What a crazy idea! Believe me, it's delicious and a simple appetizer!
Here's the recipe:
1. Sautee about 1/2 pound of mushrooms over high heat for 5 minutes or so. I used a mix of Chestnut, Pioppino and Shiitake. I like them chopped into 1/2" pieces so they don't slide around like noodles on your chin when you bite in!
2. Add 1 clove chopped or crushed garlic and cook, stirring until fragrant, about 1 minute.
3. Lower heat and add about 2 Tablespoons jam. If you're still thinking this idea is crazy, try a savory or spicy jam like a pineapple habanero, balsamic fig, red wine, or bacon jam. I used "Sugar Plum Fairy Jam" from my friend Holly at Holly Jolly Jams. Check her out on Facebook or Instagram! This is a plum jam with rosemary, lemon juice and ginger.
My pan was still quite hot, so everything got a nice bit of caramelization!
4. Serve over toast or crackers with cheese. I used Manchego. I think any nice cheese would work here, sweet, creamy, or stinky blue.
We'll admit, this was our first attempt at roasting oysters. "Can you roast these?" is a question we hear a lot, and well, we don't do much roasting in the summer, but now that it's winter and the added heat in the house is welcomed, we're roasting up a storm!
1/2 pound oyster mushrooms shredded into 1" thick slivers
Bada Bing Bada Shroom Mushroom Sprinkle
Oil and Vinegar dressing *optional
1. Preheat oven to 375F.
Tear oyster mushrooms into slivers about 1" thick.
Place on a rimmed baking sheet.
Drizzle or spray with olive oil.
Sprinkle some Bada Bing Bada Shroom on top.
Roast in oven for about 15 minutes. Check for water and drain off. Our mushrooms weren't wet, so we just returned them to the oven and roasted another 5 minutes.
3. While things are hopefully not burning... Prepare dressing.
We had some nice rosemary vinegar a friend made which we mixed with olive oil, a pinch of salt and a pinch of dried nettle leaf. You could use a store bought vinaigrette or make up your favorite.
4. Place greens in a bowl. We had a nice mix of arugula and spinach from our weekly CSA share. Kale, or other flavorful greens could also work, but the bite from arugula is real nice!
5. Drizzle with dressing and toss greens around.
6. Top with roasted mushrooms and pine nuts.
Paul thought this was as good as having slices of steak on a salad!
We ate this as a side with our pizza. It's hearty enough to be a meal on it's own.
When I told my sister, the English major about this recipe, she got quite upset about it. At first I wasn't sure if it was the Mai Tai talking, or the"Manhattan" part of it. We're from New England, so maybe she was offended and worried that I'd strayed after being in New Jersey so long. After a bit more animated words, she explained that the issue was actually with the word "chowder". (Sounds like another never-ending debate similar to "sauce" vs "gravy", or "pork roll" vs "Taylor Ham".) She's on the side that a chowder must contain milk or cream. I can't argue. I agreed I'd call it a stew. Since it is based off of a traditional "Manhattan Clam Chowder" recipe, I didn't want to confuse people or make it sound like something else. So call it what you want.
To further confuse the issue, I used mushrooms in place of the clams to make it a vegan recipe.
2 cups Shimeji, or Beech Mushrooms, chopped into 1" pieces
3 medium Yukon Gold Potatoes, cut into cubes
1/2 green bell pepper, diced
1 carrot, diced
1/2 yellow onion, diced
1 celery stalk, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 qt Spicy Mushroom Soup
1 Tbsp Olive Oil/Butter of choice
28oz can tomato puree or blended whole tomatoes
salt and pepper to taste if needed
3 Fresh Thyme sprigs
Parsley for garnish
Pholiota meaning “with scaly cap”
adiposa is from adeps meaning “fat”
Japanese name = numerisugitake
Earthy with a peppery finish
Anti-oxidant zinc, copper, selenium
Cardiovascular and Cholesterol benefits
support growth of good digestive bacteria, support immune system
have free-radical scavenging activity-antioxidant
regulate Blood Sugar and Insulin Levels-endocrine system
B Vitamins support adrenal function and turn nutrients from food into energy, balance hormones, improve brain function
May help prevent body weight gain and fat deposition
May help fight cancer
STORAGE, PREP AND COOKING
Refrigerate in a paper or mesh bag
You can also use this soup as a gravy for a dish.
We browned some chicken, poured a quart or so of soup over it and let it simmer until the chicken was cooked through.
We put the chicken on a plate and used an immersion blender to make it more gravy-like, then added the chicken back in.
Serve over rice or pasta.
Lentinus is from ‘lent’ meaning “pliable” or “supple”
‘inus’ for “resembling”
Edodes means “edible”
Chinese = shaingugu or hsiang ku meaning fragrant mushroom
Anti-Inflammatory Anti-Viral Anti-Oxidant
Cardiovascular and Cholesterol Benefits
blood pressure regulation
helps body regulate cholesterol
Supports growth of good gut bacteria
Supports immune system
Regulates blood sugar and insulin levels
Contains B Vitamins - supports adrenal function,
hormone balance, brain function
May help fight cancer
May help prevent weight gain and fat deposition
Pantothenic Acid 30%
Vitamin B6 10%
Vitamin D 6%
Contains all 8 essential
Refrigerate in a paper towel or mesh bag
Keeps for about 1 week
No need to wash, just wipe with a damp towel if you insist
Remove stems and use for a broth if desired
If they seem dry, simply soak in water a few minutes
Best sauteed in oil or fat
Add mushrooms to the pan before other veggies to give them enough time
Goes well with garlic, shallots, onion
Serve on top of or next to meats or other veggies
Chop them up small and cook along with ground meat to “stretch it”
Green Bean Casserole
Thai Soups with coconut milk, ginger, lime...
DIY Mushroom Cultivation: Growing Mushrooms at Home for Food, Medicine and Soil
By Willoughby Arevalo
Published by New Society Publishers
(June, 2019). (184 pages)
When the opportunity to review this book for the NJMA newsletter came along I jumped on it! Despite my history with cultivation of mushrooms, I've never actually read a cultivation book. I've learned everything by watching and doing. I attended a class taught by the author, Robert Rogers and Olga Tsogas of Smugtown Mushrooms which was quite intimate and intense, about 20 strangers in a house in the woods for 3 days, eating and learning together. Willoughby was knowledgeable and entertaining, but researching more after the class I found no website, Facebook or other way to easily get more from him, until this book.
Chapter 1 covers mushroom basics including taxonomy and life cycle.
Chapters 2 and 3 discuss the many details of designing your business, workspaces, tools, lab setup. Options for growing spaces range from hanging a bag in your shower to larger climate controlled fruiting rooms, the many details of which are discussed.
Chapter 4 covers sanitation, the contamination that inevitable will occur, how mushrooms are made to deal with it and how we should deal with it. I laughed at a method for dealing with the insects- vacuuming them up from the air, which works but looks quite silly if you don't know what is going on!
Chapter 5 is about starting and maintaining cultures from spore prints to liquid syringes, agar and cardboard all with step by step instructions.
Chapter 6 covers grain spawn and the many methods of sterilization and transfer.
Chapter 7 is all about the fruiting and the many vessels and substrate options that exist for fruiting.
Chapter 8 covers outdoor growing and what to do with your spent blocks, which often end up outside.
Chapter 9 is the final product and how to harvest, process, cook, use for medicine, mycoremediate and different art you could create.
Appendix 1 has basic but nice species profiles covering mushroom descriptions, ecology, methods of cultivation, difficulty level and yield, growth parameters, medicinal and nutritional properties, culinary value and use for 12 of the most common cultivated food and medicinal mushrooms. Appendix 2 has a lengthy list of resources for spores, supplies, further reading, stores, education, and gatherings which I thought covered everything.
I think this is a great book for a beginner or someone looking to grow some mushrooms as a hobby or small scale production. As a more experienced grower I was excited to learn a few new tricks and methods that I've never ventured into like Liquid Cultures and different sterilization techniques. Some of them I'd never bother with personally, unless I'm a survivor of the apocalypse, but I can appreciate that anyone, anywhere can attempt to grow mushrooms to feed themselves. He covers options for spawn expansion for people who can't obtain or afford to spare the simple grains, the usual medium for spawn expansion, to use to grow a crop through more advanced lab techniques requiring sometimes expensive equipment. He encourages using various containers that could be found in the trash and/or recycled for growing in, something once again accessible to most everyone. Anyone can use this book to start growing mushrooms from those with incredibly limited resources, to urban settings and very small spaces, to farms with large amounts of land and natural resources. He touches on many ideas of eco-consciousness like using invasive plant material for substrates and other waste for substrate. The problem so many of us growers battle, the horrible single use plastics is mentioned and alternatives offered. There is a fun section encouraging us to think like a mushroom with 12 or so actions to follow.
This recipe will take about an hour total, maybe longer if you enjoy a cocktail and conversation while cooking like we do.
It will feed 4-6 people. (We like leftovers so we don't have to cook every night)
1 pound meat of your choice, or make it vegetarian and don't (chicken, pork, beef, shrimp)
1/2 to 1 pound mixed mushrooms torn into strips
(use more if you are not doing meat or just want it extra mushroomy)
2-3 carrots, julienned
Kaffir lime leaves or other citrus, lemongrass
2-3 cloves garlic (chopped, minced, or grated)
Thumb sized portion of ginger (chopped fine or grated)
Bok Choy (I used a nice sized bag full from our CSA share from Drop the Beet Farms)
2 cups broth (veggie, chicken, mushroom, etc.)
1 can coconut milk
Cilantro and or thai basil
Cut the meat, if you're using it, into strips (I did about 1"x1/4"). Brown this in a large pan with oil. Remove the meat, leaving the oil and fat in pan, and put meat aside on a plate.
Add mushrooms to the pan and sautee over medium high heat for 10 minutes or so. You can add a splash of the broth at the beginning to prevent sticking and having to add more oil.
Add the carrots (if you wanted other veggies like broccoli, snow peas, red bell pepper, etc. add these now too) Bruise citrus leaves and add them in. Sautee another 5 minutes or so.
Add the ginger and garlic and sautee until fragrant.
Stir in the broth, coconut milk and meat, and add bok choy on top. Lower heat and cover. Simmer until bok choy is wilted and tender.
Stir it all together and add soy sauce and sriracha to taste.
Garnish with Cilantro and Scallions.
Serve over rice or rice noodles.
-You could marinate the meat first. We used a bit of soy, mirin, orange juice, honey and garlic.
-Chestnut mushrooms add a nice texture. Oysters and shiitakes are always great. Lion's mane makes a great meat replacement.
-If you're not lucky enough to find kaffir lime leaves, other citrus will do. Lemongrass can be an alternative or in addition to the citrus. In a pinch, try some lime juice and zest!
-You could add hot peppers to the dish and eliminate the need for sriracha. But sriracha is fine if you forget them like I did! Sriracha is also a good addition to the table if you have some spice sensitive people joining you.
-I forgot the cilantro too, sometimes you have it together, sometimes you don't. It was still delicious.
Most people have lived their entire life eating those white button mushrooms raw on a salad or with dip. Most people have had no problem from doing so. I'm included. I've also eaten some other mushrooms raw, just to taste it and see what it was like. Never a problem there either. I love some aspects of a raw food diet. Some. It just doesn't work for everything all the time. Here are some reasons why you might want to think twice about eating raw mushrooms.
1. Cooking helps to eliminate germs.
Have you ever watched how people behave in the supermarket? All those fingers touching, squeezing, holding the produce to inspect it. Do you think they just washed their hands? Sure, some of the mushrooms are pre-packaged. But someone had to touch them at some point. I know, I sound like a germaphobe. I'm not. Coming in contact with germs is how you build a stronger immune system. Some vegetables, or fungi are not easy to clean. Have you ever tried to scrub every nook and cranny of broccoli or lion's mane mushroom? It's not easy. Ok, I've never bothered. Raw broccoli contains all sorts of vitamins that are beneficial to your immune system helping you to fight germs. Cooking will also help to eliminate these germs, but might also eliminate some of those vitamins. Eating raw lion's mane, or any other mushroom for that matter will not do anything for your immune system because of chitin.
What is chitin you ask? Chitin is a fibrous substance consisting of polysaccharides (sugar) and forming the major constituent in the exo-skeleton of arthropods and the cell walls of fungi. It is similar to keratin which is the protein that helps form your hair and nails. Both are polymers whose function is to protect the soft tissues inside of cells. Chitin is beneficial and a great source of fiber, prebiotics and antioxidants. The problem is, humans do not have the ability to break down chitin. So, if we can't break down chitin, how can we get to all the goodies inside the cells that the chitin is trying to protect? Well, in the case of mushrooms, it can be broken down by adding heat, or cooking them.
3. Cooking helps bring out the flavor of mushrooms.
Now that the chitin is broken down, the vitamins, and other stuffs that make up mushrooms are able to be released. Some of those stuffs are flavor compounds. I've found that the texture improves too. The raw mushrooms I've eaten tend to be fibrous, leaving things stuck all over your teeth and throat. Can you overcook mushrooms? And won't the nutrients get cooked off? It's hard to overcook mushrooms, unless of course you burn them. Sometimes they can become tough when cooked too long, but your eyes will probably tell you their done before that point. Vitamin C is the only nutrient that will be cooked off. Just go eat an orange, you'll be ok.
4. Wild mushrooms.
When it comes to wild foraged mushrooms, there are many reasons to cook them. These mushrooms were out in the wild, with all kinds of other wild things. Wild things that have a different idea of cleanliness and life. Bladder control and the idea of not shitting where you eat is not a priority. See above, #1...
Many mushrooms in the Agaricus family (white buttons, portabellos, cremini, contain agaritine. Agaritine is a weak carcinogen. By weak, I mean that you have to eat A LOT of mushrooms. It also is broken down very easily through oxidation, cooking or freezing. The verdict is still out on whether or not we should worry about this. Much of the testing has been in labs with very large amounts in a short period of time.
Some mushrooms such as boletes, chanterelles and honeys will likely lead to gastrointestinal irritation if you eat them raw. I've also found research that shiitakes can cause allergic dermatitis in some people if eaten raw.
We're a couple of mushroom fans. We grow mushrooms. We cook mushrooms. We create mushroom snacks. We forage mushrooms. We sell mushrooms to chefs. We sell mushrooms to the public. We study mushrooms. Amateur mycologists.
We also love growing other foods and have chickens for eggs.