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January 2017 Cooking Challenge

post #1 of 42
Thread Starter 

Hello all. Being new to the site I had no idea how the challenge worked. I see now it's up to me to choose a new one so here it is...

 

Mushrooms!

 

I've been focusing on them for a couple of weeks as a personal challenge and I developed a great cream of mushroom soup that kicks it. So, it's a great time of year to play with our fungal friends!

 

Cheers!

post #2 of 42

Wonderful, we haven't had a mushroom challenge for years!

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #3 of 42

Nice - so many options between fresh and dried.  Something with Duxelles comes to mind.  Interestingly enough I made a soup with porcini tortellini tonight, but I didn't make them from scratch.

post #4 of 42
I am in town today, so just have to make sure I remember to buy mushrooms...

Life is too short to drink bad wine
---Anonymus---

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Life is too short to drink bad wine
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post #5 of 42

I like mushrooms. I've no doubt related this story before, but I won't let that stop me.  When I was young, maybe 6 - 7 years old or so I had my first memory of mushrooms. My father did some land surveying now and again on weekends as a side bit to his job as Dowagiac City Engineer, a small, somewhat rural town in southwest Michigan. One weekend he and a friend who worked with him had no side jobs lined up, but this friend was an avid mushroom hunter. They gathered, and they gathered well.

 

I remember coming into the house after playing outside and immediately being disgusted by the terrible stench of my mother frying up a big skillet of those mushrooms in butter.  If only I could have her back today, frying up that same batch of shrooms now that I know what culinary treasures they are.  Sigh.

 

Think my first step in this challenge will be a batch of beef broth, I have some ideas.

 

mjb.

Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
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Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
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post #6 of 42

Do you guys know wood ear mushroom?  It looks like this

 

 

More likely you will find it dried and when you soak it in water you get something like this:

 

 

 

It is pretty much THE mushroom to add to ground pork mixtures for vietnamese cooking (chinese too).   I chopped it up and added it to spring rolls.  Also pork, shallot, scallion, garlic, glass noodles, fish sauce, sesame oil.  It looks small in the picture but that's like a 7 lb ball of meat there. We fried over a hundred spring rolls

 

post #7 of 42

A basic omelette. Button mushrooms, jarlsberg (very swisslike) and bacon.

 

 

Sauteing in butter with some salt, pepper and dried thyme. A little minced garlic will be added later.

 

 

Filling the omelette. I'm one of those heathens who doesn't like runny egg in my omelette.

 

 

Ready for Breakfast. Picture has some odd forced perspective as the plate is square...

 

 

 

Yum!

 

Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #8 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by MillionsKnives View Post
 

Do you guys know wood ear mushroom? 

 

 

That's a good dish. I usually have some dried wood ear on hand--most often use it in some form or Mu Shu.  There was a blog a few years back that was doing a charcuterie challenge. The author did a chicken ballotine with wood ear mushrooms in place of the traditional truffle. It looked quite good. 

 

Now you have to tell me what to do with the snow fungus I bought on a whim. I've seen it done in soup, but am looking for something with more punch to it. But maybe snow fungus is too delicate for that?

 

 

Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #9 of 42

@phatch I find that sauteeing in butter makes the butter burn.  Is it just me?  I usually sautee in just a little olive oil and then add a pat of butter in the last minute or 2 of cooking.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #10 of 42

I don't have that problem, but we might have different technique. I find that the mushrooms quickly soak up the fat and don't release it again until they're just about done. At that point, I've reduced the heat usually as well.  So there isn't really opportunity for the butter to burn. I was also only on medium heat for this because there wasn't that much mushroom in the pan.  I only had maybe a teaspoon of butter in this pan so it wasn't heavy with butter. Just enough for  some flavor really. 

 

Certainly there's nothing wrong with what you're doing either. And what you're trying to achieve in the dish has impact.  My goal was butter flavor and minimal fat as the bacon adds enough extra to the omelette. If I were going to top a steak, some extra fat would have been nice. 

Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #11 of 42

@phatch  snow fungus looks best in a clear soup, the clearest you can make.  The texture is kind of between jellyfish and birdsnest if that makes sense.  I think if you stir fry it or cook it some other way it will break apart

post #12 of 42

Thanks for the input. 

Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #13 of 42

I really enjoy mushrooms plain and simple. I have made a French dish simply called "Toast aux Champignon."

the recipe is very simple but takes patience. They key to this dish is making sure the mushrooms are cooked well, and the croutons are crisp.

 

Here ya go....

 

 

Toast aux Champignon

 

Serves 2

 

1 pound fresh mushrooms (cleaned of dirt) quartered if large

8 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 tablespoon Olive Oil

Pinch of Nutmeg

2 tablespoons Cognac or Armagnac

Salt and fresh ground Black Pepper

Fresh Chopped Parsley

 

4  ½” thick slices of day old French Baguette sliced on a bias and crusts removed

 

You’ll need 2 sauté pans.

Divide the butter in 2. Place 4 Tbls in one pan along with the olive oil and melt.

Add mushrooms when pan and butter are very hot.

Sauté mushrooms as they release their liquid and allow that to evaporate.

Continue to cook mushrooms until they are golden brown and cooked well.

Add the cognac or Armagnac and swirl the pan.

Evaporate this too.

Optional:   (You may ignite this for a dazzling presentation and also to quicken evaporation time.)

Add nutmeg and adjust seasoning.

While the mushrooms are cooking, melt the remaining butter in the second pan.

When butter and pan are hot add the croutons and brown both sides until golden.

 

To serve, remove the croutons to a heated plate and pour the mushrooms and browned butter over and around them. Sprinkle with fresh chopped parsley.

post #14 of 42

@Chefross sounds delicious, I think you should make it and submit it to the challenge.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #15 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Koukouvagia View Post
 

@Chefross sounds delicious, I think you should make it and submit it to the challenge.

I thought I just did...

post #16 of 42

Mushrooms! 

I hope to have a chance to contribute to this thread over the weekend :)

post #17 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chefross View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Koukouvagia View Post
 

@Chefross sounds delicious, I think you should make it and submit it to the challenge.

I thought I just did...

You need to cook it this month and post a picture. That's the challenge. 

Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
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post #18 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by phatch View Post
 

You need to cook it this month and post a picture. That's the challenge. 

Gotcha.....thanks and I will

post #19 of 42
Thread Starter 

I've heard of Wood Ear Mushrooms, though I've never used them. I love how we can work in so many different directions with this one simple ingredient. I was walking in a forest in New Hampshire last year and came across an old Asian couple collecting mushrooms. Off hand now I forget the name of the mushrooms but I do remember reading that they were very much like Chanterelle mushrooms. I have found Morel Mushrooms under the Apple Tree in my childhood home and did a quick sauté' with butter and bacon that was great. Such a broad flavor profile you can find.

post #20 of 42
Thread Starter 

As a reply to the conversation between Koukouvagia and Phatch, I will often sauté mushrooms dry on a non stick skillet and at the end add the fat whether it's bacon fat, butter, olive oil and so on.

post #21 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Koukouvagia View Post

These look great, welcome to Cheftalk!  Can you tell us about how you made them?


Fresh italian bread chopped fine,fresh shaved parm,balsamic vinegar, spring onions chopped fine,parsley chopped fine, and EVOO. S&P To taste. combine and stuff baby ports and cook 350 until golden. simple!
Edited by JoeyTwilight - 1/6/17 at 8:40am
post #22 of 42


 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeyTwilight View Post

These look great, welcome to Cheftalk!  Can you tell us about how you made them?

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #23 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by MillionsKnives View Post
 

Do you guys know wood ear mushroom?  It looks like this

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It is pretty much THE mushroom to add to ground pork mixtures for vietnamese cooking (chinese too).   I chopped it up and added it to spring rolls.  Also pork, shallot, scallion, garlic, glass noodles, fish sauce, sesame oil.  It looks small in the picture but that's like a 7 lb ball of meat there. We fried over a hundred spring rolls

 

 

Wow!  I would love to eat some of those.  And thanks for the info on the wood ear mushroom.  Did not know that, and I will seek them out for future dishes,  Thanks

post #24 of 42
its all about freshness
post #25 of 42

My second entry is hen of the woods mushroom roasted in some chicken fat.  Pan roasted chicken with extra crispy skin,  beet puree,  and beet top.  Cooking local and seasonal food in new england in the middle of winter is difficult to say the least

 

post #26 of 42

A minor note on Cheffross's recipe nutmeg and mushrooms play well together, if you don't overdo it.

 

mjb.

Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
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Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
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post #27 of 42

@pdcooks congrats !!

Hosting a Challenge here at CT is exciting to say the least, but made more so as you are new to the fold, GO FOR BROKE!

I love mushrooms, and growing up in Hawaii, we would go hunting for Pepeiao or Wood Ears, MMM!

http://www.kumuainafarm.com/collecting-wood-ear-pepeiao-mushrooms-in-hawaii/

We don't have many `shrooms in the Islands, but these are one of them, and VERY Ono (delicious in Hawaiian)

in so many cultures culinary concoctions.

post #28 of 42

Roasted Portabello in sweet soy miso marinade, crushed pistachio. Very yummy :)

post #29 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by MillionsKnives View Post

My second entry is hen of the woods mushroom roasted in some chicken fat.  Pan roasted chicken with extra crispy skin,  beet puree,  and beet top.  Cooking local and seasonal food in new england in the middle of winter is difficult to say the least


This is lovely. Where in New England?
post #30 of 42

Mushroom, Sausage and Cheese Terrine

 

     This is an attempt at three challenges at once, since I missed the last two. So these are mostly leftovers but local market had a special on mushrooms. 

I always have dairy and eggs so it's a custard. I really enjoy making pates and terrines but never get to use my pans. 

Ingredients

Acorn squash, eggs, sour cream, goat cheese, Asiago cheese, sweet italian sausage, garlic, chicken/veal stock, shallots, mushrooms. I actually used six eggs and no half and half but took the picture first. 

Ready for the oven. 

After cooling overnight. 

 

 

While the flavor came out great, you can see it did not hold up well to slicing. Consistency was more scrambled egg than terrine. So I probably over cooked it a bit and probably should have layered it to give more room for structure. But it was great fun to make. 

Back to the store for attempt number 2. 

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