Saute up your mushroom harvest
You went to all that work to pick them, now enjoy their flavors
If you attended the Eagle Mushroom & Wild Food Festival in early August hopefully you are using the knowledge gained from the festival to forage for mushrooms. But once you’ve found them, what do you do with them? Trent Blizzard, of Modern Forager, gives us some tips on how to store and cook up these delicious morsels.
Blizzard, who was one of the featured speakers at the Eagle Mushroom & Wild Food Festival, recommends getting the mushrooms from the field to the fridge as quickly as possible to extend their life.
“When you pick up mushrooms in the wild, you’ll notice that they are cool to the touch. The longer you stay on the trail or keep them in your car, the warmer they become. Get them in the fridge as soon as possible and store them in breathable packaging,” Blizzard said.
If you have a large bounty and want to preserve them for use later, dehydrating is better than freezing mushrooms.
“You can try freezing them, but it is a bit tricky. We say dehydrating is usually the best choice,” Blizzard said.
Blizzard said the porcini mushroom season is winding down and chanterelles are ramping up. Whatever variety of mushrooms found while out on the trail, he loves sauteing mushrooms as soon as he gets home from a hunt.
“There’s no wrong or right way to saute these mushrooms. I like to dry saute them for a couple of minutes, which means I put just the mushrooms in the pan before I add butter. Many times the butter will burn before the mushrooms are browned and ready. Also, mushrooms contain a lot of moisture, so this helps dry them out,” Blizzard said.
After browning them up with butter, Blizzard will often add some type of liquid at the end. “I will add either a couple of tablespoons of some type of stock, like chicken stock or a little soy sauce or some type of acid like lemon or even pickle juice,” Blizzard said. “Adding liquid deglazes the pan and puts all the butter and yummy bits into a saucy gravy that covers the mushrooms.”
Pair those sauteed mushrooms with a tomato or cream sauce and pasta, make mushroom risotto, or top your choice of meat with your fresh macrofungi.
Before going out and hunting for mushrooms, make sure you know what to look for. Check out http://www.modernforager.com for resources.
Fall means food and wine festivals and also a chance to see the colors just starting to turn over Vail Pass during a bike ride for charity.