AT THE MARKET: MUSHROOMS
Did you know that mushrooms are great for boosting your immune system? They’re loaded with tons of minerals, antioxidants, and vitamins to help keep you healthy and strong and surprisingly satisfying as a meat substitute.
E&H Farms, an Oakdale producer, cultivates a variety of 100% organic gourmet mushrooms in climate-controlled grow rooms—cinnamon caps, shiitakes, oysters, as well as prized seasonal fungi like lion's mane, reishi, wood ear, king trumpet, and maitake mushrooms. You can find them on Sunday’s at Walnut Creek’s Downtown Farmers’ Market.
DON’T CROWD THE MUSHROOMS! This technique is key for creating mushrooms rich in umami flavor every time. Cook mushrooms on their own in a dry sauté. Heat a cast-iron or other skillet to medium-high heat. Chop or slice them as you normally do. Throw the chopped mushrooms into the heated pan and stir occasionally. In a minute or two they will begin to release water. Keep stirring and cooking for a few minutes until the mushrooms begin to brown and the water is gone. Add butter or olive oil and garlic. Add a pinch of salt to taste. Delish!
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
1-pound chanterelles, black trumpet, oyster, or cremini mushrooms, roughly chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
½ cup minced yellow onion
4 oz grated Oaxaca or domestic Muenster cheese
4 oz grated panela or aged mozzarella cheese
4 oz grated cotija or Parmesan cheese
⅓ cup finely chopped cilantro leaves
½ teaspoon dried oregano
Pinch of ground coriander
8 8-inch flour or corn tortillas
Place a medium sauté pan over medium-high heat and add 2 tablespoons vegetable oil. When oil shimmers, add mushrooms and a generous pinch of salt. Sauté until mushrooms release their liquid, and begin to brown, about 10 minutes. Add onions. Sauté, adjusting heat as necessary, until onions are soft and the entire mixture is golden brown, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
Using a food processor or a knife, finely chop mushroom-onion mixture, then transfer to a large bowl. Add grated cheeses, cilantro, oregano, and coriander. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Place a large well-seasoned skillet over medium heat, add the remaining 2 tablespoons vegetable oil. While pan heats, place a large spoonful of mushroom-cheese mixture into the center of a tortilla and fold tortilla in half to make a half-moon. Place filled tortilla in preheated skillet and cook, turning once, until tortilla is browned on both sides and cheese is melted. Repeat to make 8 filled tortillas. Serve immediately.
Serves 6, as a side
6 cups fresh curly kale, cut into 1-2-inch sections
1/2 stick butter (or 4 tablespoons olive oil)
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1 tub button or cremini sliced mushrooms
1 large yellow onion, sliced into 1" pieces
6 slices of cooked bacon, crumbled
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 cup chicken or vegetable broth
In a large pan, melt butter at medium-high heat. Sauté’ mushrooms, onions, and garlic for about 5 minutes, until onions are translucent and browning. Add balsamic and bacon pieces to the pan and stir to combine, sautéing 1-2 minutes. Add fresh kale and chicken broth, and cook until kale is fully wilted, about 4 minutes or until tender. Serve hot.
CINNAMON CAP MUSHROOM AND RICOTTA BRUSCHETTA
A cute little clustered mushroom, recognizable by its striking golden-orange color, the cinnamon cap is characterized by its crisp texture and earthy flavor. Like oyster mushrooms, they’re also great in stir-fry, miso soup or a quick pasta sauce along with olive oil, garlic, cherry tomatoes, miniature red peppers, and chives.
Extra-virgin olive oil
3 oz cinnamon cap mushrooms, trimmed
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
2 miniature sweet red peppers, seeded and sliced
4 tablespoons ricotta cheese, drained
A few sprouts of chives, snipped
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 slices sourdough bread
Put a heavy frying pan, big enough to hold mushrooms in one layer, over medium-high heat, and add a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil. Add garlic and shake the pan to coat garlic with olive oil. Add mushrooms and peppers, salt, and pepper. Sauté’ gently for a few minutes until peppers have softened and mushrooms are golden. Drizzle bread slices with a bit of olive oil and toast under the broiler on both sides. Divide ricotta, top on each slice of bread, finish with sautéed vegetables, sprinkle with chives.