Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Shiitake Mushroom Update & Recipe

If there is one thing we've learned in our two years of "growing" shiitake mushrooms it is that if we want mushrooms, we can't ignore the logs.  At least not in these first couple years.

Last year, we didn't have an ideal way to soak the logs (remember- they enjoy a nice dip in temperature before triggering a bloom of mushrooms) and we often just plumb to forgot to even attempt the soakings and thus ate very few mushrooms.

This was the way this past summer was going as well until Jamey bought a heavy duty trash can- big enough to submerge them.  Oh, and we (he) remembered to submerge them.  That's a very important part.  And surprise, surprise- we were gifted with mushrooms.

I finally had enough to actually make something!  I vaguely remembered a recipe in a Molly Katzen cookbook I used to own for a broccoli and mushroom main dish that called for egg noodles.

I couldn't remember any more details and didn't like the recipes I came across online that called for cans of mushroom soup. Piecing some things together from several recipes, I came up with a rice-based dish that turned out very nicely.  Maybe it was because they're shiitake mushrooms or the fact that they were fresh, but this dish held it's mushroom flavor beautifully.  Sometimes I eat something with mushrooms and I can't even taste them.  This is not the case with this dish.

It was creamy and tasty- perfect for cooler days and delicious reheated for lunch the next day.  Molly Katzen, eat your heart out.  Seriously.  I really would invite her over for lunch and serve her some if she'd like to come.

Shiitake Mushroom and Broccoli Casserole
This recipe fills a 9 x 13 inch pan.  I divided it between two 8 x 8 pans, freezing one prior to baking for another day.  I used three-fourths brown rice and one-fourth quinoa.

6 cups cooked brown rice (or a combination of brown rice and quinoa)
4 cups steamed broccoli florets, chopped in bite-sized peices, or the equivalent of frozen broccoli, thawed
6 tbsp. butter
4 tbsp. flour
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups shiitake mushrooms, washed and chopped
3/4 tsp. chili powder
1 1/2 cup milk
1 1/2 cup sour cream (I used light)
1 cup vegetable broth
3-4 cups shredded Monterrey Jack cheese, divided
3-4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Cook the brown rice (with the quinoa, if using, according to the brown rice directions). Transfer the cooked rice to a large mixing bowl.  Steam the broccoli, drain it and add it to the rice.  In a large sauce pan, melt the butter.  Whisk in the 4 tbsp. of flour, stirring over medium high heat until it thickens and turns light brown. Add the minced garlic and continue to simmer while stirring.  Add the ingredients mushrooms through vegetable broth and combine well, stirring often over medium heat until well heated through.

Add two-thirds of the cheese and stir until it's melted.  Add the mushrooms to the rice and broccoli and mix gently.  Season with salt and pepper making sure to taste to get the salt just right.  Transfer to a greased 9 x 13 inch pan (or two 8 x 8 pans) and top with the remaining cheese.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until the cheese on top begins to brown lightly.  Let sit 10 minutes and serve.

To read about our experience with growing shiitake mushrooms, go here and read from the bottom post up.
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  1. Wow, those are absolutely beautiful mushrooms! Shiitakes (sp?) are supposedly nutritionally power-packed, but I don't buy them too often because of the price at our organic co-op. Now you've got me thinking about yet ANOTHER homesteady type project . . .

  2. Still have mushrooms? This is the best thing we made this spring with Mushroom Man's Wild mushroom offerings.

  3. Your pictures took me down memory lane. My Mom and Stepdad had a business growing these many years ago. They are so tasty. I don't remember them soaking the logs, but they did have irrigation to water them down. I haven't tried growing mushrooms, but maybe I'll give this a try.


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