|Posted by Bee & John on May 15, 2014 at 9:20 PM|
Like mushrooms? I do! I never used to, but I have come to really apprecieate them over the past few years..
My only introduction to them as a child was canned champingons (little button mushrooms). But I started to actually enjoy them RIGHT after I tasted my first hot meal made in the thermomix... the Mushroom rissoto at the demo!
What are they really? Well, according to Wikipedia they are "gobbley gook....... 1000 words later..... More gobbley gook" WHO can understand all that!!
You might only be aware of the common ones that are available at the supermarket - and recently the supermarkets have started introducing slightly exotic "Swiss Brown" or "Portabella" mushrooms. Some are large, some tiny…. but there are, it seems, hundreds type of mushrooms out there. What's the deal? Do you peel them? Wash them? Keep them in the fridge?…
First of all, I am SO not going to tell you the health benefits (quite substantial according to research) or which mushroom is better for you than others. I am so NOT a nutritionist and I just don't have the training to give you any more than just a basic view of what you can do when you get your mushrooms home. What you do with them after that, which recipe you use, is absolutely up to you :-)) I have put some ideas at the bottom of this post.
I had to laugh on Tuesday, we were at the Adelaide Central Market and I thought I would ask the guy at the Mushroom Shop some questions. I asked if I could interview someone and everyone started scrambling for someone for me to talk to. I ended up speaking to Marco, the Manager (ownder?) of the Mushroom Shop for the low down and dirty (see what I did there) on Mushrooms - here are some of Marco's tips
DO YOU HAVE TO PEEL MUSHROOMS?
Did you harvest your Mushrooms yourself, from the paddock or back yard? Yes! Heaven only knows what they grew through!
Did you buy your mushrooms from a Supermarket, Fruit and Veggie shop, or from a specialist Mushroom stall like Marco's? Absolutely NOT! Marco said that the compost that commercial mushrooms grow in is now probably more sterile than the plates you are putting your meal on! Like most vegetables, most of the flavour and nutrients are JUST below the skin and if you peel them you are removing a good portion of the taste and the benefits from them.
(we're only talking about commercially available mushrooms from here on in this blog ok?)
SHOULD YOU WASH THEM?
All you ever need to do is wipe them with a damp cloth.
WHERE'S THE BEST PLACE TO KEEP THEM?
The fridge is best. Keep them in a paper, not plastic, bag and then they won't sweat
HOW LONG WILL THEY LAST?
From a good Mushroom guy like Marco? about 7 days for the closed Mushrooms to only about 5 days for the more open type of Mushroom. From a supermarket? MUCH less than that, best eaten in the next few days after purchasing.
WHICH MUSHROOM IS BEST FOR WHICH RECIPE?
According to Marco, That's like saying "how long is a piece of string". Different mushrooms give different flavour. Get a mushroom that you like the flavour of. Just a little bit of info from me here - I know that when I put "normal" mushrooms into a risotto I get a mild taste with little colour change. When I add Swiss Brown Mushrooms I only need to add a couple to get a lovely rich flavour and slightly darker colour change.
Because of the colour change, just be careful when you are cooking mushrooms in a cream sauce if you want it to still be creamy coloured as well as textured.
WHAT ABOUT DRIED MUSHROOMS - LIKE PORCINI?
I asked about Porcini's because I have heard a lot about the flavoursome Porcini and little gourmet touches like Porcini Dust really interested me (recipe below). He agreed that the flavour from the Porcini is fabulous and you only need a little to get a real mushroom "hit" in your meal. But, he cautioned that unless you had a Thermomix (yes he has one) grinding the Porcini fine enough is a difficult task. Ground Porcini MAY just leave a gritty texture in your food if it isn't fine enough.
CAN YOU EAT THEM RAW?
Marco said that you can eat ANY commercially purchased mushroom raw, it's just that not all of them taste good raw. When I foolishly asked if any were poisonous if they were raw - he very kindly assured me that it would be illegal to sell anything that would be poisonous. He was very nice, he didn't look at my blonde hair at all when he said that.
Generally it is the more common mushrooms which are best if you plan to eat Mushrooms raw, the more exotic ones need some advice before munching away on them. Most likely, the recipe you use will give you a good idea when it calls for the mushroom to be eaten raw or cooked. But if you are experimenting, the shop/market person is selling them would have the best information on it.
Back to me… so….. you have your mushrooms home, they are in their paper bag and resting comfortably in the fridge. Now what?
Before I send you on a mushroom recipe journey, here's a few recipes of my own…
I would suggest you grind at LEAST 100g of dried mushroom at once (no more than 250g) and grind on speed 9 for 1-2 minutes until VERY fine. Use 1/2 to 2 teaspoons per recipe to add a lovely flavour.
Grind 150g of ROCK salt with 1-2 dried Porcini Mushrooms on speed 9 for 1 minute. The salt crystals will help break down the mushrooms to a finer consistency than just the dust. You can use this to season roasts, steaks, omelettes eggs - try adding porcini salt to your butter when you make it and you'll get a lucious flavour when you use it. NOT the best type of butter for cakes obviously.
No real recipe... just imagine what a little dried Porcini would be like ground with your favourite herbs or even things like Taco Seasoning or curry powder?
Llinks to some of my recipes….
Here are some links to other recipes... just to get you started
Mushroom and chicken risotto (video)