Sunday, 1 June 2014

Name that Mushroom!

ei2014
wild morel mushrooms - дикі сморчки гриби ???
Ukrainians everywhere have a penchant for mushrooms!  And of course the folk songs tell of hunting for mushrooms in the fall, but there are special mushrooms hunters who get out there early in the spring too!

Ukrainians use a lot of mushrooms and cream in many recipes - and every Ukrainian cookbook comes with at least one favorite variant!  This one is from an old cookbook that gives advice on the social aspect of mushroom picking, packing a picnic and sticking together with an expert mushroom identifier. 

Wild mushrooms are a treat, but there is a Ukrainian joke that goes something like this.  What kind of wild mushrooms can you pick?  All mushrooms are edible, it's just that some mushrooms are edible more than once!!  

A friend in Calgary found these lovelies in a heavily wooded pasture with a creek, somewhere near Calgary, but unfortunately she is sworn to secrecy about the actual location! All the same here are a couple of great recipes to enjoy!

Mushrooms in Cream

1 pound mushrooms          2 T chopped onion
3 T butter                          2 T Flour
1/2 cup chicken stock       1/2 sweet cream
Salt and Pepper                1 t chopped dill

Use room temperature ingredients for best results!  Clean, wash, drain and slice the mushrooms. Cook the onion in the butter until it is barely tender. Add the mushrooms and cook for about 10 minutes or longer. Blend the flour with the chicken stock to a smooth paste. Stir in the cream a small bit at a time to the mushrooms. Cook, stirring, until the mixture boils. Season to taste, cover, and simmer for about 5 minutes, or longer. More cream may be added for a thinner sauce. When ready to serve, stir in the dill.

Mushrooms in Sour Cream

1 pound mushrooms          1 small onion, chopped
2 T butter                          2 T flour
1 cup sour cream              1/2 clove garlic, crushed
Salt and pepper                1 t chopped dill

Clean, wash, drain and slice the mushrooms. Cook the onion in the butter until just wilted. Add the mushrooms and cook for about 10 minutes. Blend the flour with a little of the cream to make a smooth paste, gradually stir in the remaining cream, and add to the mushrooms. Cook, stirring, until the mixture boils. Add the garlic and season to taste. Cover and simmer for about 15 minutes or longer. When read to serve stir in the dill.
If the mushrooms look relatively clean, just damp wipe the mushrooms as they could absorb more water than you wish, and get mushy. You could also try a soft bristle mushroom brush!

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