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Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Nov. 8, 2006 /17 Mar-Cheshvan, 5767

Mushroom exotica

By Ethel G. Hofman


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | We were driving along a country road in Normandy miles, or so we thought, from the nearest town. It was dark and thundering; we were cold and wet. So when a brightly lit, unpretentious little bistro appeared round a bend, we were ecstatic. Inside, it was warm and noisy , jovial farmers, men and women, crowding round the bar, drinking tankards of foam topped beer and dipping into dishes brimming with pickled mushrooms.


It was there I had my first taste of Black Trumpet mushrooms, Trompe de Noir. Not a side dish, not a garnish but an enormous soup bowl filled with garlicky, jet black mushrooms sauteed in the fresh salty butter Normandy is famous for. "In these parts, we have hundreds of pounds of these mushrooms, so we make them into a main dish…very filling, " the chubby chef chuckled as he lingered at our table, noting my obvious enjoyment. Not only filling, it was scrumptious, the flavors lingering on my tongue long after the last morsel had been scraped off the plate.


That was a decade ago. Since then, the specialty mushroom market in the U.S. has exploded. The perfumed, vase shaped Black Trumpets are still not widely available but in our market produce aisles, you'll find exotica such as crimini, enoki, cepes, oyster and shitake. Portobellos, sliced and whole, are almost as popular as their less flavorful cousins, the white button variety.


You don't have to fly overseas for these gourmet mushrooms. Phillips Mushrooms Farm, located in Kennett Square, Pa. are the largest marketer of specialty mushrooms in the U.S, distributing more than 30 million pounds of specialty mushrooms annually. Since the 1920's, the Phillips family have been cultivating mushrooms but in 1993, they decided to concentre on specialty and organically grown varieties. When I called Jim Angelucci, their knowledgeable general manager he explained all about mushrooms. "They are fungi and can grow on any decaying material but at Phillips Mushroom Farms the growth base, "substrete" is controlled and pasteurized. In some cases as in enoki, where the substrete is a mixture of oak sawdust, rice bran, wheat bran and millet grain it is both pasteurized and then sterilized." What of the dark earthiness sometimes clinging to the stems? "There's nothing in our production cycle that would be harmful," he says " just before use, quickly rinse with cold water and pat dry or wipe gently with damp paper towels and a soft brush."


The fleshy fungi grow wild all over the world. For thousands of years Eastern cultures have revered mushrooms as both food and medicine. According to tradition, there are more than 50 species with healing properties. Nutritionally, mushrooms are low in calories, have no cholesterol, are virtually free of fat and sodium and are rich in minerals such as heart healthy potassium, the antidoxant selenium and essential B vitamins, the latter not found in quantity in other produce. And they're a great addition to low carb. diets.


The first mushroom cultivators were probably the Japanese who have been raising shitake mushrooms for at least two thousand years. The ancient Greeks and Romans simply encouraged wild ones to grow. But because so many are poisonous, it's vitally important to know which are edible and which are not. Best stick to those cultivated and found in supermarkets.


Mushroom Basics
Selection: Choose firm, dry mushrooms, free of flaws. A closed "veil" under the cap indicates a delicate flavor. An open veil means richer flavor. In a hurry? Buy packages of pre-sliced rinsing thoroughly under cold water just before use.

Storage: Unwashed, packaged mushrooms may be refrigerated up to a week. Loose mushrooms or those left over from an open package should be refrigerated in a closed paper bag or a loosely covered container.

Cleaning: Rinse quickly under cold running water and pat dry or wipe with paper towels or a soft brush. The stems of white, crimini and portabella mushrooms are edible and need only a little trimming at the ends. Shitake and oyster stems tend to be tough and should be removed before cooking.


Preparation methods
To freeze: To avoid changes in texture, first saute in oil or butter, or without fat in a nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Freeze in a ziploc bag or airtight container.

To roast: Spread on a large rimmed baking sheet. Toss in a little oil, salt and pepper and roast in preheated 450F oven for about 15 minutes or until browned, turning once or twice.

To saute: Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms, increase heat to medium high. Cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid evaporates and mushrooms are browned, 6-8 minutes.

To grill: Toss in oil, salt and pepper. Place on a cookie sheet or vegetable basket. Cook under preheated broiler, about 6 inches from heat, turning once, for 10 -12 minutes. This brings out a delicious smoky flavor and meaty texture.


RECIPES

VEGGIE PORTAPASTA (PAREVE)

Portabella caps are large, round, light tan, and slightly rough-textured. When mature, the surface darkens, flavor is richer and more intense.

Serves 4

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

  • 2 cups broccoli florets

  • 1 cup sugar snap peas, fresh or frozen

  • 8 ounces portabella mushrooms, sliced

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder or to taste

  • 2 cups prepared meatless marinara sauce

  • 8 ounces linguine, cooked and drained

  • Lemon pepper seasoning


In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium high heat. Add the broccoli, sugar snap peas and mushrooms. Saute 5 minutes or until mushrooms and broccoli are tender. Stir in the garlic powder and marinara sauce. Stir half the mixture into cooked linguini. Season to taste with lemon pepper seasoning. Transfer to a serving dish and pour remaining sauce and vegetables on top. Bring to table, toss and serve hot.

Approx. nutrients per serving: calories - 280 protein - 7g carbohydrates - 33g fat - 13g cholesterol - 0mg sodium - 529mg

TOMATO SOUP WITH ROSEMARY
AND OYSTER MUSHROOMS (PAREVE)

Serves 4

Oyster mushrooms are small with a fluted cap resembling a fan. Colors range from soft beige brown to gray. Their texture is similar to their seafood namesake.


  • 2 pounds very ripe tomatoes, quartered

  • 1/2 small red beet, shaved into thick slivers

  • 4 large sprigs rosemary plus additional for garnish

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

  • 1 teaspoon chopped garlic

  • 1/2 small onion, chopped

  • 4 ounces oyster mushrooms, cleaned


Place tomatoes, beet, rosemary, salt and sugar in a 6 quart pan. Bring to a boil over low heat. Reduce to slow simmer. Cover. Stir vigorously from time to time mashing the tomatoes to extract the juice. Simmer 45-60 minutes.

While soup is simmering, heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and onion and saute for 1 minute. Add the mushrooms and saute for one minute longer.

Strain the tomato mixture through a fine sieve and return to saucepan. Return to simmer over medium heat. Stir in the mushroom mixture. Serve in soup bowls garnished with a small sprig of rosemary.

Approx. nutrients per serving: calories - 94 protein - 3g carbohydrates - 14g fat - 4g cholesterol - 0mg sodium - 328mg

BUFFALO BUTTONS (DAIRY)

Makes 25-30

Crimini mushrooms are tan to brown in color with a firm buttery texture and intense mushroom flavor.

  • 1 pound crimini button mushrooms, stems removed

  • 3/4 cup white wine such as Chablis

  • About 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese

  • Chopped parsley for garnish


Rinse mushrooms under cold running water and pat dry. Place in a microwave safe glass casserole dish. Add the white wine and cover. Cook for 6-7 minutes on high or until tender. Stir and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Drain and place on a broiler tray. Fill caps with cheese. Place under preheated broiler and broil until slightly brown. Watch carefully to avoid scorching. Garnish with chopped parsley.

Approx. nutrients per mushrooms: calories - 18 protein - 1g carbohydrates - 1g fat - 1g cholesterol - 2mg sodium - 40mg

SHEPHERD'S PIE (MEAT)

Serves 4- 6

Use sliced white mushrooms or diced portabellas for this English style meat pie. If you don't have leftover brisket, buy roast beef from your kosher delicatessen or supermarket

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

  • 1 small onion, diced

  • 1 1/2 cups sliced white mushrooms

  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

  • 1/3 cup barbecue sauce

  • 1/3 cup tomato catsup

  • 1/2 - 3/4 cup beef broth

  • 3/4 cup frozen peas, thawed

  • 1/2 pound (2 1/2 - 3 cups) cooked shredded brisket

  • 4 cups mashed potatoes (no butter or milk in preparation)


Preheat oven to 375F. Spray a 9-inch square baking dish.

Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and mushrooms. Saute until onion is softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring constantly for 1 minute. Gradually add the barbecue sauce, catsup and 1/2 cup broth. Cook, stirring constantly until mixture begins to thicken. Stir in the peas and shredded brisket. If too thick, add a little more broth. Transfer to prepared baking dish. Top with mashed potatoes, spreading with a knife to cover meat mixture completely. Rough up with a fork. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes or until bubbly and potato topping is golden brown. Serve hot.

Approx. nutrients per serving: calories - 362 protein - 14g carbohydrates - 41g fat - 16g cholesterol - 35mg sodium - 159mg

ENOKI ASPARAGUS SALAD WITH WATERCRESS PUREE (PAREVE)

Serves 4

With their long stems and tiny caps, enoki mushrooms resemble bean sprouts joined at the base. Trim the lower portion off each cluster before using.

  • 1 cup packed watercress, stems trimmed

  • 2-3 tablespoons water

  • 2 teaspoons white vinegar

  • 3 ounces enoki mushrooms, stems trimmed

  • 5-6 asparagus spears, thinly sliced

  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped red bell pepper

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice, divided

  • Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

  • 2 cups shredded bibb or other soft lettuce


In the food processor, place the watercress, 2 tablespoons water and the vinegar. Process to a fine puree adding a little more water if needed. Set aside.

In a bowl, toss the mushrooms, asparagus, bell pepper, olive oil, lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. Place 1/2 cup shredded lettuce on each of four plates. Divide the mushroom asparagus mixture equally and place on top. Drizzle the watercress puree over and serve.

Approx. nutrients per serving: calories - 82 protein - 2g carbohydrates - 5g fat - 7g cholesterol - 0mg sodium - 11mg

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JWR contributor Ethel G. Hofman is the former president of the International Association of Culinary Professionals, whose members include the likes of Julia Child. She is the author, most recently, of "Everyday Cooking for the Jewish Home: More Than 350 Delectable Recipes". (Click HERE to purchase. Sales help fund JWR.)

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© 2006, Ethel G. Hofman