Side Dishes - Mushroom Types and Tips




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Jennifer 3FC
01-11-2004, 02:50 PM
Of course, take out the crusty french bread suggestions....


MUSHROOM MAGIC

THE WEBB COOKS
_______________________________ articles by Robyn Webb

__________________ It was only two centuries ago that the mystery
surrounding mushrooms, once called "fairy rings", no
longer included that these delicious morsels were evil omens.

__________________ Prepared only by the noblemen in the 19th century, as we
approach the 21st ,
everyone regardless of status can enjoy the woodsy earthy taste of
mushrooms.

__________________ Although not mentioned as often as broccoli for its
health giving properties, mushrooms do have an impressive array of
offerings; they are high in protein, complex carbohydrates and fiber and a
good source of riboflavin, vitamin D and potassium.

_____ _____ _____ In some recent studies some mushroom varieties have be shown to be
effective in lowering blood pressure and cholesterol. But the taste is what
I am attracted to, the rich intensely flavor of mushrooms improves the
almost any low fat recipe.

__________________ HOW TO BUY;

__________________ Mushrooms are very perishable, so do try to use them up
within two days of purchase. Look for tight, firm,
dry mushrooms that are not slimy. Refrigerate the mushrooms as soon as you
return home from the market. Place mushrooms in a paper bag and place the
bag on a shelf, not the crisper._ The mushrooms will stay dry this way.

__________________ SELECTION:

__________________ There are as many mushroom varieties as there are recipes
for chili. Try to go beyond your comfort zone and explore the world of some
of the exotic mushrooms.

__________________ Chanterelle: Chanterelles are trumpet shaped
mushrooms that are mild flavored and very delicate. They taste perry when
raw and can be lightly sautéed.

__________________ Cremini: The Cremini is a just the baby portobello. The
cocoa colored mushrooms can be used just like white button mushrooms except
that they have a much more intense flavor.

__________________ Enoki: these funny looking mushrooms which don’t look
like mushrooms at all, are quite nice. These mushrooms have tiny white caps
and long stems. The taste is fruity with a fresh tang.

__________________ Straw: This mushroom is often used in Asian type dishes.
It is a taupe colored with a parasol cap and white stem. Mild in flavor it
is good tossed into stir fry dishes and soups.

__________________ Morel: The coveted mushroom for its taste is
out of this world!_ Expensive but worth it. The color is from beige to dark
brown with a very meaty texture and earthy nit like flavor.

__________________ Oyster: this fan shaped mushroom is delicate and silky.
The color is light gray and can be used added last minute to soups and stir
frys.

__________________ Porcini: The porcini is a wonderful mushroom that is used
in so many delicious Italian dishes most notably
risotto. The taste is earthy, smoky and robust. Hard to find fresh in the
U.S. dried is often used instead.

__________________ Portobello: One of the largest mushrooms, portobellos
have grown in popularity in the last several years. Because of its size it
can be eaten like a "burger" or even stuffed. The cap is saucer shaped and
have a taste reminiscent of filet mignon!

__________________ Shiitake: the shiitake shows up in many Asian dishes. The
cap is parasol shaped with a woody stem. It has a rich, smoky taste that is
great for adding in stir frys.

__________________ Truffles: If you can afford them, truffles are divine.
There is Italian white and French black.. A most intense mushroom it is
often used in risotto.

__________________ COOK THEM UP!

__________________ First, never wash your mushrooms. That may sound strange,
but mushrooms are like little sponges. They will absorb the water you washed
them in and upon cooking will release more moisture than intended. The
result will be excess water in the dish thus diluting the intense flavor of
the mushroom. Instead, just wipe the mushroom with a damp paper towel to
dust off the dirt. I usually remove the stem of most of the mushrooms
mentioned above since I find them too tough and not very tasty.

__________________ To simply sauté: Heat a small amount, about a tablespoon
of olive oil per 2 cups of sliced mushrooms. The mushrooms will soak up the
oil immediately, but do not be tempted to add more oil. Soon in the cooking
process about 2 minutes the mushrooms will begin to release their own
natural juices keeping the mushroom from drying out.

___________________ TOSS THEM IN!

__________________ Sautéed mushrooms are a boon to any dish._ Here are a few
ideas;

__________________ * Add sautéed mushrooms to any omelette or scrambled eggs
__________________ * Sauté mushrooms and pile high on sliced of toasted
french bread.
__________________ * Sauté mushrooms and onions and pile onto a baked potato
__________________ * Top homemade pizzas with sautéed mushrooms
__________________ * Stuff a pita bread with an assortment of sautéed
vegetables and mushrooms
__________________ * Sauté mushrooms and place on top of a cooked chicken