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Want to eat more mushrooms but not sure where to start? Or are you already eating them regularly but tired of making the same old recipes? We’ve got you covered. Today we’re sharing our 10 best tips for shaking up your routine, along with three tasty recipes from our community and a few of our favorite products that help you bring all the benefits of mushrooms into the kitchen!*
Bookmark this recipe for the first chilly night. Langdon Cook, author of The Mushroom Hunters, learned to make this dish from a great Japanese chef, Taichi Kitamura. A dobin is a small Japanese teapot, and mushi means “to steam.” Matsutake mushrooms are a traditional way to flavor this subtle soup, which is typically made with kombu dashi (kelp broth) and shellfish.
YIELD: 4 SERVINGS
4 cups kombu dashi (kelp broth) stock (see note)
8 Manila clams, or 2 tablespoons clam juice
8 medium shrimp, peeled, and shells reserved
2 tablespoons sake
1 teaspoon shoyu (soy sauce)
¼ teaspoon salt, or to taste
2 small to medium matsutake buttons, thinly sliced
4 baby bok choy (or other mild green), halved, about ½ pound
5 to 6 ounces pound whitefish filets (such as cod or halibut), cut into 12 thin, bite-sized pieces
2 yuzu, halved, or 4 lime wedges
NOTE: Whether using dashi powder, packets, or dried kelp to make the stock, follow the instructions on the package. The stock can be prepared one day in advance and refrigerated.
Heat the kombu, dashi, clams (or clam juice if using instead) and shrimp shells in a medium pot over medium heat. Simmer without bringing to a boil until the clams open (if using), or about 5 minutes. Strain the dashi, discard the shrimp shells, and reserve clam meat for another use or cook’s treat.
Season the clear broth with sake, soy sauce, and salt to taste. Simmer over medium-low heat until the alcohol has cooked off, a few minutes. If using dobin mushi teapots, divide equal portions of sliced matsutake, greens, shrimp, and fish between the teapots, then add the hot broth, and replace lids. Place the teapots in a bamboo steamer over a pot of boiling water and steam for a few minutes. (You can also steam in a wok with a rack and lid.) This gentle steaming allows the matsutake to fully infuse the broth while the shrimp, fish, and greens poach.
If you are not using teapots, add mushrooms, greens, shrimp, and fish to the dashi pot, cover, and gently simmer for a few minutes, until the fish is cooked through, then ladle into small bowls and cover with foil or small plates. Serve each teapot (or bowl) with a half yuzu or lime wedge. Remove lids to inhale the autumn aroma.
This sweet-and-sour sip, from Jane B. Mason of Colorado, preserves chanterelles into a tasty non-alcoholic drink. A shrub is generally known as a sweet-and-sour syrup made from vinegar, sugar, and fruit (or, in this case, mushrooms!), served mixed with sparkling water and sometimes alcohol. Serve this with sparkling water for a mushroom-infused mocktail.
4 to 5 ounces fresh chanterelle mushrooms, sliced, or ½ ounce dried chanterelles
⅔ cup white wine vinegar
⅓ cup apple cider vinegar
1 cup sugar
Place the chanterelles, white wine vinegar, and apple cider vinegar in a saucepan. The vinegar should cover the mushrooms. Bring to a low simmer over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, and cook for 5 minutes, being careful not to let the mixture come to a boil. Cover, turn off the stove, and let cool, about 20 minutes.
When the shrub is cool, pour it into a pint-size jar with a lid and leave it at room temperature for 2 to 4 days, shaking once a day or so.
Place the mixture back in a saucepan, and bring to a bare simmer over medium-low heat. Add the sugar, and cook just until the sugar has dissolved, 1 to 2 minutes. Cool, strain out the mushrooms (the chanterelles are edible, like sweet pickles), and place the shrub back in the pint jar or a bottle, if you like. It will be slightly viscous and will hold in the refrigerator for several months.
To serve, pour sparkling water into a glass with ice and add the shrub to taste. Add a slice of lemon, if you like.
A simple yet elegant starter by Julie Schreiber of California, this pate features one of the most abundant mushrooms found this time of year, maitake. This community recipe can use foraged or store-bought maitake.
YIELD: ABOUT 1 PINT
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
12 ounces maitake mushrooms, broken or sliced into chunks
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
½ cup thinly sliced white onions
3 small bay leaves
4 whole juniper berries
⅓ cup dry hard apple cider
Squeeze of lemon juice
⅓ cup heavy cream
Heat 2 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When the butter is melted, add the maitake and cook, for about 5 minutes, until the mushrooms start to brown. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cover and lower the heat to medium-low. Cook gently for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring periodically, until the mushrooms release their liquid, and the liquid begins to evaporate.
Remove the lid and add the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter, the onions, the bay leaves, and the juniper berries. (Count the leaves and berries, because you will remove them later.) Increase the heat to medium and cook until onions are golden, about 5 minutes. There may be brown bits accumulating in the bottom of the pan. This is good! Increase the heat to medium-high and add the cider, stirring to scrape up all the brown bits. Allow the liquid to cook off completely, a few minutes, then add the squeeze of lemon juice and stir.
Lower the heat to medium and add the cream. Cook gently for another 5 minutes, stirring frequently, to reduce the liquid. Taste to see if it needs more salt, then take it off the heat. Let the mushrooms cool, then pick out all the bay leaves and juniper berries. Pour the mushrooms into a food processor and pulse to blend to a rough paste. Pack into a pint jar (or, for individual servings, four quarter-pint jars) and refrigerate. The pâté keeps in the refrigerator up to five days.
Serve the pâté at room temperature with marinated olives, cornichons, and bread or crackers, if you like.
Photo Credit: Dmitry Kovalchuk