preserving mushrooms

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preserving mushrooms

Postby Ryan C » Thu Sep 16, 2010 2:29 pm

Help,

After a few good weeks foraging for mushrooms, I find myself looking for ways to preserve some of them so I can enjoy them over the winter. I've already dried a huge jar full and made a good amount of mushroom powder but I'm particularly keen to preserve some in pickle or brine like you may find in IKEA or LIDL. I've tried a couple of batches now and am no closer to a satisfactory result.
I tried a recipe that recommended boiling in vinegar and spices then storing in the pre-boiled vinegar for a couple of weeks but that was too vinegary.
I tried boiling in brine then storing in oil but the shrooms went soggy.
In the Ruhlman/Polcyn book it recommends brining vegetables for a couple of weeks so any lactic bacteria can acidify the veg giving it that nice sour taste and still preserve its crunch.
Anyone got any recommendations. Especially any of our Scandinavian friends(Grisell?) who's preservation techniques I particularly enjoy.

Thanks in advance

Ryan
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Re: preserving mushrooms

Postby grisell » Thu Sep 16, 2010 2:45 pm

Ryan C wrote:Help,

After a few good weeks foraging for mushrooms, I find myself looking for ways to preserve some of them so I can enjoy them over the winter. I've already dried a huge jar full and made a good amount of mushroom powder but I'm particularly keen to preserve some in pickle or brine like you may find in IKEA or LIDL. I've tried a couple of batches now and am no closer to a satisfactory result.
I tried a recipe that recommended boiling in vinegar and spices then storing in the pre-boiled vinegar for a couple of weeks but that was too vinegary.
I tried boiling in brine then storing in oil but the shrooms went soggy.
In the Ruhlman/Polcyn book it recommends brining vegetables for a couple of weeks so any lactic bacteria can acidify the veg giving it that nice sour taste and still preserve its crunch.

Anyone got any recommendations. Especially any of our Scandinavian friends(Grisell?) who's preservation techniques I particularly enjoy.

Thanks in advance

Ryan


Thanks for the praise! I don't know about fermented mushrooms, but this is a Russian recipe for pickle that I often use myself. You might find it too 'vinegary', but there's no reason why you couldn't dilute it:

1 litre mushrooms
400 ml distilled vinegar
5 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp salt
½ tbsp white peppercorns, whole
1 tsp cloves
1 tsp mace (or an equivalent piece of nutmeg)
1 clove garlic
2 bay leaves

Poach the mushrooms in salted water for 5 minutes. Drain and cool. Fill into jars.
Boil distilled vinegar, sugar, salt, garlic and spices for 5 minutes. Taste for salt and sugar (and dilute with water if too sour). Pour over mushrooms. Let stand for 1 day, then pour off the liquid and bring to a boil again. Pour over the mushrooms and let stand for 3 days before consumption. Keep refrigerated. Will keep for months.
André

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Postby Ryan C » Thu Sep 16, 2010 3:40 pm

Thanks Grisell,

This is very similar to a recipe I've already tried except your recipe contains a lot more salt and sugar.
Also,[quPoach the mushrooms in salted water for 5 minutes. Drain and cool. Fill into jarsote]
Maybe this is the answer. Most recipes recommend this too! I've been poaching in vinegar :oops:
I'll give this recipe a try except I'll use white wine vinegar as I just bought a load of it and it shouldn't be much different, a little milder maybe.

Anyone got any other mushroom preservation techniques?
Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated

Ryan[/quote]
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Postby Ryan C » Thu Sep 16, 2010 3:42 pm

I should really try to get the hang of these smileys/quotes etc....
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Postby grisell » Thu Sep 16, 2010 4:42 pm

How about this one? I haven't tried it, but it sure looks yummy:

http://www.ifood.tv/recipe/mushroom_pickles
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Postby Paul Kribs » Thu Sep 16, 2010 9:30 pm

Have you thought about Mushrooms à la grecque

Ingredients:

• 250 g (1/2 pound) white mushrooms. Choose them small and firm.
• the juice of 2 lemons
• 1/2 cup white wine (a dry one, e.g. Pino Grigio)
• 1/2 cup olive oil
• 1 teaspoon tomato paste
• 1 branch thyme
• 1 bay leaf
• about 20 whole coriander seeds
• salt and pepper

Preparation:
1. Clean the mushrooms (cut the end of the stem), wash them and dry them with a paper towel.
2. Mix together the olive oil, lemon juice, white wine and tomato paste. Add the whole coriander seeds.
3. Bring this sauce to a boil and keep at high heat for one minute.
4. Add the mushroom and boil (over medium-high heat) for 8 to 10 minutes, uncovered.
5. Let the mushrooms cool down then store in the fridge until it's time to eat!
Variants:
1. You can add 1/2 chopped yellow onion, 1 garlic clove and/or 1 cubed carrot to the sauce. Sautée the veggies first in olive oil, then add the other ingredients and bring the sauce to a boil.
2. You can use 2 fresh tomatoes instead of (or in addition to) the tomato paste. Cook the sauce a little longer before adding the mushrooms (otherwise it will be too liquid).
3. You can sprinkle the mushrooms with italian parsley once they are cooked.


I have no idea how long they would preserve for as they don't even make a week when I do them, but should last a while in a steralised Kilner jar.

I prefer the option of adding a large finely sliced garlic clove..

Regards, Paul Kribs
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Postby grisell » Fri Sep 17, 2010 12:35 am

I know that the Finnish way of preserving mushrooms (in Finland, hundreds of species are collected regularly compared to maybe ten in most other European countries) is to salt them. Maybe this is what you mean? Especially bitter species like some Lactarius benefit from this treatment.

Very simple: just layer with sea salt, 10-15% of the mushroom's weight. Press down with a weight. Fill in jars when the brine has developed. Before using, the mushrooms may have to be soaked in fresh water because of the excessive salt.
André

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Postby Ryan C » Fri Sep 17, 2010 12:56 pm

Thanks for the input guys!

After a visit to the shops yesterday, I returned with six different jars of preserved mushrooms in order to study the labels and taste the contents( Its a tough life! :wink: ) note - five were stored in oil and only one in brine, surprisingly there were none in vinegar yet all the labels listed vinegar as an ingredient( three listed lactic acid too!).

After some thought I decided to experiment with three different recipes:

1. Grisells first recipe except using slightly watered down white wine vinegar and a little less salt and sugar
2. Same recipe but stored in oil and given ten minutes in a bain marie.
3. Ruhlman/Polcyn's recipe with a little cure#2 for added safety

If I get a lot more this weekend I might select any young, firm ones (mushrooms that is!!) and give Paul's a la Greque a wee try.

I'll let you know the results of my experiments

Ryan
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Postby grisell » Fri Sep 17, 2010 8:38 pm

Here is what I managed to find in only twenty minutes in a park just outside my flat:

Image

Inky caps (Coprinus Comatus, Coprinus Acuminatus) and field or meadow mushrooms (Agaricus Campestris), 1,5 kg/3 lbs total.

I will take half and make the Russian recipe above, and half to the second recipe I posted above, which I haven't tried yet. I'll report back to you if I survive. :wink:

(Yes, I know about the bad combination of inky caps and alcohol. :cry: )
Last edited by grisell on Fri Sep 17, 2010 9:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
André

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Postby grisell » Fri Sep 17, 2010 9:08 pm

Ryan C wrote:Thanks for the input guys!

[---]

After some thought I decided to experiment with three different recipes:

1. Grisells first recipe except using slightly watered down white wine vinegar and a little less salt and sugar
2. Same recipe but stored in oil and given ten minutes in a bain marie.
3. Ruhlman/Polcyn's recipe with a little cure#2 for added safety

If I get a lot more this weekend I might select any young, firm ones (mushrooms that is!!) and give Paul's a la Greque a wee try.

I'll let you know the results of my experiments

Ryan


Be very careful about cutting down on the vinegar, sugar and salt in the recipe if you will change the liquid to oil later. You have to make sure there is enough salt, sugar and acid in the final product to prevent anareobic bacterial growth (e.g. botulism which could be very serious).

Why do you want to run the preserves in a bain marie?

Besides, I'm not sure that adding nitrite to pickled mushrooms is a good idea. In such an acidic environment, poisonous nitrous oxide will form readily and although the amount probably is minimal, God knows what kind of reaction can take place inside the 'chemical cocktail' that a mushroom is. I can't prove it's bad, but I've never heard it being done before, and it just gives me a bad feeling.
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Postby grisell » Mon Sep 20, 2010 12:42 am

grisell wrote:
I will take half and make the Russian recipe above, and half to the second recipe I posted above, which I haven't tried yet. I'll report back to you if I survive. :wink:


So, I've tried them. The Russian recipe, as always, is something I really appreciate. A strong flavor of cloves which goes well with mushrooms. Nice texture.

The other recipe is worthless, I think. There are as much veggies in it as mushrooms and the taste is really bland. It didn't get any better when I added the olive oil. Waste of mushrooms and some quite expensive groceries.

I'm still looking for a good recipe of mushrooms in oil.
André

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Postby Ryan C » Mon Sep 20, 2010 4:20 pm

Those are some nice looking mushrooms Grisell! :shock:

After your post regarding nitrites and mushrooms, I decided to bin the jar because I'm a bit of a wimp :( (they went a bit soggy anyway and the roughstalks went a sort of greeny colour)

On a brighter note; the Russian recipe tastes great already and I'm sure the flavours will develop over the next few weeks (the cloves are a revelation with mushrooms by the way)

The other jar I made was using the Russian pickle with a little added tarragon. However, I poached the mushrooms in the pickle for five minutes before straining out the mushrooms, bay cloves and garlic. I then put these into a sterilised jar and filled with sunflower oil before giving the jar 15 minutes in a boiling bain marie ( I've read that this adds a bit of extra safety- even though I know Clostridium spores can easily tolerate this temperature). Anyway, I ate some last night and I seem to have dodged the botulism bullet for now. I would say though, these were a bit bland. I could still taste the cloves and a hint of garlic but not much else.

I think I''l give up on the oil storage for now, the more I read, the more paranoid I become :?

I also have over 700g of mushroom powder I'm looking forward to using. In the past I've used it as a thickener or to add extra flavour to soups and risottos but it has occurred to me that I should be able to use it in things like breads, pastries, pancakes etc. I plan on using the very fine dust from the bottom of the jar to make some gnocchi and some homemade pasta which I can dry and store.
All ideas welcome :D :D

p.s. Grisell, is it safe enough to pickle those common ink caps in your picture? I know that vinegar is produced through the fermentation ethanol (common ink caps and ethanol are a deadly combination :shock: ) but I note that you use distilled vinegar. Do you know if the distillation process ensures that the vinegar is alcohol free or is this achieved when the pickle is boiled? Am I safe to use any vinegar for such mushrooms?

I'm off for a nervous breakdown!!! :?

Hopefully you're still alive but if I don't get a reply within the next couple of days then all the best to your family and I'll stick to the shaggy ink caps in future! :wink:

Ryan
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Postby grisell » Mon Sep 20, 2010 11:54 pm

That greenish color seems strange. I think I would have binned them too.

Yes, I agree on that Russian recipe and that the use of cloves to mushrooms is apt.

I forgot to tell you, that I use to add some sunflower oil on top. When they are taken ou off the jar, they get coated with oil which softens the acidity and enhances flavor. I recommend you use bitter mushrooms for this preserve. That will be much tastier. Especially Lactaria. Do you have any of these where you live?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lactarius_deterrimus
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lactarius_torminosus
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lactarius_rufus

Don't get deterred by the last two's extremely bitter taste. They are not poisonous! The bitterness disappears after 10 minutes of boiling in plenty of slightly salted water, leaving a piquant, peppery aftertaste. (Of course, after this treatment they are ready for canning and don't need a second boil).

I will also give up oil storage, not so much for the sake of botulism (I think they are ok in the fridge if consumed within weeks but I wouldn't recommend long-term storage).

You are right, the grey and "hunch" inky caps have an Antabus effect which the "shaggy" inky cap doesn't have. However, any alcohol present in the vinegar would have disappeared in the boiling. I have never had any bad effects from these mushrooms, except the torment of having to avoid alcohol for three days. :wink:

Actually, I won't pick them anymore. I will also stick to the shaggy ones. Since I usually don't eat all my mushrooms myself, I don't want to put others at risk because of this Antabus effect. Besides, Russian pickled mushrooms are great on the Russian smorgasbord table, and we know what's supposed to be drunk to that...
André

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Postby grisell » Tue Sep 21, 2010 12:45 am

Below, today's harvest:

Image

Mostly inky caps (the shaggy ones that don't interfer with alcohol) with some chanterelles, false saffron milk-caps (Lactarius deterrimus) and Albatrellus ovinus.

Image

Here, they are boiling in their own liquid with a pinch of sea salt.

Image

When almost all the liquid had evaporated, I strained them. About ½ cup of intensely black ( :shock: ) gravy remained. The colour obviously came from the inky caps. It has a strong and delicious mushroom aroma and I will use it in my next batches of home-made pasta. It's an idea I got when I saw the colour. It's very difficult to get octopus ink here to dye pasta.

I'm already thinking black tagliatelle with creamy mushroom sauce, black cannelloni with meat and chicken liver filling, black fettucine Alfredo with only cream and Parmesan... :drool:

I'll be back and report about that for sure! :wink:
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Postby Sam Newman » Tue Nov 16, 2010 5:51 am

I usually store them in Manuka Honey. dried or fresh. Has anyone tryed flyagaric mushrooms? They were eaten by the vikings and are quite nice if prepared well.
You can lead a dog to water, but you can't make him a horse.
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