Cooking with Wild Mushrooms

When you are in the woods foraging, you are not really just looking for mushrooms, you are away from the daily grind, not really thinking about anything else but enjoying the nature and the wildness of it. No wonder the Japanese prescribe “Forest Bathing” as a form of mental care. The woods act on you psychologically and physically. And we need to do more of it, all of us, as mental health is declining across the world. So get out there, soak in the forest, and pick some mushrooms.

My mind is in the pasture with the cows, when I am in the woods with the nature, a Bosnian proverb!

Now you have a basket filled with the forest bounty, all kinds of mushrooms: chanterelles, morels, a juicy beefsteak mushroom, or some golden milkies, and maybe some porcini. Even the thought of them all puts a smile on my face. You bring them home, clean them, and are ready to make a delicious meal for yourself, family and friends.

I have included here some simple recipes I have experimented with over many years. I hope you enjoy!

King Bolete Sashimi

Ingredients:

  • Fresh king bolete mushrooms
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Olive Oil

Method:

Clean the dirt off the bottom of the mushrooms with a knife. Slice the mushrooms very thin, caps and stems (do not separate), and set on a serving plate. Sprinkle with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. (Most mushrooms should be cooked before ingesting, but King boletes are a delicacy raw)


Reishi and Elderberry Tincture

Ingredients:

  • Fresh or dried Reishi (sliced)
  • Fresh or dried elderberries
  • Honey (local to where you live, preferably organic)
  • Brandy
  • Canning jar

Method:

Place the reishi and the elderberries in the jar filling it 1/3 way. Coat with honey. Fill the rest of the bottle with brandy. Close the jar tightly, and shake it well. Shake the jar every day for the next 10 days, and then once a week for the following 5 weeks. Your tincture is now ready to consume. Great for warding off colds and flus, great for inflammation like arthritis, allergies, sleep and so much more.

Morel Toast

Ingredients:

  • Morels (fresh or dried)
  • Butter
  • Fresh garlic
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Cheese slices (your favorite)
  • Fresh bread

Method:

If you are using dried morels, reconstitute them in warm water first (save liquid). Sautee your morels in butter with garlic. The liquid you used to rehydrate your morels, add it to your sautee, and evaporate it, there is tons of flavor in that liquid. Set aside. Butter a piece of bread and place the cheese first, then morels on top. Toast in a toaster oven. Serve immediately. Enjoy!

Honey Mushrooms Pizza

Ingredients:

  • Pizza dough
  • Pizza sauce
  • Favorite cheese for pizza
  • Fresh honey mushrooms
  • Anchovies (you can omit)
  • 1/2 a can of favorite beer
  • Butter
  • Garlic
  • 1/2 an onion
  • Salt and pepper

Method:

Slice up your honey mushrooms, and saute in butter with onions and then garlic. Once the mushrooms start to caramelize, slowly add your beer, little by little and keep evaporating it. Season with salt and pepper, and set aside. Put together your pizza by putting down a small amount of cheese on the dough first, so the pizza sauce does not soak into the dough. Next put the pizza sauce, and next the caramelized mushrooms and anchovies. Bake, and enjoy!

Cinnabars over Steak

Cinnabar chanterelles are usually tiny, and you need a lot of them for a meal. But why I really like them is because when you cook them, they retain their orange color, so I like to use them as garnish for dishes.

Ingredients:

  • Fresh cinnabars
  • Garlic
  • Salt and pepper
  • Butter or olive oil

Method:

Clean up your mushrooms, you might have to do it in water (I usually do not recommend this with other mushrooms) because they are usually super sandy. Saute them whole with garlic in either olive oil or butter, season with salt and pepper. Serve over steak and gravy with mashed potatoes. Delicious.

Turkey Tail Chicken Soup

Turkey tails are woody, and taste like cardboard, but they do pack a lot of flavor and medicinal properties.

Ingredients:

  • Turkey tails
  • Ingredients for your favorite chicken soup recipe

Method:

Follow directions for your chicken stew, and when it is all put together and ready for simmering, add a handful of whole turkey tails into the mix. When you are done simmering and ready to serve, take out the turkey tails, because they would still taste like cardboard. The heat has helped them release all the medicinal goodies into your stew. Enjoy your medicinal chicken soup.

Oyster Mushroom Fries

This is always a hit at all of our workshops, I can never make enough.

Ingredients:

  • Fresh oyster mushrooms
  • Flour
  • Eggs
  • Milk
  • Your favorite spices – I like salt, pepper, crushed rosemary
  • Frying oil
  • Mayonnaise ( I prefer Dukes)
  • Sriracha sauce

Method:

Splice your oyster mushrooms down the gills, making them into shapes of fries. Set aside. In a deep dish, mix a few eggs, milk, salt and pepper. Dunk your mushrooms into the mixture and let sit for about 10 minutes. Dust in flour, dunk once again into the milk and egg mixture, and dust with flour again. Then fry. season again with salt pepper and crushed rosemary. On the side, mix mayonnaise and sriracha so you can dunk the morsels in, before they go into your mouth all nice and crispy. Enjoy!

Beefsteak Sashimi

Ingredients:

  • Fresh beefsteak mushrooms
  • Olive oil
  • Lemon pepper spice
  • Salt

Method:

Slice the beefsteak thinly and arrange on a plate. Sprinkle with olive oil and spices. Enjoy! (I do not recommend eating most mushrooms raw, but with this one it is OK)

Lionsmane Croquettes

Ingredients:

  • Fresh lionsmane mushrooms
  • Milk
  • Eggs
  • Panko
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Mustard
  • Ketchup
  • Frying oil oil
  • Salt and pepper

Method:

Cut up lionsmane into bite size squares. Let sit in a mixture of milk, eggs, salt and pepper for 20 minutes. Lionsmane will soak up all of this mixture. Roll in panko flakes or flour, and deep fry. For the sauce: ketchup, mustard( I used grey poupon), and parmesan cheese, and tadaaaaaa, great appetizer. It goes quick. I even tested it on my cats, and they ate it, LOL. Now you can feed mushrooms to your pets too, hehehehehehe!
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