There are many ways to store edible mushrooms for a longer period of time. But not every type of preservation is suitable for every type of mushroom. The taste and consistency of the parasol mushroom and the Krausen mother hen really come into their own when they are dried. The process is simple and can be implemented quickly with the right tips.
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Mushrooms – a culinary delicacy
When the days get shorter and the weather begins to alternate between warmth and humidity, the mushroom season begins. If the weather is right, the tasty delicacies will sprout more and more from the ground in late summer. In strong red, orange and yellow tones, a large number of the mushroom caps announce themselves from afar. Other varieties hide in piles of leaves or on tree trunks with their inconspicuous coloring. Spotting mushrooms is not easy for the untrained eye, identifying them correctly requires attention and experience. Not every species is edible, and mixing them up can cause health problems.
Mushrooms have become indispensable in the kitchen for passionate hobby cooks. As a spicy side dish, game and other meat dishes, for example, are upgraded. Other varieties can be cut into slices and fried in breadcrumbs in a pan. The abundance of recipes is great, which can be cooked not only during the main gathering time. Many mushrooms can be preserved and stored in this way over a longer period of time. In addition to freezing, drying the “forest fruits” has proven its worth. When dried, mushrooms have a stronger aroma. Many dishes, such as gratins and sauces, can only be prepared with dry mushrooms.
The washing myth
It’s not just humans who literally love to eat mushrooms. It’s almost a miracle not to come across worms, snails and beetles while collecting. Even wild boars do not stop at mushrooms. When freshly collected, the “mushrooms”, as mushrooms are also called in some regions, are rarely in an appetizing state. Before preparation or further processing, there is a more or less complex cleaning process. There are many instructions on how to do this, but many advise against using water.
The reason: the mushrooms should be able to soak up water and thereby lose their taste. However, this opinion is contradicted by the fact that mushrooms are exposed to the weather until the moment of collection. In fact, moisture is one of the most important factors that stimulates the fruiting bodies of the mycelia lying dormant in the soil to grow. Cleaning mushrooms is easy, combine several methods if necessary.
- Remove insects and snails that are already attached in nature
- Severely damaged or slimy areas can be cut out on site
- Clean coarse dirt with a pastry brush
- Cut off the end of the stem
- Remove dark spots with a paring knife
- With chestnuts, only remove discolouration and the ends of the stalks
- Pluck mushrooms into pieces, do not cut with a knife
Due to its shape and location, cleaning the Krausen hen can be difficult. Numerous foreign substances are deposited in the cauliflower-like structure, which makes it difficult to prepare the mushroom. Needles, soil and small leaves sit in the numerous whorls of the surface and can hardly be removed with a brush. A different approach makes sense for cleaning up the “fat hen”:
- Remove the lower part generously
- Remove coarse dirt by hand
- Cut the parasitic fungus into large pieces
- Clean the individual areas with a brush and water
How much water you need to clean the Krausen hen depends on how dirty it is. Work directly at the sink. In this way, you can specifically remove the dirt with the water jet. Then pat the mushroom dry with kitchen paper. This method is also suitable for other types of mushrooms that are heavily soiled and for which a brush alone does not help.
Dry parasol and Krause mother hen
The mushroom with the characteristic parasol shape is one of the most popular edible mushrooms in our latitudes. A rich flesh and a slightly nutty taste characterize the “Giant Parasol”. The aroma is particularly pronounced in younger specimens. However, it is advisable to leave young mushrooms standing. When young, the parasol is closed, and its appearance is vaguely reminiscent of a drumstick. Only with increasing age does the umbrella open and grow in width. The mushroom, which is up to 25 cm wide, can be used universally in the kitchen. Parasol prefers to grow in light semi-shade, it is rarely found in darker coniferous forests. Care should be taken when collecting to avoid confusing the edible mushrooms with the poisonous panther mushroom.
The curly hen is a parasitic fungus that, as already mentioned, catches the eye with its exotic shape. The hemispherical “bath sponge” can reach a diameter of over 60 cm and weigh several kilograms. There is only a risk of confusion with the broad-leaved mother hen, which is rare but also one of the edible mushrooms. The meat of the fat hen is tender and the taste is slightly nutty, similar to that of the Parasol. The Krause Glucke is one of the mushrooms that like to dominate dishes as an ingredient and is rather unsuitable for sauces and sauces.
The two edible mushrooms are not only a delicacy when fresh, but can also be preserved with simple means. Storage in the freezer is unsuitable for Parasol and Krause hen. Drying is the only way to preserve the two mushrooms. The taste characteristics of the fat hen are particularly effective in this state. The aroma increases and after softening you can use the curly hen like a fresh mushroom. Reason enough to stock up for the kitchen between August and November.
Properly preserve edible mushrooms
There are several ways to dry mushrooms. Before preserving, you should tear the parasol and Krause mother hen into slices. Take the opportunity and check the Fette Henne again thoroughly for contamination. Snails and other insects often hide in the cavities that are difficult to access. In order for the preservation to succeed without any problems, you should make a few preparations:
- Clean mushrooms and remove black or slimy spots
- rip to pieces
- For Parasol, an egg slicer has proven its worth for chopping
- Each piece should be between 3 and 5mm thick
- Spread the mushrooms evenly on a baking sheet
- Place in the oven for about 20 minutes at high temperature with the door ajar
During this process, a large part of the moisture in the mushrooms evaporates. At the same time, many germs and bacteria die off. If you were to dry Parasol and Krause Glucke exclusively in the kitchen appliance, the result would be unsightly black and hard. For this reason, the time in the oven should be kept to a minimum. The final drying process takes place in a different way.
- Lay out the parasol mushroom and Krause hen on newspaper after the oven
- Let the mushrooms dry in the midday sun for 3 to 4 days
- Dry at constantly high temperatures in the dehydrator
- Then let it sit in the air for a few hours
Whether in the oven, dehydrator or in the sun: the individual pieces should not touch. Turn the mushrooms regularly so all sides lose moisture evenly. Replace the newspaper if necessary. There is one more way to dry parasol and Krause mother hen. For this you need a dry, airy room. Place the chopped mushrooms on a grid lined with baking paper or newspaper. With this method, you should make sure that no mold develops through regular checks.
Dried mushrooms rustle audibly. You can only store the Parasol and the Krause mother hen once this state has been reached. The following tips have proven useful:
- The storage place should be dry and dark
- Cloth bags are ideal
- Alternatively, use glasses
In this way, the mushrooms can be kept for several months. For further processing, they are soaked in lukewarm water for about 30 minutes and then used like freshly collected edible mushrooms.
The slightly nutty taste and the tender flesh make the Parasol and the Curly Glucke popular edible mushrooms. During a high-yielding season, it is worth drying the mushrooms. The process takes a little time, but this is made up for by the unmistakable, intense aroma after preparation.