Whilst shopping for my weekly groceries, my attention was caught by some interesting looking mushrooms. I love mushrooms. Really love them. But I have generally stuck to ‘normal’ mushrooms, you know the white ones and the button ones. The ‘safe ones’.
Saying that, I did recently begin to include Chestnut mushrooms here and there, which I discovered have a little more of a nutty taste, and have a bit of a firmer texture. This I found rather pleasant and it turns out that they give a dish just that bit more interest than the ‘normal’ ones. Do you know, I have also tried Shitake mushrooms too, however I often miss out on their more earthy taste because they’re harder for me to access and even when I do, I find that they’re more expensive. That said, they do go beautifully in a delicious vegetarian lasagne that my cousins hubby, who really is an amazing cook, taught me to make (but that’s another meal and maybe another blog!) Gosh, my mushroom exposé is more extensive than I’ve given regard to.
So, there I was in the supermarket, wandering almost blindly, up and down the aisles, filling my basket with the usual selection of fruit and veg, when I saw these unusual shaped mushrooms. They were huge! I actually felt like they’d be something Alice may have found in Wonderland. King Oyster, they were called (or as I’ve since learned, are sometimes referred to as Trumpet mushrooms). I’ve never seen, or perhaps I’ve just not noticed them before; never mind cooked or even tasted them. Not that I’m aware of anyway. Who knows what we actually eat when served a dish in a restaurant? I tend to just accept and enjoy the experience. Enjoy the veg and don’t necessarily contemplate the individual ingredients. Perhaps I ought to begin to take more notice. Anyway, I’m going off track again. I saw them and thought what a fun shape, and size! Loving mushrooms, I decided I needed to have a play with cooking them.
Once home, I had a quick Google to check out a recipe. I found one that seemed nice and simple. Great.
I heated the oil, whilst chopping my mushrooms, still musing the idea that perhaps they had indeed come from Wonderland. Garlic added to the oil (I cheated and used a ‘very lazy’ garlic paste instead of fresh cloves) and mushrooms finally chopped (it took a while you know .. I keep telling you they were big!) I added them to the heated pan. Next, the green onions.
Green onion – Spring onion, as I’m used to calling them….well, actually I don’t even call them that. Not really. What I really call them are Scally Onions. I called them this as a child and never outgrew the fun name. So in our home, we all all them ‘scally’s’. It was only when my children attended senior school and met friends who questioned what a ‘scally’ was, that they realised their mum had been using a made up name for them! – Ooops 😊)
I retrieved the spring onions from the fridge and as I was about to close the door my eye caught the remainder of an unused chorizo.
I could hear it calling to me; I just love chorizo and simply cannot resist its call– I’m surprised there was any left actually. So, taking a detour from the recipe I was following, I made a quick decision that the chorizo needed to be added. Out of the fridge it came, to join in with my fungi feast. Just a few very small pieces, to spice things up a it. (I know, I know, Chefs all around may be cursing me for ruining the delicate and subtle flavour of the mushrooms! But it had to be done.)
Once I’d added the Chorizo, I then felt brave and made another deviation from the recipe. I decided that I fancied ‘the crunchy experience’ in with the mushrooms. I chose to add baby corn. (ok, so I know I probably shouldn’t for some Cheffy reason or another, but I did. (‘Cheffy’ yeah, another made-up word. Seems that I do that a lot! Perhaps I need a thesaurus for Christmas, especially if I’m writing articles for a blog!)
Once the mushrooms were cooked, I removed the lid and turned up the heat. Again, possibly ruining the soft texture of these fab mushrooms. But, I enjoy mine a bit less soft and a little more browned. Turns out that it worked for me … you don’t have to do that part. It’s all about personal taste, I think.
Oh my goodness, what a culinary delight! (even if I’m saying so myself! ) My first awareness was the woody, earthiness of the mushrooms not lost by the mouth-watering garlic. Even my deviation from the recipe seemed to have worked; I loved the crunch from the corn, and particularly liked that I’d cooked the mushrooms until a bit browner, as they were that bit less of a slimy texture. The chorizo worked well too – but perhaps this wouldn’t be to everyone’s taste.
Yum! A surprisingly comforting dish. Fulfilling and not just a taste sensation but I felt I’d eaten enough without feeling bloated or over full. Satisfied, I think maybe the word I’m looking for. Yes, I felt very satisfied after this dish.
For those of you who may be interested, here is some useful nutritional information I discovered about these mushrooms (attained from http://www.specialityproduce.com)
King Trumpet mushrooms contain riboflavin, vitamins B6, C and D, niacin, potassium, fiber and folate. They also contain high amounts of a naturally occurring amino acid, ergothioneine, which is an antioxidant. This particular antioxidant is stored in organs like the liver and kidneys and helps reduce the risk of chronic disease
I hope your enjoyed this blog, and if you have a go, or you’ve a favourite way to cook and serve King Oyster Mushrooms– please do let me know.