We’ve been enjoying a lot of mushrooms of late. There have been two Alberta Mycological Society events in the past month that have had us eating and contemplating mushrooms non-stop.
First was the AMS Expo, the City of Champignons at the Devonian Botanical Gardens. Chad and Thea dreamed up a fantastic soup and mushroom tasting plate that Lisa and I helped them cook and serve.
Then on the Labour Day weekend we headed out to Hinton for the AMS Great Alberta Foray. Above left are some of the edible vareties found that weekend.
Thank you to the AMS for enriching our culinary life and letting us explore the Alberta countryside, turning over logs and hopping over streams in pursuit … Continue reading.
Pig’s trotters were a bit of a mystery to me until recently. I had only ever used them in stocks and soups. With so many joints and cartilage, the feet release large amounts of gelatin when simmered, giving the final broth a rich mouthfeel. However, once the feet had delivered their gelatin payload, I always picked them out of the pot and threw them away.
Then I started coming across dishes in which the trotter itself is eaten, notably in the fantastic BBC mini-series Marco. The series, which I think is from the late 1980s, though I don’t know exactly what year, is a glimpse into the kitchen at Harvey’s, a London restaurant where the chef Marco Pierre White … Continue reading.
I like to make pâté around Christmas. This year I wanted to try a terrine with an inlay. Inlays are usually pieces of lean mean, like a pork tenderloin or duck breast, that are set in the middle of a terrine, surrounded by forcemeat, so that each slice of the terrine has a cross-section of the lean meat. At left you can see a rosy pork tenderloin cooked to medium.
Winter is a reflective season, and nowhere is this more true than with food, as many of the things we eat in December were by necessity harvested in September, or earlier. The special significance this pâté has to the past year is the garnish studding the forcemeat: morels. This was … Continue reading.
My mind is still reeling from the Labour Day weekend, when Lisa and I attended the Great Alberta Foray in the Bow and Kananaskis valleys. The foray was run by the Alberta Mycological Society.
One month ago, I didn’t know what mushrooms were. Of course I had cooked and eaten them, but I didn’t understand, for instance, their anatomy (why do they have gills?) or their role in my front lawn (why do they grow in rings?).
Here are some mushroom basics I learned that weekend.
1. Mushrooms are the fruiting bodies of fungi.
I was sure of one fact before attending the foray: mushrooms are fungi. (Mycologists, however, pronounce the word with a soft “g”, which precludes any … Continue reading.