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: 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: Prairie Mushroom Risotto

Just to warn you, this recipe uses a lot of pots and pans! If you’ve only got a few pots/pans you can probably tip cooked items into bowls to wait while you move onto further steps. This recipe is a little bit complex but it is so worth it. The arborio rice seemed a bit starchy toward the end, not as much flavor as I had hoped. I thought the dish was ruined, but then I added the butter and Parmesan, waited a couple minutes, and was blown away by the flavor. I will be eating this dish for breakfast, lunch, and dinner this weekend! It all comes together really well in the end and you will not be sorry you gave it a try.

Prairie Mushroom Risotto

Serves 4
2 oz. dried shiitake mushrooms or 10 oz. fresh shiitake mushrooms
1 1/2 oz. wild rice
about 3 to 4 cups stock or water
2 Tbsp olive oil
6 scallions or spring onions, finely chopped
1 large clove of garlic, finely chopped – optional
8 oz. arborio rice or other medium-grain rice
1 1/2 wine glasses of dry white wine
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 Tbsp butter
3 oz. grated Parmesan cheese
3 oz. crumbled friesago cheese

If you’re using dried mushrooms, soak them in water to cover for an hour, then pat dry with a towel. Set aside the soaking liquid. For fresh or rehydrated mushrooms, remove the stems and chop the caps. Heat 4 tsp oil on medium low. Saute the mushrooms until browned and slightly crispy. If mushrooms look dry add more oil to the pan. Set aside.

In a small saucepan, bring 1 cup water to a boil. Add the wild rice, cover the pan, and reduce the heat. Simmer for 25 minutes; drain well. (The rice doesn’t have to be done as it will be cooking more later.)

Put the stock (and mushroom soaking liquid if any) in a saucepan on low. In a separate pan heat the remaining oil, add the scallions or onions and garlic, and fry slowly for about 4 minutes. When the vegetables have softened, add the arborio rice and turn up the heat. The rice will begin to fry, so keep stirring it. After a minute it will look slightly translucent. Add the wild rice and wine and keep stirring.

Once the wine has cooked into the rice, add the mushrooms, and then add your first ladle of hot stock and a pinch of salt. Turn down the heat to a high simmer so the rice doesn’t cook too quickly on the outside. Keep adding ladlefuls of stock, stirring and almost massaging the creamy starch from the rice, allowing each ladleful to be absorbed before adding the next. This will take between 15 to 45 minutes depending on your preference; keep adding stock until the rice is soft but with a slight bite. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Remove from heat and add the butter and Parmesan. Stir gently. Place a lid on the pan and allow to sit for 2 to 3 minutes. Serve immediately with crumbled friesago.

 

recipe adapted from Jamie Oliver’s “The Naked Chef Takes Off”

Recipe: Grilled Polenta and Mushrooms

Once again I got really excited about making this recipe, one of my favorites, and didn’t bother to read the recipe Jeremy had put together until afterwards. Of course he fancied it up so my photos don’t look like what you’d get if you follow this recipe. Oh well, it just shows the diversity of ways you can use mushrooms, right??

The “un-fancy” way to make this is just to cook the mushrooms and some garlic and put that over the grilled polenta, with a little Parmesan. Simple!

Grilled Polenta and Mushrooms

Serves 4
1-1 1/2 Tbsp. coarse salt
1 2/3 cups polenta or course cornmeal
1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
6-8 oz. shiitake or other mushrooms
2 slices bacon
more olive oil as needed
1 small onion, diced
2 to 4 Tbsp white wine or stock for deglazing
pepper to taste
about 1/2 a cup of cream
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 Tbsp Parmesan cheese
Polenta
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 ceramic or glass mold, cool, turn out, and cut into pieces with a wet knife. Grill on a very hot, dry grill or sear in a nonstick skillet until golden brown.

Shiitake mushrooms and sauce
Fry up bacon until crisp. Remove from pan and drain most but not all of the fat from the pan; reserve the fat you drain off. Cut bacon into small pieces. Saute onion until tender. Deglaze the pan with whatever liquid you choose and then let the liquid reduce till thickened; set onion sauce aside in another dish.

Remove mushroom stems. If the mushrooms are small you can leave them whole or cut into halves; if they are larger you can slice them up.  With the pan on medium, add the reserved bacon fat and mushrooms. You want each mushroom to have contact with the pan, so cook in batches if necessary. If the pan gets dry add olive oil. Cook mushrooms two to three minutes, then stir. Saute another couple of minutes, or until soft.

Add the onion sauce to the sauteed mushrooms. Add pepper to taste, cream, garlic, bacon and cheese. Heat through thoroughly. Serve over polenta.

Variation: marinate the Shiitake for a few hours in oil, a little vinegar or white wine, salt and pepper then grill them. Chop half of the grilled mushrooms and combine with other sauce ingredients, then top polenta and remaining mushrooms with sauce.

Mushroom sauce recipe adapted from ReTorte food blog. Polenta recipe reproduced from Saveur Magazine.

Recipe: Midsummer Shiitake Green Salad

Serves 4
ingredients for the dressing
1/4 oz. dried shiitake mushrooms
or
1 oz. fresh shiitake or oyster mushrooms, chopped
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
3/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons tamari soy sauce
2 tablespoons mushroom soaking water (if using dried mushrooms) or water
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum powder

ingredients for the salad
4 to 6 oz. fresh Shiitake mushrooms
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 to 4 oz. salad mix
pint jar of microgreens or sunflower sprouts
4 oz. chevre or blue cheese

shiitake sesame dressing
If using dried mushrooms, put them in a small bowl and cover with boiling water. Let soak until the mushrooms are soft, at least an hour. Toast the sesame seeds in a small skillet, stirring until they are golden in color. Remove from the heat so they don’t burn.
When dried mushrooms are soft, save 2 tablespoons of the soaking water, trim and discard the stems; chop the mushrooms. Put the oil, vinegar, soy sauce, reserved soaking water (or just water), sesame oil, the chopped mushrooms and xanthan gum in a blender. Whir just until the mushrooms are in tiny pieces, about 10 seconds. Add the toasted sesame seeds and blend a few seconds more. Store in a glass jar, refrigerated if not using right away.

the salad
Assemble salad – including salad mix, microgreens or sprouts, and cheese. Remove stems from mushrooms and slice or chop caps. Save stems for stock. Heat oil in pan or skillet and add mushrooms. Saute mushrooms stirring occasionally for about 5 minutes, or until soft and slightly browned. Top the salad with hot mushrooms and shiitake dressing and eat immediately!

 

Salad dressing recipe reproduced from the Muffin Talk blog

Abundance

This is the time of year when the mushrooms really start going crazy. The temperatures and humidity are just right and the mushrooms are extra happy. It’s also when we first start to see the fruits of our labor in the spring (pun intended!)

Jeremy was giving a tour of the farm a few days ago and saw the first of the mushrooms popping out on our 2017 logs. We never soak and force-fruit logs in their first year. They just lay out in the woods growing mycelium and basking in the dappled sunlight. Usually in August and September they test out their fungus growing powers and pop out several mushrooms per log. With almost 5,000 logs in the woods this year, that’s going to be a LOT of mushrooms.

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The first of the 2017 mushrooms!

Not to be outdone, the logs that we force fruit get a bit crazy too.

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All these mushrooms are picked by hand, so there is a LOT of picking to do! They can also grow incredibly fast. Jeremy will go through in the morning and pick the mushrooms that are ready and by late afternoon a bunch more mushrooms, that weren’t ready in the morning, will be ready to pick.

Unfortunately, August is one of the slowest months for mushroom sales! Orders from co-ops and groceries are down and the farmers market isn’t as hopping as we would like. We’ve got mushrooms on sale right now at The Wedge and Seward Co-ops and the other co-ops in the upper Midwest that carry our mushrooms will have them on sale by the end of next week. Just our way of enticing more people to buy and cook mushrooms. We’re selling mushrooms to Restaurant Alma and Northern Fires Wood Fired Pizza as well, so those are two other ways to get your mushroom fix.  We’d like to sell mushrooms to more restaurants. If you work for a restaurant that might be interested, drop us a line!

 

Recipe: Pesto and Shiitake Pasta

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Serves 4
4 oz. fresh shiitake mushrooms, chopped
1/2 lb pasta
1 Tbsp plus 1/2 tsp salt
3 cups basil leaves – packed
1/2 to 3/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp sunflower or olive oil
3 Tbsp pine nuts or to taste
2 cloves of garlic
3/4 cup parmesan or friesago cheese

Bring 2 or 3 quarts of water to boil. Add 1 Tbsp salt and pasta and boil till al dente. If the toppings aren’t yet done, you may leave the pasta in cooking water to keep warm, but turn off the heat when pasta is still firm.

Place basil leaves, oil, pine nuts, garlic and 1/2 tsp salt in blender. Blend until smooth. Add more oil and stir carefully if it is too thick. Add more salt, pine nuts, or garlic to taste and blend again. You should be able to taste all flavors equally, though the pine nuts will be more of an aftertaste. Add 1/2 cup or more to taste of grated friesago or parmesan cheese, then stir or blend to integrate.

Remove stems from mushrooms and save for soup stock in the freezer. Chop or slice mushroom caps. Heat skillet or pan and add 2 Tbsp olive oil (or butter), then add  mushrooms when oil is hot. Saute until soft and slightly browned, about 5 minutes.

Serve pesto on top of hot pasta with mushrooms and remaining cheese, or serve cold for a midsummer picnic.

Variation: if you have garlic scapes available, use 2 oz. of them in lieu of the garlic and use between 2 and 2-1/2 cups of basil. This is also a delicious topping for a burger or steak, with more shiitake mushrooms!

Recipe: Snap Pea and Shiitake Stir Fry

Serves 4

4 to 6 oz. fresh shiitake mushrooms
or
1 oz. dried shiitake mushrooms
1 cup short or medium grain white or brown rice
pinch of salt
1 cup garlic scapes or scallions, cut into 1″ lengths
2 cups fresh snap peas
2 to 3 Tbsp canola or peanut oil
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1/4 tsp fish sauce
1/4 tsp tamari or soy sauce or to taste

If using dried mushrooms, soak in warm water to cover for an hour, then pat dry
with a towel. Save liquid for soup stock or other recipe.

Bring 4 cups of water to boil in cook pot and add rice and pinch salt. Reduce to
simmer until rice is tender.

Wash snap peas and remove stems. Wash and trim garlic scapes or scallions and
cut into 1-inch lengths. If using scallions only use the first few inches of the stalk.
Slice or chop mushroom caps. Save stems in the freezer for stock or broth.

Heat 1 Tbsp canola or peanut oil on medium-low heat in wok or sauté pan. When
hot, sauté mushrooms until soft, about 5 minutes. Set aside. Heat remaining
canola or peanut oil on medium-high heat. When hot, add snap peas and garlic
scapes or scallions, and toss frequently until slightly browned. Add mushrooms,
sesame oil, fish sauce, and tamari or soy sauce; then cook for another two or three
minutes.

Place vegetables on drained rice and serve immediately.