Recipe: Mushroom Quiche

Quiche is one of my go to recipes. It takes a bit of prep work but it’s not too complicated and you can eat it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. And brunch. At least, I do!

Our recipe is based on a quiche lorraine recipe from an old, falling apart copy of The New York Times cookbook. The original called for bacon also and I decided to throw some in because, hey, we have a TON of pork! This recipe will work pretty well in your standard store-bought frozen pie crust. If you have time to make your own pie crust and have a relatively deep pie plate, you probably will want an extra egg and another 1/2 cup of cream/milk.  Don’t worry if you end up with extra. I always end up with extra (depends on how many ingredients you pack into the crust) so I butter a small ramekin dish and toss in any leftover ingredients and egg mix for a crustless quiche. Yum!

Mushroom Quiche

Serves 6 to 8
3 to 6 oz. fresh oyster, nameko, or other mushrooms
or
1/2 oz. dried oyster, nameko, or other mushrooms
1 onion, thinly sliced or handful garlic tips, coarsely chopped
3 to 4 Tbsp. butter or olive oil
3/4 cup friesago or swiss cheese, cubed
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1-1/2 cups milk or heavy cream
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. paprika
1/8 tsp. fish sauce (optional)

If using dried mushrooms, cover in hot water with a weight on top to keep them submerged. Soak for at least a half hour, then remove stems and chop caps to desired size. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Line 8-inch pie plate with pastry and bake five minutes when oven gets up to temperature. After 5 minutes, pull the pastry crust out and set aside till you’re ready for it. It will probably have bubbled up (unless you used pie weights), but the bubbles will recede.

For fresh mushrooms, clean them if necessary. Remove the stems and save for soup stock. Heat 1 or 2 Tbsp. of butter or oil on medium heat. Chop or slice mushroom caps and sauté until soft and slightly browned, or about five minutes. If mushrooms look dry add more fat to the pan. Set mushrooms aside. Cook onion in remaining fat until onion is transparent. Spread onion, mushrooms, and cheese over the inside of the partly baked pastry.

Combine the eggs, milk, and seasoning and whisk until frothy. Add to the pie plate. Bake the pie fifteen minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F. and bake until a knife inserted one inch from the pastry edge comes out clean – at least 10 minutes. You can also cook it longer till the egg is puffed up and nicely brown if you like it that way better, but you know it’s done when the knife comes out clean.

 

adapted from The New York Times Cookbook, edited by Craig Claiborne

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Recipe: Prairie Mushroom Risotto

Just to warn you, this recipe uses a lot of pots and pans! If you’ve only got a few pots/pans you can probably tip cooked items into bowls to wait while you move onto further steps. This recipe is a little bit complex but it is so worth it. The arborio rice seemed a bit starchy toward the end, not as much flavor as I had hoped. I thought the dish was ruined, but then I added the butter and Parmesan, waited a couple minutes, and was blown away by the flavor. I will be eating this dish for breakfast, lunch, and dinner this weekend! It all comes together really well in the end and you will not be sorry you gave it a try.

Prairie Mushroom Risotto

Serves 4
2 oz. dried shiitake mushrooms or 10 oz. fresh shiitake mushrooms
1 1/2 oz. wild rice
about 3 to 4 cups stock or water
2 Tbsp olive oil
6 scallions or spring onions, finely chopped
1 large clove of garlic, finely chopped – optional
8 oz. arborio rice or other medium-grain rice
1 1/2 wine glasses of dry white wine
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 Tbsp butter
3 oz. grated Parmesan cheese
3 oz. crumbled friesago cheese

If you’re using dried mushrooms, soak them in water to cover for an hour, then pat dry with a towel. Set aside the soaking liquid. For fresh or rehydrated mushrooms, remove the stems and chop the caps. Heat 4 tsp oil on medium low. Saute the mushrooms until browned and slightly crispy. If mushrooms look dry add more oil to the pan. Set aside.

In a small saucepan, bring 1 cup water to a boil. Add the wild rice, cover the pan, and reduce the heat. Simmer for 25 minutes; drain well. (The rice doesn’t have to be done as it will be cooking more later.)

Put the stock (and mushroom soaking liquid if any) in a saucepan on low. In a separate pan heat the remaining oil, add the scallions or onions and garlic, and fry slowly for about 4 minutes. When the vegetables have softened, add the arborio rice and turn up the heat. The rice will begin to fry, so keep stirring it. After a minute it will look slightly translucent. Add the wild rice and wine and keep stirring.

Once the wine has cooked into the rice, add the mushrooms, and then add your first ladle of hot stock and a pinch of salt. Turn down the heat to a high simmer so the rice doesn’t cook too quickly on the outside. Keep adding ladlefuls of stock, stirring and almost massaging the creamy starch from the rice, allowing each ladleful to be absorbed before adding the next. This will take between 15 to 45 minutes depending on your preference; keep adding stock until the rice is soft but with a slight bite. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Remove from heat and add the butter and Parmesan. Stir gently. Place a lid on the pan and allow to sit for 2 to 3 minutes. Serve immediately with crumbled friesago.

 

recipe adapted from Jamie Oliver’s “The Naked Chef Takes Off”

Recipe: Oyster Mushroom and Braised Leek Soup

Serves 4 or 6

8 oz. fresh Oyster mushrooms
3 large onions or leeks – white part and 2 inches of the green
5 cups vegetable or chicken stock
2 sprigs rosemary or 2 Tbsp dried rosemary – held in a tea ball or cloth bag
1 or 2 cloves garlic, minced
4 Tbsp unsalted butter
salt and fresh ground black pepper
4 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp chives chopped

Remove mushroom stems and chop mushrooms and set aside.

Chop onion or cut each leek in half lengthwise and place in a shallow pan with the stock and the rosemary. Cover and simmer over medium-low heat for 25 minutes, or until the leeks or onions are tender. Remove and discard the rosemary. Remove the leeks and chop into bite-sized pieces. Puree two-thirds of the leeks, all of the stock, and 3 tablespoons of the butter until smooth. Cook the soup in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat for 5 minutes, or until warm. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Keep warm. Reserve the remaining leeks for garnish.

Saute the garlic in 1 tablespoon of the butter in a medium sauté pan over medium heat for 3-4 minutes, or until translucent. Add the mushrooms and cook for 5-7 minutes, or until tender. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Ladle the soup into bowls and top with mushrooms and remaining leeks. Drizzle the olive oil over the top and sprinkle the chives around the bowls and top with freshly ground black pepper.

 

adapted from recipe by Charlie Trotter

Road trip!

Last week we took advantage of the long weekend for a road trip and some work on the farm. (To be clear, Jeremy, as a farmer, NEVER has weekends; but I, the farmer’s wife, definitely have weekends.) Jeremy has been thinking about buying a fancier tool for mushroom inoculations. Field & Forest, located near Peshtigo in eastern Wisconsin, has the tool and invited us to come take it for a test drive.

We left first thing on Friday morning to drive the four and a half hours across the state. Our route took us over some tiny state roads winding through stunningly beautiful farmland and forests. We got to Field & Forest just after lunch and spent some time catching up with our friends, mentors, and mushroom spawn suppliers, Joe and Mary Ellen. Joe and Mary Ellen have been in the mushroom business for many years and are very helpful with advice and commiserating about the difficulties of a mushroom farmer’s life.

We got down to business with Joe and one of their employees showing us the machine, demonstrating how it works, and letting Jeremy take a shot at it.

 

 

There is a bit of a learning curve, but once you get the hang of it, you can inoculate logs twice as fast as our current tool. Now that we’re up to 5,000 logs a year this tool would make a huge difference in the amount of time it takes to do inoculations.

But – the BIG but – it is $8,000!! Jeremy figures it would pay for itself in the first year or so as he wouldn’t need to hire as many people to help with inoculations. But it’s a lot of cash up front and we have a lot of other expenses to think about. I think we’re going to hold off for now on getting this tool and hope that between Jeremy and his current employee (who is pretty amazing at inoculating) they can do the slower process for at least one more year.

(But if you, or someone you know, has $8,000 lying around and you want to help make this dream tool our tool, drop us a line!)

After trying out the tool we spent more time with Joe and Mary Ellen and got a tour of their farm. It was fun to catch up with them and compare notes on mushroom farming!

First thing Saturday morning we headed back home. As I mentioned last week, we had a big painting project.  We’ve got to get this monstrosity of a pack shed all painted so we can get it certified as a food warehouse.

packshed

The eternal optimist in me thought, “oh, this will be easy! Just a quick weekend job!” Ugh. I was so wrong. It’s a fussy thing to paint just the 2x4s and beams of a building, especially when you first have to scrub off years of accumulated dust (and a little bird poop) just so the paint will stick!  This will be an ongoing project but hopefully we’ll get it done by the end of the month. The small portion we managed to clean and paint does look pretty good. Stay tuned for pictures when we get this project all wrapped up!