More October Delicacies

Mushrooms: I love them.  At the West Acton farmers market all Fall, one of the exciting vendors was Myco Terra Farm, a provider of fresh local gourmet mushrooms.  Early this month I was shopping there, and I saw some mushrooms that were totally new to me: Lion’s Mane and Chicken Mushrooms.  They could not be more different.

Lion's Mane and Chicken muishrooms Lion's Mane muishrooms

Lion’s Mane is delicate, looks like a small, shaggy brain, and needs to be cooked simply to bring out its charming flavor.  Chicken mushrooms are firm, sturdy, and need to ne cooked more slowly for longer times, and indeed, they are reminiscent of breast of chicken.  I thinly sliced the Lion’s Mane and sautéed it with olive oil until lightly browned in a skillet.  Finished with a little lemon juice and Maldon sea salt, it made a delicious appertizer, reminiscent of the flavors and texture of crab meat.

cooked Lion's Mane mushrooms

On the other hand I cut moderately-thick slices of the Chicken Mushrooms and decided to braise them with vegetables and white wine.  A very good choice.

Braised Chicken muishrooms & vegs-2

Here’s my approach to the Chicken Mushroom recipe:

  • 1 leek, cut into 1/4″ to 1/2″ slices
  • 1 small onion, peeled and cut vertically into small wedges
  • 1″ knob of fresh ginger root, trimmed and diced
  • take a sauté pan, add as much olive oil as you’re comfortable with, and sauté the aromatics above over moderate heat until tender and lightly colored
  • 1 carrot, peeled and cut into small pieces
  • broccoli florets, cut into small pieces
  • Chicken Mushrooms, sliced 1/4″-1/3″ thick and then cut into medium sized pieces
  • add the three vegetables above to the pan, along with salt and pepper to taste
  • sauté for a few minutes so that the vegetables have begun to be tender
  • add 1/4 cup or more of a dry white wine, and cook until alcohol has evaporated
  • add 1/2 pint of homemade vegetable stock and simmer until tender
  • add more stock if needed
  • serve in pasta bowls

Each was marvelous, in its own way.

Next on the agenda was some Greek cooking.  When in Portland, OR, I went to Powell’s Book Store, an amazing place.  My only purchase there was a cookbook (naturally), in this case about the foods of the Greek islands.  It kept me happily occupied on the coast-to-coast flight home, and it supplied several very good meals later.  Here is one.

Foods of the Greek Islands braised zucchini and green beans with oregano greens and rice vegetable ricxe soup Odoardi Vini di Calabria

On a different night I made a greens and potato gratin, served with a Jan D’Amore-sourced Rossese di Dolceacqua from Liguria.

Rossese Rossese-2

potato and greens gratin

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