If you say autumn you think to mushrooms, at least in cooking! In this season you can enjoy these amazing ingredients that can create delicious and tasty dishes. Mushrooms are perfect for hundreds of recipes and if you are greed of this weird gift of the woods, this article is perfect for you in order to learn how to cook and prepare them.
Before cooking mushrooms it is necessary to be sure at 100% that these mushrooms come from safe places and hands. In fact, as you all know, some spices of mushrooms are poisonous or toxic causing diseases more or less intense and they can be dangerous for our organism. Thus the advice is to buy them from groceries or from expert hand, do not become suddenly harvesters of mushrooms. In fact, there are varieties that can be similar to the edible ones but that are actually poisonous. Moreover, it is preferable to not exceed with the consumption of mushrooms.
How to clean mushrooms
It is important to clean them carefully. In fact, it is advisable not to soak them into water (in this way they will be release lots of liquids once cooked) but clean them without water or if it is necessary wash them quickly under water. The best technique to clean mushrooms is using a small knife to remove the base, the parts covered with earth, the ruined parts and small larva that you should check carefully. Once you removed the leftovers of earth brush them to remove dust or topsoil from the gills of the cap and finally you can use a humid rag to massage them carefully.
How to cut mushrooms and prepare them
There are two types of mushrooms: the first has a cap divided from the stalk whereas the second has a unique structure (such as Porcini). It is simple to understand it: in the former the two parts can be easily divided whereas in the latter it is necessary to cut them. You can cook the former, removing the stalk from the cap and dice the pieces, whereas the latter can be cooked with the stalk cut in slices.
How to cook mushrooms
The best way to cook mushrooms is in a pan with oil, sautéed garlic and parsley without adding water or other liquids. In fact you can stew them in the water that come out while cooking, and taste them with a soft cornmeal mush or as side dish of meats, braised meats or cheese. Mushrooms are useful as seasoning or to enrich strong dishes. Here you can find some ideas.
The savoury taste of mushrooms makes them perfect to create tasty canapés perfect as starters with a good wine. Toast some slices of bread and season them with chiodini or finferli, brie and few pieces of dried tomatoes, bake for few seconds and serve.
Or choose the traditional carpaccio of raw Porcino seasoned with oil and lemon. They are extraordinary also whipped to create creams or in oil, ready all year round.
With mushrooms you can use your imagination and creativity. Chiodini mushrooms are perfect cooked as a whole or cut in big pieces to season tagliatelle. If you prefer Porcini, you can cut them in small dices and prepare extraordinary risottos; in the coldest days prepare some pureed soups or soups of mixed mushrooms mixing finferli, chiodini, champignon and potatoes. Cut in small pieces and mix with cream and Parmesan to create an excellent sauce to season potatoes or pumpkin gnocchi.
Second courses and side dishes
The best wedding is mushrooms and grilled, braised or baked meat together with polenta but also with stringy cheese. If you want to try something different use mushrooms for a tasty omelette of finferli and gialletti or as stuffing for crepes together with gorgonzola cheese, taleggio or other savoury cheeses. You can also mix them with braised or stewed meat directly in the pot as rabbit or stewed beef. For a unique dish you should try the breaded and fried parasol mushrooms, a soufflé of mushrooms, sausages and potatoes or croquettes of mushrooms mixed with bread, cheese and spices.
A perfect side dish? Grated mushrooms with pecorino and parsley, and if you like you can also add cream and diced ham.