Recipe: Grilled Polenta and Mushrooms

Once again I got really excited about making this recipe, one of my favorites, and didn’t bother to read the recipe Jeremy had put together until afterwards. Of course he fancied it up so my photos don’t look like what you’d get if you follow this recipe. Oh well, it just shows the diversity of ways you can use mushrooms, right??

The “un-fancy” way to make this is just to cook the mushrooms and some garlic and put that over the grilled polenta, with a little Parmesan. Simple!

Grilled Polenta and Mushrooms

Serves 4
1-1 1/2 Tbsp. coarse salt
1 2/3 cups polenta or course cornmeal
1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
6-8 oz. shiitake or other mushrooms
2 slices bacon
more olive oil as needed
1 small onion, diced
2 to 4 Tbsp white wine or stock for deglazing
pepper to taste
about 1/2 a cup of cream
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 Tbsp Parmesan cheese
Polenta
Put salt into 7 cups cold water in a medium heavy pot. Add polenta and whisk in. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring often. Add olive oil, then reduce heat to medium and continue cooking, stirring often with a wooden spoon until polenta thickens and pulls away slightly from bottom and sides of pot, or between 20-40 minutes – depending on grind.

Pour into a wet ceramic or glass mold, cool, turn out, and cut into pieces with a wet knife. Grill on a very hot, dry grill or sear in a nonstick skillet until golden brown.

Shiitake mushrooms and sauce
Fry up bacon until crisp. Remove from pan and drain most but not all of the fat from the pan; reserve the fat you drain off. Cut bacon into small pieces. Saute onion until tender. Deglaze the pan with whatever liquid you choose and then let the liquid reduce till thickened; set onion sauce aside in another dish.

Remove mushroom stems. If the mushrooms are small you can leave them whole or cut into halves; if they are larger you can slice them up.  With the pan on medium, add the reserved bacon fat and mushrooms. You want each mushroom to have contact with the pan, so cook in batches if necessary. If the pan gets dry add olive oil. Cook mushrooms two to three minutes, then stir. Saute another couple of minutes, or until soft.

Add the onion sauce to the sauteed mushrooms. Add pepper to taste, cream, garlic, bacon and cheese. Heat through thoroughly. Serve over polenta.

Variation: marinate the Shiitake for a few hours in oil, a little vinegar or white wine, salt and pepper then grill them. Chop half of the grilled mushrooms and combine with other sauce ingredients, then top polenta and remaining mushrooms with sauce.

Mushroom sauce recipe adapted from ReTorte food blog. Polenta recipe reproduced from Saveur Magazine.

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Recipe: Shiitake Spring Rolls

Another fun way to eat shiitake! Jeremy says spring rolls are just a vehicle for eating peanut sauce, and I can’t argue with that. But if you can’t eat peanuts – don’t worry. The sauteed shiitake are so tasty – especially if you saute them till they’re just a bit crispy on the edges – you won’t miss the peanut sauce at all.

 

Shiitake Spring Rolls

Serves 4
1 oz. dried shiitake mushrooms
or
8 oz. fresh shiitake mushrooms
1-1/2 Tbsp canola oil
1 oz. rice vermicelli
4 rice wrappers
1 bunch cilantro
2 to 3 oz. microgreens, sprouts, spinach or baby lettuces
1 scallion
1 small carrot
thai peanut sauce
or
4 Tbsp teaspoon hoisin sauce
4 Tbsp finely chopped peanuts, or to taste

Cooking Instructions
If using dried mushrooms, soak in warm water to cover for an hour or two, then pat dry with a towel. Save liquid for soup stock or other recipe. Remove stems, then heat oil on medium low heat. Slice mushroom caps and saute until fragrant and soft, or about 5 minutes. If mushrooms look dry add more oil to the pan. Set aside.

Add vermicelli to boiling water; boil until al dente or 3 to 5 minutes. Drain. Prepare vegetables. Slice scallion into 2 to 4 inch slivers; grate carrot; wash and de-stem cilantro; and you may want to chop lettuce or spinach.

Fill a large bowl with hot tap water and dip a rice wrapper in water for 15 seconds to a minute or until soft but still holding its shape. Lay wrapper on cutting board and place ingredients at the center – like a burrito – starting with the mushrooms. Fold in the ends so that the filling stays inside and roll up tightly. Recipe makes four spring rolls; serve immediately with peanut or peanuts/hoisin sauce.

Recipe: Mushroom and Chevre Bruschetta

Confession time: We have a TON of mushroom recipes (as you might imagine) and when I started up this little weekly update I planned out what recipes I’d share each week. I’ve been looking forward to this week for a while, which is designated “shroom + bruschetta” week.  For recipes we don’t have pictures for we’ve been trying to make them up that week and get pictures, but that doesn’t always happen.

But mushroom bruschetta is easy! And so yummy!  Jeremy whipped up a batch yesterday for dinner and it was… SO. GOOD.  Amazing!  Unfortunately, what he made (and painstakingly photographed) is not actually the recipe we had all ready to go! The recipe below is basically a fancier version of what we usually make. It just goes to show the versatility of this recipe.

Our version? Jeremy sauteed shiitake and oyster mushrooms and a bit of garlic. He spread a couple slices of lovely baguette with butter and seared the buttered bread in a hot cast iron pan. The mushrooms/garlic were piled on top and sprinkled with a little grated parmesan. I promise you: this little mushroom topped toast is absolutely divine.

But this version with chevre sounds pretty amazing too. You will not be sorry, whatever version you try!

 

Mushroom and Chevre Bruschetta

Serves 4 as appetizer
10-12 ounces shiitake and/or oyster mushrooms
extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves – 1 peeled and finely chopped, the other halved
2 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves picked
2 sprigs fresh parsley, leaves picked
1 sprig summer savory, leaves plucked – optional
sea salt
fresh ground black pepper
1 dried red chili, crumbled
1 small pat butter
1 lemon
3 oz. herbed chevre
4 small slices bread such as sourdough

Trim stems from mushrooms and save for soup stock. Chop mushroom caps. Put a large heavy frying pan, big enough to hold all the mushrooms in one layer, over heat and add about 1-2 tbsp. olive oil. When hot, add all mushrooms to the pan and give it a shake to
toss the mushrooms in the oil. Add the chopped garlic and fresh herbs and stir again. Add a pinch of salt and pepper and the crumbled chili, add to the pan and sauté gently for a few minutes. If the mixture becomes dry, pour in a little more oil.

Once the mushrooms have started to turn a golden color, after about 3-4 minutes, add the butter and a nice squeeze of lemon juice(not too much) and toss again.

To finish this off and make it into a creamy sauce, spoon 2-3 tablespoons of water into the pan. Simmer for a little longer, until you have a nice simple sauce that just loosely coats the mushrooms.

Toast the bread and rub toast with the cut side of the remaining clove of garlic. Place each slice on a serving plate, top with a healthy dab of chevre and pile the mushrooms and pan juices on top.

adapted from Jamie’s Oliver’s “Jamie at Home”

Recipe: Midsummer Shiitake Green Salad

Serves 4
ingredients for the dressing
1/4 oz. dried shiitake mushrooms
or
1 oz. fresh shiitake or oyster mushrooms, chopped
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
3/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons tamari soy sauce
2 tablespoons mushroom soaking water (if using dried mushrooms) or water
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum powder

ingredients for the salad
4 to 6 oz. fresh Shiitake mushrooms
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 to 4 oz. salad mix
pint jar of microgreens or sunflower sprouts
4 oz. chevre or blue cheese

shiitake sesame dressing
If using dried mushrooms, put them in a small bowl and cover with boiling water. Let soak until the mushrooms are soft, at least an hour. Toast the sesame seeds in a small skillet, stirring until they are golden in color. Remove from the heat so they don’t burn.
When dried mushrooms are soft, save 2 tablespoons of the soaking water, trim and discard the stems; chop the mushrooms. Put the oil, vinegar, soy sauce, reserved soaking water (or just water), sesame oil, the chopped mushrooms and xanthan gum in a blender. Whir just until the mushrooms are in tiny pieces, about 10 seconds. Add the toasted sesame seeds and blend a few seconds more. Store in a glass jar, refrigerated if not using right away.

the salad
Assemble salad – including salad mix, microgreens or sprouts, and cheese. Remove stems from mushrooms and slice or chop caps. Save stems for stock. Heat oil in pan or skillet and add mushrooms. Saute mushrooms stirring occasionally for about 5 minutes, or until soft and slightly browned. Top the salad with hot mushrooms and shiitake dressing and eat immediately!

 

Salad dressing recipe reproduced from the Muffin Talk blog

Abundance

This is the time of year when the mushrooms really start going crazy. The temperatures and humidity are just right and the mushrooms are extra happy. It’s also when we first start to see the fruits of our labor in the spring (pun intended!)

Jeremy was giving a tour of the farm a few days ago and saw the first of the mushrooms popping out on our 2017 logs. We never soak and force-fruit logs in their first year. They just lay out in the woods growing mycelium and basking in the dappled sunlight. Usually in August and September they test out their fungus growing powers and pop out several mushrooms per log. With almost 5,000 logs in the woods this year, that’s going to be a LOT of mushrooms.

first2017mushrooms

The first of the 2017 mushrooms!

Not to be outdone, the logs that we force fruit get a bit crazy too.

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All these mushrooms are picked by hand, so there is a LOT of picking to do! They can also grow incredibly fast. Jeremy will go through in the morning and pick the mushrooms that are ready and by late afternoon a bunch more mushrooms, that weren’t ready in the morning, will be ready to pick.

Unfortunately, August is one of the slowest months for mushroom sales! Orders from co-ops and groceries are down and the farmers market isn’t as hopping as we would like. We’ve got mushrooms on sale right now at The Wedge and Seward Co-ops and the other co-ops in the upper Midwest that carry our mushrooms will have them on sale by the end of next week. Just our way of enticing more people to buy and cook mushrooms. We’re selling mushrooms to Restaurant Alma and Northern Fires Wood Fired Pizza as well, so those are two other ways to get your mushroom fix.  We’d like to sell mushrooms to more restaurants. If you work for a restaurant that might be interested, drop us a line!

 

Recipe: Summer King Oyster Salad

Serves 4
1/2 cup white vinegar
2-1/2 tsp sugar
1 tsp mustard seed
1 tsp salt, plus more to taste
1 cracked garlic clove
up to 4 cups of seasonal vegetables like scallions or red onion, and green beans or cucumbers
1 bay leaf
6 to 8 Tbsp olive oil, plus 1 or 2 tsp more as needed
1 tsp vinegar
1 garlic clove
1 tightly-packed cup cleaned nasturtium leaves or other spicy greens
8 oz. fresh king oyster mushrooms
2 slices of thin-cut bacon, cut in half
2 cups cleaned arugula

The pickles
Heat vinegar, sugar, mustard seed, salt, and garlic in sauce pan on medium heat until it begins to simmer and the sugar dissolves. Put vegetables and bay leaf in heat-tolerant bowl and cover with vinegar mixture. Stir to evenly coat vegetables and allow to cool to room temperature or chill.

The dressing
Add together 6 to 8 Tbsp olive oil, vinegar, a clove of garlic, pinch of salt, and a cup of nasturtium leaves or other greens. Blend until smooth in a blender or food processor.

The warm and savory part
Slice or shred mushrooms. Cook bacon on medium heat until browned on each side. Remove bacon to paper towel. Add mushrooms to pan with a pinch of salt, cooking until soft and aromatic, or 5 to 10 minutes. Add a teaspoon or two of olive oil to the pan if the mushrooms look dry.

Make a small bed of arugula on each plate and top with a bacon strip, then add some drained pickles and hot mushrooms on the side. Drizzle the dressing over all and enjoy!