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What to do with Mushrooms

Updated on September 21, 2014
Mushrooms
Mushrooms | Source

Nobody is ever half hearted about Mushrooms

Mushrooms have played a pretty important in human history. Claudius, the Emperor of Rome, was poisoned by mushrooms, as was Pope Clement VII. The Normans praised their aphrodisiac qualities, the ancient Egyptians decreed them to be food for royalty alone and a 5,000 year old corpse had some versatile polypores in his backpack.

These days truffles, porcini, morels, crimini, ceps, portabella, black Chinese, yellow chantarelles, cinammon caps, hon-shimeji and their cousins are no longer seen as either the food of gods or of devils.

A mushroom is a healthy wholesome and altogether delicious treat.

Portobello
Portobello | Source

There's a lot of food value in a mushroom

Nutritional Value of Mushrooms

Depending on the variety, mushrooms contain 1 to 3% protein and all the essential amino acids, making the protein complete. You wouldn't think so to look at them but, for vegetarians, mushrooms make an ideal meat substitute. A tasty substitute too.

Mushrooms also have many of the B vitamins, and the vitamins C, K, and E.

I could go on more .. mushrooms are a rich source of potassium and phosphorous. About 5 raw button mushrooms contain 370 mg. of potassium and 104 mg. phosphorous.

Take the portabellas for example. Portabella Mushrooms are an ideal food for those watching their waistlines. They contain no fat or sodium, are high in fibre, and low in calories (40 calories for a medium size).

Wild Mushrooms

Always be careful when you harvest wild food

Many people prefer wild mushrooms, I do too. They really taste so much better as the flavour is so much stronger.

Be careful when picking wild mushrooms, or any wild food. Some species of mushrooms are poisonous.

Remember to always cook wild mushrooms thoroughly, no half measures here, you not only want to release the flavors but to convert the proteins into a more usable form

Storing Mushrooms

* Keep mushrooms refrigerated

* Remove the plastic from packaged mushrooms

* Keep fresh mushrooms in a porous paper bag

* Avoid air-tight containers which cause moisture condensation and spoilage

* Don't rinse until ready to use

Mushroom Burger

Substitute Portabello Mushrooms for Meat

Cook Time

Prep Time: Marinate for 10 hours, then prep for 10 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Serves:

Ingredients

  • 4 large portobello or large field mushrooms
  • 30 m l/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic crushed
  • salt and ground black pepper
  • 4 crusty ciabatta rolls or hamburger rolls
  • crisp lettuce
  • sliced tomatoes

Instructions

  1. Place the mushrooms in a shallow dish, add the oil, garlic and seasoning and toss until the mushrooms are evenly coated. Leave to marinate for at least 10 minutes.
  2. Cook the mushrooms on the barbecue, or in a flat frying pan for 8-10 minutes turning once until browned on both sides and tender when tested with a fork. Transfer to a plate, gill side down and leave for a couple of minutes.
  3. Toast the ciabatta rolls on the barbecue, or pop into a toaster. Fill with lettuce, tomato and top with the mushrooms.
  4. Delicious served with hummous!
Cast your vote for Mushroom Burger Recipe

Million Dollar Portobello Mushroom Burger

Risotto Portabella Recipe

  • 1 large garlic clove minced
  • 2 cups Arborio rice
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 200 -250g
  • 8 oz Portabella mushrooms
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 - 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley

Cook Time

Prep Time: 5

Total Time: 35

Serves: 2 -4

Instructions

  1. In a medium-sized heavy saucepan, heat some oil. Add onion and garlic; saute and stir until softened, about 4 minutes.
  2. Add rice; continue to cook and stir coating the rice with oil. Add the wine; cook, stirring often, until the liquid is absorbed.
  3. Meanwhile, trim mushrooms and cut into bite-sized pieces. In another pan heat oil. Add mushrooms; cook and stir until tender, 5 to 6 minutes.
  4. Pour 3 cups of stock into the rice, over medium-high heat stir until almost al dente. Stir in the cooked mushrooms and add more stock if needed.
  5. The risotto should be creamy, not runny.
  6. Remove saucepan from heat. Stir in a 1/4 cup of the parmesan cheese until completely dissolved. Stir in parsley and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  7. Serve with remaining parmesan.

Crimini with Port

  • 1/2 medium onion cut in half and thinly sliced
  • 1 TBS chicken or vegetable broth
  • 4 cups whole small to medium crimini
  • 6 medium cloves of garlic chopped
  • 1 TBS chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1/4 cup Tawny or regular Port
  • salt and black pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Remove ends of mushroom stems and wipe clean if necessary. Slice
  2. Heat 1 TBS broth in a stainless steel pan. Saute the onion for 5 minutes over medium heat stirring frequently.
  3. Add garlic, mushrooms and rosemary to onions, and continue to saute for another 5 minutes.
  4. Stir in port and simmer for about 4 more minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Shiitake with Feta

You can serve this up as a side dish or as a topping/sauce over fish or poultry

Ingredients

  • 500 g 1 lb fresh sliced shiitake mushrooms
  • 3 TBSchicken or vegetable broth
  • 2 cloves garlic chopped
  • 2 TBS extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 TBS feta cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Chop garlic and let sit for 5 minutes to enhance its health-promoting properties.
  2. Remove stems from mushrooms and slice.
  3. Heat broth in a stainless steel pan When broth begins to steam, add mushrooms and saute covered, for 3 minutes.
  4. Remove cover and let mushrooms cook for 4 more minutes.
  5. Toss with olive oil and feta - season with salt and pepper.

Preparing Mushrooms

To Scrub or not to Scrub a Mushroom?

You don't have to peel your mushrooms. Wash them briefly under cool water, then give them a few minutes to dry off themselves.

To remove the stems, give them a gentle little push with your thumb and they will loosen easily. Keep the stems for adding to soups, stir fries, and stuffing.

The true aficionada doesn't wash her mushrooms at all, but merely wipes them lovingly with a damp cloth.

Utzi the Ice Man's Mushrooms

They were polypores!

In the winter of 1991, hikers in the Italian Alps found a body. It turned out not to be a crime scene, but the well preserved remains of a man who died more than five thousand years ago.

He became known as Utzi, the Iceman, and we have learned a great deal about this man, including what he ate, where he lived, and what he wore.

He was well equipped with a knapsack, flint axe, arrows and a string of dried Birch Polypores (Piptoporus betulinus) and another yet unidentified mushroom. The mushrooms would have been very handy trekking across the Alps, and not just for a snack on the southern slopes.either!

The Peerless Polypores

The polypores can be used as tinder for starting fires and as medicine for treating wounds. It can be boiled into a rich tea with immuno-enhancing properties. You can chew on a dried one as you walk.

Uzi the Iceman was well equipped for traversing the wilderness, aided by the noble polypores.

The Noble Polypores

A necessary part of the ecosystem

The polypores are among the most common, widespread, and easily identifiable groups of wild mushrooms.

Almost all polypores grow on wood, such as trees, fallen logs, stumps, or semi-buried wood. Apart from being attractive and interesting mushrooms, common polypores are wood rotters, assisting in the decomposition of dead wood.

So they're important in natural ecosystems, recycling the nutrients and minerals in the wood and releasing them over a long period of time--- sometimes several hundred years from a single large tree--- and making the nutrients available for other forest organisms.

Taxonomically, the polypores are complicated, and we don't completely understand them.

Mushrooms and More Mushrooms

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Lactarius indigo.Ganoderma lucidumAmanita jacksoniiAmanita phalloides, "death cap" mushroomsFomes fomentarius, "Tinder fungus"
Lactarius indigo.
Lactarius indigo.
Ganoderma lucidum
Ganoderma lucidum
Amanita jacksonii
Amanita jacksonii
Amanita phalloides, "death cap" mushrooms
Amanita phalloides, "death cap" mushrooms
Fomes fomentarius, "Tinder fungus"
Fomes fomentarius, "Tinder fungus"

It is easy to despise gold and silver, but exceedingly difficult to refuse a plate of mushrooms.

Epigrams of Martial

Mushrooms are tough!


Mushroom pushing through the macadam in Paris

tangoposo on wikimedia commons

Is it edible?

100 Edible Mushrooms
100 Edible Mushrooms

Michael Kuo loves mushrooms too. In this guide he identifies 100 species of mushroom, using full colour illustrations and some tips on where and when to find them. He also includes how to cook them in creative and delicious ways.

 

Shiitake Mushrooms

Shiitake Mushrooms
Shiitake Mushrooms

A Feast of Mushrooms - An Old Favourite

The Mushroom Feast: A Celebration of all Edible Fungi, Cultivated, Wild and Dried, with Recipes
The Mushroom Feast: A Celebration of all Edible Fungi, Cultivated, Wild and Dried, with Recipes

Besides the traditional use of mushrooms to enhance meat and vegetable dishes, these delightful edible fungi are made into pate, powdered, pureed into mushroom ketchup, baked into a flan (an Alice B. Toklas specialty), baked as a cake and used in many other dishes - from the simple to the highly sophisticated - for soups, sauces, stuffings, main courses, and all too intriguing to resist.

 

Oyster Mushrooms

Oyster Mushrooms
Oyster Mushrooms

How about you?

Do you love mushrooms too?

See results

© 2008 Susanna Duffy

Fanmail and Feedback for Fungus - You can be fresh, or dry.....

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    • vineliner57 profile image

      Hal Gall 

      6 years ago from Bloomington, IN

      I eat them just about every day!

    • GollyGearHope profile image

      Hope 

      6 years ago from Skokie, Illinois

      Love mushrooms and these recipes look great - gotta try them!

    • DeannaDiaz profile image

      DeannaDiaz 

      6 years ago

      They are yummy! Lately, I have fallen in love with dried mushroom powder, it tricks little boys into eating mushrooms!

    • profile image

      icedropice 

      6 years ago

      Mushrooms have some important nutritional value as well as i remember Some types of mushrooms provides vitamin D if taken in sunlight. highly valuable for those spend the whole day in indoor offices.

    • profile image

      Helene-Malmsio 

      6 years ago

      I love mushrooms, and sometimes have them as a meal - solo - from a recipe in the "French women don't get fat" book. Mushies, spring onions, parsley, butter, oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper. YUM! Having it for dinner tomorrow actually!

    • Tawice profile image

      2wice 

      6 years ago from Maine, USA

      I never cared for mushrooms as a kid, but now when I order a pizza it has to have mushrooms on it.

    • Nimsrules LM profile image

      Nirmal Shah 

      6 years ago from India

      I've always loved reading your lenses, Suzie and this one's no different.

    • bjslapidary profile image

      bjslapidary 

      6 years ago

      Lots of great info here. The recipes sound great. Bookmarked this to come back to. Thanks for sharing.

    • StevenCousley profile image

      Steven Cousley 

      7 years ago from Young, NSW, Australia

      Mushrooms cooked any style or fresh in salads work for me. Love em!

    • Paul Ward profile image

      Paul 

      7 years ago from Liverpool, England

      Mushrooms as an ingredient in Chinese dishes, a few in a steak and kidney pie, otherwise no - it's the texture I dislike,

    • rravi123 profile image

      rravi123 

      7 years ago

      good mushroom lens

    • PizmoBeach LM profile image

      PizmoBeach LM 

      7 years ago

      One of my favourite foods.

    • VarietyWriter2 profile image

      VarietyWriter2 

      8 years ago

      I love mushrooms too :) Nice lens.

    • Ramkitten2000 profile image

      Deb Kingsbury 

      8 years ago from Flagstaff, Arizona

      I LOVE 'shrooms, especially morels. I don't think I've ever had risotto, but it sounds delish! And even simple enough for me to handle.

    • James20 profile image

      James20 

      9 years ago

      I love mushrooms on pizza, more the better. I did not know that there are so many you can eat. Here in Minnesota we look for morels. 5*

    • TopStyleTravel profile image

      TopStyleTravel 

      9 years ago

      Wonderful lenses on mushrooms. 5 stars! The photo of the polypore mushroom looks like a work of art. Wow the more I read your lenses, I realize we have a lot of food tastes in common.

    • BeautySalon LM profile image

      BeautySalon LM 

      9 years ago

      I love mushrooms too! Thanks for risotto recipe. 5 stars!

    • msbaby profile image

      msbaby 

      9 years ago

      I have been hooked on portobello mushrooms ever since Oprah brought them to my attention. They taste great, but they don't seem to be helping me maintain my weight as I might wish. After looking at your pics of Polypores, I realized I have been taking pictures of these beautiful mushrooms for years! Thanks for the information.

    • profile image

      enslavedbyfaeries 

      9 years ago

      We love mushrooms at our house and can't wait to give your recipes a try! Nicely done. 5*

    • profile image

      julieannbrady 

      9 years ago

      Yumm Yumm! I absolutely love Longhorn's portabello mushroom and fillet! TDF. My cholesterol level loves it as well. You're making me hungry for that steak. 5*****

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