Easy Peasy Porcini Dip at Home


Porcini mushrooms are one of the world’s most iconic mushrooms.  The Italians have had a love affair with them for centuries.  Rightfully so because they don’t require any cooking and are big, thick, chunky, delicious, and easy to identify.  Porcini, or Boletus edulis, have a flavor that is always better once dried and then reconstituted.  It is the perfect match for risotto and an incredible addition to this simple appetizer.

This dip is very easy to make and filled with a rich, meaty, and earthy flavor that is hard not to like.  It’s quick to assemble if you are assigned the appetizers for a dinner party and is best served slightly warm or at room temperature.

Porcini Dip (30 mins.)

1 C dried porcini chunks, broken into very small pieces, about ¼ C when done

¾ C chicken stock, approx., enough to keep mushrooms covered

1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup

2 cloves garlic

1 lb. cream cheese, broken into tablespoon-sized chunks

You’ll need one or two packages of dried porcini if you buy them at the grocery.  Enough to densely overflow a one-cup measure when coarsely broken up.  This is a great opportunity to use the mortar and pestle you might have laying around the kitchen.  Crush them well in the mortar and pestle or put them in a plastic bag and roll with a rolling pin.  Grind the dried porcini into small bits, also using fingertips at the end, so the chunks are no bigger than pumpkin seeds.  Barely cover the porcini with broth and simmer on very low heat for about 7 minutes until fully softened (reconstituted), stirring often.

Add the mushroom soup concentrate along with 2 lightly smashed garlic cloves.  Yes, using a premade soup seems almost like cheating, but it works really well and this is meant as a quickie recipe, right?  Heat this mixture to thin it out and cook the flavors through, about 5 more minutes.  You may want to add a bit more chicken broth to thin it out as you go, if necessary.

Next, add the cream cheese, broken up into chunks so it dissolves well into the mixture.  Once it is all smooth and melted together, remove from heat and serve when it is slightly warmer than room temperature, or just set aside until your dinner guests come.  This dish freezes well if there are any leftovers at all.  Enjoy!

Gary Gilbert serves on the Executive Committee of the Boston Mycological Club, lectures and leads identification walks.  He is the author of “Mycocards”, flashcards for learning mushroom identification (mycocards.com) and resides in Manchester by the Sea.