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All Things Mushroom


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15 hours ago, kayb said:

As someone who lived in the greater Memphis area for more than half my adult life, I have to chuckle at a "renowned" barbecue restaurant in New York, particularly one that serves a mushroom and barley casserole. Come visit. I'll take you to Payne's or Interstate or Cozy Corner.

To clarify: It was always called Williams BBQ, but it was no more Southern than Zabars, a few blocks down on Broadway.They never had any pretensions, nor did any of us upper west-side New Yorkers ever confuse what they made with traditional BBQ meats. It was a one-of-a-kind Jewish/Eastern European roast chicken / rotisserie take-out hole in the wall. It was a very long time ago. No spare-ribs, no Texas brisket, no smoke, no hot sauce. But renowned? Yep. 

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@gfweb  

 

interesting points.

 

I can't recall if there was any garlic nor if any thyme involved.

 

I do recall  there was a very hight end chain where I lived when I was back visiting my father where I grew up :

 

Andrinico's

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andronico's

 

it seems to be having Hard Times.

 

but this was 1990 - 2007

 

they had the best fresh produce and a very large collection of fresh mushrooms.

 

' pick your own ' from the bins

 

and no Vibe a la WF'd

 

its dangerous to think one might go back in time and do certain things that one never got to :

 

for me :

 

Espalier trees   ( there was a lace on long island that had them for N.E. with 4 branches each side

 

but for me , being a member of Long Standing at the

 

https://nysaes.cals.cornell.edu

 

it was about Pears  , FR. pears

 

the kind that were small and only fruited every other year ....

 

and having a Mushroom  log system outside.

 

a big one .

 

now I fiddle and faddle  and pouch Return

 

this is not a complaint 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Katie Meadow said:

To clarify: It was always called Williams BBQ, but it was no more Southern than Zabars, a few blocks down on Broadway.They never had any pretensions, nor did any of us upper west-side New Yorkers ever confuse what they made with traditional BBQ meats. It was a one-of-a-kind Jewish/Eastern European roast chicken / rotisserie take-out hole in the wall. It was a very long time ago. No spare-ribs, no Texas brisket, no smoke, no hot sauce. But renowned? Yep. 

Actually, mushroom and barley casserole sounds pretty doggoned good.

 

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Don't ask. Eat it.

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On 10/21/2017 at 12:24 PM, Anna N said:

 Like you, I am risk averse especially as far as unknown mushrooms are concerned.  I have a vague recollection, perhaps even a false memory, of neighbours in Derby, England who succumbed to unwisely chosen mushrooms. 

 

“There are old mushroom hunters and bold mushroom hunters, but no old, bold mushroom hunters.”

Every mushroom is edible once.

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MelissaH

Oswego, NY

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Say this five times fast: "A big blue bucket of blue blueberries."

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We've been foraging for mushrooms in Colorado for years; long ago we decided that we didn't need to know every mushroom in the forest, just the ones we want to eat. Those are boletus edulis (porcini), chanterelles, oyster, and one or 2 other minor species. However when we went out to restock our supply 2 summers ago we found that drought and insect infestations had destroyed the entire habitat. Miles and miles of dead coniferous trees meant that there was too much sun and not enough water. I'm still working through our stash of porcini (they are best dried and reconstituted, IMO) and frozen chanterelles. I have no idea if the habitat will recover in our lifetimes. Sad, but "así es la vida." I've been led to believe that morels grow best on ground that has burned in the past, so there might be at least something good coming out of the horrible fires in California this summer.

 

As far as I'm concerned, chanterelles and bacon were made for each other. Jane Grigson has a wonderful recipe for chanterelles, bacon and potatoes, and my husband especially loves risotto with bacon and chanterelles.

 

We don't have a story to compare with the long underwear, but some years ago we did come upon a massive quantity of perfect boletus edulis at the entrance to the Wheeler Geologic Area in SW Colorado near Creede. In those days (I don't know if it's still true) you had a 7-mile hike in to the entrance and then another 7 miles out again because the jeep road was often impassable. We always carried old 5-pound onion sacks in our packs in case we came upon mushrooms, so we harvested a lot--and I mean a LOT--of mushrooms that we  had to haul 7 miles to the car. We put as much in our packs as possible and then carried the remainder in onion bags. (This is what's known as "mushroom greed.")

 

Unfortunately the sky looked ominous so we started back before we could really do justice to the quantity of mushrooms available. As the sky got darker and darker we started walking faster and faster across the huge open meadow between the Wheeler and the car, to the point that we were jogging at the end. We made it without further incident, and later found that we'd harvested over 30 pounds. It's rare to come upon an area with that many prime mushrooms that have just flushed a day or 2 before and weren't full of worms, probably caused by cattle grazing. No cattle in the Wheeler, however.

 

This story makes me want to get out in the forest. We have some good ones that show up in the mercado, and we've harvested some agaricus species here that are much better than the button mushrooms you buy in the grocery store, but no porcini or chanterelles yet. Maybe we can train our new puppy?

 

Nancy in Pátzcuaro

 

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Formerly "Nancy in CO"

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I'm pretty sure I have all of Jan Grigson's books.  Someone gave me her book on French pork back in the late '60s and a few years later I saw the Mushroom book at Brentanos and bought it.  I came across it not long ago and the receipt was still in it - used as a bookmark.

 

I love sautéd chanterelles with caramelized pancetta and the tiny cipollini onions.  

 

I used to order a white truffle about this time of the year and a black truffle in March.  Sadly they are priced out of my range now that I am no longer working.

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"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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Excellent topic.

 

One of the most useful tips I've received for sautéeing mushrooms (girolles in particular) is to blanch them for 10 seconds before throwing them into a very hot pan with no fat.  Wait for all the liquid to flash off, then add the fat.

 

It works well, and means that they neither go flabby, greasy or flooded with water.

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54 minutes ago, jmacnaughtan said:

Excellent topic.

 

One of the most useful tips I've received for sautéeing mushrooms (girolles in particular) is to blanch them for 10 seconds before throwing them into a very hot pan with no fat.  Wait for all the liquid to flash off, then add the fat.

 

It works well, and means that they neither go flabby, greasy or flooded with water.

 

Excellent tip. Here's a variation: Crowded Wet Mushrooms

"There is no sincerer love than the love of food."  -George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman, Act 1

 

Gene Weingarten, writing in the Washington Post about online news stories and the accompanying readers' comments: "I basically like 'comments,' though they can seem a little jarring: spit-flecked rants that are appended to a product that at least tries for a measure of objectivity and dignity. It's as though when you order a sirloin steak, it comes with a side of maggots."

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5 hours ago, jmacnaughtan said:

Excellent topic.

 

One of the most useful tips I've received for sautéeing mushrooms (girolles in particular) is to blanch them for 10 seconds before throwing them into a very hot pan with no fat.  Wait for all the liquid to flash off, then add the fat.

 

It works well, and means that they neither go flabby, greasy or flooded with water.

 

I am not sure I quite grasp the point of this.  If you do not use too much oil, nor overcrowd the pan - what is this going to achieve better than say a high heat searing of one's mushrooms?  Mine are never greasy, flabby or watery....

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11 minutes ago, TicTac said:

 

I am not sure I quite grasp the point of this.  If you do not use too much oil, nor overcrowd the pan - what is this going to achieve better than say a high heat searing of one's mushrooms?  Mine are never greasy, flabby or watery....

 I think there are a lot of variables at play here and that what works for one person and one type (and age) of mushroom may not work so well for another. I shall be very limited in what mushrooms are available to me but I have it in my heart that I will give all these methods a shot and decide what works best for me and the mushrooms that I have on hand. 

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

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1 hour ago, TicTac said:

 

I am not sure I quite grasp the point of this.  If you do not use too much oil, nor overcrowd the pan - what is this going to achieve better than say a high heat searing of one's mushrooms?  Mine are never greasy, flabby or watery....

 

@Anna N has a point - the age may make a difference, as does personal taste.  However, I find this works particularly well with girolles.  Sautéeing them normally, even when they're bone dry, releases a tonne of liquid that then just stews them  and leaves them limp.  I get much better results with almost all mushrooms (except ceps and eryngii) by toasting or blanching them before adding fat.  Even with button mushrooms, it makes a positive difference :)

 

But we're missing the point here - everyone talks about adding oil, when what you really need is butter.

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I made some stuffed veg with a filling that was probably half mushroom; baked at 400 the mixture got nice and brown and the mushrooms had a terrific chewy texture (the filling had been sauteed until the liquid cooked out). Best of all was the few little bits that fell out onto the bottom of the pan and got really baked, sort of like mushroom jerky. I may try to recreate that with a sheet pan/parchment.

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"Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast" - Oscar Wilde

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On 10/22/2017 at 11:32 AM, rotuts said:

@gfweb  

 

 

its dangerous to think one might go back in time and do certain things that one never got to :

 

for me :

 

Espalier trees   ( there was a lace on long island that had them for N.E. with 4 branches each side

 

but for me , being a member of Long Standing at the

 

https://nysaes.cals.cornell.edu

 

it was about Pears  , FR. pears

 

the kind that were small and only fruited every other year ....

 

and having a Mushroom  log system outside.

 

a big one .

 

now I fiddle and faddle  and pouch Return

 

this is not a complaint 

 

 

 

I visited Cornell back in late 1956 when I was in baking school at Dunwoodie in Minneapolis.  We went by rail, the Great Northern from St.Paul to Chicago and the Erie railroad to Corning because one of our instructors had wangled us a free stay at a resort-like country inn, along with free transport to and from Cornell which was about a half hour drive away.  They were studying bread baking in depth and experimenting with various strains of yeast, optimum temperatures, etc.  

I nearly went back some twenty years later when I attended a conference for glass artists at Corning.  The place where we had stayed in '56 was now a big Raddison hotel. We stayed at the even larger Hilton because the conference group got really great discounts.  

 

I experimented with espaliered fruit trees when I lived down in the Valley and had just under 2 acres.  Apples, 3 varieties as I recall, Pears, I think I had 4 varieties - including the little seckel and forelle pears grafted onto the same rootstock, which produced heavily the 3rd year, Comice and Anjous, red and green. And there was another, name I can't recall.  

I also did apricots, peaches and  we tried some citrus but they did not do well.

The BEST espalier was  two plums, grafted on a 10-year-old rootstock Damson, the two scions were Satsuma and Victoria and both bore amazing amounts of fruit the 4th year.  These were all planted against two concrete block walls, one facing south and one facing west.  

 

I also grew mushrooms for a couple of years.  A couple of my friends, as a joke, gifted me with 4 of the mushroom "kits"  for different types of mushrooms.  One was oyster mushrooms, two were Shiitake and one was Portobellos.  I put them in a spare bathroom that I didn't use.  Blackout curtains.  Kept it humid during the really dry seasons.  

 

Edited by andiesenji (log)
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"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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2 hours ago, TicTac said:

Toasting before adding fat is fine (I agree, butter is better).  However; if you do not crowd the pan, you do not need to blanch them first.

 

You will, if said pan is hot enough, negate and expelled moisture.

 

But then you have to cook small batches and watch them carefully. I also find that depending on the mushrooms, they can soak up all the cooking fat before they cook, and they never really get rid of it. We're lazy and use a variation of the Cooking Issues "wet crowded method" -- pile a pound or more of quartered mushrooms  in a pan and add enough water until they just float. Add salt and enough butter to coat the bottom of the pan and bring them to a boil. They'll lose much of their moisture, which evaporates along with the starting water. Then when all that's left is butter and mushrooms, you can brown them beautifully, after having ignored them for most of the cooking time. We do this with button or creminis, although I have tried it with a mixture of oyster and shitake mushrooms as well.

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7 hours ago, JAZ said:

 

But then you have to cook small batches and watch them carefully. I also find that depending on the mushrooms, they can soak up all the cooking fat before they cook, and they never really get rid of it. We're lazy and use a variation of the Cooking Issues "wet crowded method" -- pile a pound or more of quartered mushrooms  in a pan and add enough water until they just float. Add salt and enough butter to coat the bottom of the pan and bring them to a boil. They'll lose much of their moisture, which evaporates along with the starting water. Then when all that's left is butter and mushrooms, you can brown them beautifully, after having ignored them for most of the cooking time. We do this with button or creminis, although I have tried it with a mixture of oyster and shitake mushrooms as well.

 

This reminds me of the Joy of Cooking method.

 

Cooking is cool.  And kitchen gear is even cooler.  -- Chad Ward

 

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I do something similar with stock for instances when I am looking to achieve a sauce with the final product.  I often prefer my mushrooms simply utilizing the highest heat sear (often dry) - with a bit of butter and thyme/shallots (and sometimes white wine) at the very end - a bit of crusty bread, un poco de vino and I am happy.

 

 

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When I cook chanterelles I put them in a dry pan at fairly high heat. Liquid comes out in great quantity, and I cook them until the moisture is pulled back into the mushroom. No fat, no salt, no herbs--at least before I use them in the final dish. This is how I prepare them for freezing.

 

Nancy in Pátzcuaro

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Formerly "Nancy in CO"

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Great thread!  I do the wet-crowded thing, but will try the toasting.  I admit flabby and greasy doesn't bother me too much, but no reason not to up my game. 

 

I do worry sometimes that literally everything I cook has mushrooms as the dominant flavor note.  Which I don't mind myself, but sometimes there are other people involved . . . .

 

Anyway, I wanted to share a podcast episode I heard recently (from a great podcast on the natural world out of New Hampshire called Outside/In) on the Delicious Death Cap:  http://outsideinradio.org/shows/ep48?rq=mushrooms

 

And finally, amid the talk of the mushroom logs out back, beware of what an entrepreneurial 7-year old cub scout might do with a mushroom kit in your basement:  

 

 

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Picked up about 6 oz of cremini and a package of mixed mushrooms - oyster, shitake, and hen of the woods.  Vegetarian mushroom soup coming up tomorrow.

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Nothing is better than frying in lard.

Nothing.  Do not quote me on this.

 

Linda Ellerbee

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I'm feeling rather pleased that my method for cooking mushrooms (which I do not recall ever learning, but I don't imagine I made it up?) is rather close to what seems recommended often. I do a dry-ish sear (just enough fat to coat the hot surface of the pan with a nice sheen, no puddles) until the mushrooms have gotten a bit carmelized at the edges, amount determined by what I feel like at the time - then I add liquid (usually just water) and make sure any traces of mushroomy goodness is up off the pan surface, then cook until the moisture is gone again. Add cream or what have you, or set aside to cool if I'm freezing them for quick use later. (Housemates like to have cooked mushrooms in their morning eggs and it's much faster if the mushrooms are pre-cooked. Or they toss them with pasta and some butter and grated cheese, etc.)

 

I don't even like mushrooms so I'm glad I managed to come up with a decent cooking method anyway. :D

 

We used to be able to get a box of variety mushrooms (some foraged) from a local farmer's market kind of thing, but they've stopped doing it. Even though I don't care for mushrooms myself that was quite interesting to see different types and find recipes to use.

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