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The bounty of mushrooms available at local fall markets inspires creative cooking from sautes to soups, stews and great breakfasts. Many vendors carry a mix of interesting varieties ranging from maitake to shiitake, oyster mushrooms and the impressive king oyster.
In most major grocery stores, the variety has blossomed from the ubiquitous white button to fresh, aromatic shiitake, pale brown, tender creminis and large portobellos.
When I’m in an area that allows foraging, I set out with a basket and sharp knife to harvest maitake, chicken of the woods and chanterelles. It’s important to follow local authorities’ rules about foraging areas, personal limits and guidelines. Always bring a picture guide with you to identify edible varieties; never touch or eat any mushroom you are unsure about as it could sicken you.
Wherever you acquire your mushrooms, be sure to store them properly to avoid slime. Wipe or brush them clean, then tuck them into an open basket lined with paper toweling or a brown paper sack. The paper gathers any moisture the mushrooms give off thereby preventing a slimy exterior. Refrigerate and use the mushrooms within a few days.
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Better yet, while they are at their peak of freshness, slice and saute the mushrooms with plenty of onion, garlic and butter. After cooling, store the mixture in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to a week or freezer for several months. Add these sauteed mushrooms to burgers, baked potatoes, stir-fries, soups and stews.
Sauteed mushrooms, tucked into creamy scrambled eggs with a sprinkling of fresh herbs, will be the highlight of any fall weekend breakfast. Make the eggs extra luxurious by scrambling them with heavy cream and dotting the top with nuggets of soft cheese. A dash of truffle oil sends the simple dish over the top.
Serve the eggs with a side of sliced ripe tomatoes and buttered toast.
Luxurious Scrambled Eggs with Mushrooms and Goat Cheese
Note: Use any fresh mushrooms you like, from regular white button to small portobellos in the recipe that follows. Be sure to wipe the mushrooms clean, then trim the bottoms. Slice through the stems into pieces about 1/4 inch thick. (If using shiitake mushrooms, discard the stems.)
- 2 tablespoons expeller pressed canola oil or safflower oil
- 1 large shallot or the white portions of 4 green onions, finely chopped
- 4 loosely packed cups of assorted fresh mushrooms, trimmed, sliced, 8 to 10 ounces total
- 6 to 8 large eggs
- 2 to 3 tablespoons heavy whipping cream or half-and-half
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 or 2 tablespoons butter
- About 1/4 cup crumbled soft goat cheese
- 2 teaspoons truffle oil, optional
- 2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh chives or green onion tops
1. Heat a large 10- to 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot. Add canola oil and shallot. Saute 2 minutes; add sliced mushrooms. Saute until mushrooms are slightly golden, 6 to 7 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
2. Whisk together eggs, 2 tablespoons cream, and the salt and pepper in a medium-size bowl. Return the skillet to the heat and add the butter. When hot, add the eggs. Use a heat-proof spatula to gently stir the eggs, moving the liquid eggs to the empty area of the skillet, until soft curds form. Gently fold in mushrooms.
3. Transfer to a serving platter. Sprinkle with goat cheese. Drizzle with truffle oil and sprinkle with chives. Serve hot.
(JeanMarie Brownson is a James Beard Award-winning author and the recipient of the IACP Cookbook Award for her latest cookbook, “Dinner at Home.” JeanMarie, a chef and authority on home cooking, Mexican cooking and specialty food, is one of the founding partners of Frontera Foods. She co-authored three cookbooks with chef Rick Bayless, including “Mexico: One Plate at a Time.” JeanMarie has enjoyed developing recipes and writing about food, travel and dining for more than four decades.)