I didn’t always love mushrooms, but I do now. I’m frequently buying fresh mushrooms, using what I can in salads, on pizza or on a crudités. Leftovers are quickly dried and sit in a jar on my cabinet. My children often throw a few into their Ramen noodles (as well as peppers, onions or other dried options). The boiling water cooks them as it cooks the noodles. I’m also happy to rehydrate a few and throw them on a pizza when I have no fresh ones.
Mushrooms are the famous ingredient in many recipes. Think stroganoff, spaghetti sauce, rich gravies, Salisbury steak, chicken Marsala and you’ll remember the role mushrooms play. But consider what a mushroom powder will do to add flavor to some of your favorite dishes. And when you’d like that mushroom presence without the visual (think: “Mom, you know I hate mushrooms!”), add the powder. Powdered mushroom equals my idea of the perfect compromise.
Now that you’re wondering what else can possibly be said about mushrooms, wait, there’s more! When I rehydrate mushrooms, the liquid left behind is a flavorful broth not to be wasted. Depending on what I’m cooking, I may choose to use it in the dish itself. In case you haven’t noticed, I don’t believe in wasting. “Waste not, want not” never goes out-of-date.
To prepare mushrooms for dehydration, gently clean and slice ¼” thick. Spread on drying racks and dehydrate at 130 degrees for eight to twelve hours. When mushrooms are dry they’ll bend slightly with no moisture present. Store in an air-tight jar and have them handy for people who want to dress up something with extra flavor at the last minute.
Jan has a new book on how to dehydrate, Delicious, Delectable, and Dehydrated.