Mushrooms, Anyone?

Basmati Rice with Mushrooms; Green Beans with Mushrooms

Whoever thought that putting mushrooms in a can was a good idea ought to be beaten severely about the head and shoulders with a soggy pizza.

Why would anyone want to take this perfectly lovely fungus and turn it into a gray, shiny, rubber parody of it’s glorious self?Mushrooms

Texture is an important part of eating.  My DS will not eat potatoes (unless they’re in the form of chips) because of the texture.

I refuse to eat calamari rings that have been frozen and canned mushrooms, both for the same reason: tasteless rubber products that would shame the Michelin Man.

I have picked canned mushrooms off of pizzas and out of sauces for years.

My calorie consumption is, unfortunately, finite and I refuse to allow the daily quota to be fouled with something so vile.

I cannot grasp why normal, rational humans would waste their cash buying this tinned trash!

They do.

My local supermarket has devoted an extraordinary amount of space to this faux food.

On the other hand…. Freshly picked mushrooms, in all their variety of type and preparation, are a culinary treasure.

And…. ‘Tis the season, once again.

Mushroom season.

I described the delights and dangers of hunting mushrooms last year.

I decided to see if it’s really worth it.

It is.

Mushrooms, even the common white button, are loaded with minerals.  They contain copper and zinc, both shown to be effective against rheumatoid arthritis, as well as selenium, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium.  Top that mix off with a few vitamins: B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, and folate, and one has a pretty potent little fungus!

The mushroom as we know it, the part that we eat, is the fruiting body of the mycelium, which is underground and can be both very long-lived and massive.  There is one colony in the U.S. estimated to be over 2,400 years old and spans some 2,200 acres.

There are three general types of mushrooms: edible, toxic, and magic or Psilocyban (known to have psychedelic properties).

Identifying which is which is the problem. It’s rather important to get it right.

Any given mushroom can take on many different characteristics in it’s short life-span; resembling an edible variety in it’s youth and a toxic variety at maturity.

In most areas where mushrooming is popular one can find help to identify them.

In Andorra, all of the Pharmacists were required to be experts and one could take their haul to the local Pharmacy to have it sorted.
Still, there was usually one or two deaths every year of people who ‘knew their mushrooms’.

You could, of course, grow your own. Interested? Find out more in How to Grow Mushrooms.

I’m happy to eat any mushroom collected by anyone – as long as they take the first bite!

As is usual when cooking for two, it is often a challenge to use all of something that comes prepackaged, whether it be the little box of crimini from the supermarket or the brown paper bag from the little lady at the side of the road.

Which is exactly what happened this week.

I give you a two-for-one special on mushrooms, for Weekend Herb Blogging!

This event  was founded by Kalyn of Kalyn’s Kitchen, and is hosted by… me this week.

You’ll find the round-up right here, chez moi, on Monday!

Basmati Mushroom Pilaf

Basmati Rice with Mushrooms

1/2 cup Basmati rice
1 cups chicken stock
1/2 tsp basil
1/2 tsp oregano
2oz (60gr) mushrooms
1/2 onion
1 clove garlic
2 tsp butter
1 tsp olive oil

Heat 1 tsp butter in a small skillet. Add rice and sauté, stirring for 2 – 3 minutes. Add stock and herbs, cover and cook rice for length of time on package.
Chop onion, mushrooms and mince garlic.
While rice cooks: heat remaining 1 tsp of butter and oil in small skillet. Add onion and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and mushrooms and sauté until everything is light brown, about 10 minutes longer. When rice is done, combine with mushroom/onion, fluff with a fork and serve.

Green Beans with Mushrooms

Green Beans with Mushrooms 

5oz (150gr) green beans
2oz (60gr) mushrooms
1/2 onion
1 clove garlic
1 tsp butter
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp soy sauce

Top and tail beans…cut off the ends. Cut into 1 1/2 inch lengths (4cm) or leave whole. Put beans, 1/4 cup of water into a small pan, cover and simmer until done, 10 – 15 minutes. If beans dry out add a little more water. While beans cook: heat butter and oil in small skillet. Add onion and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and mushrooms and sauté until everything is light brown, about 10 minutes longer.
When beans are done, drain and add to the skillet along with the soy sauce. Stir well to combine and serve.

I wonder if anyone has canned the magic mushrooms?  Now THAT has possibilities….

Oh, and if you like canned mushrooms (I know some people do, really, quite normal, rational upstanding individuals; even some members of my very own family….), er, as I was saying, if you like canned mushrooms…. sorry about the diatribe.  Really, my humble apologies… but I’m right!

18 thoughts on “Mushrooms, Anyone?”

  1. You’re so lucky to have a lady on the corner who sells mushrooms! We have morels on our land, but I’m afraid to eat any of the other mushrooms because I just don’t know anything about them. And the few mushroom hunters I know are very secretive about where they forage!

  2. You’re so right, canned mushrooms are not worth the effort it takes to open the can. But fresh mushrooms,…..yes, definitely worth it! I love look of your recipes.

  3. The secret to enjoying canned mushrooms is not to think of them as mushrooms but as some other unnamed ingredient. If you think of them as mushrooms, they are revolting but if you can free your mind from that association, they aren’t bad. Having said that, I don’t think I’ve eaten canned mushrooms in 20 years!

  4. I’m going to rush and post – hopefully it will be in time. I know that now it is 12:45 salt lake city time. Love this recipe by the way. have loads of green beans. will get the mushroooms tomorrow and give it a go.

  5. I agree about the canned mushrooms. Have not bought them for years. Both these dishes sound great, but I especially love the sound of the green beans!

  6. Yes, you’re right about canned mushrooms. I believe they are one of the mainstays of the diet in Hell. They go perfectly with canned peas.
    All of your mushroom dishes look incredibly wonderful. Drat!! We don’t have any mushrooms in the house. (I should NEVER read your blog just before dinner.) Good thing we’re having grape pie to take away the sting of no mushrooms.

  7. I came back to read your post again as my first reading was made when I was very agitated about neary missing the WHB event. I have never seen mushrooms in cans. I cannot thing of a worst thing. I get my mushrooms with my weekly delivery of my vegetable basket – they are always freshly picked. I prepare them if not on the day, a day later, otherwise it tastes already a tad different. My dream is to pick fresh mushrooms in the wild. Perhaps i will have to plan it for next year. i love how in tour postings you explore different recipes. It is really lovely.

  8. I love how you call them “faux foods”! So true! Your beans and mushrooms with soy sauce looks out of this world!

  9. that post cracked me up. it was a great rant. true and humourous.
    i don’t like the slimy texture or metallic flavour of canned mushkies.
    but i love pickled or marinated mushrooms from jars. the glass just doesn’t infect the mushrooms the way tin does.

  10. Of course fresh mushrooms are the best!!! But what to do if these are not readily available? The canned ones often tastes bland and worse, metal! I have to confess though, that I sometimes use canned mushrooms, but not for their taste anymore but for “appearance”.

  11. Lydia, I would love to have morels… Yes, the mushroom hunters are very, very secretive!
    Lynn, and yet, the shelves are full of them!
    Zoomie, I was believing you, there for a minute… Until I saw the ’20 years’.
    Tanna, I always thought they were tasteless rubber… I wasn’t cool about mushrooms….
    Lots of time, Valentina… Hope you like the beans!
    Kalyn, they still seem to prevail on pizzas for some reason….
    Elizabeth, canned muswhooms with canned peas – mush meets rubber… Yikes! The thought!
    Ah, Valentina, lucky you!
    Marie, they can’t possibly pass for ‘real’ food!
    Anna, I’ve seen them pickled in jars… Can’t bring myself to buy them, though… I’ll taste them if someone else has them!
    Ning, I must admit, I’d rather do without… Or add them for appearance, than pick them out before eating – hahaha!

  12. We really like dried mushrooms too. We get them in Chinatown (there is a HUGE array) and use dried Chinatown mushrooms to make mushroom risotto. (Also use them in Asian-style noodle soup)

  13. I’m with you about those disgusting canned mushrooms. I, too, am a lover of and only cook with fresh mushrooms or any fresh vegetable. I am anxious to try your recipes for the basmati rice and green beans with fresh mushrooms.
    They both sound incredibly delicious.

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