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The Mushroom Lover's: Mushroom Cookbook and Primer

The Mushroom Lover's: Mushroom Cookbook and Primer

by Amy Farges

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No one has done more to popularize mushrooms in America than Amy Farges, food writer and co-owner of the national mushroom distributor Aux Delices Des Bois. And now that Ms. Farges made sure mushrooms are available, she shows what to do with them. The Mushroom Cookbook and Primer is an inspiration-a mushroom extravaganza with 175 exquisite yet easy-to-make


No one has done more to popularize mushrooms in America than Amy Farges, food writer and co-owner of the national mushroom distributor Aux Delices Des Bois. And now that Ms. Farges made sure mushrooms are available, she shows what to do with them. The Mushroom Cookbook and Primer is an inspiration-a mushroom extravaganza with 175 exquisite yet easy-to-make recipes, plus a Mushroom 101 guide to selecting, storing, cleaning, and cooking, plus a primer with full profiles and photographs of 40 exotic mushrooms.

Full of sweet succulence, toothsome crunch, and haunting flavors from earthy to fruity to seafood-like, mushrooms offer the home cook a dazzling range of possibilities. Here are finger foods: Morels with Calvados, Ovoli and Fig Crostini, Wild Mushroom Bruschetta. Lighter offerings: Porcini Carpaccio, Cream of Asparagus Soup with Roasted Cremini, Blewitt and Crab Rolls. Glorious pairings: Risotto with Corn and Chanterelles, Sirloin Steak with Wine Caps, Mustard-coated Lamb Chops with Wild Oysters, Truffled Lobster with Cilantro Butter, Duck and Shiitake Tortillas. And the unexpected: Black Trumpet Biscuits, Portobello and Basil Salsa, Hen of the Wood Ravioli. A dozen fitting mushroomless desserts offer the irresistible finish.

Editorial Reviews

San Francisco Chronicle
...can guide lovers of the edible fungi into new territory... the information is solid and the recipes tempting.
A mouth-watering compendium of more than 175 recipes, Amy Farges' The Mushroom Lover's Mushroom Cookbook And Primer is enhanced with a "Mushroom 101" guide and an innovative shopping and preparation primer for more than 30 edible fungi. From Crepe Pouches with Shiitakes, Seared Cod with Porcini a la Grecque, and Lamb Broth with Autumn Mushrooms and Pearl Barley, to Mushroom Cornmeal Muffins, and Old-World Polenta, The Mushroom Lover's Mushroom Cookbook And Primer offers a cornucopia of delicious eating inspired by common and exotic mushrooms, and eminently suitable both for family meals and special event celebrations.

Product Details

Workman Publishing Company, Inc.
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
7.42(w) x 9.22(h) x 0.97(d)

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Read an Excerpt

Happy Turkey Scaloppine

The day Chris prepared this spring-like dish of turkey cutlets, I was not in a good mood. One bite changed my outlook. The garnish of spring peas and plain old goodness of the morels did the trick and now Happy Turkey is my family's pick-me-up dinner.

1 ounce (about 1 1/2 cups) small dried morels or 1/4 pound fresh morels

1 1/2 cups canned low-sodium chicken broth

1 pound turkey cutlets, cut into 8 pieces

Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

All-purpose flour

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 cup very thin matchsticks of carrot

1 cup frozen baby peas, defrosted and drained, or 1 cup lightly cooked fresh peas

2 tablespoons dry sherry, or dry white wine

2 tablespoons fresh flat-leaf parsley

2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives

1 teaspoon chopped fresh tarragon

1. If using dried morels, bring the stock to a boil in a small saucepan. Pour the stock over the mushrooms in a heatproof bowl. Let stand until the mushrooms are softened, about 20 minutes. Drain the mushrooms, straining the soaking liquid through a coffee filter or a sieve lined with a double thickness of cheesecloth. Press on the mushrooms to remove as much liquid as possible. Rinse the mushrooms to remove as much grit as possible, then drain thoroughly. Set the mushrooms and liquid aside separately.

2. Place the turkey cutlets between 2 pieces of plastic wrap. Pound lightly with a meat mallet or the bottom of a small, heavy saucepan to an even 1/2 inch thickness. Sprinkle both sides lightly with salt and pepper. Coat both sides lightly with flour.

3. Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter and the oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat until the butter just begins to brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Add as many of the cutlets as will fit without touching. Cook just until lightly golden brown on the underside, about 11Z2 minutes. Turn and cook the second side just until golden brown, no more than 1 minute. Quickly remove the cutlets from the skillet to prevent overcooking and repeat with the remaining pieces if necessary.

4. Add the morels, carrot, and peas to the pan. Increase the heat to high and cook until any liquid has evaporated, about 2 minutes. Pour in the mushroom soaking liquid or stock and sherry and add the remaining 1 tablespoon butter, the parsley, chives, and tarragon. Bring to a boil. Tuck the cutlets into the liquid. Boil until the liquid is reduced to make just enough sauce to lightly coat the turkey and vegetables, about 2 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper if necessary. Transfer the cutlets to 4 serving plates and top each portion with some of the vegetable mix and sauce. Serve immediately.

Portobello and Basil Salsa

If you're in the habit of grilling, the portobellos can be grilled one day, and turned into this delicious salsa the next (or the next). Roasted cremini make an equally tasty salsa.

4 Roasted Portobello Caps

1/2 cup finely diced ripe tomato or sun-dried tomato

1/2 cup finely diced red onion

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt, or more if needed

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or more if needed

1/2 cup very finely shredded fresh basil leaves

To roast the mushroom caps: Preheat the oven to 400F. Remove the stems from the mushrooms and wipe the caps clean. Lightly oil a baking pan with olive oil and rub some oil into the tops of the caps. Sprinkle the mushrooms with salt and pepper. Place the caps, gill side up, on the baking pan. Roast for 10 minutes. Turn and roast until the mushrooms are tender and well-browned, about 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and sprinkle the mushrooms with vinegar, if desired.

Cut off and discard the gills from the mushrooms. Cut the remaining cap into 1/4-inch dice. You should have about 1 1/2 cups. Toss the diced mushrooms with the tomato, onion, oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Let stand at room temperature, tossing occasionally, 2 hours. (The mushroom mixture may be refrigerated, covered with plastic wrap, for up to 1 day; bring to room temperature before serving.)

Add the basil and toss to mix. Check the seasoning, adding salt and pepper if necessary. Serve within 1 hour after adding the basil.

Fin de SiScle Cream of Mushroom Soup

Gone are the days of ornate soup tureens and sixteen-course meals, and with it, heavy, porridge-like cream soups. My version of classic cream of mushroom soup is thickened with potato, and the cream is optional. The mix of mushrooms gives the soup a well-rounded flavor, and the leeks add sweetness and color.

3 leeks (about 1 1/2 pounds), trimmed, white and light green parts only

8 ounces shiitakes

8 ounces (about 2 large) portobellos

8 ounces cremini

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter

1 large (about 8 ounces) russet potato, peeled and cut into 2-inch cubes

1 ounce (about 1 cup) dried porcini

8 cups hot water

2 tablespoons dry sherry

Kosher salt or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/4 to 1/3 cup heavy (or whipping) cream, (optional)

1/4 cup chopped fresh chives

Mushroom-Dust Croutons (optional; page 240)

Cut the leeks into white and green parts. Cut all parts in half lengthwise, keeping the parts separate, then cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick strips. Rinse leeks as described, keeping the whites and greens separate.

Trim the stems off all the mushrooms and coarsely chop them. Set aside. Cut the portobello caps into quarters and with a paring knife, cut off the black gills on the underside of the cap. Peel and discard the dark outer layer from the portobello caps; it should lift off easily. Slice all the mushroom caps 1/4 inch thick.

Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a heavy 4-quart pot over medium heat. Add the potato, leek whites, and mushroom stems and stir to coat with butter. Cover and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile place the dried porcini in a medium-size bowl and add 2 cups of hot water. Soak until softened, about 20 minutes. Drain, straining the soaking liquid through a coffee filter or a sieve lined with a double thickness of cheesecloth. Rinse the mushrooms to remove any grit and coarsely chop them.

Add the mushroom soaking liquid, 2 cups of hot water, and the chopped dried mushrooms to the pot. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce the heat, and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes.

Working in batches, transfer the contents of the pot to a blender and blend on low speed until smooth. Return each batch to the pot and, when all is blended, add 4 cups of hot water.

Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the leek greens and sliced mushrooms. Cook, tossing the mushrooms so they cook evenly, until they are wilted and begin to release their liquid, about 5 minutes. Increase the heat to high and cook until the liquid is evaporated, about 5 minutes. Add the sherry and boil until evaporated, about 2 minutes. Transfer the contents of the skillet to the soup pot. Heat the soup to a simmer, add salt and pepper to taste, and stir in the cream. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.

Serve the soup hot, sprinkled with chopped chives and croutons, if desired.

Meet the Author

Amy Farges, along with her husband Thierry, founded and operated the wild mushroom company Aux Delices des Bois for 11 years. Currently they distribute mushrooms through their catalog, Marche aux Delices. A classmate of Steven Raichlen and Susan Herrmann Loomis at La Varenne cooking school in Paris, Ms. Farges has written articles for Fine Cooking, Food & Wine, and Brides magazine. She lives in New York.

Christopher Styler has enormous culinary range. He is a chef, cookbook writer, editor, restaurant consultant, and culinary producer of some of PBS-TV’s most successful cooking series. He lives in New Jersey.

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