Garden Diary - September 2011


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September


Wednesday, 21 September 2011
More Mushrooms

"Carol's here." said Paul. Wondering what was up I went to the door. We'd seen each other less than an hour ago at the Wednesday morning knitters group. Smiling, she offered me a plastic grocery bag, while saying "Hedgehogs." Surely she couldn't mean the critters, they're not found around here. I peered inside and saw mushrooms!

Hedgehog mushrooms, Hydnum repandum, are found under conifers or deciduous trees. Carol has not
seen them for years. But coming back from town she spotted these out the car window while driving by.
Some sort of mushroom magnetism I suppose. Their reappearance must be attributable to Hurricane Irene
and the following Wednesday's deluge. Glad they were good for something besides flooding our basement.
Just as I shared yesterday's haul of hen of the woods with her, Carol shared the hedgehogs with me.

Why hedgehog? Because if you look at the underside of hedgehog mushroom caps you'll see their quills.

I cooked them up tonight for a yummy side dish to go with roast chicken and steamed laciniato kale.

Recipe

1. Gently clean any dirt off the mushrooms with a soft brush and / or a damp paper towel. Set aside on a dry paper towel.
2. Dice a couple of shallots and cook with a spoonful or two of olive oil over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until soft.
3. Meanwhile cube up some potatoes, about two or three times as much as the raw mushrooms. I had fingerlings, from
Sunday's farmers market so that's what I used. Long and yellow fleshed, Yellow Finn I think. Cut them into thick rounds.
4. When the shallots are translucent and soft I added the potatoes. Shook the pan a few times as they started cooking, then
put the lid on the skillet, turned the heat down somewhat and let them cook for about 15 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally.
5. Remove lid and add two mashed / crushed garlic cloves and stir to incorporate. Cook for 5 more minutes over low heat.
6. Scrape potatoes and shallots into a bowl and set aside. Add coarsely diced hedgehog mushrooms to the almost dry pan
and add a sprinkle of salt. Stir. As they start to cook the mushrooms give off considerable moisture. Cook until it evaporates.
7. Return potatoes and shallots to the considerable shrunken mushrooms and stir to combine and just reheat the potatoes.
8. Season as desired - a little fresh ground pepper and some fresh thyme are nice. Chop parsley and add for flavor and color.

Enjoy! I have just a couple of spoonfuls left over. Methinks there's an omelet in their future.


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