Dried Mushroom Primer and a Chicken Recipe



Dried mushrooms are a cook’s friend when there’s no time or ability to go grocery shopping for fresh mushrooms. I have kept dried mushrooms as long as10 years without a worry of food spoilage. Not that I’d recommend keeping them that long, but I got carried away and bought two pounds once and they lasted me much longer than I thought possible. That was in part to me gifting some of them to my mother-in-law who re-gifted them back to me 9 years later. The mushrooms were still dry and delicious.

Dried mushrooms come in many varieties. My favorite are chanterelles, Maitake, porcini, and portabella. The flavor of dried mushrooms is a bit stronger than fresh mushrooms and are best suited for soups, stews, and sauces. I’ve also ground up dried mushrooms in a spice grinder and incorporated them in homemade pasta with excellent results.

Full of Vitamin D

Mushrooms, both fresh and dried, are an excellent source of vitamin D and potassium. At a mushroom talk at Phillips Mushrooms in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania I learned that if you take fresh shitake mushrooms and place them gills up in the sun, the amount of vitamin D increases significantly. What a tasty way to get a dose of vitamin D!

Using dried mushrooms couldn’t be easier. In most cases it’s best to soak them in water or wine for around ten minutes before using. If your dried mushrooms are raised at an indoor farm, you don’t have to be concerned about grit in them.

If they were wild mushrooms growing in the forest or field before being dried, you still need to soak them, then after 10 minutes give them a gentle stir to let the grit settle on the bottom. Next, take a fork, or slotted spoon to remove the mushrooms, leaving the grit on the bottom of the bowl you soaked them in. Use all but the bottom of portion of the mushroom liquid to add flavor to your dish.

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