Mushroom Excitement

Hen of the Woods (Maitake)

Hen of the Woods (Maitake)

It really hadn’t rained that much so the discovery of my son Doug’s Hen of the Woods mushrooms on Sunday came as a surprise.  I had just stopped by to drop off something, and was just about to leave when I noticed these delectables at the base of an oak tree in his yard.  Hen of the Woods (Grifola frondosa) seems to favor oak trees and are usually found in the fall.  He’s had them in this spot nearly every year, but with the dry conditions of late, it was unexpected.  He swore they hadn’t been there the previous morning.  I borrowed a knife and a couple of plastic bags and was soon on my way home with my treasure.  I had seen sorry specimens of this same mushroom for sale in a store just the week before for $20.00/lb. but up to $50.00/lb. on the web.

Here's the last little Hen's "nest" waiting to be harvested.

Here’s the last little Hen’s “nest” waiting to be harvested.

I like to make mushroom risotto with these but already had prepared our dinner, so I decided to freeze them.  They freeze very well.  I first cleaned them with a soft brush.  Little was needed as the were so young and fresh.  There was a tiny bit of insect damage to one stem which I cut away.  I separated the “feathers,” gave them a final cleaning and sauteed them, half of them in butter and the other half in olive oil, so I’d have some for recipes using either olive oil or butter.

All cleaned off and ready for the fry pan.

All cleaned off and ready for the fry pan.

After I finished, I spread them out on cookie sheets and popped them into the freezer.  When they were frozen, I bagged them, labeled them and stored them for later use.

These have a deeply flavorful woodsy, nutty  taste; perfect for any dish calling for mushrooms.

These have a deeply flavorful woodsy, nutty taste; perfect for any dish calling for mushrooms.

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2 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Carla said,

    YUM!

    Like

  2. 2

    jacque said,

    Truly amazing!

    Like


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