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What's your favorite mushroom?

I love mushrooms but have really only had experience with cremini and shiitake which are delicious. I particularly love cremini when well sauteed and they become bits of meaty deliciousness. Do you have a favorite mushroom? What's your favorite way to use it?

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  1. May seem a little tame, but white button mushrooms!?! Grew up near Kennet Square, PA... mushroom capital of the US?!? Only golfed oon a real course 2 times in my life and one was a Kimbertol... in that area. We ate lunch in club house. Their "house dressing" was slivered local mushrooms in a nice vinegarette. Very tasty. I like white mushrooms raw as a snack with a dip... virtually 0 calorie mushroom meets ??? calorie dip.

    Was at the Jersey shore with SIL and niece and nephew. We went into a place on Seaside boardwalk to eat... never been there before, but hungry. They served an appetizer, that in hind-sight, coulda been DINNER! A grilled portabello topped with a thin slice of grilled chicken breast, topped with a slice of grilled red pepper... all topped with mozzarella till melted. I totally STOLE that idea! Works great meatless, with slices of REAL summer Jersey tomatoe, different cheese, slice of pork tenderloin... options are endless.

    8 Replies
    1. re: kseiverd

      Wow that grilled portabello sounds awesome!

      1. re: fldhkybnva

        And was BIG!! Coulda easily been dinner on it's own with a side salad.

        1. re: fldhkybnva

          Grilled, filled portabella is the best! But for plain, I like a mix. Shitake is usually part of it. Then again, I haven't gotten to try too many wild mushrooms, would love to get my hands on some hen o' woods.

          1. re: coll

            Oh wow, I found the biggest portabella ever today...well ever that I've seen! I planned to broil them but grilling sounds nice. Do you just coat in oil and plop them on?

              1. re: linguafood

                No plan to grill whole but didn't know if anything else should be done before that, I'm kind of a grilling novice but assume it's the same as roasting.

        2. re: kseiverd

          I, too, am a devotee of the humble button shroom. In fact, I'll be using them tomorrow in an Indonesian recipe that features pork and soy sauce in addition to the mushrooms.

          But button mushrooms, sauteed simply in butter, garlic, Italian parsley and white wine, are hard to beat.

          1. re: kseiverd

            I plan to make this this weekend, I'm so excited! I found great portabellos.

          2. The one I'm eating right now?

            Seriously-- it's a tough question. If you said "only 1 kind forever" I'd have to go with the basic button, just for super versatility.

            However, my utmost favourite is the 云耳 (yún'ěr) -- "black Chinese mushroom." Which, really, is a jelly fungus.

            As seen here:

            at: http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthr...

            1. By far and away, chanterelles. On the rare occasion I can get them fresh, just sauteed in butter. I reconstitute the dry ones and mix the mushrooms in rice or gravy.

              I used to forage for these with my Dad when in was a kid. Can't seem to find them around here.

              6 Replies
              1. re: al b. darned

                I stared at the chanterelles for what seems like hours this past weekend as I debated what mushrooms to buy for a mushroom pan sauce to serve with roasted gravy. I know that they are quite prized but with my lack of experience, I backed away as I wasn't sure the best way to cook them but it seems you do exactly what I planned to do. Can I saute just like my good ol cremini? Do you saute just like any other mushroom - good hot pan, let them release liquid then evaporate?

                1. re: fldhkybnva

                  That's all there is to it. Using real butter is best.

                  1. re: al b. darned

                    I'm sure my healthy supply of various European-style butters will be right at home.

                    1. re: al b. darned

                      Is there anyway you might describe the flavor of chanterelles? Although I imagine it might difficult as is the case with many foods that are just "food magic."

                      1. re: fldhkybnva

                        It's a complex flavor. Slightly fruity (really fresh chanterelles smell like apricot), peppery & nutty. They are magical.

                        They pair beautifully with eggs, poultry, veal & shellfish. And yes, butter really is best for sautéing them.

                  2. re: al b. darned

                    I love chanterelles too. They grow like weeds where I live. Nice!

                    I like morels too but I don't usually pick them myself unless they are growing on my property. I get those from the farmers market.

                  3. oh yes, oh yes, morels are my fave, but they are hard to come across- however spring is when they are in season. And chanterelles....and boletus ( also called porcini) wild mushrooms are one of life's great pleasures!! And mostly I just sauté in butter, add to eggs, or a pasta sauce, or, yumm just eat them on their own or with a great baguette!

                    1. So far the only mushroom I didn't like is the portabella, so I would be hard pressed to name a favorite.
                      Standard white
                      King Oyster
                      King Trumpet

                      7 Replies
                      1. re: hannaone

                        I always thought that portabella and crimini were related although I guess of different maturation?

                        1. re: fldhkybnva

                          The one and only portabella I had was pretty much woody and tasteless. I had expected something similar to the crimini, but was really disappointed.

                          1. re: fldhkybnva

                            Portabllas are Cremini grown larger. Thanks to marketing, Creminis are also known as "baby" portabellas.

                            1. re: ferret

                              Interesting. Didn't know that. Thanks.

                              1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                the button mushrooms are also portabellas. just younger.

                                1. re: Chowrin

                                  portabella > cremini > button

                                  Got it. Should have been obvious, I spose.

                            2. re: fldhkybnva

                              Yes, portobellos are just mature creminis, but that extra aging allows them to develop a richer, more intense flavor.

                          2. I also like shaggy manes. But you have to get those young, like in the left one in the pic. Tho edible when they look like the right one, they get a very strong flavor and black juice. Even if you pick them young you have to cook the right away or they will "ripen."

                              1. I like all mushrooms but the one I go out of my way for is matsutake. Grilled or in soup.

                                1. Anyone know a good place to find straw mushrooms? Do they not sell them fresh? I can't find them anywhere and I can't find cans either.

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: fldhkybnva

                                    I wouldn't dare try to grow my own, but here's a resource:
                                    intriguingly called "A Mushroom for Every Occasion."

                                    Additionally, good ole google tried to sell me cases of cans when I went looking for recipes....here: http://bit.ly/10ofLAk

                                    1. re: Kris in Beijing

                                      Yea, I've debated ordering on line but wanted to know more so if any stores routinely carry them. I might scope out my local H Mart.

                                  2. Just found Firelight Heritage Farm which has beautiful mushroom, well, everything... 42 varieties.


                                    1. Love them all.

                                      Except for the "shiitakes" in Chinese restaurants. They're bigger and meatier than the kind I can buy and seem slimy. Thick caps in dark brown with white "cracks." The ones I see locally are thin with a flat cap and spindly stem.

                                      Which is the real thing?

                                      4 Replies
                                      1. re: cheesecake17

                                        They're both shitakes.

                                        However, I suspect the ones in the restaurants are the largest dried shitake - dried ones are sorted by size for selling. The bigger ones, with the white cracks, do come across as meatier and very chewy and slightly slimy - these are the premium dried ones, and usually the most expensive.

                                        For dried, I much prefer the small ones - I find the texture much more pleasant. One of my favourite way to cook them is to soak, squeeze out all the liquid, saute in butter until they start to brown, and serve with a bit of salt. Mmmm....

                                        The fresh ones I usually buy are midway between the two in size, and with a totally different texture.

                                        1. re: tastesgoodwhatisit

                                          Thanks for the clarification.

                                          I'm still going to ask for my tofu and veggies w/o mushrooms! :)

                                          1. re: tastesgoodwhatisit

                                            Gotta hand it to ya'. You really know your shitake.

                                          2. re: cheesecake17

                                            Check this page for a really nice description and a simple recipe:

                                          3. I'm partial to chanterelles and matsutakes.

                                            1. >>>Do you have a favorite mushroom?

                                              No. I love all of them, except for white button.

                                              >>>What's your favorite way to use it?

                                              Again, too many to name. With something like Matsutake, it's probably dobin mushi. If it's something like cremini, chanterelles, portabella, or shitake I like to sauté.

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: ipsedixit

                                                but crimini are button mushrooms. Ya ever had a FRESH button mushroom? They're damn tasty.
                                                /writing from the Mushroom State.

                                                1. re: Chowrin

                                                  Yes, I have had fresh buttons.

                                                  I prefer aged button mushrooms, hence the preference for cremini and portabella.

                                              2. Portabella mushrooms -- very thinly sliced and sautéed w/ garlic

                                                Shiitake mushrooms -- in soups or with any meats

                                                White button mushrooms -- sliced and sautéed w/ hot cherry peppers

                                                Tree ear mushrooms -- soups

                                                1. Ceps without a doubt.
                                                  I was lucky enough to be in Slovenia when they were in season and must have eaten them almost everyday for 2 weeks.

                                                  1. I'd have to say morels, but I love soy pickled shiitakes, dried porcini for making creamy sauces and soups and I do love oyster mushrooms sautéd in butter and garlic. Mostly I eat lots of dried mushrooms because I'm a budget and they very economical.

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: YAYME

                                                      How would you describe the oysters? I spot them all the time. Do you notice any difference with dried vs fresh?

                                                    2. Best mushroom preparation I ever had was Burgundy Portabellas at a now defunct steakhouse called Atascadero's in Columbia, Missouri. Sure wish I had the recipe.

                                                      1. I can think of any that I really *don't* like....especially fond of cremini and oyster.

                                                        1. OK, I s'pose I'm one of those "never met a mushroom I didn't like" guys. Truffles, criminis, chanterelles, morels, are all particularly special, but a white button can be made to be super delicious too. Also, though no one mentioned it, I had some Hawaiian mushroom in Amsterdam once, on my way to the Van Gogh Museum, that we're particularly "wonderful"! Gotta love psilocybin, eh? Never had one that didn't "change" things.

                                                          One of the best mushroom preps I have ever enjoyed was at the Wild Mushroom in Baltimore, circa 1995-96. The place was immortalized in the movie "The Replacements". They had a fantastic offering of Belgian beers back in the day. They also offered a terrific crab stuffed portabella that was part funky Baltimore and part super tasty. Old Bay, grilled portabella, creamy-cheesy goodness, and oh so much fun. Think "crab dip in a grilled mushroom shell".

                                                          3 Replies
                                                          1. re: MGZ

                                                            I can't seem to bring out the flavor of white mushrooms

                                                            1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                              My favorite prep is to slice them, sauté in butter or pork fat with salt and pepper, a couple dashes of Worchestershire sauce. I then add enough breadcrumbs to form a “pasty” concoction. It’s almost a thin stuffing, but it’s quite tasty, either on top of a steak or along side an omelette. I spose that it doesn’t exactly bring out the flavor of the white mushrooms, but it does taste real good.

                                                              1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                Sauté in butter, sprinkled with salt, pepper, garlic powder. Put in a splash of red wine vinegar and a pinch or two of sugar once they are mostly cooked. They are to die for!

                                                            2. Love them all - cooked, that is. I'm not a big fan of raw mushrooms. If I could afford it, I'd eat sauteed chanterelles and morels constantly. However, since I can't, I use creminis as my everyday mushroom. I enjoy white button mushrooms as well, but I find that the creminis give me a bit more bang for my buck when it comes to flavor.

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: biondanonima

                                                                I love mushrooms, but really hate them raw...interesting!

                                                              2. Fave - chanterelle

                                                                Most often bought - chestnut

                                                                Preferred method (any available mushroom) - fried in butter, served on toast for breakfast

                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. re: Harters

                                                                  With you there on the mushrooms on toast.
                                                                  Especially on sourdough. Occasionally add fresh tarragon if I have it.

                                                                2. Morels! I just wish i could afford them more often. Chantrelles are a close second, followed by porcini when I can find them. Mostly it's the common button or cremini, though, since I can find them readily.

                                                                  There is actually one kind I don't care for. Can't remember the name, and I'm sure "those little yellow ones the people at the farmers' market sell" isn't that helpful.

                                                                  7 Replies
                                                                  1. re: tardigrade

                                                                    Finding different varieties of shroom is the problem. The only fresh mushrooms I see in the grocery store are button, cremini and portabella. I can get other mushrooms dried, but they are exhorbitant.

                                                                    1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                                      I find the most variety at the farmers' market: I'm about 40 miles south of San Francisco, and there are some farmers who grow mushrooms commercially up in the hills. Expensive, but a little go a long way. I've found some stands of wild chantrelles near my house, but they're only around for a few weeks in winter.

                                                                      One of my big regrets is not bringing home several bags of the Italian dried porcini mushrooms I found cheap at a market in Italy - they're even legal to import to the US, but I didn't know it at the time!

                                                                      1. re: tardigrade

                                                                        I think the problem is I live in a hot, semi-arid climate. Mushrooms simply don't do well in these parts.

                                                                        1. re: Perilagu Khan

                                                                          Most commercial (farmer's market included) mushrooms tend to be farmed indoors in temperature-controlled environments, so geography doesn't play as significant a role.

                                                                          1. re: ferret

                                                                            But it makes all the difference if you're talking about farmer's markets.

                                                                    2. re: tardigrade

                                                                      <"those little yellow ones the people at the farmers' market sell">

                                                                      That's so funny! I just came to this thread to ask if anyone had experience with exactly that. Saw them yesterday but hesitated to buy them.
                                                                      Thanks for posting. What was it you didn't like about them?

                                                                      1. re: almond tree

                                                                        Texture, IIRC: it's been a while since I had them.

                                                                    3. It's hard to pick a favorite, because I enjoy them all. Porcini are a wonderful all-purpose mushroom with a rich, meaty flavor that is a step up from cremini. In soups or noodle dishes, I like the crunch that wood ear fungus brings, though the flavor is very light.

                                                                      1. I came across this article today which was helpful to me so I thought I'd share - 11 ways to make Morels...http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04...

                                                                        1. Happily we can pick chanterelles, boletes, lobster, angel wings, etc where we live on Van. Is. I prepare them by 'dry sweating them first in a med. hot pan to evaporate any moisture. I don't over crowd the pan. No other ingredients I want to actually taste the mushroom/s. After they are sweated dry I sauté them with a little clarified butter until the butter has been absorbed and the mushrooms turn a nice firm golden brown. The milk solids in regular 'table butter' adds a sour note to anything sauteed IMO.
                                                                          Ever fry/saute a pan of mushrooms that ended up looking gray and soggy/watery? That's b/c the mushrooms had too much moisture in them. Hence the
                                                                          dry sweating first. As the moisture accumulates in the pan blot it up with a paper towel.

                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                          1. I have never met a mushroom I didn't like. However, I have a friend from the Philippines whose father owned mushroom farms. He says there are many mushrooms we can't normally get over here in the States (due to customs issues, apparently) that are amazing. That drives me crazy - I want to taste them!

                                                                            And EVERYONE says the mangoes in the Philippines are so much better than the ones we get here - but that's another topic.

                                                                            6 Replies
                                                                            1. re: Heatherb

                                                                              Well, the alphonso/champagne mangoes available in many Asian stores (even Wegmans has 'em) this time of year come pretty close, I think. Try them some time :-)

                                                                              But now I want to hear about the Phillippine 'shrooms!

                                                                              1. re: linguafood

                                                                                "But now I want to hear about the Phillippine 'shrooms!"

                                                                                Me too.

                                                                                1. re: linguafood

                                                                                  It was so long ago, I can't remember the names. One was called a "rat ear". Are those available here?

                                                                                  1. re: Heatherb

                                                                                    Yup, they're called cloud ear fungus in English. Great stir fried with cellophane noodles or in hot and sour soup.

                                                                                  2. re: linguafood

                                                                                    The champagne mangoes are my idea of heaven on earth. I love them when they're syrupy-sweet, and also when they're a little tart. The string-free body and fabulous taste are the absolute ultimate with me. Sorry to contribute to the threadjacking.

                                                                                  3. re: Heatherb

                                                                                    Even bananas are more interesting - with more varieties - in Asia.

                                                                                  4. For me, depends on what it's being used for/in. Button mushrooms for general purpose (even breaded and fried), criminis for omelets. not a big fan of portobello...especially when someone else makes them and leaves the gills in.

                                                                                    1. crimmini ae my favorite general purpose 'shroom, but love cepes and morels when I can get them for a decent price.

                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                      1. re: Kelli2006

                                                                                        Ditto the criminis- however it's spelled

                                                                                      2. Gosh, I have had many (but never ALL), and have enjoyed each, depending on the wines involved.


                                                                                        1. At this time of year we are waiting for morels. It should not be long now. Just waiting for the temps to warm a bit and a gentle rain and mushroom gatherers will be out combing the land for them. They are really quite good.

                                                                                          1. I would flunk a blindfold mushroom taste test, so unless there is a quick-sale package of some other variety, I stick with buttons. So I was happy to hear Jacques Pepin say that button mushrooms have more flavor than the others, and that the best flavor comes from the marked-down buttons
                                                                                            that are getting soft spots and turning brown or gray in places.

                                                                                            4 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: greygarious

                                                                                              Wow, I often have left over mushrooms a few days and they had these spots. I actually posted a picture here a while ago and was told to back away although I assumed they'd probably be harmless but it seems someone else eats them unless I missed your sarcasm.

                                                                                              1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                No joke - M. Pepin has said this on at least two of his PBS series.

                                                                                                1. re: greygarious

                                                                                                  Great, thanks too bad I threw out some shrooms this morning before I read this.

                                                                                              2. re: greygarious

                                                                                                The French tend to like foods that have "turned."

                                                                                              3. #1 probably porcini/cepe (if we're not including white truffles). Neither of which I can afford often, plus I most often just have the dried porcini available. Fresh ones are a thing of beauty, when they're not infested with tiny little worms.

                                                                                                #2 king oyster mushrooms -- fabulous sliced and sautéed, with or without pasta.

                                                                                                #3 maitake / hen of the woods -- great in a pan sauce over steak

                                                                                                #4 chanterelles, for sure. Fabulous sautéed with onions and speck and lots of chopped fresh parsley, maybe a splash of white wine

                                                                                                #5 morels -- also fab with steak in a brandy cream sauce

                                                                                                #6 shiitake -- I prefer the super-meaty, dried variety over the less flavorful fresh

                                                                                                #7 oyster mushrooms -- great sautéed or roasted

                                                                                                White & brown button, bellas (baby or porta, doesn't matter), straw and beech mushrooms are my least favorite.

                                                                                                11 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                  The first time I ever saw oyster mushrooms in a grocery store I bought a half-pound, brought them home, put some butter and salt in a skillet, threw the mushrooms in and stirred them around until they started to brown around the edges. Then I ate one of the few truly memorable dishes that i"ll remember forever.

                                                                                                  1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                    I picked up some maitake this week and can't wait to use them, so pretty. I plan to do a simple saute to go with steamed halibut which I imagine should be quite nice. Any other recommendations other than in a pan sauce?

                                                                                                    1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                      You could roast them. I frankly haven't done a 'real' sauce with them -- just sauté in butter & oil, deglaze with red wine.

                                                                                                      The liquid all but disappears and all you're left with are deeply-flavored shrooms to cover your steak with :-)

                                                                                                      1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                        Yea, that was my plan here so maybe I'll deglaze with white or sherry for the fish or just leave them as is regular sauteed.

                                                                                                        1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                          Do you have a good use for the stems or do you just toss them?

                                                                                                          1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                            I pretty much chop them off as close to the 'root' as possible. Kinda similar to those oyster mushroom clusters. The stems have flavor in them, too.

                                                                                                        2. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                          I guess I'm not a maitake girl. I think I'll stick with my beloved criminis :)

                                                                                                          1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                            Interesting. I find them to be one of the most flavor-intense shrooms available.

                                                                                                            1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                              Yea, maybe that's what I didn't like well it was the texture as well as the earthy flavor which I guess I don't like compared to the more meaty, savory flavor of a crimini.

                                                                                                              1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                I tried the maitake again today and I love them, nutty and delicious.

                                                                                                                1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                  They're pretty amazing. The texture is not my favorite, but the flavor totally makes up for that.

                                                                                                          1. re: HoosierFoodie

                                                                                                            Or as Christopher Walken says in A View to a Kill, "Morel! Morel powah! Full throttle! Do it!"

                                                                                                          2. has anyone tried dubovik mushrooms? apparently Boletus luridus in latin. Bought a bag with all the writing in Cyrillic, so not quite sure what i will do with them.

                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                            1. re: j8715

                                                                                                              I love any boletus. 'King' are considered the best around here. Hard to find ones that the slugs haven't got to first.

                                                                                                            2. I love all mushrooms, too. But Sauteed cremini on top of creamy polenta is sooooo yummy and warming (I know it irs or was a chain, but i first had it at an Il Fornaio). If you can a Russin person who knows what they are doing, buring them to a good shroom forest and they can pick out the good boletus. (A friend knew the staff at the Russian Restaurant in Writer's Square in Denver (I can't remember the name) know how to pick them).

                                                                                                              1. I couldn't resist and went for the chanterelles this afternoon at the store. Now to figure out how to use them hopefully incorporating into already planned meals. I also have snapper filets which I likely will bake or steam. Could I add them to the parchment wrap? Also pondering in an omelet with cheese but didn't know if that would be best? Any suggestions would be great other than the ones here of course for dishes already mentioned.

                                                                                                                5 Replies
                                                                                                                1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                  Just have them on the side with whatever else you're serving. Let them shine on their own.

                                                                                                                  1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                    Great, I think I will do this or just throw them on top of the fish when plating. Can I just saute ahead of time while the fish bakes and toss them on at the end at room temperature? Sorry, mushroom semi-newbie.

                                                                                                                    1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                      Why not sauté in time for the fish to be ready (unless you have other sides you need to deal with), then you can serve them on top hot '-)

                                                                                                                      Depending on how much shroomage your making, I doubt they'll take longer than 10-15 min.

                                                                                                                      1. re: linguafood

                                                                                                                        Great, thanks. Yea it'll be a multi tasked to do but hopefully I can handle it. Roasting garlic alongside the fish and sauteeing shrimp but most of it is hands off, watch and wait. Do you do the dry saute and then add butter/oil? Or start with oil?

                                                                                                                        1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                          I usually start with a butter/oil mix. Don't overcrowd.

                                                                                                                  1. I love mushrooms in (almost) all forms and varieties, although I know there are many I have yet to try.

                                                                                                                    I was excited to try "fried mushrooms" offered at a roadside stand in Montana, only to be let down. Crunchy outside, watery mess inside. I think if they had been sauteed beforehand to sweat out the water, it might have worked. Oh well. But then again, one of my favorite ways to eat mushrooms is raw dipped in a good grain mustard.

                                                                                                                    I have considered taking a foraging course to learn how to ID the good 'shrooms in the wild. Anyone ever done this?

                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                    1. re: pickledtink

                                                                                                                      I want to go foraging now too but definitely need a course as I'm sure I'd end up in some psychotic trance somewhere or dead :) I live in Maryland and we have some woods around so I'm sure they are holding some mushroom goodness

                                                                                                                    2. I got a Lion's Mane mushroom patch for Christmas from a friend once, and at the time i had enough space and autonomy at work to grow it in my office. It was amazing. Heavy-bodied, great big fruiting bodies, they sauteed up just great, and just when I thought the patch had given up its last, it would secretly grow another big honking one that i'd see after not paying attention to it for a few days. It came from fungi.com, they make it as easy as possible to grow your own.

                                                                                                                      1. I forgot to list Enoki! They are so cute and very pretty and delicate when added to soups.

                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                        1. re: blythe

                                                                                                                          Googling enoki, I found this blog post about Enoki Crumpets. They look intriguing. Not a sign of a recipe, though.
                                                                                                                          Too bad.

                                                                                                                          1. re: blythe

                                                                                                                            I love enokis - just raw - tossed in salads. The acid in the salad dressing seems to be all they need to soften them up a tad.

                                                                                                                          2. The elusive morel! Love it in a cream sauce, over a steak or chicken.

                                                                                                                            1. My neighbor brought us some chanterelles but unfortunately mixed in were some faux chanterelles and all 4 of us were up all night vomiting while in between vomiting trying to look up on the Internet whether we were going to get liver failure and die. After that a friend told us about a relative who used to go all over the world with a mushroom foraging club And one year in Italy one of the members died! (From mushroom poisoning!). So now when I see those beautiful golden patches I just walk on by!

                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                              1. re: Philippa

                                                                                                                                Wild mushrooms are tricky: I can recognize chantrelles (and had them confirmed by experienced mushroomers), morels, and Amanita muscaria, which I will not touch. My late great-uncle once took me mushrooming, and tried to show me how to recognize edible Amanitas, but I don't trust myself with those. One problem we have in the Bay Area is that immigrants find mushrooms that look a lot like ones they knew back home but turn out to be poisonous.

                                                                                                                                I went to a talk on mushroom toxicology earlier this year. According to the lecturer, people who survived eating Death Angel mushrooms (A. phalloides) all claimed they were the best mushrooms they ever had! Now I know what to request for a last meal...

                                                                                                                              2. Champiñones al ajillo: Plain old supermarket button mushrooms, the big ones sliced, the small ones left whole; sauteed in olive oil with a knob of butter over low heat, so the lots (and lots) of garlic don't burn; when reduced, add a dribble of tamari and white wine; when that's evaporated, mix with chopped fresh parsley and serve with a crusty baguette. They'll lick the bowl clean.

                                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                                1. Creminis roasted with olive oil, garlic, salt, and lots of ground pepper. Simple but delicious preparation that's great tossed in rice and pasta creations, that's if they make it out if the pan. They usually get gobbled up once cool straight out of the oven!

                                                                                                                                  1. Oh and I forgot. Last week I had Enoki Mushrooms for the first time. They were sautéed with pea shoots. Wonderful dish at The Slanted Door in San Francisco.

                                                                                                                                    1. I have to update my favorite mushroom - I still love creminis but have been quite into shiitakes recently. I finally tried them and they are fabulous and I know use them quite frequently.

                                                                                                                                        1. http://www.seattlemag.com/article/lob...

                                                                                                                                          Has anyone try the Lobster mushroom (which I've read is not technically a mushroom but what grows from the host mushroom)? If so, how's the flavor?

                                                                                                                                          I love all mushrooms; especially a variety prepared in butter, s&p and thyme smeared on toast.

                                                                                                                                          In Pittsburgh, PA there's a pretty cool mushroom farm, pick your own.

                                                                                                                                          Anyone try these kits?

                                                                                                                                          1. I finally bit the bullet and picked up some dried morels today to serve sauteed with steak. Is it best to rehydrate in water and just add that liquid to the pan for a sauce or should I use a more flavorful liquid for rehydrating? Also, how much water do you generally use and how long?

                                                                                                                                            5 Replies
                                                                                                                                            1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                              Water is fine for rehydrating but be sure to strain the soaking
                                                                                                                                              liquid before using it in a recipe - morels can retain sand and
                                                                                                                                              grit. I usually cover them with about twice the volume of
                                                                                                                                              water to mushrooms and let them sit 20 to 30 minutes.
                                                                                                                                              Can depend on just how much the mushrooms are
                                                                                                                                              dehyrated - you want them to be easy to slice or dice but
                                                                                                                                              not mushy.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: ferventfoodie

                                                                                                                                                The mushrooms were quite tasty! I rehydrated in hot water for 30 minutes, strained the liquid and used it in a pan sauce with the sauteed morels.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                  Glad you liked them. Morels are my favorite mushroom -
                                                                                                                                                  to me, hen of the woods has a similar taste and is more
                                                                                                                                                  available fresh - but if you use fresh you don't have the
                                                                                                                                                  advantage of the soaking liquid. What did you use for your
                                                                                                                                                  pan sauce. I usually deglaze the pan with Madeira and
                                                                                                                                                  add a little fresh thyme. If I'm feeling decadent, also some
                                                                                                                                                  heavy cream.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: ferventfoodie

                                                                                                                                                    Very true, I actually bought some fresh hen of the woods today (aka Maitake right?). I also thought they had a similar flavor. They were good, but the Maitake are cheaper and more available so I'm not sure I'll have the morels too often but it might be hard to resist as I eat a lot of mushrooms and like to mix it up for variety. For the pan sauce I started with the fond from a seared pepper-crusted sirloin, deglzed with a mix of white and sherry wine, garlic and shallots, sauteed the shrooms and then added the hydration liquid and reduced. I'm pretty sure SO licked the plate. Another favorite sauce is thyme with white wine which I do quite often with chicken and fish.

                                                                                                                                                    I had some of the hydration liquid left over which I stashed in the fridge and used to saute Shiitakes for a salad today.

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                                                      That extra liquid also makes a great addition to risotto.

                                                                                                                                            2. Miatakes, hen of the woods, roasted in a little sealed crock with garlic and real butter.

                                                                                                                                              But there's a diner in Chadd's Ford, PA near Kennett Square mushroom country, that does a mushroom strudel to die for. And portabellas with garlic and soy sauce tossed in the dehydrator for mushroom jerky. But best of all is just getting a crate of mixed exotics from Rockee's and making risotto: http://rockeesmushroomoutlet.com/

                                                                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                                                                              1. re: Meann

                                                                                                                                                Maitake are my favorites. We sauté them with shallots in olive oil and a touch of wine until they get crisp and serve with pasta. I love the meaty flavor and texture. I also like shitakes, black chanterelles, hedgehogs and porcini.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: Ridge

                                                                                                                                                  They are quite woody, lovely flavor.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Ridge

                                                                                                                                                    We live in Tokyo and get Maitake mushrooms pretty much year-round. They put off a great flavor in stock.

                                                                                                                                                2. I agree with what that great gastronome Jim Morrison says. Psilocybin mushrooms

                                                                                                                                                  1. Tropet de la morte. Black trumpet shapes with a fantastic earthy, musky flavor. Make a stroganoff sauce with them and serve them on homemade spaetzle.

                                                                                                                                                    sorry, can't get the pic on....