Brined Mushrooms


Many folks say, “brush only, never wash” your ‘shrooms. Although I always wash my chanterelles, soak my morels in salt water, and  wash lobster and other hardy mushrooms (such as chicken of the woods), I have refrained from washing the gilled mushrooms. That is, until I read about brining shiitake and crimini mushrooms in the Jan-Feb 2015 Cooks Illustrated issue. Below is a recipe that went Brine3along with the article. Here is my variation that works great!

Brine the Mushrooms:

Place shiitake mushrooms in zip lock bag with water and kosher salt ( 5 tsp salt per Quart t water) and let sit for 1 hour.

Roasted Shiitake with Parmesan and Pine Nuts

Salt & Pepper
Shiitakes (leave stems on)
2 Tbs Extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbs unsalted butter
1 tsp lemon juice
½ cup parmesan cheese, grated
2 Tbs toasted pine nuts (I roast stove-top in a sauté pan with oil)
2 Tbs fresh parsley, chopped

Preheat oven to 450°F.

Drain mushrooms and blot dry. Spread mushrooms on heavy baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Toss to coat. Roast about 35-40 minutes. Remove sheet from oven and toss the mushrooms. Return and roast about 10 more minutes until browned. Remove and cut stems off mushroom (use scissors ’cause the shrooms are HOT and oiled)

Combine melted butter and lemon juice in large bowl. Add mushrooms and toss to coat. Add Parmesan, pine nuts and parsley. Toss to mix. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

NOTE: I roast with the stems still on so air moves easily around the caps. Freeze the stems and use them when making stock.

Base Recipe from: Cook’s Illustrated,  Jan-Feb, 2015

Avgolemono w/Morels



With morel season just around the corner, I got into my stash of dried morels and made this creamy textured soup. Delicious. I took the recipe I had learned and substituted morels for shredded chicken.

Ingedients (5-6 servings)
Long grain rice, 1/4 cup
3 Tbs lemon juice
3 Eggs
Morel mushrooms – 1 oz. dried and rehydrated with warm water, about 2 cups
Chicken stock (4 cups plus 2 cups morel water)

Cook rice in chicken stock and the morel water. Do NOT rinse rice. You want the starchy stock.

Add the morels cut into bite size pieces. Simmer 20 -30 minutes

Make a “liaison” by beating the eggs and then slowly adding the lemon juice, stirring constantly. Add small amounts of the warm stock to bring the liaison to a warm point.

Slowly add the warm liaison to the soup, stirring constantly until the soup coats the back of your spoon. Salt and pepper to taste.

The soup should appear to be a faux-cream based soup when finished.





New Cook Book – The Broad Fork

The Broad Fork
While mushrooms are resting, I spend the winter working on cooking – techniques and new ingredients. Fortunately, Derek gave me a wonderful new (copyright 2015) book to help me along. Because many of my readers share my excitement in experimenting with local fresh (both wild and cultivated) foods, I’m sharing this book with you. I can’t describe it any better than the Amazon description. Here it is below in its entirety. Click here to go to the Amazon site. I’ll be buying CSA shares this year since I’ll be at the Knoxville Market Square Market every Saturday anyway. The last part of this post lists some of the recipes I’ve tried so far. He also uses a number of mushrooms including morels, chanterelles, and chicken of the woods.Good Eats Friends !!

From James Beard Award winner Hugh Acheson comes a seasonal cookbook of 200 recipes designed to make the most of your farmers’ market bounty, your CSA box, or your grocery produce aisle.
In The Broad Fork, Hugh narrates the four seasons of produce, inspired by the most-asked question at the market: “What the hell do I do with kohlrabi?” And so here are 50 ingredients–from kohlrabi to carrots, beets to Brussels sprouts–demystified or reintroduced to us through 200 recipes: three quick hits to get us excited and one more elaborate dish. For apples in the fall there’s apple butter; snapper ceviche with apple and lime; and pork tenderloin and roasted apple. In the summer, Hugh explores uses for berries, offering recipes for blackberry vinegar, pickled blueberries, and raspberry cobbler with drop biscuits. Beautifully written, this book brings fresh produce to the center of your plate. It’s what both your doctor and your grocery bill have been telling you to do, and Hugh gives us the knowledge and the inspiration to wrap ourselves around produce in new ways.

Recipes I’ve tried (updated 2/9/16)- Yummy !!

Celery Root Salad w/Buttermilk Dressing
Farro w/Beets, Dates & Shaved Beet Salad
Fried Black-Eyed Peas
Kale Salad w/Crisp Shallots and Caper Dressing
Kimchi Creamed Collard Greens
Red Russian Kale Salad w/Roasted Sweet Potato and Apple
Roasted Beet Soup w/Hard-Boiled Egg and Celery Cream
Winter Squash Soup w/Pear, Coconut Milk and Red Curry

Simple Bok Choy with Benne and Soy Butter
Gnocchi with Braised Lamb, Butternut Squash and Tomato Confit
Apple and Cabbage Slaw
Pan-Roasted Cod, Shitakes, Butternut Squash and Soy Broth
Celery Root Puree
Roasted Lamb Loin w/Bok Choy, curried tomatoes & avocado

Roasted Pork Tenderloin w/Bok Choy, Curried Tomatoes & Avocado
Roasted Shiitake Salad w/Orange, Celery and Ponzu
Egg in a Hole, Crisped Brussels Sprout Leaves, and Shaved Gruyere
Sautéed Carrots w/Pine Nuts, Malt Vinegar and Sorghum
Foil-Roasted Sunchokes – Jerusalem Artichokes
Kohlrabi Puree