What a drought !!!! Between July 15 and now (Jan), I found no appreciable mushrooms of any kind except the day we got honey mushrooms (Sept 22 post) and a few chicken of the woods that same week. Well, now we have the rain.
It’s been a couple of wet months here in the Valley. It got pretty cold and wet the beginning January, and then warmed up with high’s around 60 degrees. I was flooded with pictures from people wanting to know what mushrooms they had. Oysters – the nice big winter oysters that are great for grilling.
From Bob O, Oak Ridge From Drew @ Plaid Apron, Knoxville
A 2-week dry spell has stunted the chanterelle growth around here. However, a 2-inch rain on Wednesday (2 days ago) yielded a nice treat. There is an “oyster log” that I have been by at least three times this year and was always a day late and a dollar short. Today was different. I’ve got about 20 lbs for the Farmers Market tomorrow.
The nice thing about this find is that there was a nice variety of sizes from tiny to saucer-sized that are great for grilling, and they were all beautiful and fresh – very few beetles, if any. Lather them in olive oil, sprinkle on garlic salt and one’s favorite spice mix. Mine is Cajun seasoning. Gonna be nice tonight!!
I also got a fresh Chicken of the Woods this week. I broke off the tips for eating, and that yielded three pounds. Hopefully some of the chanterelle patches that haven’t produced yet will respond to this rain next week.
Oyster Mushroom Casserole
4 cups cooked Basmati or other rice
1 bundle of scallions (about 6) chopped; with green portion
2 Tbs butter
2 Tbs olive oil
1 lb fresh oyster mushrooms
2 Cloves garlic – minced
1 can Cream of Chicken soup 1 can Cream of Mushroom Soup (“with roasted garlic” is best)
Some plain bread crumbs
1 more Tbs butter for dotting the crumb layer
In butter and olive oil, sauté scallions on medium heat until whites becoming translucent
Add garlic, stir, then Add chicken?? See tips below)
Add chopped oyster mushrooms and stir
When oysters become soft and viscid add both cans of soup (do NOT dilute)
Mix oyster and soup mixture well, then add rice and mix well.
Turn the resulting mixture into casserole dish; cover barely with breadcrumbs; dot with butter
Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes.
Serve – yummy!
Tips: If you use an oven proof pot, such as a La Creuset 7 Qt. French Oven (or similar Dutch oven), everything can be done in the same pot!! I cook my rice in a rice steamer that holds the rice warm for 2 hours. Adding some diced white meat of chicken to the onion sauté is a good way to “kick up” the dish. Lastly, this dish makes wonderful “warm and eat” leftovers for lunch at work the next day. Good Eats!