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Foraging New Jersey – Late Summer Mushrooms!

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Despite sporadic rains the late summer mushroom harvest has been tremendously strong. I’ve been finding Hen of the Woods (Grifola frondosa) and Chicken of the Woods (Laetiporus sulphureus) in great quantity. Others species have also been abundant including Oysters (Pleurotus ostreatus), Ringless Honey Mushrooms (Armillaria tabescens), Aborted Entoloma (Entoloma abortivum), Bears Tooth (Hericium) and Cauliflower (Sparassis) mushrooms.  Each of these when properly identified and if found fresh can be a primary ingredient in many a delicious meal.

 

 

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Wild Mushroom and Venison Meals

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Autumn has arrived and so has the excitement of finding delicious mushrooms on forest walks.

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Hen of the Woods & Chicken of the Woods

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Together my wife and I made Anthony Bourdain’s Mushroom Soup Recipe.

The same day I managed to harvest a doe from the forest and it being Saturday, we finally had the time to try butchering it ourselves. The process was very time consuming having not done it before but very much rewarding. We took our time scavenging all the meat including the smallest scraps that would be put into a grinder with a mix of bacon fat.

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Exhausted, I threw some in a pan with a few slices of mushrooms for a quick meal.

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But later after all was packaged, placed in the freezer and wiped clean multiple times… my wife made the most delicious venison meatballs with home grown tomato sauce.

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It was a rewarding day and felt like a culmination of skills recently learned put into the culture of our daily lives.

Making Oyster Mushroom Jerky

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If you follow my blog you may recall that I made some  Hen of the Woods Jerky that came out delicious.  Well, I tried the same recipe with Oyster mushrooms and it did come out tasty but Hen wins easy for texture and flavor.

To make the mushroom jerky, I boiled pieces for 10 minutes, strained and placed them in a marinade overnight.  The marinade was a mix of honey, chili powder and soy sauce.  The jerky went in the dehydrator the next day at a low temperature for about 8 hours until it felt right.

To learn all about oyster mushrooms check out this excellent article over at Epic Gardening!

https://www.epicgardening.com/how-to-grow-oyster-mushrooms/

Autumn Mushroom Foraging & Cooking

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I like to bushcraft, forage and cook. When I’m able to combine all of those interests that makes me a happy camper. So, with both rain and cool nights the autumn mushrooms begin to appear and I try and get out to find my share.

I’ve been lucky on my walkabouts to come across Laetiporus sulphureus: The Chicken of the Woods and Grifola frondosa: The Hen of the Woods.  Both tend to grow on decaying oaks and add great flavor to a cooked meal.

My wife and I made Jamie Oliver’s recipe for “Wild Mushroom and Venison Stroganoff for two lucky people”. It was delicious!

I also used a bunch of the Hen to make jerky.  To do so, I boiled larger pieces for 10 minutes, strained and placed them in the marinade overnight.  The marinade was a mix of honey, chili powder and soy sauce. The jerky went in the dehydrator the next day at a low temperature for about 8 hours until it felt right.

All the extra mushroom got diced and fried in butter and a splash of olive oil to be frozen for use another day.

To see more of my Mushroom posts check out:

Wild Foraged Mushroom Tempura

July Mushroom Foraging

Dehydrating Chanterelles

Wild Foraged Oyster Mushroom Tempura

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The most frequently found mushroom for me this summer has been the Oyster (Pleurotus ostreatus). They have popped up on a variety of dead hardwood logs including oak and birch.  The last fresh batch that I found was fried in tempura. The recipe found here included a few basic ingredients of flour, baking soda, corn starch, egg and cold water.  It came out very tasty and will surely be made again.

If you are interested in Oyster mushrooms and maybe even want to grow your own then definitely check out this article over at Epic Gardening to learn more !

https://www.epicgardening.com/how-to-grow-oyster-mushrooms/

July Mushroom Foraging

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My wife and I have been out and about visiting some spots that we like to check after the summer rains for wild edible mushrooms.  Particularly of interest at this time are the Black Trumpets (Craterellus cornucopioides) and Chanterelles (Cantharellus spp.).

When I first try mushrooms…after multiple positive identifications, I like to fry them up alone in butter and try them on a toastie. It is a good way to get a true taste of the flavor without mixing too many ingredients.

Remember if mushroom foraging to trust yourself not me!

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