Fresh Shitakes - What to Do?
- Tela T. Apr 25, 2005 10:46 AM
We got one of those mushroom logs - and now we have around 2 lbs of shitakes that are more than ready to be eaten. Any suggestions?
Oh I envy you! The mushroom log I got produced zero mushrooms - it sat forlornly in it pan for over a year before I finally threw it out.
One of my favorite restaurants makes a 'crab cake' out of tarragon, thinly sliced fresh shiitakes and crab - it is served chilled with a light lemon tarragon sauce - great flavor.
Saute with some fresh herbs, shallots and wine over pasta.
This tart from epicurious is very good.
Discard the stems; they are not worth the effort to use, as they are designed to be woody to support the big cap.
Buy some portobellos, crimini, or button mushrooms too, thickly slice an even amount of both kinds of mushrooms (1 1/2 - 2 lbs total), toss with EVOO, and roast in a pan at 450 for 20-30 minutes (watch to make sure they brown and shrink but don't burn). Meanwhile saute some shallots in butter and then add 4 C chicken stock or vegetable broth. Pour in contents of roasting pan, including any juices, and simmer for 15 minutes. Add a cup of heavy cream, salt & pepper and return to simmer for 5 minutes. Coarsely puree (I like to use a hand blender for this) and you have a wonderful cream of roasted mushroom soup.
I would prefer fresh porcinis, but I would also use shiitakes in a heartbeat for a pappardelle with mushrooms dish. I usually make it with a cream based sauce seasoned with shallots and a bit of fresh thyme.
Trim and quarter mushrooms. Season with salt and olive oil, roast until crispy. Use as a topping on sliced seared tuna with chives and a creamy wasabi sauce (soy,wasabi,togarashi, and cream).
Don't throw away the stems!!!
Cut off the ugly dirty part, lop of the cap for your prize dishes, and throw all your little stems into your next stock.
I worked at a winery (in Japan) that also produced shiitake mushrooms. Needless to say, shiitake everywhere, coming out of your ears, and incorporated in a lot of the food in the dining hall.
After work the staff from the winery would often get together to drink wine. One of our favorite snacks from the mushrooms, was also the easiest to prepare.
Simply dust the mushrooms with salt and lightly grill. The flavors concentrate and you get a hint of roasty toasty notes from the grill.
There was also a dehydrator for the "imperfect" mushrooms which were thinly sliced and then dried. The dried shiitake are rich in umami.