So I'm thinking of starting up a new feature on the blog called "Secret Ingredient." There are so many things that I have around my kitchen that I throw into a recipe to tweak it -- my love of smoked paprika is legendary -- and I think it might be fun to share them with you, one at a time.
So today, let's talk about porcini dust.
This is a relatively new discovery for me, and if you go into a shop asking for porcini dust, you won't find it. Fresh porcini are hard to come by; most porcini are sold dried.
These porcini are sitting in my spice grinder, waiting to be pulverized. A few pulses of the grinder, and poof, they become dust.
What can you use porcini dust for? I'm betting it would be a delicious addition to sauces, stews, or anything else liquid-y where a little oomph is needed. Few or no calories, and a delicious earthy umami flavor. I might even try using them to coat a steak before searing it, though that's an untested idea, and in general you'll want something that hydrates them. Otherwise, dust is just dust, no matter how tasty.
But why I made porcini dust in the first place, and how delicious it was, was this:
That's pasta flour (middle) and porcini dust (down the sides -- why did I do that?) before adding eggs and oil to make fresh homemade pasta for something I call pappardelle rolls or lasagna rolls. I'll give you the whole rundown on that meal soon. In the meantime, an up-close-and-personal preview:
Porcini dust-ed perfection.