Mushrooms should be cleaned with a soft dry brush to remove soil. They can be refrigerated in a paper bag for up to one week. Cooked mushrooms can be placed in airtight containers and frozen for later use. Slow defrosting will help prevent these water packed beauties (80-90% water) from turning mushy.Â When using dried mushrooms, use 1 cup of boiling water for every 1 ounce of dried mushroom (1 ounce dried=1/2 pound fresh) and soak for Â½ hour. All of those precious B vitamins will leach into the soaking liquid, so be sure to use that liquid in your cooking if possible!
For some simple ways to incorporate mushrooms into your diet, try the following:
Create a mushroom relish by sautéing finely chopped wild mushrooms, scallions, and minced garlic in extra-virgin olive oil. Add a tiny bit of balsamic vinegar and serve as a condiment with chicken, fish, burgers, or sandwiches.Â Use mushrooms as a “filler” when making turkey meatloaf or burgers. Not only does this up the nutritional ante, it also adds moisture to the finished product!Â Grind dried mushrooms to a powder and mix with panko or whole wheat bread crumbs to coat chicken, fish, or veggies before sautéing.
CHEESE AND SPINACH STUFFED PORTOBELLOS (adapted from www.eatingwell.com )
4 large portobello caps
Â¼ teaspoon salt
Â¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided
1 cup part- skim ricotta cheese
1 cup finely chopped fresh spinach
Â½ cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese, divided
2 tablespoons finely chopped kalamata olives
Â½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
Â¾ cup prepared marinara sauce
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Coat a rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray. Place mushroom caps, gill-side up on the prepared pan. Sprinkle with salt and half of the pepper. Roast until tender, about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, mash ricotta, spinach, Â¼ cup Parmesan, olives, Italian seasoning, and remaining pepper in medium bowl. Heat marinara sauce in saucepan or microwave oven. When mushrooms are tender, carefully pour out any liquid that has accumulated in the caps. Spread 1 tablespoon of marinara on each cap. Mound a generous 1/3 cup ricotta mixture into each cap and sprinkle with remaining Parmesan. Bake until hot, about 10 minutes. Serve with remaining marinara sauce. Serves 4.
LUCKY CHINESE SOUP (adapted from Health, January/February, 2007)
3 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
Â½ cup thinly sliced shiitake mushroom caps
1 cup cubed firm tofu (about 6 ounces)
Â½ tablespoon fish sauce (Nam Pla)
1 large egg, beaten
Â¼ cup minced green onions
Â½ teaspoon dark sesame oil
Â¼- Â½ teaspoon chili oil
Â¼- Â½ teaspoon black pepper
Â¼ teaspoon sugar
Bring broth to boil in covered 2-quart saucepan. Add mushroom slices and tofu and return to boil, cooking, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in the remaining ingredients. Makes 4 servings.
ZINGERMAN’S MUSHROOM BARLEY SOUP (adapted from www.epicurious.com )
2 tablespoons dried porcini mushrooms
2 tablespoons butter
1 large onion, thinly sliced
2 ribs celery with leaves, diced
Â¼ cup parsley
1 carrot, peeled and sliced
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 pound fresh porcini or other mushroom
1 tablespoon flour
2 quarts beef broth or water
1 cup whole barley
2 teaspoons salt
Soak the mushrooms in enough hot water to cover for a half hour. Strain through a filter, reserving soaking liquid. Coarsely chop the dried mushrooms. Melt butter in a stockpot and sauté the onion, celery, 2 tablespoons parsley, carrot, garlic, and fresh mushrooms until soft, about 5 minutes. Lower the heat and add the flour stirring every 30 seconds for about 5 minutes until thick. Heat the broth or water in a soup pot and add a cup of the mushroom mixture at a time to the pot, stirring after each addition. Turn the heat to high and add the reserved mushroom water and barley. Add salt to taste. Simmer, covered, for about one hour or until the barley is tender and the soup is thickened. Stir frequently. Makes 6-8 servings.
GRILLED SHIITAKE MUSHROOM SALAD ON MIZUNA WITH PONZU DRESSING (adapted from www.foodnetwork.com )
1 tablespoon each of orange juice, grapefruit juice, and lime juice
1 teaspoon finely chopped grapefruit zest
1 teaspoon finely chopped orange zest
1 teaspoon finely chopped lime zest
3 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
2 tablespoons mirin
Â¼ cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
12 shiitake mushrooms, cleaned and stems removed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 cups mizuna leaves
Combine dressing ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Remove from heat, let cook to room temperature, then refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. In the meantime, heat grill to high.
Brush mushrooms with oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill for 3-4 minutes per side or until just cooked through. Remove from heat and tear into rough pieces. Place mizuna in large bowl and toss with a few tablespoons of the chilled dressing. Season with pepper, to taste. Add mushrooms to bowl, toss, and drizzle with more of the dressing. Cooked shrimp or chicken would make a nice addition to this delicate salad.