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For cultivated mushrooms, the best way to store them to keep them fresh is in a paper bag. If the bag is thin then double bag. Fill the bag no more than half full, fold the top over, and lay in the crisper drawer of the fridge. If no room in the crisper, you can place the bag on a shelf but for more protection, place the bag in a small cardboard box and place on the shelf. Do not place the bag directly against the fridge wall. Kept in this manner, cultivated shrooms can last up to two weeks in my personal experience but I prefer to use them within a week of harvest.
If unable to use within a week you can always dry or freeze cultivated mushies. I prefer freezing to drying for later use in meals. I only utilize dry mushrooms as a breading, shroom salt, or flavor addition to a meal or making mushroom stock. To freeze, place shrooms in a pan (tear apart larger pieces). Sweat the mushrooms of moisture. Once almost all moisture is gone, add a little butter or oil (your preference). Add enough that the shrooms soak it up while cooking but not enough that they are swimming in it. You do not want to overcook the shrooms since you are storing them for later use. Cook long enough so that the butter/oil replaces the lost water content. Place in ziplock bags, squeezing out all of the air or package in vacuum seal bags and then put in freezer for later use.
Storage for foraged shrooms varies. Since there are so many varieties out in nature, you will want to research this by type. Chanterelles for example do not reconstitute well after dehydration but freeze well using the method described above. Hen of the Woods reconstitutes very well after drying and stores perfectly by freezing after using the aforementioned prep method.
Only recipes and preparation methods that we have made, enjoyed, and highly recommend are listed here.
A basic recipe in order to ascertain the true flavor of any mushroom is to simply sautee it in a little butter.
Personally I like to sautee until the edges are lightly browned and crisped. Some like to add garlic. I do not. After removing from the pan, a little kosher salt really makes the shroomy flavor pop!
- Chanterelle Cream Sauce With Bacon. This recipe is so darn easy and absolutely divine! The use of dill and sour cream might sound strange to some but trust me, it works! You may find yourself making this dish repeatedly once you come into a few sequential flushes. It is so good that we have made it a couple times in less than a week. : )
Lion’s Mane Recipes:
- Lion’s Mane/Bear’s Head “Crab Cakes.
I am super picky and fanatical when it comes to crab cakes. My family is from Maryland and a crab cake should be full of crab and not filler so that you actually taste the crab. Lion’s Mane is a very intriguing mushroom because it really does taste like and have a texture similar to that of crab or lobster. Make this recipe and tell your guest(s) that you are serving crab cakes. I bet they would not believe you if you told them that it was actually a mushroom! If I had not known myself I would have been convinced I was truly eating blue crab! : )
- Broiled “Crab” and Shrimp Tartine with Microgreens
Here we introduce the idea of the Lion’s Mane mushroom as a flavor sponge. Once again, we use it as a substitute in a hot crab dip type recipe, but we add the twist of soaking up a seafood broth for more of a seafood flavor.
Beech/Buna Shimeji Recipes:
- Seared Scallops in Spicy Cream Sauce With Buna Shimeji Mushrooms. Take my advice, just go ahead and double the recipe. Yep, it is that good. Although I have only ever made it with beech mushrooms, I can easily see substituting oyster mushrooms as the texture and flavor profile would work well.
Oyster Mushroom Recipes:
- Blooming Oysters.
You have heard of the Blooming Onion, right? This is the same idea except with an oyster mushroom cluster. I prefer to use the Blue oyster mushroom clusters for this since the caps tend to be smaller and more delicate. Simply dip the cluster in an egg wash (mixture of a beaten egg lightened with a little water) and then lightly dredge in a mixture of flour and old bay. Shake off excess flour. Cook in fryer until golden brown. Remove and allow excess oil to drain on a few layers of paper towels. You can serve them with a variety of sauces. A cocktail sauce makes the mushrooms truly taste like oysters! I guess it’s the Old Bay that helps with that illusion. We also enjoy them with a Sriracha aioli. Just mix Sriracha and mayo together to taste.
- Marinated and Grilled Oyster Mushrooms.
Marinate oyster clusters for about half and hour to an hour in your choice of an oil and vinegar-based dressing. We use Italian. Cook low and slow on a grill until cooked through and lightly charred.
- Pulled “BBQ” Sandwhiches
Check out this article on how to create a tasty BBQ sandwich that even the most hardcore carnivore can enjoy!