How to Cook with Gourmet Mushrooms - Four Star Mushrooms
Four Star Mushrooms has a diversity of in-house homegrown gourmet mushrooms cultivating daily at the growth facility. The differing varieties of mushrooms allow chefs and cooks alike to utilize their creative juices to prepare meals of different tastes, styles, cuisines, health benefits, and concoct new and unfamiliar dishes sure to wow and amaze their customers, family and friends alike.
Four Star Mushroom Varieties:
Blue Oyster Mushroom:
Blue oyster mushrooms are characterized by their vibrant blue to grayish hue and a delicate, fan-shaped appearance. They have a mild, anise-like flavor and a tender texture. When cooked, blue oyster mushrooms develop a subtle umami taste, making them a versatile choice for various dishes like stir-fries or sautés.
Black Oyster Mushroom:
Black oyster mushrooms have a striking dark color with a similar shape to the more common white oyster mushrooms. They boast a mild, savory flavor and a tender, velvety texture. These mushrooms are excellent for adding depth to soups, stews, or pasta dishes, and they absorb the flavors of the ingredients they're cooked with well.
Recognizable by their small, chestnut-like appearance, these mushrooms have a firm texture and a nutty, earthy flavor. Chestnut mushrooms are versatile in the kitchen, holding up well to sautéing or roasting. They add a hearty quality to dishes like risottos, sauces, or kebabs.
Lion's mane mushrooms are distinctive with their cascading, white, icicle-like spines. Known for their mild seafood-like flavor and a texture reminiscent of crab or lobster, lion's mane mushrooms are often used as a meat substitute in vegetarian dishes. They can be sliced and fried or used in soups.
King trumpet mushrooms are characterized by their thick, cylindrical stems and small cap. With a firm and meaty texture, they have a rich umami flavor that intensifies when cooked. These mushrooms are excellent for grilling, roasting, or slicing and incorporating into dishes where their robust flavor can shine, such as stir-fries or risottos.
How To Prepare Speciality Mushrooms
PRO TIP: None of these mushrooms need to be washed!!!
Blue Oyster Mushroom Preparation:
Gently twist or cut the blue oyster mushroom caps from the base using your fingers or a knife. The stems can be tough, so separating them allows for more even cooking. The caps are the most flavorful part an will be the primary focus of your dish. Keeping the caps whole is optional.
Slice the Caps (Optional):
If you prefer a more uniform appearance, slice the blue oyster mushroom caps into bite-sized pieces. This is particularly useful if you plan to sauté or stir-fry the mushrooms.
Shred the Caps (Optional):
Alternatively, you can shred the blue oyster mushroom caps by pulling them apart with your hands. This method provides a unique, fibrous texture that works well in certain dishes. The shredded mushrooms can be incorporated into salads, tacos, or used as a topping for various dishes.
Black Oyster Mushroom Preparation:
Separate Caps from Stems:
Carefully twist or cut the black oyster mushroom caps from the base using your fingers or a knife. The caps are the focal point of the dish due to their rich flavor and velvety texture. You can separate them from the stems for even cooking.
Slice the Caps in Half:
To showcase the unique shape of the black oyster mushroom caps and ensure even cooking, consider slicing them in half lengthwise. This method allows the mushrooms to absorb flavors more effectively during cooking.
Quarter the Caps (Optional):
For a smaller bite-sized presentation or if you prefer more manageable pieces, further cut the sliced caps into quarters. This not only facilitates even cooking but also provides a visually appealing texture in your dish.
Evaluate and Trim Tough Stems (Optional):
Check the toughness of the black oyster mushroom stems. If they are tender, you can leave them attached for added texture. However, if they are tough, consider trimming them or saving them for making mushroom broth.
Chestnut Mushroom Preparation:
Separate Caps from Stems (Optional):
Gently twist or cut the chestnut mushroom caps from the stems. While the stems are fully edible, this step is optional and depends on your preference. Separating them allows for more control over the texture during cooking.
Trim the Tough Base:
Trim the tough, often slightly dirty bottom 1cm of the chestnut mushroom. Discard this part as it may have a different texture and flavor compared to the rest of the mushroom.
Slice the Caps Evenly:
If you chose to separate the caps from the stems, slice the caps into even pieces. This ensures uniform cooking and presentation. Chestnut mushrooms have a firm texture and earthy flavor, making them suitable for various dishes.
Slice the Stems (Optional):
If you opted to keep the stems, slice them into even pieces as well. Chestnut mushroom stems are edible and can add a pleasant texture to your dish. Ensure they are sliced uniformly to promote even cooking.
Lion’s Mane Mushroom Preparation:
Separate the Clusters (Optional):
If the lion's mane mushrooms are in clusters, gently separate them into individual pieces. While they can be cooked as whole clusters, this step is optional and depends on your preference.
Slice into Even Thick Slices or Cut into Even Chunks (Optional):
For a more even cooking process and presentation, slice the lion's mane mushroom into even thick slices or cut it into evenly sized chunks. This method ensures consistent cooking and allows the mushroom to absorb flavors effectively.
Pull Apart by Hand (Optional):
Instead of slicing or cutting, consider pulling apart the lion's mane mushroom into smaller, bite-sized pieces by hand. This method enhances the unique texture of the mushroom and is suitable for various culinary applications.
Leave Whole (Optional):
Alternatively, you can choose to cook lion's mane mushrooms whole, preserving their unique structure. This is particularly suitable for grilling or roasting, showcasing the mushroom's distinct texture.
King Trumpet Mushroom Preparation:
Slice Down the Center (Optional):
Consider slicing the king trumpet mushrooms down the center lengthwise. This method provides larger pieces, perfect for grilling or roasting. The scored surface can later be seared to enhance flavor and presentation.
Cut into Even Pieces:
For a more uniform cooking process and versatile use in various dishes, cut the king trumpet mushrooms into even pieces. This method ensures consistent cooking and allows for creative presentation.
Slice into Circle Rounds (Optional):
Another way to process king trumpet mushrooms is to cut them into circle rounds. This method is often used to replicate scallops, offering a unique and visually appealing alternative in vegetarian or vegan dishes. The rounds can be seared or cooked in various ways to achieve a scallop-like texture.
Alternative Ways to Cook Gourmet Mushrooms
Dry Searing Mushrooms:
In dry searing, you place the sliced mushrooms directly into a hot, dry pan without adding any oil initially.
The mushrooms will release their natural moisture as they cook, and this moisture will evaporate in the dry pan.
Once the moisture has evaporated, and the mushrooms start to brown, you can add oil or butter to the pan to enhance the flavor and help with further browning.
Dry searing can result in a more concentrated mushroom flavor and a firmer texture since the initial moisture loss allows for better browning.
Cooking Mushrooms with Oil from the Beginning:
In this method, you start by heating oil or butter in the pan before adding the sliced mushrooms.
The mushrooms will cook in the oil, and they will absorb some of it as they release their moisture.
Cooking mushrooms with oil from the beginning may result in a softer texture compared to dry searing since the mushrooms start cooking in a moist environment.
The presence of oil from the start can contribute to a more evenly cooked and potentially juicier final product.
Ultimately, the choice between dry searing and cooking with oil from the beginning depends on personal preference and the desired outcome. Dry searing can be preferred for a firmer texture and intensified mushroom flavor, while cooking with oil from the start may be chosen for a softer texture and a more evenly cooked result. Additionally, experimenting with both methods can help you discover which technique you prefer based on the specific dish you are preparing.
Oven Roasting Mushrooms:
A really easy way to batch cook mushrooms and achieve a consistent cook is oven roasting mushrooms. Cut up any of our mushrooms, into a variety of sizes, will ensure different textures. Smaller pieces will crisp up and add more depth of flavor while larger pieces may retain more moisture, allowing for a juicy bite. Laying out the processed mushrooms onto a sheet tray, toss in oil, salt and pepper, spices, and herbs of your choice, and allow these to roast at 350 degrees for about 10 mins. Rotating the tray halfway through can roast will achieve a more consistent roast. Mushrooms will begin to steam within the initial few minutes but once the excess water evaporates, the mushrooms will begin to take on color and texture.
Frying in Oil:
A two-part process, first step is finding a medium to large pot and bringing vegetable or canola oil up to 375 degrees. Small fryers or shallow fry in a pan are all acceptable techniques. Part two of the process is breading and prepping the mushrooms. Lion’s Mane in highly recommended as a best mushroom to fry. It really absorbs any dry or wet marinade, coats well in breadcrumbs, and tears easily with every bite. Starting with a portion of a cluster or just some chunks, toss these in any seasoning you desire, heavy on the flavors. Making a mix of flour, baking powder, and water, along with seasonings, create a wet dredge. Marinate lion’s mane and proceed to toss in Panko or any brand of breadcrumbs. The mushrooms could be quickly marinated or refrigerated up to 24 hours. Slowly add one coated piece at a time into the hot oil. Allow to fry on one side for approx. 2 mins and then repeat process on other side. Cook time around 4-6 minutes is when the mushroom will begin to take on a darker, golden brown color with a crispy outside layer. Remove from oil and transfer to a plate. Allow to rest for 2-3 minutes, sprinkle with seal salt, and add to any dish you wish.
Pan Searing Mushrooms:
Some of the basic principles of cooking mushrooms in a pan is to not over crowd the pan. That will create excess moisture in the pan and that will make it more challenging to achieve a quality sear. Process mushrooms into a consistent size cut. King Trumpets could be cut in half, scored with a knife, and seared face side down, allowing for a nice crust on one side. Begin by heating a pan, hotter than you might usually go when cooking fried eggs for example. Either cooking the mushrooms from the start with or without oil will create similar outcomes but dry searing mushrooms will accelerate the removal of excess moisture, leading to more texture and flavor development. Allow mushrooms to sit in pan, untouched for 2-3 minutes. Proceed to now toss all mushrooms in the pan, constantly stirring. At the 6 min mark, begin to add seasoning. Allow the water to cook off, steam will be visible. The sound will likely be a bubbling compared to a searing sound once its starting to take on color and texture. Mushrooms will be soft to bite but with a nice bite of texture. No rubber feeling, just juicy bites with some crispy edges. Once cooked down, pieces will have shrunk and created their own saucy pool of liquid. Allow this to be the base of great butter sauce or gravy.
Similar to oven roasting mushrooms, air fryer will quickly heat up hot circulating air to cook food. A basic way to cook mushrooms would be to toss the processed mushrooms in a bowl, seasoning heavily and coat the mushrooms in oil. Adding seasonings will be important at the beginning stages to allow spices and seasonings time to cook and develop flavors. Prepare mushroom mix and toss in Air Fryer. Cook for. 8-10 minutes, shaking about half way through for a more consistent cook. Mushrooms may be more dry to this form of cooking but the texture will really develop of the mushrooms.
Four Star Mushrooms Favorite Recipes:
Below are a few recipes we here at Four Star Mushrooms love to prepare ourselves. They’re fun and easy, but most importantly delicious!
Blue Oyster Mushroom Toast:
1/2 oz blue oyster mushrooms (whole caps or sliced, as preferred)
1/2 tablespoon olive oil or butter
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
Salt and pepper, to taste
Optional: Pinch of paprika or smoked paprika for additional flavor
1 slice of bread (baguette, sourdough, or your preferred choice)
1 tablespoon creamy spread (herbed cream cheese, goat cheese, or garlic aioli)
A small handful of fresh leafy greens (arugula, spinach, or watercress) Fresh leafy greens (arugula, spinach, or watercress)
Prepare the Blue Oyster Mushrooms:
1.If using whole caps, heat a pan over medium-high heat, add a bit of olive oil or butter, and sear the blue oyster mushroom caps on both sides until golden brown. If using sliced pieces, evenly distribute them in the pan for even cooking. Season with garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper, and optional paprika. Sauté until the mushrooms are cooked through and have a nice sear.
Toast the Bread:
- While the mushrooms are cooking, toast the sliced bread to a golden brown. You can use a toaster, toaster oven, or a pan with a bit of olive oil for added flavor.
Spread the Creamy Base:
Once the bread is toasted, spread a generous layer of your chosen creamy spread (herbed cream cheese, goat cheese, or garlic aioli) over each slice. This will add richness and complement the earthy flavor of the mushrooms.
Assemble the Toast:
- Place the seared blue oyster mushrooms on top of the creamy spread. Arrange them evenly, ensuring each slice gets a good portion of mushrooms.
Add Leafy Greens:
Top the mushrooms with a handful of fresh leafy greens. The peppery notes of arugula or the mild taste of spinach will add a refreshing element to the dish.
Garnish and Serve:
Garnish the mushroom toast with an extra sprinkle of salt, pepper, or any additional herbs or spices you prefer. Serve immediately while the toast is warm and the flavors are vibrant.
Egg Bites with Black Oyster:
1/2 oz black oyster mushrooms, cleaned and sliced into bite-sized pieces
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 strip of bacon, cooked and chopped into small chunks (optional)
4 large eggs, beaten
Salt and pepper, to taste
Cooking spray or butter for greasing the baking tray
Preheat the Oven:
Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
Prepare the Black Oyster Mushrooms:
Chop or slice them into bite-sized pieces.
Sauté the Mushrooms:
Heat 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the sliced black oyster mushrooms and sauté until they are tender and have released their moisture, about 3-4 minutes.
Season the mushrooms with 1/2 teaspoon of Italian seasoning, stirring to coat evenly. If desired, add the bacon chunks and cook for an additional 2 minutes until the bacon is heated through.
Prepare the Egg Mixture:
In a bowl, beat 4 large eggs. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Grease a baking tray with cooking spray or butter. Evenly distribute the sautéed black oyster mushrooms (and bacon, if using) across the tray.
Pour the beaten eggs over the mushrooms, ensuring an even distribution.
Bake the Egg Bites:
Place the baking tray in the preheated oven and bake for approximately 15-20 minutes or until the eggs are set and slightly golden on top.
Serve and Enjoy:
Once baked, remove the tray from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes. Use a spatula to cut the baked egg into bite-sized portions.
Lion’s Mane Cakes: