Sunday, October 18, 2009

Grifola fo' breakfast

Almost 2" of rain and drizzle in the Shenandoah Valley over the last 4 days has improved the mushroom situation. I hope to post some photos over the next couple days of things I find this late in the season. Freeze warning tonight, but weather should warm afterward. I'll start off the current round of findings with what I had for breakfast this morning:

This is a toasted bagel w/Grifola frondosa and white cheddar cheese. "Maitake" as the mushroom is known in grocery stores is touted for its health benefits and somewhat nutty aroma. Wild specimens are usually very meaty and flavorful. The mushroom was pulled apart and fried with butter until slightly crispy. White cheddar cheese was mixed with the salted, fried mushrooms, put on top of the bagel and microwaved to melt the cheese. This holds the topping on the bagel. Breakfast was delicious.

This is the same G. frondosa but the mushroom was marinated in cabernet sauvignon *juice* and soy sauce. The marinated mushrooms and marinade were fried w/onions in olive oil and a couple drops sesame oil, and a dash of red pepper. Rice was added to soak up the excess marinade and give bulk to the meal.

This is the G. frondosa, or Hen of the Woods, or Maitake growing next to what I assume is an oak stump. In my experience it is usually more gray in color. This one was various shades of dark brown. The dull, dark brown color usually is indicative of age, but this one was fresh and tender. The caps were very thick and dense, more like thick lobes, making the mushroom feel heavy for its size, a couple pounds at least.

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