I am giving up on dried mushrooms. Throwing in the towel. Is all that grit really worth it?
I had a pricey pack of dried black trumpet mushrooms, soaked them in boiling water, plucked out the mushrooms, drained the soaking water through cheesecloth, rinsed the soaked mushrooms in fresh water, shook and jiggled them in the fresh water, extracted them from the water, drained them, cooked them, and they are gritty, through and through. Tiny grit, the fine grit that you would need a microscope to see, but the teeth feel it instantly.
And it is not the first time, People, that dried mushrooms have done this to me.
So, am I just overly picky, or am I missing some important grit-removal process, some tool, or technique I haven't yet landed on?
Did you use the strained liquid when cooking them? If so, the grit may be from that. A paper coffee filter does a more thorough job than cheesecloth. If not, maybe try chopping the soaked-and-drained mushrooms, then rinsing the chopped pieces in a bowl of clean water.
You're not being picky. Dried mushrooms shouldn't impart grit into one's dish.
I've never used dried black trumpets. I do use dried shiitakes and other "fragrant mushrooms" that I buy at the Asian market. Those mushrooms are delightfully free of grit and sand. There is some grit carried on the very bottom of the stem part. I remove the stems, at the cap level, with a scissors, before I reconstitute the mushrooms, usually in red wine.
Perhaps someone else has a better idea about removing grit from dried mushrooms. If faced with a mushroom that appears laden with dirt, I'd place them, dry, in a sink of cool water and let them float around. Repeat two more times. Then go ahead with soaking in boiling water, etc.
Wash the mushroom before reconstituting. Soak in warm tap for 30 minutes, boiling will leach all the tastiness from the delicate mushroom. A slow and low simmer is ok. Also, once soaked, save the remaining liquid for soup or sauces.
Is it worth it? I am positive. They are avialable year round, provide better flavor then the fresh counterpart, and store easily. How else can the average person get beautiful porcinis and morels year round?
I haven't used dried black trumper mushrooms but often use dried porcini or wild mushroom mixes. A coffee filter takes forever but does work well - just plan ahead. I usually let it sit pretty much all day to get the liquid through and it helps to pick the mushrooms out after sufficient "soak" time so they don't get in the way. Also, even if you don't think you want to mess with the coffee filter, let your strained liquid sit, undisturbed for a few hours. Much of the grit should naturally settle to the bottom - then you can pour the clear off the top OR if you let it settle in one of those fat strainer things that pours of the bottom, just pour the grit off; just don't disturb it.
Absent any of that - maybe try a different brand of dried mushrooms. I haven't had any so gritty I couldn't remedy it by those measures.
Thanks, All, for the suggestions. It has been ages since a coffee filter saw the inside of my house; I have to admit I forgot they existed!!! (I suppose a French press won't work for removing grit from mushrooms, hahaha!) I will give the coffee filter a try. Will start early. I do have more dried mushrooms, so I'll give it another shot.