Food & Drink

Florentine Roasted Mushroom with Poached Egg and Pecorino Fondue

Credits: Craig Thiebaud
WARREN, NJ - On a recent trip to Florence my wife and I stumbled across a wine shop that also served pretty extraordinary food.  One of the dishes they started with was a roasted porcini mushroom with a poached egg both served atop a bit of soft pecorino cheese that had been melted with a touch of cream into almost a fondue-like texture.  It seemed to me to be possibly the most quintessential Italian dish my wife and I enjoyed in Italy…and we ate a lot at a lot of different restaurants, trying the local fare on a variety of levels.  Anyway, this dish is simple and elegant, using local, seasonal ingredients, and taking those simple ingredients and making them way greater than the sum of their individual parts.  I tried several times to recreate this dish at home and this recipe represents the best results I’ve achieved thus far.  I use Portobello mushrooms as we do not really have access to fresh porcinis in New Jersey (as far as I know) but you can certainly adapt the recipe to use whichever mushroom you like.  However, I would stay away from dried mushrooms and stick with a fresh variety.  As a bonus, just as our waiter told us, you can adapt this dish to whatever is in season.  We were there during porcini season.  They serve the same dish using asparagus, artichokes, etc…whatever is freshest and tastes best at that particular moment during the year.  I love it!  So, I hope you enjoy this dish as much as we did.  
Serve as a starter for a dinner party or if it’s just for you and your family, serve it alongside a salad and you will be good to go.  In Florence, it was served inside a small Mason jar.  So feel free to use that or simply serve in a small ramekin.  
Note:  Look for soft pecorino cheese.  The regular dry aged pecorino cheese commonly found alongside Parmesan cheese in the grocery stores simply will not work as it will not melt into a creamy fondue.
2 Portobello mushrooms
1 ½ Cups soft pecorino cheese
¼ Cup cream
4 Farm fresh eggs
1 Teaspoon white vinegar
Olive oil for drizzling
4-8 Fresh Italian parsley leaves
Coarse sea salt and cracked black pepper to taste
• Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
• Arrange the Portobello mushrooms on a baking sheet and drizzle a bit of olive oil over to coat both sides.  Roast for 25-35 minutes, or until cooked through and browned.
• Remove mushrooms from oven and allow to cool.  

• In the meantime, take the cheese and cube or shred it.  Place cheese and cream in a medium sized pan and cook over low heat.  Whisk mixture until cheese is melted and well incorporated.  Once finished, place on lowest heat level and leave for the time being.
• In another medium sized pan, fill with water and bring water just to the point of boiling.  
• Add the vinegar to the pan and then swirl the water around for a couple of seconds.  Add the eggs one at a time.  Do not overcrowd the pan; so if needed, work in batches.  Cook eggs for approximately 3 minutes, until the eggs are cooked but still have a runny center (or cook to your preferred level of doneness).  Remove eggs from the pan with a slotted spoon and carefully place them on a plate lined with a paper towel.
• To assemble:  Take your mason jar or ramekin and spoon enough cheese so it covers the bottom of the vessel and comes up to no more than a ¼ of an inch on the sides.  
• Slice the mushrooms in half or in quarters (depending on how large your Portobello mushrooms actually are).  Season the mushrooms with a bit of the sea salt.  Add the mushroom segments in over the cheese.  
• Then carefully add one egg per person served.  Add a leaf or two of Italian parsley.  Drizzle lightly with the best quality olive oil you have and a touch of coarse sea salt and a very light grind of black pepper.  
Serve while hot.  This recipe serves 4 but you can scale up or down very easily to suit your needs.
Craig Thiebaud is a Diplomat of Classic Culinary Arts at the International Culinary Center (formerly The French Culinary Institute) located in SOHO in New York City. After extensive training in the Art of French cooking and professional food preparation in general, he brings his knowledge of food and passion for cooking to us by sharing culinary techniques and creating recipes that mainly use local, seasonal ingredients and can be easily recreated in the home kitchen. Good, wholesome meals for the family can be created quickly with planning, using the best techniques with the best ingredients that are both affordable and available. Let's get back into the kitchen together!

Food and wine idea sharing 

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of or anyone who works for is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News


Found: Green Brook and Warren, Do You Know this Dog?

April 18, 2018

WARREN, NJ - Do you know me? I'm a young, male German Shepherd who appears to be around a year old. Found near Warrenville Road near the Green Brook, Bound Brook border and now at Somerset Regional Animal Shelter. Call  908-725-0308.

Sharing Strength, Giving Back: Become a Volunteer Advocate for Victims of Sexual Violence

April 23, 2018

The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders is pleased to announce that openings are still available in the upcoming training series for Volunteer Advocates for victims of sexual violence. The sessions are scheduled twice weekly beginning on Tuesday, May 1 and continuing until Thursday, June 14.

The training is free. No previous experience in counseling is required. Volunteer Advocates work ...

Looking for a Summer Program? Try Brain Training

Looking for an enriching and fun summer program for your children?  Why not try brain training?  Find out more: LearningRx in Warren is offering free trial sessions on May 2nd and May 9th.  Click on the following link for more information: 


Jul 28, 1955 - Feb 8, 2018
Owner/Chef of Jaret’s Stuffed Cupcakes  Beloved Husband, Father, Brother and ...
Read more

Down the Shore: Registration Now Open for NJ State Police Basic Boating Safety Course at the St. Francis Community Center May 1 and 3

April 18, 2018

BRANT BEACH, NJ - Are you ready for sun and warmth?  Spring and summer fun is not that far away even though the weather has been so cold recently.

The St. Francis Community Center is offering a Basic Boating Safety Course in May.  Registration is open for the course that is being held on Tuesday, May 1 and Thursday, May 3 from 5:00 to 9:00 PM at the St. Francis Community Center, 4700 ...

Travels Update - Long Beach Island Summer Shuttle No Longer A Free Ride

BRANT BEACH - The Long Beach Island Shuttle, an extremely popular service for visitors and residents of Long Beach Island, will have a fee for the first time beginning Memorial Day weekend. 

The Long Beach Township Board of Commissioners made the announcement at their meeting on Monday, April 9. 

Here is the overview on the fees:

One-way shuttle rides from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Baby Seal Waddles Its Way onto Belmar Beach

BELMAR, NJ — A baby seal waddled its way onto the Fifth Avenue beach earlier today to enjoy one of the warmest days of spring so far.

Around noon on April 12, photographer Nancy Orlowski took these snapshots, which have also been posted on the Belmar Facebook page where it states that the Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey has been notified.

This is the second known instance ...

Bateman Bill, “ Bijou’s Law”, to Require Training, Licensing for Pet Groomers

April 12, 2018


TRENTON, NJ - State Sen. Christopher "Kip" Bateman (R-16) will introduce legislation to increase protections for family pets by requiring pet groomers to be properly trained and licensed following the deaths of three dogs in five months at different New Jersey pet salons. .

“It is sadly far too common for us to read of dog grooming deaths in the news,” said ...

Op-Ed: New Jersey’s Out-of-Network Bill is a huge blow to the middle-class

April 17, 2018

As Trenton currently looks to balance the budget, once again it’s our state’s hardest working citizens who will be left holding the bag. This time, though, it will be the hardworking office and ancillary staff from our small business private medical practices.  A bill called “The Out-of-Network Consumer Protection Bill” A-2039/S-485 looks poised to make ...

WHRHS Baseball: Watchung Hills Tops Morristown, 6-3

April 11, 2018

MORRISTOWN, NJ - Senior Joe Blajsa picked up his first win of the season and Kevin Badger went 4-for-4 with a run scored, a stolen base and one RBI to lead Watchung Hills over Morristown on Wednesday, 6-3.

Blajsa pitched six and 2/3 innings allowing only six hits, striking out five and walking one. Junior Ben Ant came in for the strikeout save to pick up his ...

New DMV Facility Should Ease Crunch in Somerville

April 23, 2018


SOMERVILLE, NJ  - B. Sue Fulton is just beginning to find her away around her new office in Trenton , but the newly-sworn director of the Department of Motor Vehicles found her way to Somerville Saturday at the invitation of state Sen. Christopher Kip Bateman for a visit to the local DMV office on Roosevelt Place which has been causing headaches for neighborhood residents.

She ...

Blue Mass Celebration at Immaculate Conception School Honors Police

SOMERVILLE, NJ – The Immaculate Conception School hosted a “Blue Mass” Friday morning at Immaculate Conception R.C. Church to honor the men and women of law enforcement.

The mass was attended by all students and staff in the K-8th grade school, with more than 100 members of law enforcement, including Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson.

The annual mass was also ...

Watchung Borough Council Recognizes Watchung Hills Senior Julia Cunningham, Proclaims April 19 Julia Cunningham Day

WATCHUNG, NJ - Watchung resident and Watchung Hills Regional High School graduating senior, Julia Cunningham was recognized at a special meeting of the Watchung Borough council Thursday. 

Councilman Bill Nehls praised Cunningham, “ as probably one of the best basketball players in the state,” and “an inspiration for girls in the seventh and eighth grades, ...

Police Investigate Bias Incident in Montgomery, Seek Help from Public

MONTGOMERY, NJ - Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson township Police Director/Capt. Thomas Wain are asking the public for help in the investigation of what is being considered a bias crime.

Detectives assigned to the investigation released that the following information based on the preliminary and ongoing investigation, which continues to evolve as investigators interview ...

Regional Travel Update - Gov. Murphy Announces Proposed NJTransit funding increase

April 25, 2018

Newark, NJ – Gov. Phil Murphy on Monday spread a message of hope regarding future improvements to NJTransit services and infrastructure due to a proposed $242 million increase in funding for NJTransit for the 2019 fiscal year. 

At a press conference held at NJTransit’s Central Maintenance Facility on Doremus Avenue in Newark, Murphy, Newark Mayor Ras J. Baraka, and other ...

Down the Shore: Registration Now Open for NJ State Police Basic Boating Safety Course at the St. Francis Community Center May 1 and 3

BRANT BEACH, NJ - Are you ready for sun and warmth?  Spring and summer fun is not that far away even though the weather has been so cold recently.

The St. Francis Community Center is offering a Basic Boating Safety Course in May.  Registration is open for the course that is being held on Tuesday, May 1 and Thursday, May 3 from 5:00 to 9:00 PM at the St. Francis Community Center, 4700 ...

TAPintoTravels Area Teens Invited to the First Meeting of Aviation Explorer Post 523

MORRISTOWN, NJ - Exploring helps young people make more informed decisions about future careers and learn about different jobs within a particular field. 

In that vein, Aviation Explorer Post 523 will hold its first meeting for young men and women, ages 14-20, on Wednesday, April 18 at 6 p.m., at DM Airports, 8 Airport Road in Morristown. Future meetings will ...

'The Sting' shimmers and shakes at Paper Mill

‘The Sting ‘slithers and shakes at Paper Mill Playhouse


MILLBURN, NJ – In a premiere production of “The Sting,” Harry Connick Jr. commands the Paper Mill Playhouse stage in Millburn.

Based on the sensational Paul Newman/Robert Redford film in 1973, the 1930s plot centers on a con game and gambling, sometimes on a train between New York and ...