"Earthy, fruity, nutty, licoricey, piney. The flavors of mushrooms are as elusive as the wood nymphs and fairies that dance around them," says author Amy Farges of mushrooms. If this statement is not enough to lure us to adventure, the Mushroom Cookbook will open vistas that we have had in our own fantasies. A complete guide to more types of mushrooms than even the most avid foodie imagines, a comprehensive primer and extensive recipe collection, this book will infuse the reader with adventure and turn a cooking dream to reality.
A co-owner of the national mushroom distributor Aux Delices Des Bois with her husband Thierry, Amy has helped put wild and hitherto 'exotic' mushrooms on the map. With a background of study at La Varenne, she has here compiled 175 exquisite yet easy-to-make recipes, along with a Mushroom 101 guide to selecting, storing, cleaning, and cooking. To further illustrate the range and use of mushrooms, there is a primer with full profiles and photographs of 40 exotic mushrooms.
The range of recipes is dazzling. Knowing that we sometimes must rely on the ordinary white mushroom, Farges does not limit herself to the exotics only, but when she creates with those mushrooms still finding their way to our tables, she is inspired. You will find recipes that range from an innovative Portobello and Basil Salsa or Hen of the Wood Ravioli to recipes that inspire adventure, such as Crawfish Tails with Mousserons and Leek Infused Cream or Hedgehog (mushroom) and Buttermilk Soup. Mushrooms grow around the world and there are global recipes. If For those who want to venture into the Japanese, there is Honshimeju Udon Broth. You can experiment with the Italian, making Winter Pizza with Black Trumpet Mushrooms, and Gnocchi with Honey Mushrooms and Tomatoes. Perhaps you want to go Mexican and try Huitlacoche with Summer Tomatoes.
In the invaluable primer, each mushroom is given a page of its own with a photo, description, advice on how to store and select, how to prepare and cook and a suggested beginner recipe. Ms. Farges is as good a teacher as she is a cook. The mushrooms are listed alphabetically ranging from Black Trumpet and Blewit to Bluefoot and Cauliflower, Cepe-Porcini, Crimini, Enoki, Fried Chicken Mushrooms and Hedgehog Mushroom Cap, Wood Ear and Yellowfoot. Each is treated with the same reverence and the same adventurous spirit.
A dozen fitting mushroom desserts complete the irresistible finish.