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Jan 28, 2009 05:44 AM

Dried Wild Mushrooms: Ideas wanted

We picked up an 8oz bag of dried wild mushrooms ($15; porcini, black trumpet, chanterelle) from Griggstown Farm Market this past weekend. It's at least a quart by volume dried. I will have to transfer everything to a different container, however, as the bag crimped and filled to its breaking point.

What would you do with them? Do they grow by 50 or 100%?

My plan was to take a small handful at a time, soak in warm water or broth for awhile, filter out dirt but reserve the liquid. Then add to?

I have a lot of green beans, so a dried mushroom and garlic green bean stir fry will be served with dinner tonight.

Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.

Griggstown Quail Farm
986 Canal Rd, Princeton, NJ

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  1. Make stock, and then make Bresse Mushroom Soup from the original Greens cookbook by Deborah Madison (the dried wild mushroom stock is in the same book.)
    Great great soup for your gorgeous mushrooms.

    The soup is thickened with bread, cream is optional, and I really prefer it without.. I like to use shitakes for all or part of the mushrooms, and parsley for garnish.

    someone blogs the recipe at
    if you don't have the Greens cookbook

    10 Replies
    1. re: pitu

      Great recipe.

      Do you think it can be thickened with rice (cream replaced rice in traditional French cooking until refrigeration methods improved) or another grain? I'm not a vegan, but do like experimenting with different cooking styles and genres.

      1. re: Caralien

        I thicken soups with rice (or whatever grain I have around, like leftover oatmeal)
        but love the way bread works in this one - it completely disappears ad the texture is great.

        1. re: pitu

          Not very gourmet but I use left over mashed potatoes or in a pinch instand potato flakes. Sounds funny but they work in a pinch.

          1. re: kchurchill5

            KC, actually I have a James Beard cookbook from the 1980's and that is how he recommends thickening soups and sauces as well.

            1. re: Diane in Bexley

              Cool, I thought it was just me, it was by mistake once, lol. Forgot to add potatoes to my soup and it was done. Had about 1 cup left from roast chicken and mashed potatoes a few nights ago and added them. GREAT! Then later on used than instant flakes were too. More flavor than corn start or flour. I will have to look that up. I only have about 20 books, mostly small little idea ones, Joy of cook and some southern living were all passed down to me. One Julia I bought at a garage sale. Signed. I treasure that.

              1. re: kchurchill5

                I used to have plain potato flakes on hand to thicken soups, but decided that a nuked potato and the hand blender worked just as well for me!

                1. re: Caralien

                  Agreed! Instand is a last resort, but still better than flour :)

      2. re: pitu

        I second the Bresse Mushroom soup from Greens - I haven't made it for years but it's fantastic. It doesn't need the cream.

        Our Monday night dinner is often a dried wild mushroom risotto made with chicken stock from the bones of roast chicken sunday lunch. The homemade stock + mushroom soaking liquid = a risotto with depth. If there's any bits of chicken left from the roast I throw them in with some lemon thyme from the window box.

        1. re: themags

          I was wondering whether I should soak them in stock or water, and will probably end up doing both As I just realised that it's not 1Q dried, but 2Q! I took a small handful (1/2C) and added 2C hot broth.

          Also, what do you think about adding some leftover pulled pork to the mix (unsauced)?

          1. re: themags

            My first thought was risotta or a mushroom soup.

        2. I made a mushroom-kale ragout served over polenta using my dried wild mushrooms, and it was great. I got the inspiration from somewhere, but heavily modified the recipe. Basically, I gave the mushrooms a soak in warm water until they were softened. I fried up some chopped bacon until crisp and removed. Then I sauteed the mushrooms in some of the grease for a couple minutes, added some minced garlic and red pepper flakes. Then I added chopped, blanched kale, and cooked another minute. Then added some chicken stock, a bunch of fresh thyme, and some lemon zest. Seasoned, and served over polenta. The mushroom flavor was able to really shine through with the bitterness of the kale.

          1 Reply
          1. re: RosemaryHoney

            I have done a dish with wild mushrooms, wilted spinach and baby red new potatoes. Re hydrated the mushroom and then sauteed lightly with some shallots or onions. While that cooked, boiled some new poratoes, rough chopped. Add the potatoes to the mushrooms and onions, added some broth and white wine and cooked 5 minutes or so until the wine reduced a bit and the veggies were done. I also added, salt and pepper, rosemary and a pinch of garlic. Added some red pepper and baby spinach until slightly wilted. Topped that with some shredded gruyere.

          2. My obvious suggestion here is Risotto.

            Porcini / wild mushroom Risotto is like an absolute standard. It makes great use of the reserved liquid as well - just remember to strain it to get the dirt out - a mistake I learned the hard way!

            If you're up for it, you could also make a stuffed ravioli using either fresh pasta or even wonton wrappers in a pinch. I've done marscapone and wild mushroom ravioli before and was very pleased with the result.

            15 dollars a bag seems incredibly overpriced though...I can get 8oz of porcini for 3.50 at stop and shop, or 8oz of fresh mixed oyster, crimini, and shitake for about 4 bucks at my local Trader Joe's. I definitly tip my hat to you for shopping the farmers market however.

            8 Replies
            1. re: jefskil

              Are you sure about the price/sizes for dried mushrooms? I've never really seen bags this big aside from dried shitake mushrooms at the Asian markets, and those are on par with the price. Upon unpacking, it filled 2 Quart sized countainers!

              This post has the prices at between $34-75/lb

              1. re: jefskil

                The first time I had porcini was in a monastery in Rome. I had been invited over specifically for potato gnocchi with porcini sauce. They were extraordinary. Alas, I didn't get Brother Francesco's reciple. But I would enthusiastically second jefskil's suggestion of pasta. And you can't go wrong with the risotto either.

                1. re: Father Kitchen

                  My husband and I aren't big pasta or risotto fans, I'm sad to admit.

                  But I may try making something similar with another grain (I'm approaching another experimental grain/bean phase, which is great for the winter!) and an olive oil/stock base. A lot of garlic, topped with minced chives perhaps. :)

                    1. re: yamalam

                      How does the flavour of farro compare to bulgar wheat and barley?

                      1. re: Caralien

                        I like it better, as I find it easier to cook(i.e. harder to mess up). It's nutty, like barley, and chewy. More flavorful than quinoa. And it is starchy enough to make risotto - actually farotto - out of. As it is a whole grain, it has a ton more fiber and healthy stuff than rice or pasta.

                        1. re: yamalam

                          I started looking up farro, and sometimes it's considered spelt, other times emmer (things translated into English can be confusing).

                          Also, is it bitter like quinoa or sweeter like more like bulgar or barley? I believe it's more like barley from your description. My reason for asking is that I've tried what was called bitter-free quinoa, but it wasn't tasty and did use the bag up, but didn't enjoy it.


                          1. re: Caralien

                            Yes, it's more like barley. Mentioned quinoa as a pt. of reference because it seems to be a ubiquitous grain these days.

                            I've tried spelt (Trader Joe's mix) and didn't like it as much as farro, didn't realize they were the same thing! The farro was more expensive, perhaps that colored my opinion:)

                            Speaking of TJ's, they have a brown rice-wild rice mix that would be very good with dried mush.

              2. I make a terrific mushroom barley soup with beef that is a whole meal in itself. use fresh and dried mushrooms, tomatoes, onion, carrots, celery, corn, barley and short ribs. It freezes great and is pretty simple to make, albeit it takes 3 hours to simmer on the stove. Let me know if you want the recipe.

                4 Replies
                1. re: Diane in Bexley

                  I'll probably try a barley stew next--first toasted in a pan. Thanks!

                  1. re: Diane in Bexley

                    I would love your recipe. That sounds so good, and perfect for a snowy New York day.

                    1. re: bxgirl

                      Beef mushroom barley soup, here is the recipe, it freezes really well and can be a complete meal. You can substitute wild mushrooms for the fresh or dried mushrooms, or use a combination. The more veggies and extras you put in, the more you can serve as entree. I often bring for work lunch in winter with big hunk of country bread.

                      3-4 lb. beef short ribs, beef shanks, or chuck (you need both bones and meat)
                      2 large yellow onions, diced
                      4 carrots, scraped and diced
                      3 pieces celery, cleaned and diced
                      28 oz. can diced tomatoes with juice
                      1 cup pearl barley
                      16 oz. button mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
                      1 oz dried mushrooms, soaked in hot water for 30 minutes and chopped
                      16 oz. whole kernel corn, optional
                      salt and pepper to taste
                      6 qt. cold water

                      Broil meat until well browned on cookie sheet, put meat and juices in large 8 qt. soup pot. Add all vegetables except corn, salt & pepper and water. Simmer on low heat for 3 hours, stirring occasionally. Add corn if using it. Add pearl barley, stir well every 20 minutes so barley doesn't stick for total of 60 minutes, until barley is cooked.

                      You can add green beans, cabbage, other vegetables if desired. Essentially, this is beef vegetable soup with mushrooms and barley. When soup is cooked, remove meat and bones. Discard bones, dice soup meat in small pieces, add back to mixture. If storing soup in fridge, you may need to add some water when re-heating, as barley will continue to thicken soup. Freezes well.

                      1. re: Diane in Bexley

                        Thank you so much. I will definitely try this (probably wiithout the corn!!)

                  2. Take a handful or two and pulverize them in a spice grinder. Keep the powder on hand, and use small amounts to season pasta sauces, omelets, soups, stews, etc.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: CindyJ

                      I was going to suggest this. This has been my recent "big thing", mushroom dust. I like to put it on meat before grilling. GREAT!