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Wild Mushrooms

post #1 of 32
Thread Starter 
Tis the season for wild shroomage......
Chanterelles are in full bloom right now.....it's been hot and wet around the midwest, conditions are ripe for fungus.

Chanterelles have a symbiotic relationship with oak trees.....you'll not find chanterelles around any other tree. The only look alike is a Jack-o-lantern, which is poisonous but coolly glows in the dark. Chanterelles grow in groups, you will not find one chanterelle you will find many.....they grow in lines, so if you find one turn in a circle and continue looking for more. Cut the stem at the base so that dirt doesn't contaminate the other mushrooms in your basket/bag. Standard shroom hunting gear includes a brimmed hat....it seems that spiders/webs are prolific when chanterelles are out. A serious hunt generally takes you off trails into the woods. Make sure you have a cell phone handy, as well as a compass....I put a bright ribbon around the handle of my basket, so if it gets heavy and I wander away picking it is easy to see in the underbrush.

Chicken of the Woods is an orange polypore....which means there are "fronds" (for lack of a better word) coming out of a base, no gills....Chickens like tree stumps. I've got a super pix of a stump with loads of chicken.

Black Trumpets, or as the French say, "trumpe de morte" or trumpet of death.
Very difficult to see, when you look down on them they look like a hole. Again they grow in groups on rocky terrain.
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #2 of 32
How about a couple of recipes using those foraged 'shrooms?
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #3 of 32
Thread Starter 
Chanterelles & Fingerlings
Julie Ridlon copyright 6/15/00


The chanterelle and fingerling quantities are variable. With any wild mushroom you never know how many you'll come home with after a foray into the woods.


Chanterelles and Fingerlings with Tarragon


1/2 pound of chanterelles, (cleaned of dirt) and cut if large

4Tbl unsalted butter

1/4 cup of light olive oil or vegetable oil

2 pounds fingerlings sliced in 1/2" slices (yukon gold potatoes are a good alternative)

2 Tbl fresh tarragon stemmed and minced

salt and pepper

Saute the fingerling potatoes in olive oil on medium high for 10-15 minutes until tender. Stir occasionally to keep from sticking/burning. Boiled potatoes may be used, cooking time will decrease. Reduce the heat to medium and add the chanterelles and butter, cook for approximately 10 minutes. Stir the mushrooms/potatoes to keep from burning. Add the tarragon in the last minutes, season with salt and pepper.



I served this as a hash last week with aged gouda added in at the end of cooking with a little water, served a soft poached egg on top....would do it again in a heart beat. You can substituted almost any mushroom for chanterelles in this recipe, though I'd alter the herb to fit the mushrooms....ie porcini with thyme/rosemary and garlic, black trumpet with thyme, chicken of the woods....either tarragon, thyme/rosemary/garlic or any herb you'd add to real chicken. If I were making this in the woods, I'd boil the potatoes to just tender.

This recipe is in Bryant Family Vineyard's Cookbook! It just came off the press.
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #4 of 32
Thread Starter 
Wild mushroom risotto is a super camp dish.....

Use water instead of stock. I've made shiitake risotto for 200 in the middle of the woods!

Most arborio rice recipes of risotto are fairly standardized....you saute onions/garlic in olive oil (most oils work) add rice and coat in oil cook for a couple of minutes. Start adding liquid....it can be stock, it can be wine/stock, it can be water, it can be dried mushroom rehydrating liquid (though I've gotten away from rehydrating and gone back to mixing dried mushrooms in near the beginning of cooking risotto).

If you cook with wild mushrooms, saute them thoroughly.....or use dried. Do not eat them raw or barely cooked!

Saute the mushrooms in a skillet and add to the risotto with the final liquid addition. If you use fresh and dried, add dried with the first liquid and fresh sauted with the last liquid.

Enriching.....usually butter, cream, mascarpone, parmesan or other cheeses are used at the end of cooking to enrich risotto. There is an Italian cryovaced reduced cream that does not need refrigeration. It can be left off.
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #5 of 32
I have foraged for morels but that is about as far as I go. To really learn them I would need someone who knows mushrooms all their life I have just heard too many horror stories of people picking the wrong mushrooms. I have even heard of experienced people picking the right mushroom in the wrong season and getting sick and dying.

I leave the mushroom picking to the pros I am too much of a wimp.
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Thanks,

Nicko 
ChefTalk.com Founder
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All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking
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post #6 of 32
That's me too.
post #7 of 32
Thread Starter 
On my way to the woods right now.....
THIS my friends is THE week to pick huge gorgeous chanterelles in MO, probably the mid-west. Plenty of rain, lots of heat. I went out yesterday after a mushroom friend said she's got 200# in her fridge. Picked 1# in 10 minutes at a park that has an area 25 yards from the road that I check to see if the shrooms are up.
Now back for the mother lode.
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #8 of 32
Do a computer search for a knife company called "Opinel," which is a French company. They make a dedicated mushroom knife that has a brush on the handle, which is designed to be both effective and yet soft enough not to hurt the shroom.

You can get it anywhere for about 25 dollars.

Opinel knife Superstore:
post #9 of 32
'Chanterelles and Fingerlings with Tarragon'

Mushroom Girl I really like your hash idea and I am going to try it on our menu when season starts. I am going to put 2 slices of Iberian ham across top. I'll get 19.95 for this.
CHEFED
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CHEFED
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post #10 of 32

wild mushrooms

:smoking:I buddy told me on the way down to FSU that if we get up really early the night after a big rain that magic mushrooms grow out of cow patties. We were outside of Macon Ga at the time and it was raining. The 3 of us decided to get a hotel room and check it out the next mourning. After a long night of beer drinking and pot smoking we somehow got up at 5:30 in the mourning. Still raining and still dark we started our search at Waffel House and got scattered smothered and covered before heading into the pasture. Sure enough there were these little purple shrooms growing out of and old cow pattie. We eat 4 or 5 tops each and tripped are balls off for hours. Never would have believed it if I did not do it myself.
post #11 of 32

Really

:smoking::lol::peace:
post #12 of 32

shrooms

Is a Chanterelle like a morrell? We used to look for those in Idaho. Very delicious smokey flavor. You can also sell them for a lot of money.
post #13 of 32
Thread Starter 
Is Chanterelle like a Morel? Well, they are both wild (not cultivated) mushrooms......chanterelles are symbiotic with oak trees, grow in patches, are typically shades of orange.
chanterelles like to grow in the heat of the summer after lots of rain....their growing season can stretch over a few months.

Morels, in MO have a 2-3 week season. They are brown, yellow or grey.....morels have distinctive conical shape and grow around numerous varieties of trees....damaged elm, apple, willow....etc.

Yes they are sold for decent $.

I've never heard of a chanterelle described as "smokey".

As to trippin' shrooms.....lots of people die each year from eating the wrong mushrooms....it's an UGLY death. you get sick, get better, three days later your organs start shutting down and THERE IS NOTHING short of transplants that help.
cooking with all your senses.....
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post #14 of 32
I pick in NoCal, 'chanties' here grow around fir and other evergreens, some weigh several pounds, from early fall to early spring, morels in spring on disturbed or burnt ground. There are also most excellent hedgehogs, boletes, and oysters here too, in great profusion, like hundreds of pounds. I leave the 'purple dung' mushrooms to others.

I eat as many as I can, and cook for friends and family, but still have too many. Anyone having ideas on what to do with my excess please let me know, canning and drying recipes, or whatever.
post #15 of 32
Well, Wolfenshroom, if surplus really is a problem, you can put them in a box and send them down here. I'll find a use for them, I reckon!
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #16 of 32
spread them in a single layer in a box with a screened bottom and let dry. This requires reasonable humidity to work though.
post #17 of 32
"Morels, in MO have a 2-3 week season. They are brown, yellow or grey.....morels have distinctive conical shape and grow around numerous varieties of trees....damaged elm, apple, willow....etc."



Here we get white morels as well. To me the whites are the best as they grow a little larger and have thicker flesh. I have had better luck freezing than drying. I have never picked chanterelles but I really enjoy foraging in general. It's getting very popular here now.
I see a lot of people after wild asparagus, mushrooms, water cress, nuts, wild apples,
ramps, fiddleheads etc.
I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
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I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
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post #18 of 32
Thread Starter 
morels, boletes, hens all dry exceptionally well....I prefer sauting then freezing chantrelles, the texture just does not translate after drying.

I've taught wild mushroom cooking classes and have loads of recipes, there may even be a DVD from a 1997 national mycology conference still available....
what are you doing with them now?
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #19 of 32
"what are you doing with them now?"

Wishing I had more ! :cry::lol:
I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
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I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
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post #20 of 32
Thread Starter 
ok....I'll elaborate some more.
If you have dried mushrooms whose texture is not desirable when you rehydrate then either chop fine and use with button or crimini....or grind into a powder (clean coffee grinder works exceptionally well)....you can make sauces, gravies, coat meat and sear/bake off....add to custards or savory flans.

I make morel soup fairly often, basically saute onions/chopped button or crimini...in a pot, guess it's more sweat than saute but you get the jist....add stock, 1/2 & 1/2 or cream....any combo of the three or individual (yes I actually cook this way)....then throw in a handful of dried morels....I crush them as they go into the pot. Add herbage....usually thyme, bay, fresh parsley.....sometimes I put in a shot of bourbon or brandy when the buttons are sweating. Really easy to make.....which ever version of liquid you use.

Cream gravy over biscuits, instead of sausage use dried porcini....crumbled or chopped...you can add sauted fresh shrooms to give texture. Great with chicken or even chicken fried steak.....have not made one of those in eons.

I don't make or eat canned (pickled or not) wild mushrooms....just too much room for serious error. Word is that is the way Catherine the Great really died.

I also like knowing where mushrooms grow.....they are a fungi and will absorb from the earth....think Chernobal or other non-desirable places that grow and export dried mushrooms.
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #21 of 32
"grind into a powder (clean coffee grinder works exceptionally well)"



That really is a good tip. I suspect a lot of us have one of those whirling blade bean grinders in the cupboard. They work great for uses like this but they are the last thing I would ever want to grind coffee with. You probably don't want to run shrooms through a conical or flat plate coffee grinder.
Now you have me counting down the days until spring! :)
I used up the last of my morels with some venison last night.
I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
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I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
Paul Prudhomme
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post #22 of 32

Chanterelles Rule!

I love Chanterelles mushrooms! Thanks for the info and the recipes.
post #23 of 32
Mostly cooking and eating them, would export them if I knew how, got a big family here, we try to eat all of them, sometimes just too many, I generally just egg and flour them, and fry 'em up, kinda provincial, but they's good that way
post #24 of 32
I just collected a huge crop of green russulas and dried most in my dehydrator. These are such low-moisture mushrooms that they dried to crispy stage in 3-4 hours.

George
George, Culinary Scientist and author of
http://whatrecipesdonttellyou.com
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George, Culinary Scientist and author of
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post #25 of 32
This 'Chanterelles and Fingerlings with Tarragon' idea was greaty. Something I will surely try
post #26 of 32
Excellent idea. I just dried some Fluted Elfin Saddle mushrooms (close relative of morels). Grinding them in the blade coffee grinder (that I only use for spice grinding) gives me a fine mushroom powder which is great for flavoring soups, stews, scrambled eggs and so on
George, Culinary Scientist and author of
http://whatrecipesdonttellyou.com
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George, Culinary Scientist and author of
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post #27 of 32
 We pulled down 30 pounds of chanterelles on our last hike.  Here on the central coast of California they grow on the north slope of a live oak grove, right where the poison oak flourishes so there's an extra action element to the hunt.  We wear latex gloves, long sleeves and duct tape loosely around the wrist and then double layer latex gloves over that to seal things up.

The first thing we always do is the first fattest best one gets made into an omelette.  I like to make the simple family favorites with such a high end farmer's market item.  Stroganoff.  Yup.  Crab cakes.  Risotto with asparagus.  

My son, also a chef, is very happy.  I showed him our secret happy hunting grounds for the first time this year.  It was fun to watch his first giddy mushroom grubbing moment.
post #28 of 32
I live in the Northern Sierra foothills and, alas, no chanterelles. Different kinds of Boletus are common and rarely morels.

Here is a tip for the novice mushroom hunter: always cut off the bottoms of the stems and look. Maggots migrate up from the soil into the mushroom and if you see many tiny holes in the stem, chances are the 'shrooms are filled with them and beyond use. Maggots could be very fast getting into mushrooms, sometimes within a few days. There is always a better chance for maggot-free ones in the younger, freshly emerged mushrooms. However, the older the mushroom the more the flavor.
George, Culinary Scientist and author of
http://whatrecipesdonttellyou.com
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George, Culinary Scientist and author of
http://whatrecipesdonttellyou.com
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post #29 of 32
416654284_685422117b.jpgis that the look of Fluted Elfin Saddle mushrooms ? Im just confused of the said mushrooms
post #30 of 32
To me: another useless gadget in the drawer. In my book What Recipes Don't Tell You, I dedicate a section on Kitchen Tools, what to trash, what to keep.
George, Culinary Scientist and author of
http://whatrecipesdonttellyou.com
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George, Culinary Scientist and author of
http://whatrecipesdonttellyou.com
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