I think I've learned something important.
Mycologists apparently can't cook very well. I suspect they judge the quality of a mushroom by how well it withstands being pan-fried in butter.
I went hiking with some friends today and we looked for mushrooms. Found a ton of peppery lactarius but didn't collect any. Also saw about a million death caps, but again, didn't collect any.
They apparently aren't fond of blewits, so I got to keep all of those that we found. Last week I made a rather tasty and attractive stroganoff from blewits (recipe below)
We also found some variety of agaricus that is probably pretty good to eat. They kept those. They smelled quite nice, but I'm not incredibly fond of agaricus. (I think they were agaricus silvacolas if anyone cares) and some lactarius deliciousa.
I also collected a few boletus flaviporus, though I was told the flavor is not fantastic and they can be a little slimy when cooked.
So.. I took them home, sliced one up and pan-fried it in butter, and indeed, it was a little slimy. However, the taste and texture had some good elements to it, so I put on my thinking cap for a moment and decided to gamble on my cooking skills for dinner.
My solution? Bolete and potato soup. Ended up being really quite nice. The starch from the potato combined with the 'slimy' to make a not-slimy-at-all thickener.Bolete And Potato Soup:
One large potato, half an onion, ~1/2lb 'mediocre' but fairly firm boletus (flaviporus, zelleri, mirabilis, etc) 1C milk, 2C water, 2 tsp butter, 5 cloves garlic, 1/4tsp thyme, salt, pepper.
Slice potato into pieces that will roughly match your mushroom bits in size. Call it 2cm thick and not more than 8cm in the other two dimensions.
Put water and one teaspoon butter into pot, bring to a boil, add in potato. After five minutes, reduce heat to medium, add milk, After a couple minutes, reduce heat to simmer. Try not to scald milk.
Meanwhile, chop up onion. Then, using the other tsp of butter, saute in a small skillet over medium heat.. Sort of between saute and seer, really.
Slice up garlic, add it to onions after onions have cooked 3 or 4 minutes.
Clean boletus with damp paper towel, slice and throw into saute a few minutes after the garlic.
Saute a couple minutes more until mushrooms are just starting to look cooked, then add all the saute into pot.
Increase heat to just above medium. Add thyme, salt, and pepper to taste. Let it cook for a couple minutes more, then remove from heat and serve.
I had it with a pint of stout and it was quite a nice meal.Blewit Stroganoff
~1lb blewits, ~1lb eggnoodle pasta, 1C sour cream, 1tsp butter, 1 large onion, dehydrated chicken bullion, salt, pepper, thyme
Get your noodles boiling in a pot. Make em how you like em. Al dente or not, up to you.
Clean blewits with damp cloth, slice up.
Saute blewits and onion in skillet with aforementioned butter.
Mix chicken bullion (I used a vegan alternative, you can use whatever you like. :) and sour cream together. I used my chicken bullion as the saltiness in my flavoring but it worked out to ~1cube of bullion (as much as the packaging says will make one cup of stock)
Once onions are becoming translucent, add sour cream/bullion mix to skillet. Add salt, pepper and thyme to taste.
Stir gently until thoroughly mixed.
Drain noodles, pour sauce into noodles and toss gently until thoroughly mixed.
Mmmm.... How many food can you eat that are naturally bright purple? :)
BTW, please don't worry about me killing myself. Both of these mushrooms are very easy for even a novice to identify and I was with an experienced mycologist today. He let me take my guess and then helped me out if it was something I was unfamiliar with. I learned quite a bit.
I correctly identified all of the death caps and all of the agaricus (These two look vaguely alike and the mistaking one for the other is the most common cause of fatalities in mushroom IDs) They're really quite easy to tell apart as long as you're careful but for now, I'm limiting my intake to stuff that's very easy to identify and a mistake is less costly (An evening with the porcelain god as opposed to death)