Marvelous Mushroom Recipes
Add mushrooms to any dish, and you’re incorporating more than just good nutrition and intense flavor. You’re also adding “umami.” Umami (oo-MAH-mee) is our fifth basic taste, described as a full-bodied, pleasant savory, rich and meaty taste. Sweet, sour, bitter and salty are the other four tastes.
Umami, the result of several amino acids (glutamates) and nucleotides, is found in many common foods: fish, shellfish, cured meats, green tea, fermented and aged foods like cheeses and soy sauce, as well as many vegetables such as ripe tomatoes, spinach, Chinese cabbage – and mushrooms.
Adventurous cooks today can enjoy unique varieties of mushrooms beyond basic white button mushrooms, including crimini, shiitake, maitake, oyster, trumpet, portobello and enoki. Brighten dishes by using more than one variety in a dish.
Bite-sized finger foods are always in order at parties, so wow your guests with some umami-rich Herbed Mushroom and Gruyere Tarts (pictured above). These rich appetizers feature assorted oyster, shiitake and button mushrooms in a flaky phyllo dough shell.
My family-friendly casserole, Sausage, Mushroom and Black Olive Pasta Bake, features baby bellas and trumpet mushrooms along with white buttons. This big-batch dish is ideal for hectic holiday weeknight meals and even football game pitch-in parties.
Soups comfort and warm during winter’s cold, so stir up Creamy Triple Mushroom and Leek Soup. This decadent, cream-based soup features crimini, shiitake and button mushrooms.
What’s your favorite mushroom? How do you like to cook with them? Share your mushroom favorites at facebook.com/myindianahome.
Wishing all my fellow Hoosiers a warm, safe and delicious winter!