To judge the quality (read: freshness) of mushrooms, the best way is to slice them in half or parts. And to smell them at room temperature. Each kind has its own specific, often delicate, fragrance. It should be ‘fresh’ and ‘pure’. Just like its color. Visually a mushroom may not have withered edges or be swampy or moisty. Cutting open larger truffles or ceps shows you if their affected by maggots or little snails.
In terms of quantity, we usually assume 100 to 150 grams per person for fresh mushrooms (cleaned for a main course). For Truffles we use around 10 to 30 grams per person, depending your recipe or use. If you cook with dried mushrooms, assume 20 grams per person (dried). The stated amounts may differ depending on different applications; garnish, starter or side dish or a dish with mushrooms as a meat substitute for example.
Mushrooms are often used to accentuate a dish. For the color, the shape and of course the taste. In vegetarian dishes, such as a pasta or risotto, they are used more massively and sometimes with multiple types. Then there is a chance that you will no longer find the individual flavors. These are fantastic dishes in themselves. Umami bombs. But also try to make vegetarian dishes from one type of mushroom, such as in a lasagna or risotto from only Chanterelles (look for recipes under 'fungi recipes' on this website). Then you have a bomb of Chanterelle! And assuming 100 to 150 grams per person, that is also a very affordable meat substitute.
Keeping fresh mushrooms well is not easy (so eat them quickly!). If mushrooms have just been picked, then some varieties can be stored for up to 2 weeks. If you buy mushrooms in the store, they are no longer "freshly picked" and can usually be stored at home for a few days. In the vegetable drawer of the refrigerator, spread between dry or slightly damp kitchen paper. This is the most recommended method, but it takes up a lot of space in your cooling. We store mushrooms in (plastic or stainless steel) containers, with a base of dry kitchen paper at the bottom and covered with kitchen paper that has been sprinkled with a little water. In this way the moisture content stays on arrow and the mushrooms can also 'breathe'.
Our mushrooms are air-dried in special drying cabinets. This method preserves the flavors, colors and fragrances (but also the texture) very well. Because of this you need relatively little to get a lot of taste.
Drying mushrooms yourself is not that difficult; clean well with a brush, slice large mushrooms (not too thin) and place in a warm oven overnight at 40 ° C. Store in a well-sealed jar in a dark place.
Most mushrooms lose a lot of sensory value (color, smell, taste, and in particular structure) when they are frozen. In a professional company we freeze with a shock freezer. Sturdy specimens of Porcini mushrooms can be fairly well frozen at home; cut into large pieces, freeze and pack in plastic bags.
Nobody can escape that. Under the 'Product' tab on this website you can read for most types of mushrooms how you can clean them best.
It is important with most mushrooms to never remove the foot, but only the fibrous end of the foot. For some species (such as Shiitakes) it is advisable to remove the entire foot, because they will become tough after preparation. For taste, these feet can be added to a broth or sauce.
There are all kinds of kitchen utensils for cleaning mushrooms. A brush or brush (the original ones are made from wild boar hair), an epilation tweezer for removing twigs of moss and pine needles and a peeler to remove the soiled stalk of, inter alia, Porcini mushrooms.
That you should never wash mushrooms with water is generally not true. Most species can handle that very well. Mushrooms consist of 80 to 90% water. Therefore, they will hardly absorb any extra water if they are briefly washed with water. However, it is advisable to wash them quickly and dry them immediately afterwards with a cloth or in the salad spinner and then prepare immediately.
We use the following step-by-step plan for cleaning mushrooms:
1. Assess the degree of contamination of the product
Many mushrooms (especially the cultivated species) are so clean that they are actually ready to cook.
2. Large mushrooms with light superficial (loose) contamination
Use a soft brush or a piece of kitchen paper to remove dirt such as loose sand.
3. Large species with heavier superficial (sticky) contamination
Use a damp cloth and or a wet brush.
4. Small mushrooms (whether or not in large quantities)
For (larger quantities) small mushrooms, we recommend washing them briefly in cold water.
It saves you a lot of time!
5. Porous mushrooms
Morels, spine and tube fungi can sometimes contain dirt or sand externally (and not visibly 'internally') due to
In the 'chambers' of the sponge structure of a Morel, but also in the tubes of the Hedgehog for instance under
the hat. These too can be cleaned briefly with water. Because of the porous structure is better to
dry with a salad spinner and then with some kitchen paper.
If necessary, cut the cleaned mushrooms into reasonably similar pieces. You can also tear large chanterelles into smaller pieces from the hat or chalice. Then they are cooked at the same time.
Soaking or welling dried mushrooms in hot water can take as little as 10 minutes or until soft. This is the forced method and often works great. For the best result, however, prefer to give some time; a few hours in cold or lukewarm water. Then the taste is optimal, you have hardly any chance of hard pieces and you have a fragrant and colorful extract. . . actually a 'broth' . . .
For most applications (as a basis for soups, sauces, risottos and the like) we usually use dried Ceps or a mix of different dried forest mushrooms. If you want an extra deep, dark color, add a few dried Black trumpets to your (mix of) dried mushrooms. Be careful not to use too much, because then your mushroom jus will soon become a bit bitter. For 'a sweet tooth' and golden color, use the best dried Chanterelles.
To make a nice, tasteful and deeply colored gravy of mushrooms, proceed as follows :
- Sprinkle a chopped onion or shallot and some little coarsely chopped garlic in some olive oil, then quench with a
dash of dry Madeira, red port or wine (depending on the later application you can also get the onions first
flambé with cognac).
- Reduce the moisture until it disappears. Then add cold water and / or a cold broth (we also use
broth cubes of Porcini mushrooms), with the dried mushrooms and possibly a little
- Gently bring the whole to the boil (the mushrooms then well at the same time) and let it cook / cook slowly
for half an hour to one hour.
You get a nice clear gravy - after you've cooked the well-infused mushrooms - by removing the pan from the heat for a few minutes. Then any sand will have the opportunity to sink to the bottom. Then gently filter through a passing cloth (or just a piece of kitchen paper) in a colander and leave the last bit of residue in the pan.
If you want to use this gravy as the basis for a crystal-clear soup or consommé double, then you better sift through a professional passing cloth and / or work with a clarifique.
At Funghi Funghi we have around 70 types of mushrooms throughout the year. Many people have the idea that every mushroom has its own preparation method. Nothing is less true ! You can prepare most mushrooms the way you would prepare a common button mushroom. So not too difficult and just do it ! !
You can cook and process mushrooms in all sorts of ways. It is too far to handle the infinite possibilities on this website. We stick to an explanation of the most used cooking technique; pan-fried !! But, a perfectly cooked mushroom, seems simple, but has the necessary attention points. . .
It is best to use fatty substances that remain stable at high temperatures. Butter gives an incomparable taste but burns at 120 °C and then becomes toxic. The butter must therefore be clarified (without casein, butter can withstand up to 220 °C). Instead of clarified butter, you can also use a neutral fat such as refined olive oil, possibly combined with peanut oil, or grape seed oil.
For some (often game) dishes, goose fat or lard (pork fat) is also used. Duck fat fits perfectly with rustic mushroom types such as Wood blewit and Black trumpet.
Do not fry mushrooms for too long and at a high temperature. Depending on the size of the pieces or mushrooms, only a few minutes to a few minutes. Then they stay nice and firm and not swampy or slimy.
To get nicely baked mushrooms, or slightly caramelized (brown) on the outside and al dente until soft on the inside, you have to bake them on high heat. Then they stay nice and dry. Two methods are generally used:
m e t h o d 1 : i n c l a r i f i e d b u t t e r a n d / o r i n a n i m a l f a t
The classic method in some clarified butter and / or other animal fat in which you have a crushed garlic clove and a sprig of thyme with it. When the mushrooms are ready after a few minutes, remove the garlic clove and thyme.
m e t h o d 2 : f i r s t i n s o m e o i l, t h a n a k n o b o f b u t t e r
Another way is to first fry the mushrooms with some olive or grape seed oil, together with the crushed garlic clove and the sprig of thyme. When they get a tan and are almost done, remove the pan from the heat and add a knob of butter and let it melt. Remove the thyme and garlic clove before serving.
Thyme and garlic enrich, refine and pleasantly enhance the taste of most mushrooms. Do not use too much. . . the herbs must provide a flavor in the undertone (the soul) of the dish that supports the refined taste of the mushrooms and does not dominate. If you fry them with the mushrooms, they add flavor to the shortening and therefore a hint of the mushrooms. . . exactly what you need !!
Butter gives mushrooms an unparalleled taste. Baked in clarified butter (method 1) or adding a bit of good butter at the end of the baking process (method 2) makes your baked mushrooms complete!
Be careful with excessive use of spices, garlic and the like. After all, it is about the delicate taste of mushrooms. Parsley and fresh garlic is the classic combination. The legendary persillade (garlic and parsley) suits many types of mushrooms, provided you don't use it too much!
Contrary to what is often proclaimed, you should not use too much garlic. The strong and bitter taste often spoils the refined taste of the mushroom. And if you do it already, for example in the classic Champignons à l ’escargot, don't expect to taste a 'mushroom bomb' (but a very tasty dish!).
If you want to add a garlic flavor to your mushrooms, use blanched garlic to soften the taste. Add it halfway through baking to prevent it from burning.
It is best to add fresh herbs, salt and peper in three various times / situations:
b a s i c h e r b s
The first time during the basic cooking process (baking, braising, cooking, roasting) or when preparing a broth, soup or sauce. Commonly used flavorings are thyme (preferably fresh or otherwise dried), garlic and shallot or onion. Together they give soul to your final dish. If you fry them with mushrooms and other ingredients at the start of the preparation, they will give optimum taste.
In contrast to the basic cooking techniques, when preparing a broth, soup or sauce, you can add salt, broth cubes or liquid broth or stock that have already been seasoned with salt.
g a r n i s h h e r b s a n d p a r i n g
The second time at the end of the preparation, as a flavor enhancer and as a crispy and colorful feast for the eyes. Commonly used are parsley and chives. Other beautiful combinations are: Button mushrooms with spring onion, Anice mushrooms with tarragon or young fennel, Wood blewit with sage, Chanterelles with basil (or some apricot), Lactaire mushroom and Boletes with thyme or oregano, Morels with savory, King oyster mushroom with wild garlic or wild garlic and Porcini mushrooms with apple (... but then served with some fried foie...).
p e p p e r a n d s a l t
Add salt and pepper at the very end. Mushrooms consist of 90% water. So always add salt at the end of the preparation. Salt extracts moisture (water), which complicates the baking process, causing mushrooms to shrink and become weak and lose their bite.
The same applies to pepper that becomes bitter when heated. It is best to give a blow to the mill on the formatted plates.
An absolute mockery are oil-marinated mushrooms that are available commercially and in supermarkets; with Provencal herbs, with paprika or (even worse) with curry powder. And then grill on the charcoal BBQ, so that you know for sure that the taste of mushrooms has completely disappeared.
OK, it's possible. . . but do not speak of an innovation (because this is how these 'hobby tryers' are promoted).