Mushrooms in the kitchen
MUSHROOMS IN THE KITCHEN
Function of mushrooms in the kitchen
The edible mushrooms are used mainly in the kitchen with a double function: as food, they are very light and adequate in diets to lose weight .
For their aromatic and taste properties, they give a very pleasant flavor to stews.
Which mushrooms to choose?
Wild mushrooms can be picked only during the season time. To dispose of mushrooms throughout the year, Man has learned to cultivate them.
In the market we can buy cultivated mushrooms. Mushroom cultivation has managed to lower prices and bring this food to most families.
Among the most common mushrooms we can find in the market, we have the common mushroom varieties (Agaricus bisporus) and other more sophisticated varieties such as Crimini and Portabello. This is a larger and more musky smelling variety from Paris. When collected when fully open, it has a broad and thick cup that you can eat better when roasted or fried.
Crimini Mushrooms are actually Portabello mushrooms collected in an immature state and are therefore smaller and more tender.
Mushrooms for weight loss
In the first case, we have to take into account that mushrooms can not be abused in large quantities, because they can be indigestible. It must also be taken into account that, when preparing mushrooms, that their caloric content will depend a lot on how to cook them.
For example, roasted or stewed mushrooms or those served raw in salad contain very few calories, but the habit of frying mushrooms adds to the food a very high amount of fat, product of the oil in which the frying has been done .
In case of frying mushrooms, if we want to avoid an excess of fat, it is convenient to extract them from the frying pan with a palette provided with holes and leave them on a plate in whose bottom paper napkins have been placed to absorb the excess of fat.
How to wash and prepare mushrooms
Before using mushrooms, they should be washed well to remove the damaged parts and traces of soil or organic matter that may be in them. They absorb water in large quantities so that, if the washing is not done properly, they can absorb too much and become too soft.
If they have dirt or other debris, the best way to wash them, is to scrub them with a damp cloth and then pass them quickly under running water so as the water pressure can remove the dirt.
They should not be left to soak for too long in order them not to absorb too much liquid. They can also be cleaned using vinegar to clean their surface. After cleaning them, we will rinse them with a little water.
How to cut mushrooms
Common mushroom cut in half
Following the washing process, mushroom must be cut adequately. First, we will remove the stem that is often too hard or contains traces of soil or too much dirt.
Once removed, this part will be put apart from the cap. Fundamentally, the cap is good for most dishes, while the stem is usually set aside for making soups or fillings.
To cut the cap, we will put each mushroom horizontally with the stem placed at the bottom and, using a sharp knife, we will make vertical parallel cuts, so that the cap will be cut into parallel slices about 2 or 3 mm thick.
How to cook mushrooms?
Used to give flavor and aroma is the way mushrooms acquire their true culinary dimension.
Preparation of mushrooms
Among the main tips that we must take into account when preparing mushrooms we must mention the following:
Cleaned and prepared mushrooms
Consume fresh mushrooms: Fresh mushrooms are the only ones that guarantee a good state, since as time goes by since they have been collected there is a greater possibility that insect larvae will develop inside. We must not forget that many insects lay their eggs inside them and these go unnoticed to our eyes until the larvae hatch and hatch. The freshly cut mushrooms are the most reliable in this regard. It is necessary to insist once again that we should only cook those specimens that we know for certain are edible.
Clean properly: Mushrooms contain many traces of soil and organic matter, such as pieces of leaves, twigs, animal remains, etc. It is therefore necessary to carry out a thorough cleaning before starting to cook them. To do this we will soak them for about thirty minutes in clean water and then rinse them with plenty of water. To facilitate cleaning they can be left to soak in hot water or even to scald them.
Eliminate the inadequate parts: After the main wash we will eliminate those parts that are not in good conditions. We will also discard the foot when it is not too edible, such as in fibrous mushrooms, mushrooms with cork texture or too spongy. It is also necessary to remove the outer skin or cuticle when it is hard or hooked.
How to cook mushrooms
When cooking, we will consider the following tips:
They should not be cooked in metal pots: Metal utensils, except stainless steel, color mushrooms and can change their flavor, therefore they can not be used to cook them. The best one is clay, although you can also use others such as stainless steel, porcelain or glass.
They should not be cooked on a high heat: Mushrooms need to be cooked on a low heat so that they can get the right flavor and aroma. So that their aromas do not dissappear, we will use a lid with which we will cover at all times the container where they are cooking
THE BEST MUSHROOMS RECIPES
Mushrooms can be cooked in many ways. Among the main preparations we have the following:
Mushrooms grilled or grilled
It is a type of preparation in which mushrooms are the main ingredient. Made on wood embers is the way they are most delicious. It is advisable to heat the iron well and place it on a few coals so that mushrooms can be gradually made. If we do not have the possibility to make them on firewood, we will place the iron on the stove and then, when hot, we will place the mushrooms, reducing the intensity of the fire so that they can be cooked little by little.
The best mushrooms to be grilled are those that have a thick meat, an adequate size and its surface is very smooth, such as saffron milk cap or red pine mushroom (Lactarius deliciosus), peppery milk-cap (Lactarius piperatus) and golden chanterelle mushrooms (Cantharellus cibarius) If we want to eat common mushrooms it is better to use the Portabello variety, which is much bigger and meatier than the normal variety or mushroom from Paris.
* See recipe for grilled or baked mushrooms
Recipes of stewed mushrooms
Mushrooms can be prepared in stews of meat as an accompaniment. Prepared in this way, they give the meat its characteristic aromas and flavor.
However, for people who want to make a diet preferably vegetarian or for all people in general, it is very convenient to prepare them in stew without meat, constituting themselves the main protein and taking the place of meat.
Although mushrooms do not have the same protein value as meat, due to their special texture they remind meat, so they can be prepared in a similar way.
There are many varieties of stewed mushroom recipes, but the most convenient and healthy are those that only use natural plant foods.
* See recipe of stewed mushrooms
In this case, mushrooms are combined with other vegetables to eat raw. Mushrooms cut into thin slices are a good type of mushrooms to eat raw in salad.
* See recipe for mushroom salad
Mushroom vegetable pates
The texture of mushrooms is used to make vegetable pates. In this case mushrooms do the function that the liver performs in the pates of animal type. Among the very delicious pates we have the pate made with mushrooms.
They can even be eaten as a main ingredient in proving particularly tasty starters when combined with herbs and a little lemon. (See recipe of )
Other mushroom recipes:
More information about mushrooms in the listing above.
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