A shortcut to mushrooms

I have so many posts due. I have been tagged by Julie for this lovely meme . Then, there are my experiments with Justin Quek´s ´s book, and my new found love of all things Thermomix. I have a new machine in the kitchen. And most exciting of all, yesterday I received a parcel from Australia.
Just too many things. So for now, I´ll go with the shortest path.

It´s been raining hard for over a week. Some people complain; some, like J, skip about like spring lambs on crack; and some, like me, wait it out with a rug around their knees and a firm hold on the remote.

One thing you´ll never hear me complainin of is what has to be the best possible offshoot of rain.

My neighbourhood market isn´t one of the luxurious ones, and doesn´t have much expensive stuff, but one stall stocks mushrooms in season. It´s right by the door, so I can´t help but stop, every time, just for a handful.

Yesterday they had four types of wild mushroom to choose from. I went with these, níscalos, or lactarius deliciosus, which sounds like dog latin but is the real thing, I promise. They´re the most popular wild mushroom in Spain, easy to spot nestling under a pine tree, all sunny bright orange, and impossible to mix up with poisonous varieties. Not that I go mushroom picking, having far too much respect for my liver ( no Gin&Tonic jokes, if you please).

There are many ways to do these, but I like to sautée them in a little olive oil, and sprinkle them with Maldon salt. They can´t be beat that way. No garlic, no parsley, no eggs, just that crunchy floppy woodsy golden marvel. Make sure you don´t crowd the pan, and don´t shake them about too much at first, so they have time to brown a little. Oh, and I´ve read in several very authoritative places that it´s fine, you can wash mushrooms. They´re all water anyway, it´s all an urban myth about their becoming waterlogged. No more of that nasty crunching teeth on gravel.

If you can´t be bothered to stay in now that the sun is finally out, go to El Cisne Azul, c/ Gravina. It looks grubby, but has the best selection I know, and they grill them to perfection, alongside an egg yolk. Very fascinating. Be sure to rob a couple of banks on the way, though. They don´t take credit cards, and they ain´t cheap.

7 comentarios:

Pille dijo...

Lucky you! I went looking for wild mushrooms last Sunday, and after three hours emerged from the forest with lots of different ones, includig some saffron milk-caps. My favourite way with them is to fry them in some butter and sprinkle with Maldon salt:) Delicious indeed

xps dijo...

Que tiempos cuando los cogíamos en el pantano!

Anónimo dijo...

this has got to be my new favorite phrase "spring lambs on crack"
man, i can't wait to use that on some co-workers today!
god i do love mushrooms... i love the name of these saffron-milk caps, how, well, loverly!
we're going out for a mushroom tasting menu dinner tonight, complete with truffle martini, can't wait!
happy weekend!

Anónimo dijo...

They're so pretty! And you're able to buy wild mushrooms at your local market? I'm seriously envious.

lobstersquad dijo...

Pille: that sounds so much better than going to the market! sadly, I don´t know much about wild mushrooms, so it´d be a bit dangerous. Butter sounds decadently delicious for them, will try.
Xps: ya te digo.
Ann: that´s some tasting menu. looking forward to reading about it.
Julie: it´s really great to find them at the market. I can never resist, especially as last year was such a bad one for mushrooms. And it´s only 5€ or so for a handful that will make a tapa for two, so it´s great every way.

Anónimo dijo...

Surprisingly, I can buy wild mushrooms at my local market in Pittsburgh, too..They do cost the earth though, so I don't do it very often. Even when you can get them in the strip district, they are very expensive. But they are emphatically worth it-way more so than, say, a standing rib roast, IMO.

For some reason, the shitakes are usually reasonable. Probably, they are cultivated nowadays, but they make a nice change from the ubiquitious whites and criminis.

I love your drawing. Mushrooms are so beautiful-I especially like the patterns they make when you slice them cross-wise.

Anónimo dijo...

Oh, we love mushrooms! I'd love to be able to go out and pick them myself but of course, with a guide who knows mushrooms very well and probably check out that my life insurance covers 'death by mushrooms' first. :)

I love browsing through your drawings. They're very impressive. I saw the postcard you sent a while back and i wished i had received one from you. If i did, i would have framed it! Honestly. No, i didn't participate, sadly. It was a very busy time for me and it went past by me. Sigh.