Any HO participants have advice on where I can get information adding mushrooms to dinner meals?
My cooking experience with mushrooms is pretty much limited to Buttons, Chanterelles, and Portabello fungi, only. I’d like to amp up, and add diversity my mushroom usage with some good direction and advice.
Any HO participants have advice on where I can get information adding mushrooms to dinner meals?
KISS, Jimmy, KISS.
To my mind there is nothing to be gained with mushrooms by doing other than keeping it simple. I am more than happy to buy a small box of mixed mushrooms from the guy at the farmers market then fry them in butter with garlic and finish with parsley before dumping them on decent toasted bread. If I’m being really fancy, I might throw some cream in there.
They are, of course, an essential part of a “Full English” cooked breakfast, along with the bacon, eggs, sausage, black pudding, freid bread and tomatoes (or beans).
As for main courses, even the humble button mushroom is quite “meaty” and will often substitute for meat in pasta or stirfry dishes. Simply try it with one of your favourites. Something we like is risotto using mushrooms and cooked chestnuts - just works in the autumn or winter.
Thank you, John. Terrific points made in your comments.
For fresh mushrooms, I find them worthy in lasagne (sweat them first) or cacciatore dishes. Stuffed mushrooms can also be excellent.
Also, if you have and like the ingredient set, there’s a world of application in Asian soups and stir fries.
I go either Thai or Chinese–the Chinese approaches tend to be more pantry-friendly whereas the Thai ones lean more heavily on fresh aromatics and herbs, which can be seasonally/regionally harder to come by.
Consider also dried wild mushrooms. I order porcini online about once a year (say, 8 ounces). One of my favorite ingredients in the world. I use it in braises, risotto, pizza topping.
If cooking them in a sauce, like a veloute or tomato sauce, slice or chop and add raw to the simmering sauce, where they will cook in a few minutes. If you are using a frying pan, get it very hot first, add oil, then the shrooms. If the pan isn’t hot enough the mushrooms will sweat and steam, and by the time they are dry they will be leathery. You want to sear them as though they were steak. You can also toss raw slices in oil or marinade, spread in a single layer on a sheet pan, and roast at_400F until browned.
I cook them simply like Harters. Sometimes I add a squeeze of lemon. I like putting them on top of greenbeans with a few sliced or slivered almonds on top. This is especially good with the “Chef” blends I sometimes buy at the market that have trumpets, beech, like the following link which I am providing just for reference. I don’t pay nearly that much for them.
I don’t brown mine as much as I have seen other people do. I used to try to get them really brown like pictures in some recipes but I have learned that if I overdue it they have a smell and taste I do not like, bitter? I get color on them just not too dark. I have been intending to make a tart topped with them. Maybe with a ricotta/goat cheese filling. I think that would be good.
I love mushrooms - but I don’t know what type of information you’re looking for… . . . .
Mushrooms are pretty straight forward things (with one exception) and respond in very similar ways as any other vegetable does (caveat I guess, high water content veg - actually kind of like an onion). You can quick saute on high heat, you can sweat them on low heat causing them to release a lot of moisture, you can bake them . . . . The one exception in my experience is with shiitake mushrooms which are little firmer and “leathery” compared to almost all other mushrooms. So I don’t typically use the stems (except maybe in a stock - but not in a final dish) and I prefer them sliced.
You can use dried mushrooms . . . just pour almost boiling water over them, let them sit for 20 min or so and they are good to go. They will always be a little tougher than fresh but nothing crazy. You can use the liquid they steeped in as well - if the recipe allows for liquid (e.g. soup, risotto, stew), just don’t pour in the bits that settle on the bottom, it can be gritty. You can also steep them in hot cream if the final recipe calls for cream (e.g. in a mushroom cream sauce over steak).
I think the morel mushroom, when you can get them fresh or even dried, is the biggest change in flavor from most other mushrooms - in a good way, I LOVE them. Fresh ones need to be washed gently and it doesn’t hurt to cut them in 1/2 (tip to tail) to make sure there isn’t anything hiding inside.
Otherwise you shouldn’t be worried about mushrooms - the flavor profiles aren’t all that different, nor is technique. Harters’ suggestion of a simple saute in butter is a great way to get a sense of what a mushroom tastes like - some are more subtle in flavor and some stronger. So the only “mistake” you could end up making is using a subtle mushroom in a bold dish, where it goes unnoticed.
Don’t go picking wild mushrooms - huge mistake, some are very poisonous. If you’re into that, there are usually local outreach groups to teach you about your local mushrooms. Search for “mushroom hunters”, mycophagists, or mycologists/mycology. The only wild mushroom I’m comfortable picking is the morel - there really are no other mushrooms that look like them, so hard to confuse.
Very good advice! The Morel Season in Michigan almost rivals deer season. Me? I wouldn’t forage any native fungi, even with the most knowledgeable guide along on a trek.
Most mushrooms seem to play well together, I agree. Of all mushrooms, beech mushrooms are the only ones that I don’t care for. Strong tasting and unpleasant to my palate. Beech mushrooms from this producer are what I have tried:
Otherwise I have fun mixing and matching mushrooms in different combinations. I like to use three different types together for depth of flavor when I can. Risotto is a wintertime go-to, mushroom barley soup is nice, and sautéed mushrooms as Harters describes are hard to beat.
I’m liking the suggestions being offered here!
I’ve been making two different mushroom soups for several years. And I’ve recently started making Asian Stir Fries since becoming immersed in the posts I’ve read that Klyeoh/Peter has filed.
My fellow HOs are helping me become more adventurous, as proven so far by this thread.
I’m afraid I no longer have the recipe but I recall, years back, making lasagne with mushrooms and chopped walnuts.
There’s also Nigella Lawson’s mushroom burger, which is simplicity itself. Take a big flat field mushroom or a cultivated portabello. Season it as you might a burger and cook it similarly (I like a ridged griddle pan). Then treat it as you would your favourite burger.
One of my favourite things to eat. Mushrooms are versatile, use them in anything, almost.
In frittata, (Austrian-style) hash, fry in butter and pile on (cheesy) toast. Sub for meat, I have even made king trumpet skewers. In soups, with cream and chicken, steam together with fish, (faux) paté, part of a cheese fondue.
Add small pieces to mince when making dumplings. For this I especially prefer shiitake. Same idea but I steam the mince here:
French yellow chicken with cream and Riesling.
Have you tried Asian straw mushrooms? I like both the fresh and the can version, it has an unique texture and taste. Especially those that encapsulate all the cooking juice in this form.
For ceps or porcini, the dried version has an aroma that you can’t find that in fresh version. So mixing both dried and fresh bring a more intense mushroom taste.
One of my best mushroom dish was a ceps pasta I ate at a restaurant, the pasta itself had an intense mushroom taste. I have tried many ways to recreate that dish: soaking the fresh or dried pasta in dehydrated dried mushroom water; accompanying the pasta with a super mushroom sauce. All didn’t work out, I suspect dried mushroom powder was added to make the fresh pasta dough.
And we didn’t talk about truffle yet.
The steamed Roe intrigues me. What kind of roe is used? Do you have a recipe?
I find I have better luck cooking mushrooms if I sweat/brown them a bit in a hot, empty pan before adding fat. Otherwise they can soak up all the oil very quickly and keep needing more.
Have you ever tried smoking portobello? That is a unique idea. I don’t do it too much but it isn’t hard and if you like smoke flavor you can enhance some dishes. They soak up smoke flavor quickly.
K, so I’m that vegetarian cliché that loves mushrooms.
I truly believe mushrooms need soy sauce, so when i cook them i add a splash of soy sauce instead of regular salt.
For a very long time my favorite stupid easy way to make mushrooms was to add sliced button mushrooms to a baking dish with a bit of soy sauce and olive oil and roast a while, use a lot of mushrooms since they will shrink by about half. End result is delicious mushrooms and the most amazing mushroomy thin sauce from the baking dish! I would dump everything onto plain rice , or some thick toast to soak up that sauce too. Asian groceries often sell “king trumpet mushrooms” fairly cheap and they’re great sliced with a similar prep
I’ve made the ny times mushroom stew many times over the years when cooking for omnis, i do make the mushroom broth but use mostly regular button mushrooms and then the 8oz of mixed wild shrooms. Stupid NYT paywall now but this blogger published it
This SK recipe is another longtime favorite, totally worth making mushroom broth for, or use a good veg one like better than bullion
We used to make “mushroom pizza” where a portobello mushroom was the “crust”. They were very tasty.
Portobello mushroom cap - dust with flour - dip in egg - coat with corn meal - bake in oven (don’t remember exactly - probably 375 for 15 min) - top with tomato sauce, cheese, toppings - back in oven until cheese melts. Tasty, gluten free, can be vegetarian or vegan easily . . . . not sure why we don’t make those anymore . . . .
Any whole roe sack. Remove the membrane of the sack and mix the roe well with the beaten eggs. Season any way you prefer (“Asian” or just salt & pepper, or chicken powder etc). Pour into a heat-proof bowl and steam until just firm (not overcooking it as the roe will get tough).
Ohh, those king oyster scallops look really good. Will try them this weekend! Thanks Presunto for the inspiration.