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March 17, 2009 1:10 PM   Subscribe

What are your most flavorful and amazing recipes for a wild mushroom pasta or saute?

I'm visiting San Francisco and have wandered across an amazing wild mushroom selection at Rainbow Grocery. I'm looking for recipes to use these beauties in a simple, flavorful saute or some type of olive oil based pasta dish to highlight the flavors of the mushrooms.

All recommendations welcome!
posted by Asherah to Food & Drink (10 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
Truly wild mushrooms, imho, should be treated as simply as possible, to let those wonderful woodsy flavors come through. A simple sauté in butter or oil, perhaps with some shallots and a small bit of garlic. Maybe a bit of cream to make a simple sauce. Salt and Pepper. Serve over fettuccine.
posted by Thorzdad at 2:30 PM on March 17, 2009

My standard mushroom recipe.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 2:33 PM on March 17, 2009

A classic simple sauce: saute two tablespoons of onions in some butter and vegetable oil until golden, add two tablespoons of cubed pancetta or prosciutto (or bacon, if you must), let it sizzle for a couple of minutes, then add mushrooms and a can of cut up San Marzano tomatoes (including all liquids), add salt and freshly ground black pepper, let everything simmer, uncovered, for about thirty minutes or until it looks like a sauce to you. Serve with plenty of parmiggiano on spaghetti, or even better, fresh tonnarelli.
posted by halogen at 2:57 PM on March 17, 2009

Chanterelles and fiddleheads are wonderful together. Sautee them in butter, dump them on angel hair pasta, let me know when to be over.
posted by The corpse in the library at 3:07 PM on March 17, 2009

There are lots of tips (including my own) for simple but intensely flavored mushroom sautes for pasta in a similar thread here.
posted by mostlymartha at 3:12 PM on March 17, 2009 [1 favorite]

Chicken Marsala!!!
posted by sickinthehead at 3:32 PM on March 17, 2009

Best answer: Much like other posters, I like to keep it simple. Saute with olive oil/butter & garlic, season with salt & pepper, maybe some italian parsley or lemon juice.

When you saute, get your pan & oil really freakin' hot. This helps you get a nice sear on the outside of the mushrooms, while retaining moisture inside. Like i_am_joe's_spleen's recipe mentions, you don't want em to get soggy and leak. Sprinkle your shrooms with a bit of salt when you take em out of the pan.
posted by gnutron at 3:51 PM on March 17, 2009

Best answer: Presenting my personal favorite, invented on a hike with an ex- who spied a huge stand of brilliant orange chicken-of-the-woods off-trail:

Chicken-of-the-Woods Maquechou

2 Tbs butter (+ ½ tsp salt, if unsalted)
2 Tbs olive oil
1 medium onion
1-2 c Chicken-of-the-Woods (Laetiporus sulphurus, or preferably, Laetiporus cincinnatus)
1 small green pepper
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 ear corn
1 tsp cayenne pepper

Dice all vegetables except the corn into large pieces, and sauté the onion in oil & butter until translucent. With a sharp knife, shave the kernels off the corn cob into a large bowl (to catch flying bits), and then use the flat knife back to scrape the remaining pulp off the cob. Add the remaining vegetables (including the corn pulp) to the onions, and continue to sauté for another 10 min, allowing the spices to develop and blend.

True Cajun maquechou is made with peeled tomatoes, which would probably go well with this dish, too.

When we first made this dish, we had dried our mushrooms over a campfire, giving the dish a wonderful smoky flavor. Instead of having the "chicken" flavor that is so often described about this mushroom, they tasted just like Canadian bacon to me. So, if you can't smoke the mushrooms first, you might consider adding:
a dash of liquid smoke
posted by IAmBroom at 4:36 PM on March 17, 2009

Here's one I invented. Inspired by J.R.R. Tolkein.

Get yerself some top quality bacon. Jowl bacon if you can find it- it's fattier.

Chop that bacon up into small pieces, then throw it in a hot cast iron skillet. It doesn't have to be cast iron, technically, but we all know cast iron is best.

Cook that bacon down. You can go slow. Medium heat should do ya. Remove the bacon pieces when crisp. Don't forget that they will continue to cook a little after you remove them.

Now you've got a nice pan of bacon fat. Turn up the heat a little, and toss your shrooms in. You probably want to slice/chop them up a little first. Saute those suckers up. You can add a little fresh ground black pepper if you like.
When your shrooms are almost done, toss in a splash of white wine. Just a splash, don't soak em. You can skip this step if you are worried about covering up the flavor of your mushrooms, but I did it on a batch of morels and I didn't regret it.

Now all you have to do is put the bacon back in, and toss this stuff with some pasta! I like to put it on fresh egg noodles. Any type works.

posted by keep_evolving at 4:56 PM on March 17, 2009 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I've decided when I'm cooking mushrooms, I like to sweat them before adding any fats or oils.

I do this for most purposes - i.e. if using the mushrooms in an omelette or in a pasta sauce, the same technique is used:

- Turn on heat to a pan large enough to have one layer of mushrooms.
- Rough chop the mushrooms into like-sized pieces.
- Add the mushrooms and sprinkle with salt.
- Put on a top to cover the pan tightly.
- Turn the mushrooms after about five minutes, replace lid.
- Move the mushrooms to the other side of the pan, add oil or fat to the empty side
- Cook other aromatics in the oil.
- Mix the mushrooms and aromatics once the aromatics are cooked.

This accomplishes two things:
- You don't add as many calories because mushrooms soak up oil pretty fast
- You get a fabulous mushroom liquor that, when it boils out, will have a great taste due to our friend the Maillard reaction, and then lends itself to de-glazing.
posted by tomierna at 7:05 PM on March 17, 2009 [2 favorites]

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