Recipe: Mushroom Stock

If you’ve cooked even a few of the recipes I’ve shared in the last year and a half you should have a good pile of mushroom stems saved up in your freezer. Now you can turn all those tough stems into yummy mushroom stock!

I made mushroom stock last weekend because we ended up with a pile of sandy mushrooms. Sad! We didn’t want to sell them and we didn’t really want to eat them, so I chopped them up, stems and all, and made stock. I’m sure all the grit went to the bottom of the pot and I strained the stock at the end.

Mushroom Stock

– Mushroom stems (and/or mushroom caps)
– Carrots
– Onions
– Parsley, Thyme
– Salt and pepper

How much of each ingredient depends on how big your pot is. You can fit a lot into a big stock pot. But if you only have a dutch oven (basically a large pot) or a large saucepan, you can scale down to smaller amounts. You want lots of mushrooms/stems and a little carrot, and you probably can’t have too many onions. I had a large stock pot and used 1 big carrot, 2 onions, a big handful of parsley, a healthy clump of thyme, and a ridiculous lot of mushrooms (I probably didn’t need as many as I used).

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You can just throw your mushroom stems (and mushrooms too) into the pot raw, but sauteing them in oil first adds a lot of flavor. Whether you saute or not, you want to cut everything up. It doesn’t need to be perfectly sliced, just roughly chopped. And the beauty of stock is, you can use everything! Throw in the carrot top and rooty bottoms, throw in the onion skins, use your onions and carrots even if they’re a bit dried up or gone limp. Saute everything (carrots, onions, mushrooms, herbs) in batches and then toss into your pot.

Add water to the pot to cover all the ingredients and an inch or two over that. Bring the pot to boil and then turn the heat down and let it simmer. You want to simmer for at least a few hours, the longer the better. Skim any foam off the top as its simmering.  When you start taste-testing, add salt and pepper to taste.

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How do you know when the stock is done? Your carrots will be well cooked and mashable. The water level will have gone down in the pot a couple inches. And you’ll know by the all important taste – is it mushroomy enough?  When it’s to your liking, you can strain the stock into canning jars. Freeze the jars to thaw and use when ready, or can them (which saves freezer space).

Use anywhere you would use stock or broth!

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Recipe: Broccoli Rabe

Okay everyone, you can file this one under, “messing around with sacred family recipes.”  My mom found this recipe when I was growing up and we had it all the time. It was easy to make and we all loved it.

I’m not sure what the original recipe called for, but we definitely made it our own. For one thing, we never actually used broccoli rabe – which is a bitter, broccoli-like vege. We always just used broccoli. Recently I wondered, “what would this be like with mushrooms?” It’s a bit of a sacrilege to add or remove anything from this sacred family recipe, but I did it anyway. I think my family will forgive me because the mushrooms are a great addition!

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Broccoli Rabe

Bowtie pasta, about 2 cups dry
Butter
A couple heads of broccoli
Italian sausage, 1/2 to 1 pound (depending on your preference)
Shiitake mushrooms, 8 ounces or more
Garlic
Chicken broth
Parmesan cheese

Put on a pot of water to boil for your pasta. While that’s going, heat about 1/2 a stick of butter in a large pan. Break the sausage off in little bite-size blobs and add to the pan. Cook the sausage thoroughly and then turn the heat off and set pan aside.

While the sausage cooks, de-stem and chop the mushrooms. Cut the broccoli into bite sized pieces, using the florets and as much as the stem as you like.  Mince 1-2 cloves of garlic.

Steam the broccoli over a pan of boiling water (sometimes I’ve managed to steam it over my boiling pasta). Heat a pan on medium-high heat, add 1-2 tablespoons of oil and saute the shiitake. When they’re soft and smell fragrant, add the garlic and cook another minute or so. Keep an eye on that garlic as it likes to burn!

When the mushrooms are done, tip them into the pan with the sausage. When the broccoli is done, add that to the sausage and mushrooms. When the pasta is cooked, drain, and add to the pan. If your original pan wasn’t big enough, you may need to switch to a bigger one! Add about 1/2 cup of chicken broth to the pan and mix everything up. Grate some Parmesan cheese, at least 1 cup – more if you like it cheesier. Add that to the pan and mix again. Put the lid on and let it sit for a couple minutes to let the flavors mingle and the cheese melt.

 

To be honest, I have already messed around with the making of this recipe. The way I grew up making it: after cooking the sausage we added a bunch of chicken broth to the pan and then put the uncooked broccoli in there and steamed the broccoli in the pan over the top of the sausage. When the broccoli was cooked, we added the pasta and cheese and let it all melt and integrate. Feel free to try it that way too!

 

Recipe: Mac ‘n Cheese ‘n Mushrooms

This might just be the laziest (or weirdest) recipe to date! Last week I had an excellent lunch all ready…and then I forgot it at the farm. Back in Minneapolis the stores were closed and I had nothing in the kitchen but a few boxes of macaroni and cheese…and mushrooms of course! Could those work together? I was willing to try!

Jeremy sauteed up a bunch of our baby shiitake and some garlic. I thought the garlic might be getting a little too weird, but it was good!

So… prepare your Mac ‘n Cheese according to package directions. While the water is boiling you can heat a pan on medium high and saute your mushrooms. You can use our packaged babies (which have the stems removed and are quite small, so no chopping needed) or you can chop up larger shiitake. Once they’re good and cooked, you can add some minced garlic (a clove or two) and saute for maybe a minute. Garlic burns fast so keep an eye on it.

Once the macaroni and cheese is complete and dished up, pile some yummy sauteed garlic and mushrooms on top. Yum!

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Recipe: Pasta and Baby Shiitake

We’ve had quite a crop of baby Shiitake this summer. These are mature Shiitake that are just very small. Light levels, mushroom log fruiting frequency, or weather conditions cause this to happen. But they are fun to work with – all you have to do is remove the stem and throw the whole mushroom in to saute. If you get packaged baby shiitake through one of the grocery stores we sell to, then you won’t even have to do that; we’ve already removed them for you!  Added to pasta it makes a simple, quick, and very tasty dish.

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Pasta and Baby Shiitake

  • pasta – bowtie, noodles, or whatever you have on hand
  • 8 ounces of baby shiitake (approximately two packages), stems removed
  • salt to taste – probably about 1 tsp.
  • a few cloves of garlic, minced
  • Parmesan cheese, grated, to taste
  • half a dozen cherry tomatoes, sliced in half

Boil your chosen pasta until it’s cooked to the amount you like.
While the pasta is cooking, heat a tablespoon or two of oil in a cast iron or other heavy pan on medium-high heat. When hot, put in the shiitake and saute. Cook them for around 5-8 minutes, until they’re soft, aromatic, and starting to brown a little. If you’re not sure they’re done, try one and see if you like it!  Toss in the minced garlic and cook for just a minute or so. Garlic burns easily, so keep an eye on the pan and remove from heat when the garlic starts to brown.

Drain your pasta and dish pasta into shallow bowls or plates. Pile on shiitake and garlic, sprinkle with grated Parmesan, and add a few sliced cherry tomatoes.

Jeremy added a few nasturtium flowers to his because he loves those tasty flowers!

Recipe: Mushrooms and a lot of veggies

On my way home yesterday, Jeremy texted, “You’re getting a lot of veggies for dinner!” We have a CSA share through Blackbrook Farm (who we also sell mushroom add-ons through) and yesterday Jeremy picked up our box of veggies. So many beautiful veggies! Jeremy set to work cooking up as many different things as he could – and added mushrooms of course!  To the best of his memory, here’s what he did:

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Mushrooms and a lot of veggies

— 1/2 cup wild rice
— 4 strips of bacon, chopped
— vegetable oil
— 4 large scallions, chopped
— 3 bok choy, chopped
— 2 cups of chopped bok choy and kohlrabi leaves (and/or other greens)
— 8 oz. fresh shiitake mushrooms, with stems removed, chopped

Place the wild rice in a wire strainer and rinse with cold water. Place the rice in a pot and add water so water is 3/4 of an inch above rice. Bring to rolling boil for ten minutes then simmer, covered, until the rice opens and becomes fluffy, or about 30 minutes. Stir occasionally while simmering. Keep an eye on the water and add a little more if the pan starts to get dry and the rice isn’t ready yet.

While the rice cooks, fry the bacon in a teaspoon of oil on medium heat.  When soft (3-5 minutes), add the chopped scallions, chopped bok choy, mushrooms, and salt to taste.  Stir occasionally as this cooks. Once this mixture has cooked through and begun to caramelize, add bok choy and kohlrabi leaves (and/or other greens), and cook another few minutes.

Top rice with veggie/mushroom mixture and add toasted pecans.  Enjoy!

Recipe: Mushrooms and Veggies over Grilled Polenta

The search results on our website tell me this will be our fifth recipe with polenta. If you don’t like polenta as much as I do, you can always put this amazing mushroom/veggie dish over something else – or eat it on its own.

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Mushrooms and Veggies over Grilled Polenta

For the Polenta
1-1 1/2 Tbsp. coarse salt
1 2/3 cups polenta or course cornmeal
1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

Put salt into 7 cups cold water in a medium heavy pot. Add polenta and whisk in. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring often. Add olive oil, then reduce heat to medium and continue cooking, stirring often with a wooden spoon until polenta thickens and pulls away slightly from bottom and sides of pot, or between 20-40 minutes – depending on grind.

Pour into a wet glass baking dish and cool.  Cut into pieces with a wet knife. Grill on a very hot, dry grill or sear in a nonstick skillet until golden brown.

Mushrooms and Veggies
6-8 oz. shiitake or other mushrooms, stems removed and chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium zucchini, chopped
1 handful cauliflower, cut into small pieces
1 brat (we used our own mushroom onion brat from the farm!)
2-1/2 Tbsp olive oil

Saute onion in hot oil (2 Tbsp) until translucent and slightly browned, about 10 minutes.  Then add mushrooms, zucchini, and cauliflower and cover, stirring every few minutes.  Cook until veggies are tender.  In another pan fry brats in remaining oil until browned.  Remove from heat and slice.

Add together veggie and mushroom mixture and brats.  Spoon on top of polenta and add grated Parmesan cheese, and enjoy!

 

 

Recipe: Spring Shiitake Scramble

Our growing season is starting very late this year. We still don’t have mushrooms growing at the farm! In town though, we have a jumbled pile of dried up old logs hanging out in the side yard.  This last week one of those logs produced our first shiitake of the year. I spotted it one morning on my way to work and spent all day thinking about how to eat that one mushroom. Unfortunately, the squirrels were considering the problem too and they beat me to it. I came home to find a third of the mushroom stolen away!  I wanted that mushroom too much though, so I trimmed the mushroom, gave it a wash, and threw it in a tiny little scramble. It was amazing. Thank you squirrels for not taking the whole mushroom!

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Spring Shiitake Scramble

Shiitake mushrooms
chives or spinach
cheddar cheese, shredded
ham, chopped up small (optional)
egg, beaten

Remove stems from mushrooms and chop. Heat a small skillet or frying pan on medium high. Add 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil to the pan and heat. Add mushrooms and saute for a minute or two. Add ham (if using) and cook for just a minute or so till it’s warmed up a bit. Add the egg, chives, and cheese all at once. Stir and mix until the eggs are all cooked. Voila!

Recipe: Mushroom Deviled Eggs

I sometimes struggle to think of new recipes for the blog/newsletter which is silly because you can practically put mushrooms in everything. Like say…in deviled eggs!

A friend of ours gave us a few mushroom cookbooks last year and I’ve finally been looking through them. One of them is newer and has some mouth-watering looking recipes. The other one is from the 60s and has some interesting sounding recipes, such as:

  • Cream of wheat mushroom soup
  • Jellied mushroom soup
  • Pushcart Polpetta (??)
  • Flaming mushrooms
  • Dried limas with dried mushrooms

There are a few dishes in the book that actually look okay, like the Mushroom Deviled Eggs. I was dubious, but they are actually quite tasty.

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Mushroom Deviled Eggs

6 ounces mushrooms
3 Tbsp finely chopped onion
3-4 Tbsp butter
12 hard-cooked eggs
3 Tbsp mayonnaise
2 Tbsp mustard
2 Tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp salt
¼ tsp white pepper

Make sure you hard-boil your eggs before you start on this recipe so they can be cooled sufficiently to peel and work with.

This recipe works fine with fresh, frozen, or dried mushrooms. If you’re using frozen mushrooms, thaw them for at least an hour before use. Squeeze out some of the extra moisture and pat dry. If you’re using dried mushrooms, soak for at least an hour, or till mushrooms are soft, before using. Squeeze out the extra liquid and pat dry.

Remove stems from mushrooms and mince the caps. Heat butter in a skillet on medium-high heat. Sauté the onions and mushrooms for about 4 minutes, until onions are caramelized and mushrooms are starting to get crispy. Set aside.

Cut the eggs in half and remove the yolks. Mash the yolks with the mayonnaise, mustard, lemon juice, salt, and white pepper. Work the eggs into a smooth paste. Add the mushroom-onion mixture and mix well.

Fill the egg white halves with the mixture. You can spoon the mixture in, use a pastry bag with a large star tip, or cut the corner out of a plastic baggie and use that.

Enjoy!

Recipe: Mushrooms and veggies fry up

It must be getting close to spring. I’m growing tired of soups, stews, and chili’s. I want veggies! Fresh veggies! This is a quick recipe for mushrooms and veggies that can be altered to fit any tastes.  It feels like one of those “fake” recipes because it’s so easy – how can “cook up a bunch of vegetables” possibly be a recipe?

Mushrooms and veggies fry up

1 onion, chopped, minced, sliced thin (as you like)
1-2 bell peppers, diced
1 zucchini, sliced
1 yellow squash, sliced
2 oz dried (or 1 lb. frozen) mushrooms
Several cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 pound of Italian sausage (optional)
salt and pepper to taste

If you’re using dried mushrooms, soak them in a bowl of warm water for about an hour. When soft, remove stems and chop up. For frozen mushrooms, let thaw for about an hour – then remove stems and chop up. Saute mushrooms in a cast iron or other heavy pan until they’re starting to get crispy, 10-12 minutes. Set aside.

In a large pan on medium-high heat, add onions and a few tablespoons of oil and cook, stirring occasionally. When the mushrooms are starting to look a bit translucent, after a few minutes, add the bell peppers. Continue to saute and stir occasionally so everything is cooking and browning evenly. When onions and peppers are mostly cooked, add the zucchini and squash. Continue to saute and stir. Feel free to add more oil if the pan seems to dry. You may cover the pan for a minute or two at this point to help soften and cook the zucchini and squash. Add the minced garlic and cooked mushrooms. Stir to incorporate and saute for another minute or so. You don’t want the garlic to cook for more than a minute or two (garlic burns quickly).

That’s pretty much it! If you like some extra protein in your dish, you can fry up a 1/2 pound of Italian sausage (or any other kind of meat you like) and add that to the veggies at the end.

I decided to whip up some couscous and throw that in with everything as well.  While everything is sauteing, heat 3/4 cup of broth or water in a small pan. When boiling, add 1/2 cup of couscous. Give the couscous a quick stir, turn the heat off, and cover the pan.  You can add a teaspoon of toasted sesame oil at this point too if you like.  Let sit for 5 minutes. Remove the lid and fluff up the pasta. You can serve the veggies on a bed of couscous, or dump the couscous in and mix everything up together.

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Recipe: Smoky Mushroom Chili

I’ve been enjoying making various soups this winter out of the Slow Cooker Revolution cookbook put out by America’s Test Kitchen. The other day I came across a recipe for smoky sausage and bean chili and immediately thought of several changes we could make to the recipe. It called for kielbasa but I used some of our mushroom brats. (So if you don’t live in the Twin Cities and can’t get mushroom brats from us, I guess you can settle for some kielbasa).  The recipe also called for liquid smoke. Instead, I used a bunch of our smoked shiitake mushrooms. The mushrooms were a great addition to the chili and they provided a wonderful smoky flavor and smell. (So I guess if you don’t live in the Twin Cities and can’t get smoked mushrooms from us…you’ll have to settle for liquid smoke!)

Smoky Mushroom Chili

2 onions, minced
2 red bell peppers, stemmed, seeded, and minced
3 tablespoons chili powder
1/4 cup vegetable oil
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon dried oregano
3 cups chicken broth
1/2 pound dried navy beans (1 1/4 cups), picked over and rinsed
1 pound mushroom brats, sliced 1/2 inch thick
8 ounces andouille sausage, sliced 1/2 inch thick
12 ounces (3 packages) of smoked shiitake mushrooms, de-stemmed and minced
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon minced canned chipotle chile in adobo sauce
2 bay leaves
salt and pepper

1. In a large saute pan heat vegetable oil on medium-high, then saute onions and bell peppers for 10-20 minutes until the onions are starting to brown and bell peppers are softened. Add chili powder, garlic, cumin, and oregano and cook for another few minutes, then transfer to slow cooker.  (You’ll need at least a 4-quart slow cooker/crock pot for this.)

2. Stir broth, beans, mushroom brats, andouille, smoked mushrooms, soy sauce, sugar, chipotles, and bay leaves into slow cooker. Cover and cook until beans are tender, 9 to 11 hours on low or 5 to 7 hours on high.

3. Discard bay leaves. Transfer 1 cup cooked beans to bowl and mash smooth with potato masher. Stir mashed beans into chili and let sit until heated through. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with grated cheddar cheese, avocado, scallions, or whatever else you like on your chili!

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