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Lobster Mushrooms?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

So we got a couple of bags of the ugly suckers in today. Never heard of them before and I have no idea how they are traditionally prepared.  I will be using them professionally, but I am leaving this in the general forum because I know that plenty of you home cooks know stuff too! I also would just like to know something more than the wiki entry for this stuff, anything you got is welcome here.

 

I guess the right place to start is how to clean them. These are some dirty buggers with lots of cracks and pits, my pastry brush just couldn't get down into them and remove all of the dirt. I ended up using the tip of my knife and fingers to scrape out what I could. There has to be a more efficient way to get through these. The red coating looks like it is possible to rinse off, so I don't think I want to go there. This may be confirmed by the fact that the color did leach out into the butter I used to sautee the one I tried today. Thoughts?

 

To get a feel for the flavor of the mushroom I did slice one and sautee it in some butter. The texture was unlike any other that I've had. They were very firm, I suppose I could have cooked it a little more, perhaps added some liquid to soften them more, but this is a very firm mushroom. The flavor... I don't know, its too complicated and changes a lot while you are chewing. I would say that they are slightly bitter, and there's something funky that I just can't place, wood? The point of this? I also don't know, hopefully you are familiar with this stuff if you are planing to add some advise here.

 

My first instinct is to match these with something on the sweeter side, to balance the bitter, and nothing too strong so as to not overpower the complexity of the flavor. The obvious place to start would be pasta with cream sauce, maybe actual lobster with lobster mushroom? Might be a mouthful for the server when presenting the daily features;)  Seafood risotto is probably where I'm leaning to most. Do you think it may be wise to stay away from steaks, red wine, or marsala? How about something in an appetizer that allows the mushroom to shine on its own? Maybe some other ingredients that complement these guys or bring out hidden flavors?

A person who never made a mistake, never tried anything new.  - Al E
Guests, like fish, begin to smell after three days.  - Ben Franklin
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A person who never made a mistake, never tried anything new.  - Al E
Guests, like fish, begin to smell after three days.  - Ben Franklin
Reply
post #2 of 5

I have used these before and they are lovely another to try would be the hen of the forest...anyways.  I just sauteed them up and made a Beurre Fondue then added some provance  and sold them as a side dish great pearing with a Vino Verde or a Rose. 

you could always use them for a ravioli. they do have to be cut thin. Risotto would be nice add some fresh herbs on the pick up. Yeah well good luck I ho[pe you sell out.  Hasta Lueg.   Z

post #3 of 5

Hey Sparkie. I was curious as to whether these grow in Florida. I have had an interest in collecting wild edible mushrooms although so far I have not found a "Boletus edulis" but I've come close on my own property. It was instead a bitter bolete :(

 

Anyway I looked in my books and what is funny is that a "Lobster Mushroom" is no mushroom at all. It is a parasitic fungus that attacks common white mushrooms. If you cross-section one, you should be able to see the remnants of a disfigured white capped mushroom. Another interesting irony is that the mushrooms it attacks are considered inedible, it's only when the mushrooms get moldy parasites that they are good to eat! biggrin.gif  .. in my books as well as other places it seems some mycologist think it could be dangerous to eat them with a possibility that it had parasitized a poisonous mushroom (some white capped mushrooms cause death) but in every place it said there has been nothing to ever indicate that its a danger and people have eaten them for hundreds of years.

 

My book didn't cover much in the way of prep but this page does. It also mentions that the mushroom can be used to dye wool! It notes that the color will leech out and that it can lend to the color of the dish. Recommends cooking with white wine and even mentions them being good fried in tempura batter. Hope that helps.

post #4 of 5

I was always under the impression it was a form of disease?

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
Yes, it is an interesting form of mushroom. I didn't realize that the host mushroom, for all practical purposes, is gone. Was thinking more along the lines that the red part was the parasite. But nope, the whole thing is a parasite! I did read that they can be found any where in the US so you may find some in Florida, have no idea where you would look though.

They are a natural pair for seafood. The buerre fondue sounds like a great idea. Do you think it would be okay to poach larger pieces in the sauce? Or is it too firm for that?

I also read that the dirt will spoil them faster, so I guess somebody is going to have fun cleaning the whole batch today!

Thanx for your responses.
A person who never made a mistake, never tried anything new.  - Al E
Guests, like fish, begin to smell after three days.  - Ben Franklin
Reply
A person who never made a mistake, never tried anything new.  - Al E
Guests, like fish, begin to smell after three days.  - Ben Franklin
Reply
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