OK OK OK
Sometimes we get carried away with what we can harvest. We see a million stupid little Birch Bolete Caps (see: MuseumEats Mushroom Workshop on Sept 28) and it's like, ON. There's no stopping us (me). They are coming home to a big meal.
Then we get home, and yay, we have this darling basket of sweet round babies that we are going to fry up with butter. Yaaay. And we grab one of them by the head and it goes... "pfffffffffft" the definition of MUSHroom.
This is a post regarding all those soft little marshmallow umami bombs that we don't want to fry up on put on top of steak cus it'll just be like chewing on bloody slugs. We know they taste super good, ok, but texture is a real thing for some people.
So, here's 3 tips for dealing with your mushmallows.
Tip Number One- Dry 'Em
Just slice and dry these little suckers. The dried mushrooms are awesome in soups, stocks, broths, pasta filling, risotto, spice mix, shake 'n bake crust, and my favourite.... THEY MAKE AWESOME (free) GIFTS!!
Tip Number Two - Soup
Just make a fucking creamy-ass blended soup. It'll be bomb. I find them best when you add brandy, cream and thyme, but follow your heart. Or whatever, make a richly-flavoured and textured broth with mushrooms and aromatics. Lots of boletes will make the mouthfeel of the broth seem like collagen-rich bone broth.
Tip Number Three - Paté
I have a thousand mushroom paté recipes specifically because of the extensive dregs from my mushroom baskets. These bougie-seeming spreads taste amazing but are so thrifty and don't always have to be vegan if you aren't exclusively plant-based. My favourite paté is made out of the leftover meat on chicken carcasses I've used for broth, plus gizzards and chanterelle mushroom crumbs. It's basically made of 100% waste and tastes like heaven. I'll post a recipe for that one soon, but for now, here's a vegetarian version.
Mushroom Sliver Mousse
(it's a play on chicken liver mousse, get it?)
one shallot, chopped fine
one million pounds of soft/deflated mushrooms (or just enough to fill a large pan)
at least 2 tbsp fat (I like butter)
sprig of thyme
generous pinch of salt
generous glug of booze or vinegar (I prefer sherry in this recipe)
1/2 cup cooked split mung beans. - texture of mashed potatoes. Cooking Mung Beans is super easy
1 tbsp fresh chopped herbs to your liking
1/4 cup stock (I used mushroom stock from last year's dried mushrooms that were soaked in 1/4 cup hot water)
salt and pepper
1) Sautee shallot, thyme, and salt in fat until translucent. Add mushrooms and cook over medium-high heat until all the liquid is evaporated. Add more salt to help draw out the moisture if this is taking forever. If you made stock out of dried mushrooms, add the chopped, rehydrated mushrooms to the pan.
2) Once the mushrooms dry out and start browning and sticking to the pan, deglaze with your booze or vinegar. Cook until completely evaporated. Allow to cool enough to handle.
3) In a blender place your mushroom mixture, cooked mung beans and some fresh herbs (whatever you think will be good.
4) Blend until buttery-smooth (I have a vitamix). If your mixture isn't blending easily, smooth it out with small additions of stock and fat. I like to add lots of extra fat because fat=flavour. Up to 3 additional tbsp fat.
5) Season with salt and pepper. I add lots of salt and pepper.
I have had some wine while writing this.