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A dried mushroom is a bit of a misnomer, can be light or dark brown, and even grey. They are frequently speckled. Their fleshy caps are dense, and their stems are tough yet can be used for flavoring before being discarded. They have a pleasant flavor and absorb the taste of other ingredients.
How to Select Choose dried mushrooms that are intact and firm, with tightly closed cap. Avoid dried mushrooms that are wrinkled, slimy, ragged, or spotted. If the gills are showing, it's an indication of age, and they are probably past their prime. Discolored, broken and damaged mushrooms with soft spots should be avoided. The more costly are often called "flower mushrooms" as they have a thick cap and a nice curl.
" Before using dried mushroom, soak them in warm water for between twenty and thirty minutes, and remove the stems.
" Be aware that salt releases the water in mushrooms, so judge the salt usage accordingly for your particular recipe.
" The liquid used to reconstitute dried mushrooms makes a flavorful addition to soups, stews, and stocks. Strain the liquid through a double thickness of cheesecloth or a clean, unprinted paper towel before using.
" Dried Mushroom powder can easily be made by grinding dried mushrooms in a spice or coffee grinder, food processor, or heavy-duty blender. Use to flavor soups, stews, stocks, dips, and sauces.
How to Store
At home, store the dried mushrooms in a container at room temperature. They will last indefinitely. Paper bags are a good storage alternative. Use fresh mushrooms within three days.
" Dried Mushrooms are potential cancer-fighters. It contains a compound called lentinan, which is being used as a cancer treatment.
" Dried Mushrooms are also a good source of riboflavin and niacin and contain no fat or cholesterol.
" Dried Mushrooms are low in calories, low in fat and have no cholesterol and also low in salt
" It is a good source of minerals, especially potassium and also a good source of vitamins, particularly B vitamins.
" Dried Mushroom protein is also superior to many other vegetable proteins on account of its essential amino acid content.