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Shaggy Parasol Powder

11.16.10

I imagine most of you have tired of hearing about shaggy parasols by now. I forgive you. But I absolutely must mention one of my coolest new pantry items: shaggy parasol powder. A friend mentioned using dried morels as a powder, and a light bulb went on. I still had some of these left, not really knowing what to do with them as the stems were woody and the caps a little dry for my taste in fresh sautée applications.

The how: onto a sheet pan until they feel dry – a few days. Tough, I know. Then food processer’d them until powdered to the texture you see in the photo. So easy.

The yield is crazy good, and the smell is mushroom-soup-perfection. I’ve been dusting calf moose steaks with it, using it in sauces, and perhaps the oddest application, atop pork head crackling. The heat and the fat in the crackling made the mushroom vibe pop. It will be going into soups, stews, cream sauces for pasta, etc. It’s shelf-stable, locally wild, versatile, and requires no further energy to store it. My cost is essentially nil, but the reward high. I love it. I force everyone entering my kitchen to smell the jar.

The downside? I didn’t make more earlier in the season when I was tossing woody stems and ‘past’ caps. Never again.

7 Responses

  1. Barry says:

    That is a very cool idea…I’m thinking dusting eggs, pasta, anything you want to give a “shroom” vibe to without the texture. I do a similar thing with the abundance of hot peppers i get every year. Freeze them off, then in the spring, I thaw them out, load them up in the smoker, and make chipotle powder from them.

  2. Barry – you got it. I know folks who hate the texture, but like the flavor. This is their ticket. Why freeze them? Why not just put them in the smoker setup fresh?

  3. Barry says:

    I freeze them because I only have room for a couple of pepper plants in my garden, so I am only able to pick the peppers in bunches of 4 or 5 at a time. From experience, 40 jalapenos yields roughly 1/2 of a cup of chipotle powder after grinding in my spice mill. I like to fill the smoker with stuff when I fire it up, and to get the most bang for my buck, so I get as many peppers as I can during the growing season and then smoke them all at one time, along with some ribs, etc. Seeing as I love homemade chipotle powder (light years better than what the commercial places offer), I am seriously going to have to find a way to get at least 6 plants in next year. I get about 45-50 peppers from a single plant, so my goal is to get at least a couple cups of the stuff for myself, and the rest…makes great birthday gifts for friends :-)

    ~B

  4. What a great idea – I do this with my porcini ends and love dusting steaks with it… sometimes, the simplest of ideas are hard to find, but I agree – this IS brilliant if the taste is anything like I imagine (I will just remind you that I have never tasted these).
    :)
    double grin – next fall…
    Valerie

  5. Janet says:

    The picture of the shaggy parasol brought my attention to this great site. This is a mushroom i am so interested in as i think it grows in abundance on my farm, but how can I be sure. Our mushroom book tells of resemblances to deadly Lepiotas-enough to scare of an amature mushroom lover like me.

  6. Kevin says:

    Janet – search the site for “shaggy parasol spore print”, in which I describe positive ID via spore print of this truly lovely mushroom. It has become by far my favorite wild mushroom. Glad you found the site, and thanks for leaving a comment!

  7. [...] Kevin seasoned the board, this time with salt and pepper and his own shaggy parasol powder. I was stunned to find that this was a very intense earthy scent so similar to dried porcini. I [...]

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