Best Recipe for Large Morels

It seems a shame to cut up the large specimens that are sometimes found in great abundance around dead or dying elms. If Lady Luck has blessed you with such a find, try this easy recipe for stuffed Morels.
Morels Stuffed with Cheese
1/4 cup panko or other dry bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated Munster cheese
1/4 teaspoon basil
12 large morels: Prepare these with a quick soak in boiling water to which a handful of salt has been added. Drain and pat gently dry. Slit one side to insert cheese filling.
Place morels in a shallow browning pan slit side up, and brush with butter.
Broil for 5 minutes or until the mushrooms brown and the cheese melts.
Now go out and enjoy the hunt!
-From Shirley McClelland

Musings on cooking for the mycophagist

For the mycophagists among us… just wanted to share my new favorite method of preparing mushrooms – roasted!  It’s incredibly easy and can be used as the basis for side dishes or even the main part of a vegetarian meal.  This method can be used with either whole or sliced mushrooms, but using whole or large chunks really looks beautiful, and the end result is that you have a big meaty chunk of mushroom that is crispy on the edges and tender in the middle.  Most fleshy mushrooms are suitable for this.  My favorites are maitake, oyster, and shitake, but even store bought cremini or white buttons work very well.  You can even use dried and rehydrated mushrooms so you can enjoy this with your stash from the fall.

The basic recipe is to preheat the oven to between 400 and 450 degrees, and I like to also preheat the pan at the same time.  Use a large rimmed baking pan such as a jellyroll style pan or large cast iron skillet.  Cut the mushrooms to desired size or leave whole.  Mix about 1.5 lbs of mushrooms with ¼ cup of olive oil or clarified butter in a bowl, and season to taste with salt and pepper.  Take heated pan out of the oven, dump in the mixture, arrange pieces is a single layer, and pop back into the oven. Total roasting time is 20-30 minutes depending on the size of the chunks.  Stir or flip the mushrooms about half way through cooking to get both sides crispy.  If the mushrooms are giving off a lot of liquid, you can pour off the excess and return the pan to the oven to finish.  Save the cooking liquid for another use, it’s really flavorful.

Seasoning variation are endless.  Thyme and rosemary are my favorite herbs to add to the mushrooms as they roast.  Chives and parsley are best if sprinkled on top after cooking.  If you want to use garlic, either use whole peeled cloves from the beginning, or add chopped garlic at the half way point so the pieces don’t get burned and bitter. Smoked salt adds another layer of dimension to the dish.  Serve as is, or even top with sour cream or a fried egg.

True to my promise form the fall foray, I would like to share with everyone the recipe for Phyllis Grimm’s “The Old Woodsman’s Oyster Mushroom and Onion Soup.”  This is a mushroomy version of French onion soup, and is a special treat if topped with a slice of toasted French bread and cheese, then browned under the broiler.

The Old Woodsman’s Oyster Mushroom and Onion Soup

  • 3 onions sliced and halved.
  • 4 T butter or margarine
  • 4 cups beef consume or well-seasoned vegetable broth
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 cups dried oyster or maitake mushrooms (or others)

Melt butter in a stock pot.  Add onions and cook on medium for 30 minutes or until they are tender and starting to caramelize.  Stir occasionally.  Add mushrooms, broth, and Worcestershire sauce.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat.  Cover and simmer for 30 minutes making sure mushrooms are completely tender.

Makes about 6 one cup servings.

There you have it. This is extremely adaptable, and can be up scaled for a crowd. Using a really flavorful broth or stock is key.   At the foray, I used the fresh maitake Walt had given me a few days before, and roasted it as described above before adding to the soup.

Hope these ideas help keep you warm until summer.

-Sharon Greenberg

Mushroom Risotto Recipe

Yield 6 servings
Active Time 20 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Ingredients
5 cups chicken or vegetable broth, divided
1 cup warm water
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 pound portobello mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 pound white button mushrooms, thinly sliced
1/2 ounce dried Porcini
2 shallots, diced
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
sea salt to taste
freshly ground black pepper to taste
3 tablespoons finely chopped chives
4 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

risotto_ingredients

Instructions
Bring Porcini and 1 cup water to boil in a saucepan. Simmer for 5 minutes and transfer Porcini with a slotted spoon to a cutting board.
Add broth to the Porcini liquid in sauce pan and just bring to a boil. Lower heat to simmer and keep warm.
Chop porcini mushrooms. Warm 2 tablespoons olive oil in deep large skillet on medium heat. Stir in Portobello and button mushrooms and cook until soft (3 minutes). Add Porcini and cook 2 minutes. Remove mushrooms and liquid and set aside.

risotto_saute_mushrooms

Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to skillet and add the shallots. Cook for 1 minute and add the rice. Stir rice for 2 minutes to coat with oil.

risotto_rice

When the rice turns a pale golden color pour in the wine and stir continuously until the rice absorbs the wine. Add 1/2 cup of broth and stir until the broth is absorbed. Repeat with remaining broth until all of the broth is absorbed and the rice is neither crunchy nor too soft (al dente), about 15 minutes.

risotto_add_broth

Remove from heat. Stir in mushrooms with liquid, butter, chives and cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Enjoy!

risotto_done

Marita’s Hericium Fried Rice

By Marita King

ingredients:
1 Hericium of your choice ( H. coralloides, H. erinaceus or H. americanum)
1-2 Tbsp butter
1/2 small onion chopped
1-2 cups of cooked brown rice
pepper and salt to taste

Find Hericium species of choice (H. coralloides shown below)
Hericium coralloides - Marita 1

Rinse and chop the mushroom. Hericium coralloides - Marita 2

Saute chopped onion in butter, add mushroom and cook until lightly browned.  Hericium coralloides - Marita 3 Hericium coralloides - Marita 4

Season mixture, add boiled or steamed rice, fry a couple of minutes and serve!
Hericium coralloides - Marita 5

Marita’s Mushroom Quiche

Marita's Mushroom QuicheBy Marita King

I make this quiche without a pie crust but that’s just for saving extra calories.  I use any mushrooms, herbs, and cheeses that are handy at the time; the low-fat cottage cheese is optional for calorie savers and can be replaced with regular cheese.  Addition of bacon and/or lightly steamed vegetables adds variety.

Mushroom Medley:  Start with 1 Tbsp butter and 1 Tbsp of olive oil, saute ½ chopped onion, add chopped fresh garlic to taste and at least one pound of mushrooms cut into small pieces.  Cook the mix until the mushrooms have exuded most of their liquid.  Add 2 Tbsp Marsala (optional), 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar, 2 Tbsp soy sauce, and fresh ground pepper to taste.  Simmer and reduce mix to dryness.

Egg/Cheese Mix:   In a big bowl mix 4 eggs, 1 cup shredded cheese, ½ cup low-fat cottage cheese, ¼ tsp salt, ¼ tsp pepper, fresh chopped chives and parsley.

Combine mushroom medley and egg mix, pour into a pie dish, bake 30-35 min at 375F.  Let cool at least 15 min before serving.

Walt’s Grilled Sulphur Shelfs

BBQChickenoftheWoods
By Walt Sturgeon

Ingredients:
Chicken of the Woods(Sulfur Shelf) – qty desired
Olive Oil Cooking Spray
Garlic Powder
Your favorite BBQ Sauce

Cut into larger than bite sized pieces. Spray with olive oil cooking spray. Dust with garlic powder if desired. Grill on medium heat for several minutes on both sides. Lightly baste with your favorite barbeque sauce toward the end of grilling. Lightly brown on both sides. Serve with your favorite sides and enjoy!

Marita’s Mushroom Chili

Marita's Mushroom ChiliBy Marita King

2009 was a good mushroom year for me and I had plenty of maitake and sulfur shelf in the freezer when the occasion of a chili contest came along in the fall.  Any chili recipe would work with these mushrooms substituting the meat partially or entirely.  Though I rarely measure my spices and can give you only a rough idea of the ingredients I used, I did win first prize which might give you incentive to create your own version.

Saute 2 chopped onions in a little olive oil, add 6 minced cloves of garlic and saute another minute or two.  Add roughly 2 lbs of maitake and sulfur shelf mushrooms cut into pieces, then chopped peppers of various colors, 2 cans of diced tomatoes, 1 can Northern beans (washed, drain, then mashed), 1 can black beans (washed and drained), 1 can red beans (washed and drained) and 1-2 cups of beef broth.  The following spices were added in roughly 1 Tbsp quantities: oregano, ground cumin, ground cardamom, sugar, chili powder, and soy sauce.  Add 2 bay leaves and pepper to taste, then simmer for 30 min, allow chili to thicken, add broth/water as needed.

 

 

Walt’s Honey Chanterelles

Cantharellus_WS
by Walt Sturgeon

Ingredients:
1 Bunch(amount desired or found) of Fresh Chanterelles
1-3 tbsp Butter
1-3 tbsp Honey

Clean the chanterelles and cut into bite sized pieces. Cook them in butter in a covered skillet. Remove the cover and cook off most of the liquid. Drizzle a tablespoon (or so!) of honey over them and serve.

Walt’s Black Trumpet Butter

Black Trumpets_WS
by Walt Sturgeon

Ingredients:
1 Bunch(amount desired or found) of Fresh Black Trumpets
2 sticks of Butter
Crackers(desired kind)
Blender or Food Processor

Cook on medium high cleaned black trumpets in butter in a covered pan.  They will cook very quickly. Pour the trumpets and liquid into a blender or food processor. Add two sticks of melted butter for a large skillet full of trumpets. Blend until creamy. Refrigerate and serve when solid on crackers or make a version of black trumpet bread as you would garlic bread. It is not an attractive butter, but close your eyes and enjoy!