Porcini mushrooms have a rich, meaty flavor. Also known by the French term “cepes,” they are available fresh or dried. When selecting fresh porcini, look for firm, plump mushrooms that are not slimy or bruised.
Store fresh mushrooms unwashed-lightly wrapped in paper towels or in a paper bag, never in plastic-in the refrigerator. Dried mushrooms can be stored indefinitely.
To clean fresh porcini mushrooms:
Remove grit by wiping with a damp paper towel or mushroom brush. For a more thorough cleaning, swish very briefly in water, then pat dry with paper towels.
To reconstitute dried porcini mushrooms:
Soak in warm water until softened, 20 to 30 minutes. Reserve the liquid as it’s full of flavor.
For other mushroom varieties, see button, chanterelle, Chinese black, cremini, cultivated, oyster, portobello, shiitake, straw, and tree ear mushrooms, and truffles.