Archive for the ‘Mushrooms’ category

Cream of mushroom soup

January 4, 2019

During my childhood this was a favorite, out of the red and white can. Now I make my own, and it’s much better (as you might imagine). The mushrooms you use will make a difference; if you use only the standard white supermarket ‘shrooms it’ll be tasty, but adding some “wild” ones makes a big difference. I am not suggesting you go out in the woods and start picking, that can be dangerous, but many different varieties are now cultivated and available in markets. Some are available dried, as well, and I particularly recommend dried porcini for their great flavor.

2 oz dried porcini mushrooms
1 – 1.5 lb fresh mushrooms
1 medium potato, peeled and roughly chopped
1/3 c chopped onion
1 garlic clove, peeled and halved
A few grinds of black pepper
1/2 stick butter
4 c vegetable stock
1 c heavy cream (preferred) or half’n’half
2 TB dry sherry
Chopped parsley or chives

Cover the dried mushrooms with boiling water and soak for at least 15 min. Trim the remaining mushrooms, washing if needed, and chop coarsely.

Melt the butter in a heavy soup pot and when hot add the fresh mushrooms, potato, onion, pepper, and garlic. Cook on medium heat for about 10 minutes, stirring. The mushrooms may give off some liquid, that’s OK. Add the dried mushrooms and their soaking liquid and the vegetable stock. Bring to a simmer and cook for 10 min. Let cool slightly and then use a blender to puree completely. Return to pot and stir in the cream and sherry. Serve garnished with the parsley or chives.



Chicken with wild mushrooms

April 7, 2015

This simple dish emphasizes the flavor of the mushrooms, I like this with oyster mushrooms or chanterelles, but many others would work – a mixture is nice! Note: DO NOT use mushrooms you have picked yourself unless you know what you are doing, or you might end up sick or dead.

8 chicken thighs, skin on, bone in
1 to 1-1/2 c slivered mushrooms
1 large or 2 small cloves garlic, minced
1 c dry white wine such as pinot grigio, or 2/3 c dry white vermouth
Salt, pepper

You need a covered nonstick skillet large enough to hold the chicken in one layer without crowding.

Trim excess fat and flaps of skin from the chicken. Place in the cold, dry pan with the skin side down. Put the pan on medium heat. As the pan warms up the chicken will start sizzling and after perhaps 10 minutes the skin will develop a lovely brown color. Turn the chicken and brown the other side. Remove from heat and check to see how much chicken fat has rendered. If necessary, remove some of it by tipping the pan to one side and using a wadded paper towel held with tongs to soak it up.

Return the pan to the heat, scatter the mushrooms and garlic over it, and pour in the wine. Add salt and pepper to taste, Bring to a simmer, cover, and simmer slowly for 1/2 hour. Add a little more wine if it looks dry. The goal is to end up with just a small amount of sauce, perhaps a cup. Serve with rice or pasta.

While the chicken is browning, saute the mushrooms in a little olive oil until they are partially cooked, about 5 minutes. Stir in a pinch of salt.

Pasta with asparagus and wild mushrooms

January 31, 2015

Simple and delicious! You really should have oysters mushrooms for this, and lately these can be found in some markets. Lacking these, the regular store-bought “button” mushrooms will do.

Oyster mushrooms cleaned and cit into bite-size pieces, about 2 cups.
One bunch asparagus.
Good quality olive oil, about 1/2 c
Salt and pepper
1/2 to 3/4 pound long pasta

While making the asparagus, cook the pasta in salted water per package directions. Try to time it so the pasta is done just a moment or two before the asparagus is ready.

Heat a couple of TB oil in a non-stick skillet and cook the mushrooms and a pinch of salt over medium heat until cooked through and just starting to brown, about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, trim the tough stem ends from the asparagus and discard (or save for soup). Cut the trimmed asparagus stalks into 3 pieces, keeping the tip pieces separate from the stem pieces. Remove the mushrooms from the pan and set aside. Heat another couple of TB oil over medium heat and add the asparagus stem pieces. Sauté for about a minute and then add the tips. Continue cooking until just crisp-tender, return the mushrooms to the pan, and season to taste with S&P. Dress with the remaining oil, toss with the drained and still-hot pasta, and serve with Romano or Parmesan cheese to grate on top (no, NOT the pre-grated stuff!).

Pasta with chicken and mushrooms, risotto style

November 30, 2014

Inspired by a Mark Bittman recipe. Cooking pasta this way gives a very creamy, rich result.

1/2 lb raw pasta (see note below)
3 TB olive oil
1/2 c chopped onion
3 cloves minced garlic
2 c sliced mushrooms (shitake are more flavorful but the standard white ‘stools work fine too)
3-4 c chicken stock
2 c diced cooked chicken

Use a heavy 4 quart saucepan. Heat the oil over medium heat and add the mushrooms, onions, and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and just starting to brown. Add the pasta and stir for 1-2 minutes until the pasta is coated with the oil. Add 1/2 c stock and stir almost constantly until the liquid is almost gone. Continue adding stock 1/2 c at a time, stirring until the liquid is almost gone, then repeating. After 10 min, start testing the pasta for doneness – the total time will depend on the type of pasta used. Note that you may not use all the stock. When the pasta is done to your liking, stir in salt and pepper to taste and add the chicken. Cover and let sit for a few minutes, then serve (with grated Parmesan if desired).

Note: You can use pretty much any shape of pasta for this, including long pasta broken into short lengths. My favorite is fusilli. Use a good quality pasta such as de Cecco (of course!).

Chicken with oyster mushrooms

February 23, 2013


If you are lucky enough to have access to an oyster mushroom-producing stump, you are indeed lucky. They are available in some stores, and in a pinch the standard button mushrooms can be used (with inferior results). I prefer using chicken thighs; the drumstick is tasty but has too many tendons for easy eating, and the breast has less flavor and can be dry. I like to serve this over pasta.

Oyster mushrooms (see below)
6 to 8 skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs, trimmed of excess fat
1 medium onion, peeled and sliced into half-rings
4 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
big pinch dried sage
1/4c olive oil plus an additional, optional 1/4c
1/2c dry white wine or dry vermouth (or use water)

Trim and clean the mushrooms, then cut into strips about 2 inches long and 1/2 inch wide (no need to be fussy). When cleaning, do not be afraid to rinse; the cooking will get rid of any extra water that clings to the mushrooms. You want 2-3 cups of mushrooms, it’s not critical (but more is better!).

Heat 1/4c olive oil in a skillet (preferably nonstick) that is large enough to hold the chicken comfortably in 1 layer. Over medium-high heat, sauté the mushrooms, stirring. In almost all cases, the mushrooms will release their liquid – this is OK, just keep cooking until the liquid has evaporated. Add the onions and a big pinch of salt, lower heat to medium, and continue cooking, with occasional stirring, until the onions and mushrooms have just started to brown. Remove from pan and set aside.

Pat the thighs dry with paper towels and place skin side down in the pan. Cook undisturbed over medium heat for 10 minutes. Start checking at this time – the skin will develop a lovely browning. Turn the thighs over, season with S & P and sprinkle the sage over. Return the mushroom mixture to the pan, distributing evenly, and add the wine along with 1/2c water. Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook for about 45 minutes. Check now and then and add a bit of water if needed. The goal is to have about a cup of sauce at the end of cooking. When done, remove from heat and if desired drizzle the remaining 1/4c olive oil over, then serve.

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