Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Fruitful Fall

This has apparently been a fabulous fall for mushrooms. I got a new one at the farmer's market that I've never tried, the Saffron Milk Cap. Though, I think the Latin name is more telling: Lactarius deliciousus - Delicious! Lactarius and Russula are the two main genera with a crunchy texture. The difference is, when raw, Lactarius has a milky juice that oozes out when the flesh is broken (thus the name). Russula on the other hand has no such juice. Enough mycology, here are the gastronomic stars of the Russulaceae:

Lactarius deliciousus on the left bruises dark green when touched giving them a sort of spooky appearance that I think is totally appropriate for October! On the right is my old friend the Lobster Mushroom - Hypomyces lactifluorum (parasitized Russula brevepis).

I diced these mushrooms up along with some onions, garlic, and patty-pan squashes and sauteed these all together in some butter. Once the mushrooms were fully cooked, I added some flour and then milk and then white cheddar to make a cheesy cream sauce. Lastly I mixed in some cooked rice. What resulted was fantastic comfort food on a chilly autumn evening with the welcome crunch of the Russuloid mushrooms!

Deliciousus indeed!

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