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

Organic Hedgehog Mushrooms with Plantains

by Alan McClelland
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Organic Ingredients:
Hedgehog Mushrooms (qty desired)
1 Large Ripe Plantain
Pitted Dates (qty desired)
2-3 tbsp Extra Virgin Cold pressed Coconut Oil
1-2 tbsp Pure Ohio Maple Syrup or Raw Organic Honey
1 tsp Hawaiin or Celtic Sea Salt
1 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Smoked Black Pepper
1 tsp Tumeric

Slice plantains into 1/4” thick slices and sauté in 2-3 tbsp of Coconut Oil 7-10 minutes. Make sure to flip halfway through. Slice Hedgehog mushrooms in half and repeat same as with plantain cooking.
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Drain oil off mushrooms and plantains in strainer if necessary. Slice Dates in half, serve all together nicely with Sea Salt, Cinnamon, Black Pepper and Tumeric over entire dish. Drizzle 1-2 tbsp of Maple Syrup or Honey over entire dish. Savor a tasty breakfast or evening dessert!
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Organic Wood ear & Vegetable Miso Soup

by Alan McClelland
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Organic Ingredients:
Wood ear Mushrooms (qty desired)
1/3 Red Onion
3 Garlic Cloves
1 bunch Chives
1 bunch Rainbow Carrots (or regular)
1-2 cups of frozen Okra (or fresh)
1” Ginger root
1 Lemon
4-5 cups Spring Water
2-3 tbsp Organic Dark Miso
1 tsp Maine Coast Kelp Granules (optional)
1 tsp Celtic Sea Salt
1 tsp Smoked Black Pepper
1 tsp Tumeric

Prepare Wood ear mushrooms by slicing off stems and slicing lengthwise slivers. Finely chop vegetables and ginger root and add to 4-5 cups of boiling water. Keep Miso, Wood ear mushrooms, Spices, Chives, Lemon off to the side. Bring down water to medium-low heat and cook vegetables and ginger root 8-12 minutes. Once vegetables are cooked close to desired tenderness, add woodear mushrooms and cook 7-10 minutes at medium simmer.
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Prepare 2-3 tbsp of Miso from hot broth on side to ensure no chunks of Miso are in soup. Stir in Miso, Chives, Celtic Sea Salt, Kelp Granules, Black Pepper, and Tumeric in the very last 2-3 minutes of cooking. Serve soup and slice lemon in half and squeeze juice of one half overtop each bowl served. Immerse into a healthy and rich mushroom veggie soup!
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Crisp Morels with Asparagus & Pearl Onions

by Alan McClelland
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Organic Ingredients:
1 Bunch(amount desired) of Fresh Morels
1 Bunch of Asparagus
1 Bunch of Pearl Onions
2 tbsp Cold pressed Coconut Oil
1 tsp Smoked Black Pepper
1 tsp Celtic Sea Salt
1 tsp Paprika
1 tsp Tumeric

Prep asparagus and pear onions first and steam for 15-30 minutes until desired softness.
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Trim morel ends and soak morels in cold salt water for 10-45 minutes(depending on how buggy and gritty). Rinse thoroughly, slice in half lengthwise, and dry with clean paper towels. Sauté in 2-3 tbsp of coconut oil 5-10 minutes each side until crisp at medium heat until edges are golden.

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Organic Crisp Morels_05Once finished cooking, add Sea Salt, Parika, Black Pepper and Tumeric. Drain oil off mushrooms and in strainer and or on dry paper towels. Serve mushrooms on bed of asparagus and pearl onions. Savor the taste of spring delights!
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Walt’s Simply Delicious Morels

by Walt Sturgeon
Morchella 2013_WS
Ingredients:
1 Bunch(amount desired) of Fresh Morels
1/2 cup of Flour
2 tbsp Butter
2 tbsp Oil

My (and my mothers) recipe for morels is pretty standard. Halve the morels vertically and soak briefly in salted water. Rinse and put them in a colander. Then onto paper towels. Then lightly coat them with flour. Fry on both sides in an oil butter mix. Almost crisp on the outside, chewy on the inside. Yumm.

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