Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Fabulous Field Fungi Tastes Best When Fried

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Fabulous Field Fungi Tastes Best When Fried

Article excerpt

Byline: JANE LOVETT

FIELD mushrooms are sprouting on the lawn for the first time ever, obviously brought on by the warm and damp weather they enjoy so much.

I pick about half as pound of them a day at the moment, and have been doing so for several weeks now, so I'm fast running out of imaginative ways to cook them.

Mushrooms always need to be cooked, unless they are to be eaten raw in a salad. Sliced, raw mushrooms added to a sauce are rubbery, floppy and very unappetizing indeed.

Instead, they should be fried in a small amount of oil or butter - or a mixture of both - with some salt and pepper, until all their liquid has evaporated and they begin to sizzle, or fry, again.

They are like sponges and will soak up as much fat as you give them, so only use a very small amount as they will release it all later, resulting in a very fatty sauce or casserole.

Button mushrooms coated in flour, egg and breadcrumbs and deep fat fried is one of my favourite ways of eating them. As I don't deep fat fry anything at home (because it's both smelly and bad for you!) it is something I choose from a pub menu whenever I see it.

Accompanied by lots of tartare sauce, these little nuggets are delicious: both crisp and juicy at the same time - the succulent middles exploding in the mouth.

If you have a deep fat fryer, I would strongly recommend having a go at making a batch.

Drain well on kitchen towel, scatter generously with salt and don't forget the tartare sauce and a wedge or two of lemon to squeeze over.

This delicious, creamy and cheesy mushroom tart recipe is nice and easy as it's made with ready-rolled puff pastry, and can be prepared a few days in advance. Use any mushrooms you like, but I would go for some meaty ones, such as chestnut, into the mix.

If you pick uncultivated mushrooms do make sure they are identified as being edible before eating them. There are lots of convincing looking imposters out there, which can be very dangerous if eaten. …

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