First principle of eating wild mushrooms (mycophagy): If you haven’t positively, absolutely identified it as an edible mushroom that you are familiar with, for heaven’s sake don’t eat it! If in doubt, throw it out.
Second thoughts will bring you to yourself as regards edibility: improper cooking, or personal differences cause most of the digestive upsets and some other problems from commonly eaten mushrooms. High among these are morels, chicken of the woods, aspen scabers, and honey mushrooms. Maturity of the mushrooms can make a difference; never eat the old, woody part of a chicken of the woods. Never eat raw mushrooms. Only eat a little of an edible that is new to you to gauge your personal reaction. Avoid mixing mushrooms in a dish; it makes identification of the problem dicey.
What is “edible” anyway? Depends a bit on your heritage: if you’re eastern European you will eat a lot of things that would horrify an English person. Out of the estimated 5,000 species in Minnesota, likely about 2,000 are probably ‘edible’ in the larger sense, of which about 100 are good edibles, and 15 to 30 are commonly eaten.
Lastly, mushrooming is mostly a social event for a very good reason. The absolute best way to learn mushroom identification is foraying with a group that knows them and can answer your questions.
With those caveats, here are some recipes to continue your enjoyment. Most recent additions at the top:
Dryad’s Saddle with Fish Vera Cruz Style
Went looking for morels and all you found was Dryad’s Saddle? I’ve always considered this mushroom as marginally edible until I tried it this way. I’m a convert.
oil for sautéing, minimal
1/2 c Onion; thinly sliced
2 Garlic cloves; minced, fresh
1 c Bell pepper; red, thinly sliced
1/2 c Celery; thinly sliced
1/4 c Olives; green pimento stuffed, sliced
2 tb Jalapeño pepper or equivalent
1 tb Capers
1 cn Tomatoes; stewed, or 3 md chopped tomatoes, drained
1/4 ts Fennel seeds or fennel weed
6 Barramundi fillets 4 ounces each *
2 c Dryad’s Saddle (Polyporus squamosus) mushroom pieces **
* Suggested Alternates; Rockfish, Lingcod, White Sea Bass
** Use just the outer, tender pieces: bend the edge back until it breaks and pull the upper pileus off, somewhat like with asparagus.
Soak the mushroom pieces in water with a dash of lemon juice for a half hour. Drain and discard the water.
Heat a 2 qt pot medium high. Add onions and garlic and mushroom pieces; sauté until just tender. Add the red pepper, celery, pimento stuffed olives, jalapeño pepper and capers; reduce heat and sauté for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Add tomatoes and fennel; cook, uncovered for 15 minutes.
Add the fish fillets. Spoon vegetable mixture evenly over fillets. Bake at 400F or continue sauteing for 15 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork. Transfer to a serving platter.
6 servings Careful not to overcook the fish. Serve with rice. A slice of lime would be nice. Black beans?
Mushroom Powder – Theresa Kenney, WMS
3 ounces “dried” Shitake or Porcini Mushrooms (Porcini’s have stronger flavor)
1/2 cup Himalayan Sea Salt [<i>sic</i> this seems like an awful lot to me; I would use a couple tablespoons GK]
1 tablespoon chili pepper flakes (optional if you don’t like the heat)
2 Tablespoons dried Thyme
1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
Add all the ingredients to a food processor and pulse/process until they’re ground into a fine
powder. Store in an airtight container, where it will keep for several months.
What can you use it for? Well that’s up to you, you can use it in soups, butters, cream cheese, or
bake it into a bread recipe. Your imagination is the only thing that will limit you.
There was a lot of interest in a recipe for the Mushroom Lasagna served at the last pot luck in Bemidji. It was essentially just mushrooms (I used a mixture of lion’s mane, shiitake, and portabella) in a mornay sauce. Pretty simple to do, yours will most likely be better, it suffered some from drying out after reheating. Here’s a recipe similar to what was served. – Doug Gilbertson
Butter, for greasing the baking dish Sauce: 5 tablespoons unsalted butter 1/2 cup all-purpose flour 4 cups warm whole milk 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Gruyere cheese 1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated Parmesan cheese Pinch ground nutmeg 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus extra, as needed 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper, plus more, as needed Filling: 3 tablespoons olive oil 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature 1 medium onion, chopped 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus extra, as needed 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning 3 cloves garlic, minced 1 1/2 pounds assorted mushrooms, such as cremini, shiitake and button, quartered 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme leaves lasagna noodles 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Gruyere cheese 1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated Parmesan Put an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Butter a 13 by 9 by 2-inch baking dish. Set aside. Sauce: In a 2-quart saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the flour and whisk until smooth. Gradually add the warm milk, whisking constantly to prevent lumps. Simmer over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the sauce is thick and smooth, about 8 minutes (do not allow the mixture to boil). Remove the pan from the heat and add the cheeses and nutmeg. Stir until the cheeses have melted and the sauce is smooth. Add 1 tablespoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Filling: In a large skillet, heat the oil and butter over medium-high heat. Add the onion, season with salt and pepper, to taste, and cook, stirring frequently until soft, about 5 to 6 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until aromatic, about 30 seconds. Add the mushrooms, and thyme and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are golden and the liquid has evaporated, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper.
Although Boletus edulis, the group called the king bolete, may be a urban/rural myth in these parts, we find very edible boletes that fit the pattern. At the August foray, we found many lovely boletes with a reddish-brown, spherical cap, yellow turning olive, non-staining pores, and lightly reticulated, equal or tapering to the base stems that fit Bessette’s description of Boletus spadiceus var. spadiceus; it’s had several synonyms: Xerocomus spadiceus, Boletus ferrugineus (but not velvety). I’ve heard it called B. subclavipes also. Obviously, much work remains to be done…. It is quite edible! One can always fry them up with butter on toast, but there may be a higher use this time of year when the garden is full of summer squash and green beans.
1 to 2 cups fresh boltes in bite size pieces
1/2 cup sweet onion, diced
1 cup summer squash, diced
1/2 cup green beans, 1″ pieces
1 to 2 T olive oil
1 cup arborio rice (other kinds may be used, adjust stock accordingly)
2 to 3 cup chicken or other stock
1/2 cup white wine
salt and pepper to taste (less if using commercial chicken stock powder)
Clean and dice the mushrooms and vegetables; I try to get them about the same size. Heat a heavy two quart pot to medium low heat and add the oil as it’s heating; you can use some butter at the finish if you like that flavor. Add the onions first and saute until clear, then add the mushrooms and the vegetables. Increase the heat to medium and continue to stir occasionally until they are giving up their moisture, then add the rice (arborio or white work better as brown rice takes quite a bit longer so that the other ingredients fall apart).
When the rice is coated with the oil/moisture, add about a 1/2 cup of stock, stir and wait until most of the stock is absorbed, then add another 1/2 cup, stir, wait, stir. Repeat this process until the rice is cooked al dente (if you like it like that) and all or most of the stock is used up. Pretty labor intensive, but worth it. Serve with a grating of parmesean, with a Chardonay or Reisling if you like. Serves 2 well or 4 with a salad and desert. One might add some diced chicken if you want meat.
Wine Caps with Leeks and Sausage
Wine cap stropharias are large, easy-to-recognize gilled mushrooms that sometimes come up in astounding quantities in the same wood chip habitats week after week every spring and fall. Considered choice, they’re mediocre sautéed with garlic and onions. Instead, a minimal amount of oil, plenty of lemon juice, wine (they are wine-caps, after all), nutmeg, and fennel make them excel.
2-4 c sliced wine cap mushrooms
1 leek washed and sliced crosswise
1 ts butter
1/4 lb sausage, bite size pieces (optional, italian is nice)
1 garlic clove, or scapes, chopped (optional)
fresh ground pepper and salt to taste
1/2 ts fennel seed, crushed
2 ts rosemary, fresh, minced
1/2 c white wine
2 ts dry roux (flour, milk powder, pepper, salt, savory)
nutmeg (a good grating)
pasta (enough for two)
grated parmesan (optional)
Start the pasta water. Saute the leek and wine caps in a teaspoon of butter and the fennel, rosemary until wilted. Season with pepper and salt.
Start the pasta cooking. Make a space in the middle and brown the sausage if used. Add the roux to the wine and whisk together. Add to the pan and cook over low heat until thickened.
Reduce heat and grate the nutmeg over the pan. Arrange the pasta on plates. Add the mushroom saute on top. Grate Parmesan cheese on top if desired. Guten appatit!
Chanterelle Chicken and Rice
1 lg chicken breast, or two small
1/2 onion, sweet sliced in thin wedges
1 c frozen chanterelles or 2 fresh
1 garlic clove, peeled and sliced
1 t thyme, fresh or 1/2 t dried
2 T olive oil
1 c brown rice
1 1/2 c water
1/4 c white wine
1/2 t corn starch
pn red pepper flakes
salt & pepper to taste
I used frozen chanterelles that were microwaved to blanch and vacuum sealed; this leaves liquid in the bag, which I drained for the sauce. If not available, use a 1/4 c stock if needed.
Cut the chicken in serving size pieces (four from a large breast). Stick a knife in several places and insert a slice of garlic. Sprinkle the thyme on top and let marinade for 1/2 hour, covered.
Spread the onion wedges across the bottom of a baking pan and spread the chanterelles on top. Drizzle half the olive oil over this. Salt and pepper sparingly. Then place the chicken pieces on top and use the rest of the oil on top. Sprinkle a pinch of red pepper flakes over the chicken and salt and pepper sparingly. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook the rice, preferably in a rice cooker until the bottom is just starting to brown.
Whisk the cornstarch into the reserved chanterelle liquid or stock and white wine.
When the chicken is cooked, pour the liquid over the chicken pan; if the sauce doesn’t begin to thicken, you may need to pop it back into the oven for a couple minutes. Serve over rice with a vege side like green beans. Makes 2 servings.
Fresh Oyster Mushroom Soup
When you have oysters, you usually have lots so you are drying some. But what to do with the tougher bit by the attachment which does not reconstitute well? Or cook well fresh. Here’s an option.
1 or 2 cups oyster ‘butts’ (works with caps, too)
1 cup oyster mushrooms, diced large
2 to 3 T lardons or bacon pieces
2 large green onions
2 T olive oil
2 garlic cloves
2 stalks celery with greens or celery root core
1 large carrot, shredded
4 cups water or stock
2 T flour
1/2 cup double-milk or half & half or 1/4 c white wine
salt and pepper to taste
When preparing oysters for drying, remove any dirt or bark, then cut out the tough ‘butt’ attachment and save these to a pot. Cover with water and boil for ten minutes and let cool some. Buzz up in a blender until almost smooth. Set aside.
Saute the lardons/bacon and chopped white part of the onions along with the diced oysters (not the butts) in oil until starting to brown. Add the celery, garlic, carrot and chopped onion greens and saute a few more minutes. Add the water/stock and bring to a boil, then simmer for 15 minutes.
Whisk the flour into the wine/milk and add to the pot along with the blended mushrooms. Bring to a boil and simmer a few minutes. Let cool a bit before serving. Reheats well. Serves 4 as a main dish with toast.
Oyster Mushroom Risotto
I like this recipe because it concentrates the flavors and when you have oysters, it’s usually a lot of them. And they have an incredible amount of moisture and tolerate long cooking. Lardons are a bounty for those of us who smoke our own bacon; they are cubes of the ends and odd pieces that do not do well as slices, and thus are supercharged with the flavors of the spices and smoking.
1/2 cup lardons or 2 slices bacon cut in pieces
2 green onions or 1/2 onion, chopped
1 to 2 cups oyster mushrooms, diced large
a clove or two of garlic, sliced (optional)
2 T olive oil
1 cup arborio rice
3 cups chicken or other stock, kept hot
In a heavy pot, saute the bacon and mushrooms over medium heat until the bacon is no longer white. Add the white parts of the green onions and saute. Add oil if necessary.
Add the rice and a little oil and heat until the rice begins to brown a bit.
Crush the garlic with the side of a knife and chop roughly; add this and the chopped onion tops to the pot and stir.
Add a half cup of the stock and stir. When the moisture is mostly gone, add another 1/2 cup. Repeat until the stock is used up and the rice is soft.
Serve up with a grind of parmesean and a side of greens. Bon apatit.
Rösti – Bernese potato with morels
Very Swiss (metric of course!) Serves 5
900g raw potatoes, roughly grated
chopped morels to your liking, (I like to use the small size or chop the large ones)
50 g “lardons” – smoked lean bacon chunks
salt, pepper, chives and parsley, chopped
Sweat the lardons, morels and onions in the butter. Add the grated potatoes and some of the herbs. Stir well and season. Spread the mixture over the bottom of the pan (like a pancake) and cook each side until brown. Sprinkle with the remaining chives and parsley. (Can also be served on its own or with bratwurst.)
Black Trumpet and Lamb Sausage Pizza
Still got some dried trumpets left? Try this pleaser.
For the crust:
1 t Dry yeast
1 c Warm water
1 t Honey
2 1/4 c Flour (I use mixture white bread flour and whole wheat)
2 tb Olive oil
1/2 ts Kosher salt
Dissolve yeast in warm water with sweetener. Let stand till yeast starts to foam. Combine flour, proofed yeast, 1 T oil, and salt. Knead to make a medium stiff dough. Oil a large pizzapan and sprinkle with cornmeal. Press dough into a disc and, using the second T of oil spread to edges of pan. Let dough rise (1/2 to 1 hour). Prebake dough for 5 minutes at 350F till the gluten sets. Remove from oven.
1/4 lb lamb sausage or ground lamb, in bits
2 garlic cloves, sliced
1 t orgegano or several fresh branches
1/2 c black trumpets, dried, reconstitued
1/4 c black olives, sliced
1 c swiss or mozarella cheese, grated coarsely
After prebaking, spread garlic, oregano, trumpets, sausage and olives and bake for 5 minutes at 375. Then top with cheese and pop back in the oven for about 15 minutes, until the crust and cheese are beginning to brown.
We toasted some kale leaves sprayed with oil and a little salt for a vege instead of salad.
Posted by mushpep of the Ohio Mushroom Society
Yield 6 servings
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
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.
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.
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.
Remove from heat. Stir in mushrooms with liquid, butter, chives and cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Enjoy!
Stew of Lactarius (“pinatells”) with Potatoes and Pork Belly
Chad Hyatt is a professional chef and avid mushroomer in Santa Cruz, CA. I attended a demonstration at a foray there and was impressed (portobello and blueberry ice cream, mushroom leather made with Suilus,…). He shares on his Facebook Chad’s Wild Mushroom Lab Something we in Minnesota have a lot in late summer are the orange Lactarius which in Europe are Lactarius deliciousus but L. salminacola in my part of the world but maybe L. thyinos if you have cedars. It would probably do well with most edible Lactarius. Chad gives this one a Spanish character which I have edited for this format.
Orange milk caps
pork belly or thick bacon
fingerling potatoes cut in bite size pieces
salt and paprika to taste
garlic crushed with parsley
First step was to just sear off the pork belly. I cook it dry, on a medium flame. I used the rendered fat to cook everything else that follows. I set the belly bits aside and added them back to the stew at the end. You could just as easily do this with thick cut bacon.
Lactarius cooking away in the fat that rendered out from the pork belly. The mushrooms are slowly cooked until browned, and then set aside while the sofrito cooks.
A very simple sofrito was the next step. I set the mushrooms aside, and slowly cook down a good amount of onion. When well cooked, but not browned, I add back the mushrooms, stir in the potatoes, and season well with salt and pimenton de la vera (real Spanish paprika). The pimenton’s mild smoky flavor penetrates everything, giving the whole dish great depth, and the whole house a beautiful smell.
The picada was made by crushing garlic and parsley into a paste. This was then added to the sofrito after the potatoes and mushrooms were incorporated.
The picada was stirred into the pan after adding the potatoes and mushrooms to the sofrito. The pan was then deglazed with a generous amount of white wine. Enough water was added to cover the ingredients, and it then simmers until the potatoes are soft. At this point, the crispy pork belly is added back to the stew and seasoning is adjusted.
Time to eat!! Some parsley for color and some fresh punch, and some toasted crusty bread is all I need.
Turkey Dressing with Wild Mushrooms
3/4 cup hot water
1/2 ounce dried wild mushrooms*
1/2 cup butter
1/2 pound fresh shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, caps sliced
1/2 pound button mushrooms, sliced (optional)
3/4 cups chopped leeks (white and pale green parts only)
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 cup dry white wine
1/2 tablespoon thyme leaves
8 ounce French-bread baguette, halved lengthwise, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices
1 egg, beaten
Combine water and dried mushrooms in small bowl. Let stand until mushrooms soften, about 30 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer mushrooms to work surface; chop finely. Pour mushroom soaking liquid into small bowl, leaving any sediment behind, and reserve.
Melt butter in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add shiitake and button mushrooms; sauté 10 minutes. Add leeks and garlic; sauté 5 minutes. Add wine, thyme, and wild mushrooms. Cook until almost all wine evaporates, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Transfer mixture to very large bowl.
Mix bread into mushroom mixture. Season with salt and pepper; mix in egg.
Generously butter baking dish and spoon stuffing into prepared dish. Cover dish with foil. Bake stuffing in dish until heated through, about 25 minutes. Uncover stuffing in dish. Bake until top of stuffing is slightly crisp and golden. Makes about six servings.
Comment: For the two of us, we only roast the turkey breast saving the rest for other meals. Then there is room for the dressing in the same pan when the turkey is half done, soaking up all the juices.
* dried porcini, Suillus granulatus, black trumpets,…most full-flavored-when-dried mushrooms.
Squash Soup with Black Trumpets
New York Times
Serves 4, 2 hours
OK, so fresh is no longer a concept, but you still have some dried black trumpets. Here’s something great you can do with them.
1 large buttercup or kabocha squash
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds, toasted
4 Tbsp butter
1 clove garlic
2 leeks cleaned well and chopped
1 small jalapeno, seeded and diced (optional)
1 tsp cumin
4 cups stock
1/2 cup light cream (opt.)
salt and ground white pepper to taste
4 oz black trumpet mushrooms, washed and halved OR 1 cup dried, reconstituted with wine
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Cut squash in half and remove seeds. Place squash halves cut-side down on a foil-lined baking sheet, and bake until collapsed and caramelized, about an hour. Toast the pumpkin seeds in a small dry sauté pan over medium-high heat until they start to pop up and brown lightly. Set aside.
In a heavy soup pot, melt 2 Tbsp. butter over medium heat. Add garlic, leeks and jalapeño and cook, stirring until softened but not browned, 10-15 minutes. Add cumin and salt to taste. Scrape flesh from baked squash and add to pot. Add stock and bring to simmer. Cook 15 minutes, until everything is very soft. Carefully transfer to blender, and puree until smooth. Return pot over very low heat. Stir in cream [or not]. Season with pepper and salt if needed (if your stock was unsalted).
In a sauté pan, melt remaining butter over medium heat. Add black trumpets and salt. Cook, stirring, until tender, about 10 minutes.
To serve, divide mushrooms among serving bowls. Ladle soup over. Sprinkle with pumpkin seeds and serve.
Black and White Grits
adapted from the New York Times
Serves 4-6; 1 hour
1-1/2 cups milk
3/4 cup grits, not instant (in MN you may have to use white corn meal)
4 ounces fresh black trumpet mushrooms (or equivalent dried reconstituted)
2 Tbsp. butter
clove garlic, minced
4 ounces taleggio or asiago, cut into chunks
dash hot red pepper sauce (optional)
black pepper to taste, freshly ground
Place milk in a large heavy saucepan, and add salt and 2 cups water. Bring to a boil. While whisking constantly, slowly add grits. Lower heat and simmer, stirring until grits are thickened and taste cooked.
While grits cook, wash mushrooms, drain and squeeze dry. Coarsely chop. Melt butter in a medium sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add garlic and cook 1 to 2 minutes, then add mushrooms. Sauté about 10 minutes.
When grits are cooked, mix in cheese. Season with hot sauce, pepper and more salt if desired. Stir in mushrooms. Leftovers can be formed into a 3/4″ slab for later browning to reuse.
Works for breakfast, but with a turkey roast and winter squash would make a great meal.
Blewits, Shallots & Tarragon
1 Cup blewits per person, quartered if large, halved or whole if small
1 tsp shallot
Pinch of tarragon
Knob of butter (vegans omit butter)
Oil for cooking, such as grapeseed or canola
Begin by heating a cast iron or teflon pan. Dry saute until some of the moisture is released. Add the oil. When the mushrooms are lightly colored, add the shallots, salt, then the tarragon and cook for a minute or two to take the “raw” flavor of them away. Finish with the butter.
Alternatives: Add 3 T of good white wine or vermouth and cook down. Or stir in freshly cooked orzo pasta and some pasta water as needed to help thicken. Salt to taste. Blewits seem to generate a thick sauce themselves unlike other mushrooms.