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Old 03-20-2009, 10:54 AM
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Default Mushrooms

I see some mushroom recipes appearing (thanks, Trim), and I'd like to know what the differences are between some of the more common varieties. Sure, I could Google it, but let's put some info here.
I love mushrooms, cooked or raw, but aside from the very rare occassion I order Chinese takeout, I have only dealt with your basic white mushrooms. Yesterday while I was in the local store, I had one heck of a time finding a package of white mushrooms that didn't look brown and slimed over already. They had a variety pack of some sort, and also large portobellos and baby portobellos, but I stuck with the TNT whites.

So, which can you eat raw, which definitely need cooked, which do better sauteing and which do better grilling, which for tomato sauce? There's no sense spending a little more for portobellos if their uniqueness will be lost. Is there a variety that keeps in your refrigerator longer? Is there a difference other than size between how you can use baby portobellos and how you can use the large ones?

What say ye shroomheads?
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Old 03-20-2009, 11:18 AM
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Default Re: Mushrooms

i think all can be eaten raw.

i've replaced using white shrooms in dishes with criminis, aka baby bellas, for the most part.

i like shiitakes in stir frys, and i'll toss them into a brown meat gravy or hearty soup once in a while. they are strongly flavored, so they can overpower some dishes and don't match with everything.

morels are really good, and at their price, they're best just slightly and simply cooked so you can still taste them.

i like to marinate and grill portabellas, then melt some gorgonzola into their fins.

oyster mushrooms are also good, in a light stir fry or other fish dish. again, just barely cooked.

i like any meaty mushroom sauteed in butter, then red wine and shallots until it reduces and sorta sucks into the mushroom, also making a sauce.
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Old 03-20-2009, 11:31 AM
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Default Re: Mushrooms

I use alot of mine the same as bucky.

If I can find enoki I put them raw in salad.

I lightly saute morels in olive oil and butter.

If I make mushroom soup I'll use a combination of different ones: dried porcini, button, shiitake, and crimini.

I love to grill the portabellas by themselves or on a grilled chicken sandwich.

It's up to you which you'd want to eat raw. I do crimini, button, and enoki. I don't think portabello would be that good raw, but to each their own. lol

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Old 03-20-2009, 11:55 AM
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Default Re: Mushrooms

If you can eat them you can eat them raw as long as fresh. I use them on salads raw but much prefer them sautéed. This year I've seen the best selection of mushrooms at great prices almost every where around here. I actually love mushroom regardless even stuff are good.
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Old 03-20-2009, 12:07 PM
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Default Re: Mushrooms

Dried shrooms are good too, as long as you're cooking with them. Add the liquid used to reconstitute the shrooms to the dish for even more flavor. Certain soups or other dishes you can just add the dried shrooms straight to it.
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Old 03-20-2009, 12:11 PM
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Default Re: Mushrooms

Morels should really be cooked before you eat them, or so I've been told.
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Old 03-20-2009, 12:36 PM
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Default Re: Mushrooms

OK, so I should be able to get some crimini, which are also called baby portobellos (good info BT) and use them the same as white ones; Raw, gravies, sauted, whatever?
I could have sworn I saw some cooking show specializing mushrooms more, but what do they know. That's why I'm asking for real life opinions.
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Old 03-20-2009, 01:08 PM
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Default Re: Mushrooms

I'm not a fan of portobellas. I don't care for their texture after they're cooked.

I have also heard what Constance posted about Morels.
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Old 03-20-2009, 01:17 PM
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Default Re: Mushrooms

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Originally Posted by Constance View Post
Morels should really be cooked before you eat them, or so I've been told.
I agree.....I've only had them cooked. That's why I said I lightly saute them. They're even good stuffed and baked!

Are they poisonous or something if eaten raw??
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Old 03-20-2009, 01:42 PM
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Default Re: Mushrooms

Portobellos are just overgrown creminis, a.k.a. Italian brown mushrooms. Creminis have a more flavor than the more common white mushrooms and I therefore prefer them for most cooked dishes. However, I like the softer whites for salads.

I do like to grill Portobellos. I stem them, cut them into about ¾-inch thick slices, marinate them in soy, garlic, S&P, and olive oil, then grill a couple of minutes on each side. If you don't like the texture of the large gills, just scrape them off with a spoon.

When buying either white or cremini mushrooms, look for ones that are closed and without any damage. Be sure to clean them well -- that stuff they're grown in is not chocolate pudding.
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Old 03-20-2009, 01:46 PM
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Default Re: Mushrooms

Thanks, Doug. Good descriptive info. I plan on grilling some portobellos tonight, but I was going to leave them whole. Do you think it would still be a couple minutes x2 (for your flipping)? LuckyTrim's recipe has them in an oven for 20 minutes or so...
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Old 03-20-2009, 01:53 PM
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Default Re: Mushrooms

true morels are slightly poisonous if eaten raw, but it would probably just make your stomach upset. you'd have to have a lot to really get sick.
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Old 03-20-2009, 01:59 PM
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Default Re: Mushrooms

Thanks bt.......I didn't know as I've only eaten them cooked.
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Old 03-20-2009, 02:15 PM
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Default Re: Mushrooms

Quote:
Originally Posted by chowhound View Post
Thanks, Doug. Good descriptive info. I plan on grilling some portobellos tonight, but I was going to leave them whole. Do you think it would still be a couple minutes x2 (for your flipping)? LuckyTrim's recipe has them in an oven for 20 minutes or so...
It's like cooking a steak -- you have to use your eyes and sense of feel to tell when it's done, slicing it to be sure.

Probably 5 minutes a side for whole portos, depending on how big and thick they are and how hot your fire.

They really are better sliced, IMHO, as the marinade adds a lot to an otherwise rather dull veggie -- or rather, lump of fungus.
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Old 03-20-2009, 02:44 PM
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Default Re: Mushrooms

Thanks Doug. For some reason I did not think you could flip them, or put them gill side down (if left whole). I'm going for it! My first grilled shrooms! whoo-hoo (lol)
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Old 03-21-2009, 07:47 AM
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Default Re: Mushrooms

Well, that was pretty good. I went a little heavy on the balsamic vinegar in the marinade, but the shroom seemed done, or cooked right anyway. I did miss the mushroom flavor though...

So, brown mushrooms, how do you tell if they are still good underneath that plastic wrap in the store? White mushrooms I look for the ones with the least brown spots, or none, but how can you tell if brown colored mushrooms are getting old? My portobellos had just a "little" slime feel to them, which I was able to wipe off on the one I was cooking last night. That means I need to use the other two today I imagine. They are rewrapped tightly and in the fridge. I have yet to see a date on mushrooms, seems there should be one.
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Old 03-21-2009, 08:41 AM
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Default Re: Mushrooms

Chow, when you store mushrooms you should take them out of the plastic wrap stuff, it holds too much moisture and they spoil faster and get slimy. Put them in a brown paper bag, that will take up any moisture and they will last a little longer.
As for knowing how fresh the brown (cremini) ones are, I push on them in the pkg. Usually if they feel firm they're ok, no give to them. I try to buy them from the bulk type bin so I can pick them out separately. HTH

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Old 03-21-2009, 08:53 AM
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Default Re: Mushrooms

Thanks Barb.
I've just taken to making sure they are wrapped extra well, like they come from the store, and they have been lasting longer for me so I can buy the large pak if it's on sale. I didn't know about the paper bag trick.
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Old 03-21-2009, 11:16 AM
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Default Re: Mushrooms

Even I learn new tricks. I wasn't aware of the paper bag thing. We go through mushrooms to fast for them to spoil on us

Spring is here. Fresh Morels will be popping soon, if they aren't already.
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Old 03-21-2009, 11:52 AM
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Default Re: Mushrooms

I never buy the packaged mushrooms and instead pick through the loose ones. Better that way. Often cheaper, too, especially if you need fewer than are in the package -- I always buy just for the recipes I'm making that week. I haven't had any problems with spoilage when storing the mushrooms in a plastic bag in the veggie bin of the refrigerator, at least not for a few days. Don't wash them until you use them.
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Old 03-21-2009, 11:59 AM
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Default Re: Mushrooms

When I was growing up in southern Oregon, my mom and dad used to drive to the mountains to gather fresh, wild morels in the spring. They would come home with buckets of them. They were so big that mom would slice them, dip them in egg and cornmeal and fry them in butter, just like steaks. I still remember how good they were - little did I know how precious they would become!
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Old 03-21-2009, 01:08 PM
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Default Re: Mushrooms

Quote:
Originally Posted by MexicoKaren View Post
When I was growing up in southern Oregon, my mom and dad used to drive to the mountains to gather fresh, wild morels in the spring. They would come home with buckets of them. They were so big that mom would slice them, dip them in egg and cornmeal and fry them in butter, just like steaks. I still remember how good they were - little did I know how precious they would become!
Isn't it great how memories like that last the rest of our lives.
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Old 03-22-2009, 06:25 AM
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Default Re: Mushrooms

Sometimes, when i dont get around to using all the shrooms ( or they get pushed to the back of the fridge ) they will dry out . Not a bad thing. As long as they dry completely without that smelling bad, ill blend them up in a blender making a mushroom powder, which is great when adding to a mushroom barley soup and also keeps for awhile. I also try to use the crimini ( grew them a few times too). They seem to keep their firmness for a longer period of time. Enokis are great raw as mentioned earlier on a salad, or in a spring roll like thing. Can be cooked too in soups but tend to get ' stringy' for lack of a better word, and dont chew as easily so i wind up picking them out of my teeth Love a variety of mushrooms for chinese such as straw, tree ear, shitaki, oyster... There is a guy around here who gives nature walks, and on these walks points out all the local shrooms ( and other plants) you can eat or more importantly, cant eat. I think this spring I will actually do it.

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Old 03-22-2009, 07:02 AM
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Default Re: Mushrooms

Thanks for your input, Larry. I'm going to get the crimini next time and see how I like them.
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Old 03-22-2009, 07:52 PM
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Default Re: Mushrooms

Years ago I went to, and became a member of " The Mushroom Museum" IN Kennet Square PA, Mushroom capital of the world ( as they say). Unfortunately, this musem has closed, so there goes my lifetime membership. But , when we were down there last year, there was a store that was called " the mushroom cap" which I think was similar to the mushroom museum. Mushroom exhibits, mushroom gift shop, mushrooms for sale, mushroom growing kits....

http://www.themushroomcap.com/

Havnt had a chance to visit it, but if I do, Ill give a review on my experience.

larry
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