Mushrooms are a delicious and versatile ingredient that can add depth and complexity to any meal. For those looking for inspiration and guidance in cooking with mushrooms, Andrea Gentl’s cookbook “Cooking with Mushrooms” offers a wealth of information and delicious recipes. Here are some highlights from the book:
Before diving into the recipes, Gentl offers useful information on choosing, cleaning, and storing mushrooms. She emphasizes the importance of selecting fresh, firm mushrooms that are free of blemishes or discoloration. Cleaning mushrooms can be done with a damp cloth or brush, but it’s important to avoid soaking them in water. Mushrooms should be stored in a paper bag in the refrigerator and used within a few days for optimal freshness.
Varieties of Mushrooms
Different types of mushrooms have unique textures and flavors that make them suitable for different dishes. Gentl provides an overview of several popular varieties, including button, cremini, portobello, shiitake, and oyster mushrooms. She describes their taste, texture, and cooking properties, as well as their nutritional benefits.
Gentl offers a range of cooking techniques for preparing mushrooms, including sautéing, roasting, grilling, and braising. She provides tips for achieving the best results with each method and emphasizes the importance of seasoning mushrooms well to bring out their flavor.
The heart of the book is the collection of recipes, which showcase the versatility and deliciousness of mushrooms. There are recipes for soups, salads, side dishes, and main courses, as well as ideas for incorporating mushrooms into breakfast and brunch dishes.
A standout recipe is the Enoki Alfredo, a simple yet indulgent dish that requires only a handful of ingredients: enoki mushrooms, butter, parmesan cheese, black pepper, grated nutmeg, and a drizzle of olive oil to finish. To prepare:
- Boil the enoki mushrooms in salted water for 1½ minutes
- Drain most of the water and then add butter and parmesan cheese until the sauce becomes glossy and creamy
- Top with black pepper, a grating of nutmeg, and a drizzle of olive oil, and serve.
This recipe is perfect for those who are gluten-free but still want to indulge in a creamy and saucy pasta dish for dinner.
In addition to the culinary experience of cooking mushrooms, if you are interested in cultivating and growing shroom spores at home, a great place to purchase a wide variety of quality spores is Mush Love Genetics.