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dried mushrooms

I was at a little local italian market today and they had a bag of assorted woodland mushrooms, for what seemed like a really reasonable price (when you consider those tiny packets in the grocery store work out to about $7 an ounce!. I use dried porcini alot, but I am not sure what you would use assorted woodland mushrooms in? I know dried mushrooms keep a long time and I am intrigued by them, so I was wondering if any one had any experience with these and what they might be used for, and whether they would have a similar fllavor to porcinis or if they are very different.

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  1. the flavor depends on the assortment.
    use any way you would use porcinis. If you are making a vegetable broth, the mushrooms really help.

    1 Reply
    1. re: magiesmom

      Magiesmom, I posted here
      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/838979
      a question regarding use of dried mushrooms. Seeing your post, I'm wondering if you could help me, too. Thank you.

    2. I use a lot of dry mushrooms in risotto. Add them to the hot broth and they'll soften up pretty quick. Last week I made baked brown rice with dry mushrooms and it was quite awesome. The ingredients were similar to risotto, but the type of rice and cooking techniques were different. I've also used them in braises, especially wild game roasts.

      1. I don't see why you can't use them in almost any recipe that calls for mushrooms. I'm not saying that all mushrooms taste the same but you could use them. If they taste a little different...so?

        Mario Batali was explaining the difference between French and Italian cooking like this.

        The French want all the carrots diced in nice 1/4 inch dice. The Italians relish in the fact that this carrot is a little bigger than the other and will have a slightly different bite. You can take the same attitude about your mushrooms. Try them... even if it is slightly different, you could like it even more.
        By the way... dried mushrooms at $7 per ounce sounds like a good reason to get a food dehydrator and make your own. As you say.. they last forever.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Hank Hanover

          I agree with Hanks suggestions. I have used eastern European dried wild mushrooms for years and they are usually much cheaper than porcinis. They are not as strong in flavor as porcinis but definitely way better than button mushrooms. There is no reason you can't substitute.

          When you reconstitute the mushrooms in hot water, check for worms. I don't mean to scare you but I have found them on occasion.

          I just bought some dried Chilean mushrooms for 22 bucks a pound that smell wonderful, but I have not tried them yet. I'll try any kind of mushroom at least once.

          At 7 dollars an ounce the ones you got are probably very good but isn't that about the same as porcinis?

          My experience is that porcinis are the best with morels coming in second.

          Please let us know what you thought of the mushrooms and what variety they are if you find out.

        2. As expensive as mushrooms are, I would like to find out how to grow mushrooms.

          Oh yeah. Does anybody know how many ounces of dried mushrooms you get out of a pound of fresh mushrooms. If it matters, just give me a number for button mushrooms.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Hank Hanover

            10:1 is the yield for drying mushrooms. Much better that maple syrup which is 40:1
            There are lots of options for growing your own Shiitake,Oyster, King but as you may know Cepes Chanterelles and their ilk have not been successfully domesticated and probably would not taste as good if they were.

            1. re: chefj

              So I know I can get fresh button mushrooms for $3/lb and criminis and portobellos for about $4/lb so hopefully, I'm not too far off thinking I could get the fancier mushrooms for $6/lb so if I sliced and dried my own (just buying them from the store), I'd have $30 - $60/lb or $2 to $4/ounce into dried ones.

              The only thing I would be buying myself is a trip to the store, though. I guess cajundave got a pretty good deal from those Chilean mushrooms for $22/lb.

              Sorry just thinking it out.... I'm like that.

          2. Does the bag list the types of mushrooms? Trader Joes has reasonably priced bags of dried mushrooms - reasonable until you see shitaki as one of the first ingredients.

            3 Replies
            1. re: paulj

              I currently buy these little .5 ounce pkgs put out by Melissa's for either $3.49 or 3.99 each. That works out to $7 an ounce! or $112 a pound! REALLY. I went back to the Italian market and bought the one pound bad of porcini’s The one pound bag was $26.95, which works out to $1.68 an ounce.....I'd be crazy not to. They are imported from Italy and are beautiful huge slices of mushroom, where the ones from Melissa's are bits and chunks. I am not sure where Melissa's come from, I think their company is on the west coast somewhere ( but they obviously are making a WHOLE lot of money in mushrooms LOL). If I am spending the time to make something, I want the best ingredients I can get at the best price. $7 an ounce is just ridiculous! The "forest blend" of mushrooms, were also from Italy, but it didn't list the types of mushrooms that were in there so I just decided to go for the porcini’s. The forest blend was only $18.95 a pound. They didn't look as nice as the porcini’s either.
              I have a dehydrator and would love to dry my own, but finding good quality unusual mushrooms is a bit of a challenge. Since they aren’t necessarily a big turn over item, you don’t know how long they have been sitting there. I have never seen a fresh porcini anywhere. I make mushroom risotto and mushroom pasta with porcini’s a lot. I never thought of adding them powdered to stock and I am looking forward to trying that! Thanks everyone for your impute!
              .

              1. re: kitchendeeva

                For a short while Trader Joes had frozen porcinis, from Lithuania I believe. That's closest I've come to fresh.

                For a large meaty mushroom, king trumpet mushrooms are a good, and relatively inexpensive option. I mainly get them from Asian groceries. The flavor is not intense.

              2. I always add a handful of dried 'shrooms to my stocks.

                I think it adds a depth of flavor you can't get otherwise.