Baked Potato with Ricotta and Chanterelle Mushrooms

by Meeta Wolff

This chapter is a free excerpt from What's For Lunch, Honey?.

As I get older, I am trying to grasp at my roots a little more. But In Weimar I must be the only Indian, so when it comes time to celebrate traditional holidays, there is not really anyone I can bond with when it comes to such festivals. That's the one disadvantage of living so far away—it becomes harder to connect. I never missed this in Qatar or Dubai, because it is just like living in India (presumably, since I never actually lived in India at all). I look at Soeren and see that I am able to offer him so little of his Indian culture. He is half Indian, but is living a 100% European life. I do my best to show him a bit of my Sikh religion, a bit of the Punjabi passion (although I think that has been inherited in the genes LOL). It is hard because I myself am so out of touch with that.

But you find little ways to share and celebrate, and we certainly have our own. We listen to Hindi music with a crazy passion, and I am to bring my iPod with me everyday when I pick him up, so that we can listen to the tunes in the car. Those are the happy and great moments. However you have been celebrating, however you do celebrate, I think this dish will serve as a perfect side to the feasts you’ll be preparing in the next couple of months.

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As I get older, I am trying to grasp at my roots a little more. But In Weimar I must be the only Indian, so when it comes time to celebrate traditional holidays, there is not really anyone I can bond with when it comes to such festivals. That's the one disadvantage of living so far away—it becomes harder to connect. I never missed this in Qatar or Dubai, because it is just like living in India (presumably, since I never actually lived in India at all). I look at Soeren and see that I am able to offer him so little of his Indian culture. He is half Indian, but is living a 100% European life. I do my best to show him a bit of my Sikh religion, a bit of the Punjabi passion (although I think that has been inherited in the genes LOL). It is hard because I myself am so out of touch with that.

But you find little ways to share and celebrate, and we certainly have our own. We listen to Hindi music with a crazy passion, and I am to bring my iPod with me everyday when I pick him up, so that we can listen to the tunes in the car. Those are the happy and great moments. However you have been celebrating, however you do celebrate, I think this dish will serve as a perfect side to the feasts you’ll be preparing in the next couple of months.

I love to serve this delicious baked potato with a delicate ricotta filling, and herbs make this whole dish flavorful and appetizing. Yet what really makes this potato recipe the best you’ve ever had are the chanterelle mushrooms.

Chanterelle Mushrooms

I find these to be the most flavorful of all sorts of mushrooms. Delicate and just delicious. The Morel mushroom might be the most popular of all mushrooms, but it is the chanterelle that has the finest chefs in the world in a frenzy. The Italians call it girolle and Germany it is called pfifferling. They are prized around the world for their fine and delicate flavor. It has a tough, yet mild flavor and a bit of a spicy edge t. It really has that distinct flavor of the forest.

The chanterelle has a tender texture. Unlike other mushrooms, however, it does not disintegrate easily. With whatever you serve the chanterelles with it holds up its taste like a winner—cheese, tomatoes, fish, and poultry or—like here—potatoes.

Selecting and Storing

Fresh chanterelles should be clean and just about dry to the touch. When you hold them to your nose, the aroma should be fruity. There might be signs of the woods—pine needles or moss.

Fresh chanterelles should not be washed. The best way to clean them is to brush them or just pick off any dirt. I use a kitchen towel and rub the dirt off. If they really are very dirty, soak them quickly in salted water and as close to when you plan to use them as possible, to avoid storing them wet.

Fresh chanterelles keep in the fridge for up to seven days, or up to a year in the freezer. Dried chanterelles should be stored in a container, in a cool and dry place.

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 large potatoes
  • 6 teaspoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 250g ricotta
  • 2 teaspoons zest and juice of a lemon
  • 1 small bunch chives, chopped
  • ½ bunch chervil, chopped
  • ½ bunch cress, chopped
  • 6 small radishes, finely chopped
  • 200g chanterelles
  • 3 spring onions, chopped

Method:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 180ºC (about 350ºF).
  1. Scrub the potatoes clean. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle some salt over them. Place on a baking tray and bake for 70-75 minutes, depending on the size of the potatoes.
  1. In the meantime mix the ricotta with the lemon zest, 2 tablespoons of juice, salt, pepper, chives, chervil, cress, and the radish in a large mixing bowl. Set aside.
  1. In a pan heat up some olive oil and fry the chanterelles quickly for 3 minutes on high heat. Add the spring onions and reduce the heat. Sauté for 2 more minutes. Salt and pepper to taste.
  1. Slit a cross in the potatoes and pop them open by pressing on both sides. Fill with the ricotta herb filling and spread the chanterelles over the top.
  1. Enjoy with a chilled white wine.
pleasurepalate
The photo of your baked potato was truly a visual, colorful feast for the eyes and heck, it looks absolutely delicious, too.
NOVEMBER 9, 2007 12:56:00 PM GMT+01:00
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