestion of an uncharacteristically warm summer and plenty of rain in the fall.
So yeah, the hunter-gatherer types are overjoyed, even if you don't really know the places or what you're doing you come back with overflowing baskets after going mushrooming. My favorites are chantarelles and ceps, but I've recently also discovered saffron milk-caps for myself. There never where any in the forests where we went mushrooming when I was a kid. They're the only milk-cap that doesn't need to be blanched and can go directly on the pan.

Wild mushroom and smoked sausage filled zucchini (Kuuseriisika ja suitsuvorsti täidisega suvekõrvits).


2 young zucchinis
a handful of sun-dried tomatoes
~ 10 cm bit of dry smoked sausage (I used elk-meat smoked sausage)

~ 200 g sauteed saffron milk-caps

For those you'll need:
~300-400 g fresh mushrooms (cleaned with a brush, if you can, don't get them wet)
1 onion, finely chopped
a knob of butter
1-2 tbsp of vegetable oil
freshly ground black pepper

Chop the onion, the mushrooms, the sun-dried tomatoes and the smoked sausage.

Peel and halve the zucchinis and scrape out the insides so you have boat-like vessels to fill. Discard any seeds, but if you're using young enough zucchinis you really shouldn't have any larger ones. Chop up some of the scrapings and set aside.

Heat some water in a large pot, slightly salt it and blanch the zucchini halves for about 5 minutes, until they're just tender. Drain and set aside.

Heat the oil on medium heat in a deep pan and add the butter, when it's melted, add the onion and when it's golden add the chopped sausage. After about 3-5 minutes, when the sausage is browned add the mushrooms and a little bit of the chopped zucchini-flesh.

Preheat the oven to 180C.

Sautee the mushroom-mixture on medium to lower heat for about 7 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add the sun-dried tomatoes and sautee for further 3-5 minutes.

Line an oven tin with tin-foil, place two zucchini halves on it and fill with the mixture. Place the left over zucchini halves on top, wrap the foil up and bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes.

And to accentuate the hints of sentimentality in this simple dish, enjoy it with this playing on the background :)