Starting at the top we have our very own Pleurotus Ostreatus; the Grey Oyster Mushroom – a deliciously delicate mushroom with a meaty texture when cooked. All parts of the Oyster mushroom are edible from the caps, the gills and the stems. Their subtle earthy undertones bring depth of flavour to any meal. Simply sautéed till browning, with a bit of garlic these mushrooms are irresistible, if any make it beyond a pre-diner, fresh from the pan snack they’re great when added to noodle, rice or risotto dishes, used to top burgers, steaks or sandwiches. An Oyster Mushroom can also be battered or bread crumbed before being deep-fried for a finger-licking alternative – these are sooooo good.
Next up are our own Dried Oyster Mushrooms – the flavour of these beauties is intense, the smell is stunning and once rehydrated they will enhance any broth, stock or soup. Simply soak in a little boiling water to soften and add to your usual cooking. We whiz our dried Oyster Mushrooms up into a powder and incorporate them into our baking – adding that umami depth to our brownies and chocolate fudge bars that resonates long after the last crumb has gone. The same can be said when we add Oyster mushroom powder to our home made bread and pasta too with its subtle, earthy undertones – such a versatile ingredient with endless opportunities.
Here we have the white Mushroom or as we like to call them Agaricus Bisporus – the most recognised and readily available mushroom, but never to be underestimated. The White mushroom has a mild earthy flavour which deepens when cooked and they make a great accompaniment to any hearty stew or pie filling, either sliced or left whole if you’ve purchased the smaller button variety. The White mushroom is a close relative to the Cremini mushroom (a slightly more flavoursome version); it’s also the baby brother to the closed cap and famous Portobello mushroom – these mushroom are much larger and have a more meaty texture but still just as tasty. Their larger open caps lend themselves to fillings; they can be grilled or fried and added as a burger topper or used as burger substitute; complete with all the trimmings. We’ve great memories of our mum stuffing white mushrooms with stilton, dipping them in an egg wash and then bread crumbs before deep frying them till they’re golden brown and the cheesy filling is mouton hot – not many made it beyond the cooling plate.
These white gems lend themselves to so many great cooking flavours – garlic, sage, cheese, soy sauce even balsamic vinegar – yes!
Now the understated Chestnut Mushrooms – good for your cells and healthy blood, they support your immune system and more recently been discovered to contain anti-aging antioxidants plus, they also pack a great vitamin D punch – in fairness most mushrooms tick all these boxes too – but did you know if you place your mushrooms in the sun they’ll increase their vitamin D levels considerably?
We love to use chestnut mushrooms as a meat free mince alternative – by chopping them finely by hand or with a food processor and then frying till the liquid evaporates this is a wonderful low calorie, plant based substitute.
With a very ‘typical’ mushroomy flavour the Chestnut mushroom is great for making your classic mushroom soup, sautéed to accompany an English breakfast, or our favourite; simply fried with a little butter or olive oil, sage, seasoned and layered onto freshly toasted sliced bread.
Next we have the unmistakable King Oyster Mushrooms with its notoriously chunky stalk and small delicate cap they’re known for their mild taste that can take on strong flavours. Unlike any other, the King Oyster mushrooms meaty and dominant stem can be prepared and a multitude of ways. Quite amazingly their stems can be shredded by hand and flavoured and cooked to imitate chicken, or pulled pork, they can be sliced into chunky discs and seared as a scallop substitute, or sliced lengthways and seasoned as a delicious bacon alternative or marinade and skewered in the same way you would make chicken satay. Maybe the hardest mushroom in this medley to get hold of as most are imported from the Far East but worth a punt if you can get hold of them.
Lastly Dried Porcini Mushrooms – unmistakable by their smell alone – a delicious, rich and deep aroma that transfers into flavour as soon as you add it to any meal. The drying process intensifies the flavours and by soaking them in boiled water you release a flavoursome dark brown stock that’ll add depth to any meal; from a soup or broth, bolognaise or ragu, burger or risotto. They’ve also a great shelf life and a store cupboard stable.
So there you have it, our Caley Brothers mushroom medley. We’ve been cooking and experimenting with mushrooms for years and you can find other blog posts on many of these mushrooms. We will be adding to our recipe page to help you incorporate more into your everyday cooking and hopefully we can inspire you to try something new. Mush love x