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11 responses to “Mushrooms on My Mind”

  1. KAB

    Wow…that’s what I call a whole lotta info! Just got an announcement from our local fungus vendor and, while the climate of the NW isn’t for everyone, here’s what’s available right now: chanterelles, porcini, truffles, hedgehog, black trumpet, yellowfoot, matsutake, fried chicken mushrooms, cauliflower mushrooms, nameko, shiitake and maitake. Guess I’ll be testing some of your recipes soon!

  2. Phillip

    I’ll leave the mushroom collecting to you, Hank. The danged things just scare me.

    I mean, I remember picking shrooms back in my younger days, when I was still immortal… but then the biggest concern was a load of buckshot from the farmer in whose cow pastures we were picking. Since then, however, I’ve recognized my mortality… maybe too much sometimes.

  3. J.R. Young

    It has been an amazing year in the Santa Cruz Mountains for boletes. The early rains followed by warm days has had them poppin. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to get out, but have lived vicariously though emails. I was sent a picture of a 5lb bolete lastnight. Hopefully there are still some out there, rumor has it they are reaching closer to Skyline, (previously they were only near the Pacific, about 2-5km inland).

  4. Lance

    I’ve had issues cooking with sulfur shelf in the past as well–the overcooked chicken is a good description. I’ve had the same issue with both fresh and dried chicken of the woods, both young and a little on the old side.

    The best method I’ve found for cooking them is in soups, stews, and other saucy, long-simmering dishes. I’ve found that even then, it can take till the second day of eating/reheating a dish till the texture has softened to my liking. The last couple times it has gone in a dish, I have precooked it in stock the day before and gotten great results.

    Good luck with your mushroom hunting. It’s lion’s mane season here in Arkansas–woo!

  5. Russell

    Same on the Chicken of the Woods. I’ve come across them several times in the woods, and at the local farmer’s market. I’ve only ever cooked fresh ones, and they still taste like overcooked chicken breast. I tried grilling them (waaay too dry). Best result was sauteed in butter and braised a bit. Worked well in a “Chicken” Soup too.
    Also note: East of the Rockies people usually find L. Sulphureous, which is your perfectly fine, perfectly edible Sulphur Shelf. But we often get the species L. Conifericola here in the PNW, easily identified as it grows only on conifers. The jury is out as to how edible it is, so I don’t pick it. On the other hand, who knows where the farmer’s market pickers get theirs? Maybe I ate it and was just fine. But if you find Sulphur Shelf on a hardwood it’s fine to eat.

    Found a nice bunch of Angel Wings a month ago. Didn’t pick because somewhere in the back of my head I remembered the elderly Japanese victims. Came home and did some more research. Then kicked myself!

  6. David Eger

    Hey, Hank – great post, great recipe and beautiful pics – and thanks for the mention!

  7. kitchenroach

    interesting and fun blog to read. We were pretty lucky this year on our mushroom hunt.

  8. Tamar

    If I’ve got a 100% ID on wild mushrooms, I cook them with confidence (and I agree with Lance and Russell that long-simmering dishes are best). If I’m almost sure (and I’m not working with something that has a deadly lookalike), I cook some and take a tiny taste. If that goes well, I try a little more. Any sign of reaction and out it goes. Bold I’m not, but I want to give it every chance.

  9. Lisa

    I stumbled upon two lobster mushrooms at the edge of our woods this fall; the first choice edibles I’ve found in our 4 years of living here, and my first encounter at all with the lobster mushroom. Those two mushrooms made up for the 4 years of looking.

  10. Nathan

    I found two lion’s mane on black oaks in the Sierras just before Christmas. Funny thing was the outside “hairs” had more flavor than the meaty core. I haven’t found any yet, but manzanita boletes shoud be around now too.

  11. Jonas

    Had some nice Angel Wings with dinner, then checked here what the deal was. Would sauté with pasta or long-simmer different kinds with chicken. You’ve inspired me to cook with these more! I think people really love the umami richness of the flavors.

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