Sunday, 27 October 2013

How to store wild mushrooms

It was a couple of weeks ago now, but I thought I would just make a note for the record, that I had a massive harvest of wild field mushrooms. this is the first time I've come across such a generous crop of field  mushrooms Agaricus Campestris ever.
They were in the permanent pasture fields above our smallholding. Once they start to come out, they really do get going so you have to pick and use them whilst they at their delicious best. and therein lies the difficulty. For whilst everyone loves a stuffed mushroom to two, one does begin to run a bit short of enthusiasm after a week or so. They don't keep more than a day at most so to enjoy the benefits of the crop a way of storing has to be found. Well, I after some experimentation, I found that a duxelles mix is the best way of storing this lovely autumnal bounty. You can then store it in the freezer ready for use as a lovely pasta sauce or maybe as part odd that special beef Wellington you're planning for a dinner party. Or you can use it for the basis of a mushroom flan or spread on puff pastry as a canapĂ©. Should you come across a good deal for mushrooms at the supermarket this would be a good way of preserving them. Use the food processor for chopping if you're in a rush.

Mushroom Duxelles
large basket of freshly picked field mushrooms, or a punnet from the supermarket
large clove of garlic
 2 shallots
2 oz butter
splash of dry vermouth

Finely chop the shallots and gently fry in butter till soft.
Finely chop the mushrooms and add to the pan with the grated garlic, salt and pepper and vermouth
Allow to cook gently until most of the moisture has evaporated, leaving a dry ish paste-like mix.
Leave to cool check seasoning and store in small quantities (ice  cube trays make it easy to use as much as you need).

To use as pasta sauce melt a few cubes in a saucepan with some cream or crime fraiche and a handful of parsley and stir into freshly boiled pasta.
 

I have to re state, as always, that I only pick and eat fungi that I know and can positively identify. Please do your research, or better still  take an expert's advice before eating any wild fungi.



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