Appetizer Class PhotoPies & Plates' Healthy Living Kitchen
"It's all about regularly making the right choices
and then spluring in moderation!"
Cindee Murphy, Founder of Pies & Plates
Feature Article  -  We're Wild about Our Mushrooms
Edible Wild MushroomsRobust porcini, buttery chanterelles, seafood-tasty oysters, fragrant shiitakes and trufflelike black trumpets are some of the once-exotic specimens that can add distinction to dishes from pasta and seafood to game and fowl.
With flavors that range from earthy to sweet, and the ability to stand alone or soak up garlicky or wine-rich sauces, mushrooms add a delectable spectrum of perfume and texture. Few other vegetables or aromatics can infuse foods with such an array of flavors-smoky, woodsy, fruity, beefy. 
We love to use dried mushrooms in our culinary academy classes and in our restaurant kitchen!  We hope you'll learn to enjoy them, too!   - Cndee Murphy
At the end of this article, you'll find a picture guide of the most popular mushrooms and lots of recipes but first let's learn a few things about mushrooms!

Dried vs. Fresh:  Dried mushrooms have several advantages over fresh. Dried mushrooms can be stored for longer periods of time, they are easily reconstituted and can be used in place of fresh mushrooms in most recipes. Wild mushroom varieties are not easily harvested and are perishable so drying helps makes them more readily available.  In our opinion mushrooms are on of those rare foods that even better dried because the drying process intensifies their flavor and makes them more economical for every day use!
Protein Substitute:  Though composed of 80 to 90% water (obviously not dried mushrooms) - depending on the variety, mushrooms contain 2 to 4% protein and all the essential amino acids, making their protein complete. The range of amino acids is very large and generally includes rare and other similar nitrogen compounds. Dried mushrooms' energy value also varies according to species, which is about equal to that of an apple. On an average however, the protein value of the mushrooms is twice as that of asparagus and potatoes, four times as that of tomatoes and carrots, six times as that of oranges. For vegetarians, dried mushrooms make an ideal meat substitute.
Vitamins & Minerals:  Mushrooms provide the best non-animal source of vitamin D and are a rich source of potassium and phosphorous. Most cultivated dried mushrooms contain vitamins C and K, and some vitamin E. They also have many of the B vitamins, including the B-complex vitamins - riboflavin, niacin and pantothenic acid. About 5 raw button mushrooms for instance, contain 370 mg. of potassium and 104 mg. phosphorous.
Ideal for Diabetics and Weigh Watchers:  Dried Portabellas are an ideal food for those watching their waistlines: they contain no fat or sodium, are high in fiber, and low in calories (40 calories for a medium size). Also noteworthy is that dried mushrooms are very low in carbohydrates, making them ideal for diabetics and anemic persons, owing to their high folic acid content.
Interesting History:  A truly unique gift of nature, wild mushrooms are ancient foods that have been gathered and eaten throughout history, always linked with magic and myth from the time of early man. Their ability to appear suddenly overnight, their myriad of shapes, colors and gastronomic effects - ranging from aphrodisiac to poisonous - have bewitched and bewildered humankind for centuries. Common folk lore led mushrooms to be believed to hold many attributes ( the ancient scholar Dioscorides was convinced they were capable of spontaneous generation, a common notion throughout medieval times), so much so that they became integrated into important rituals and ceremonies. The Normans of the 11th century C.E. prepared a wedding dish of a pound of mushrooms that traditionally was fed only to the groom, to act as a powerful aphrodisiac. In fact many parts of the world such as Russia, China, Greece, Mexico, and Latin America believed that eating mushrooms could endow them with super-human strength - mushrooms grow upward with such surprising force they are said to push up stones (no wonder they were fed on the wedding night!). Other cultures concluded that partaking of mushrooms would insure their soul's residence with the gods. Wherever a bolt of lightning had struck in the night, ancient Egyptians believed that divine magic was responsible for the eruption of mushrooms that often resulted in the area and their hieroglyphics indicate that they expected the eating of mushrooms to bring them immortality. Only the pharaohs, who were thought of as godlike, could enjoy this privilege however. The common Egyptian therefore, was never given permission to even touch mushrooms. Still, as mushrooms in ancient times were only gathered in the wild - not yet cultivated - the commoners no doubt had their portion unobserved anyway.
Mushroom BruschetteReconstituting Dried Mushrooms:  Always wash the mushrooms before soaking to remove any unwanted grit. Some methods for reconstituting call for soaking in hot tap water for 20-30 minutes, while others suggest simmering for 30 minutes. Depending upon the thickness, type of mushroom, and quality, soaking times will vary, but the most consistent way to reconstitute is to boil water, then soak the mushrooms in the water for 20-30 minutes as it cools.
More Tips on Using Dried Mushrooms:  A convenient characteristic about most Dried Mushroom recipes is the fact that you can monitor the consistency before you need to use them in a dish. Also, save the soaking water for other uses as it can be very flavorful. A good way to do this is to pour the liquid into ice cube trays and freeze it for future use. Adding the liquid to rice or sauces that will contain the re-hydrated mushrooms works well.

It is important to remember when using Dried Mushrooms that they should be treated as a spice for flavoring rather than one of the main ingredients in a recipe. The flavor is concentrated and a small amount can go a long way. For instance, 8 pounds of fresh Shiitake Mushrooms will yield about 1 pound of dried. Conversely, 1 dry ounce can produce 7 to 10 ounces when reconstituted. They should be stored (dry) in an airtight container. Moisture is the arch enemy of Dried Mushrooms.

Dried Mushrooms can be used in various formats. They can be whole, kibbled (which is a fancy term for diced), and even powdered. Powders are created by grinding Dried Mushrooms in a coffee grinder or spice mill. Use powder when you don't want the mushroom itself in the dish, but you need the great flavor they can impart. Add mushroom powder to flour when making your own pasta, or just use it as a flavoring agent in sauces, soups or stews. 
Note:  Wild mushrooms may have stones embedded in their flesh. To help dislodge the stones, it is strongly recommended to reconstitute and agitate the mushrooms prior to use.  Even then the stones may have to be manually dislodged! 
Common Questions: 
1)  What is the shelf life of dried mushrooms?  The shelf life is about 
10-12 months if kept in a clean dry airtight container.

2)  Are all edible mushrooms available as dried or just the wild ones (due to the nature of their collection)?  Not all mushrooms can be dried. Some mushrooms like Morels, Shiitake and Chanterelles are excellent when dried. Other mushrooms may have some cosmetic changes but are wonderful for cooking. And other mushrooms even improve their flavor with drying.

3)  Why use dry mushrooms rather than fresh? Dry mushrooms have a much longer shelf life than fresh. Dried mushrooms are available all year where fresh may only be available in season. In many cases dried mushrooms are indistinguishable from fresh in a recipe, and some varieties even improve with drying. Dried mushrooms are easy to store and are much more convenient than fresh mushrooms.

4)  Are only wild mushrooms the only dried mushrooms?  No! Wild mushrooms are usually dried because of their seasonal availability and scarcity, but cultivated mushrooms are dried also. Drying makes storing mushrooms much easier and is done for convenience as much as necessity.
- 2 ounces North Woods Mushroom Blend washed, then reconstituted in hot water 20-30 minutes, strain and save liquid.  Cut into small pea size pieces.
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 small onion minced
- 2 cups Arborio rice
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 5 cups (total) chicken stock/broth and strained mushroom liquid
- 3 strands Saffron, softened in 1 tablespoon water
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

Saute onion in olive oil for 5 minutes.  Add rice and toss.  Add the reconstituted mushrooms and wine, stir.  Cook until wine is absorbed (just a few minutes).  Add broth and saffron with its liquid.  Bring to a boil, then reduce and simmer low for 20-30 minutes, until liquid is absorbed.  The rice should be al dente, not soft. Test by squeezing between two fingers.   If the water is absorbed before the rice is done, add more liquid and if the rice is done before all the water is gone, strain the rice.  In a heated bowl, mix the rice and butter with 2 tablespoons of Parmesan, and season with salt and pepper if necessary.   Serve with remaining Parmesan.

- 2 cups fresh corn (about 4 ears)
- 1/2 ounce SPECIAL BLEND DRIED MUSHROOMS, sliced or diced(kibbled)
- 2 teaspoons soy sauce
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- Salt to taste
Mince corn with sharp knife on a cutting board, or pulse in food processor, careful not to turn corn to mushy paste.  Simmer dried mushrooms in 1 cup of water with soy sauce for 20 minutes.   Remove mushrooms from liquid and reduce liquid over medium high heat to 1/3 cup.  If mushrooms aren't diced, dice now and add to liquid with corn and cream.  Gently cook until corn softens a little.  Add salt to taste.  Approximately 4 servings

- 1/2 ounce NORTHWEST BLEND or SPECIAL BLEND DRIED MUSHROOMS, sliced or diced (kibbled)  (NW stronger flavor, SB milder flavor)
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon onion, chopped
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 1/2 cup white wine, or brandy
Simmer dried mushrooms in 2 cups of water with the sugar, salt, and soy sauce for 20 minutes.  Cook the onion in the butter for a minute, then add the flour and cook, stirring, to make a golden roux.  Add the mushrooms with the liquid and the wine to the onion roux and gently cook for 2 more minutes.  Approximately 4 servings


- 2 1/2 ounces DRIED FOREST BLEND MUSHROOMS, washed, then reconstituted in hot water for 20-30 minutes, strain and save some of the liquid
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 small onion, minced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon, dried marjoram, or 1 tablespoon of fresh, chopped
- 3/4 cup sour cream
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Red cabbage, shredded
- 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
Slice re-constituted Mushrooms lengthwise.  Saute onions in olive oil for a few minutes.         Lower heat, add garlic and mushrooms, and cook for 4 minutes or until most liquid is gone from mushrooms.  Sprinkle mushrooms with marjoram, cover, and cook 8 more minutes.  If mushrooms are too dry, add a little soaking liquid and continue cooking.  Stir in sour cream and cook on low for 2 minutes. Don't let cream boil.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Spoon mixture over red cabbage or roasted vegetables and sprinkle with parsley.

- 1 1/2 ounces DRIED EUROPEAN BLEND DRIED MUSHROOMS, reconstituted in hot water, 20-30-minutes, strain
- 3 medium sweet bell peppers
- 6 small zucchini
- 4 tablespoons virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon minced shallot
- 1 small clove minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 teaspoon sugar
- Kosher salt and pepper
Slice the reconstituted mushrooms in half lengthwise.  Roast the peppers under broiler until skin is charred.  Place roasted peppers in paper bag for 5-10 minutes, then peel, stem, seed them, then cut into 2" matchsticks.  Wash and trim zucchini, then cut into matchstick slices.  Sprinkle the zucchini with Kosher salt in a colander, let sit 4 minutes, strain.           Saute shallots in olive oil until golden.  Add the mushrooms and cook 2 minutes.  Add the peppers, zucchini and garlic and cook 5 minutes.  Combine vinegar and sugar in a small bowl to dissolve.  Add this to the pan and cook 2 more minutes. 

- 1 ounce DRIED EURPOPEAN, NORTHWEST or SPECIAL BLEND MUSHROOMS reconstituted in hot water for 20-30 minutes, strain
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 large shallots, minced
- 1 package frozen peas, cooked
- 2 tablespoons sour cream
- Large pinch cayenne
- Large pinch nutmeg
- Large pinch crushed dried thyme
- 1/4 cup chopped cashews or macadamia nuts
- 4 medium zucchini, cut in half and sprinkled with salt
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Ground black pepper
- 1 small bay leaf
- 3 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
Coarsely chop the reconstituted mushrooms.  Saute the shallots in the butter until they change color.  Add the mushrooms, toss and cook on low heat, covered for 5 minutes.  Pour mixture into a bowl, with any liquid that remains, and set aside.  Puree peas and sour cream in a food processor, them add to mushroom mixture along with the cayenne, nutmeg, thyme and nuts.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Scoop out zucchini with a tiny spoon into canoe shaped "boats" .  In a non-stick skillet, combine the wine, oil, salt and some pepper, the bay leaf, and bring to a boil.  Place zucchini, cut side down, in the liquid.  Add enough water to cover zucchini, then boil 2 minutes.  Stuff each half with the mixture, sprinkle with parmesan, then bake 10 minutes. 

This soup can be served with croutons, French bread or garlic bread, etc.
- 1 ounce DRIED MUSHROOM (ANY BLEND), sliced or diced (kibbled)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 4 medium onions, sliced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
Slowly simmer the onions in the olive oil and butter for approximately 30 minutes. Stir to prevent burning and allow even cooking.  Meanwhile, simmer dried mushrooms in 4 cups of water with the salt, soy sauce and sugar for 20 minutes.  Add onion to mushroom broth and continue to simmer for 30 minutes.  Approximately 4 servings

- 1 ounce DRIED MUSHROOMS (ANY BLEND) sliced or diced (kibbled)
- 3 cups sunflower or olive oil
Combine oil and DRIED MUSHROOMS in tightly covered container and store in a cool place (not above 70 degrees).   After several weeks when the color changes, it is ready to use.  If you read the labels on our jars you'll get clues as to the strength or woodiness of the mushrooms.  The resulting flavor of the oil will depend upon the mushrooms you choose!  Have some fun experimenting!  Note - Never put fresh mushrooms or herbs in oils.  You can only additives that are completely dried!  Fresh mushrooms and herbs add water to the oil and allows bacteria to grow.

This butter goes well with baked fish or on vegetables.
- 1/4 ounce DRIED MUSHROOMS (your choice), sliced or diced (kibbled)
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon sugar
- 1/3 cup butter, softened
Cover dried mushrooms with water in a small saucepan and simmer with the soy sauce and sugar for 20 minutes.   After the liquid has cooled, puree in a blender and combine with the butter.   Refrigerate
2  Tablespoon(s)  olive oil 
1/2  Cup(s)  chopped onion 
2  Stalk(s)  celery, diced 
4  Clove(s)  garlic, minced 
4  Cup(s)  stock (vegetable or chicken) 
4  Cup(s)  water 
1  Large  can crushed tomatoes 
1/2  Ounce dry mushrooms (we recommend Forest Blend but you chose) 
1/4  Pound(s)  fresh button mushrooms, sliced 
1/2  Cup(s)  pearled barley 
1  Tablespoon(s)  soy sauce 
1  Large  carrot diced 
Reconstitute the morels by submerging in four cups of hot water for 20 minutes. Drain the mushrooms by pouring them through a clean coffee filter, reserve the liquid. Slice into long strips, remove any debris from the inside of the mushrooms. Saute the onion, celery and garlic in olive oil until the onion is translucent. Add the tomatoes, mushrooms and soy sauce. Cook for 3-5 minutes. Slowly add the broth and mushroom soaking water. Simmer for 1 hour. Add the barley and carrots and cook for another 35 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste.

1/4  Cup(s)  chopped onion 
3  Tablespoon(s)  melted butter 
1/2  Teaspoon(s)  ground chili powder 
1  Teaspoon(s)  fresh minced garlic 
1  Teaspoon(s)  lemon juice 
1/2  Cup(s)  red wine 
1  Teaspoon(s)  sugar 
1  Tablespoon(s)  soy sauce 
1/2  Ounce(s)  *reconstituted European Blend mushrooms, cut into mediums size pieces 
In a skillet, saute the onions in the butter until translucent. Add the red wine to stop the cooking. Add the rest of the ingredients, except the mushrooms, and stir for about one minute. Add the mushrooms, cover with a tight-fitting lid and simmer for 30 minutes. Serve over grilled meat or vegetables, or over rice.  * To reconsitute soak in hot water for 20-30 minutes.

1/2  Cup(s)  boiling water 
3  Tablespoon(s)  sherry 
1/2  Ounce(s)  DRIED EUROPEAN BLEND mushrooms 
1/4  Cup(s)  butter 
3/4  Cup(s)  diced onion 
1  Piece(s)  celery 
1  Cup(s)  sliced fresh button mushrooms 
2  Tablespoon(s)  flour 
6  Cup(s)  broth 
1 1/2  Cup(s) cooked wild rice  (we recommend using Pies & Plates' 5 GRAIN BLEND)
salt and pepper to taste 
Place the mushrooms in a bowl and cover with sherry and boiling water. Let sit for 20 mintues. Drain, reserving the liquid, and slice the mushrooms.  Heat the butter in a saucepan and saute the onion, celery and fresh mushrooms. Cook for five minutes. Sprinkle the flour in and stir constantly while all the vegetables become coated. Slowly, 1/2 cup at a time, add the broth, stirring so that the flour does not clump. Add the mushrooms, the reserved mushroom liquid and the cooked wild rice.  Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste, if needed add more sherry. 
VarietyKnow your 'Srooms!
Black Trumpet MushroomBlack Trumpet
Black Trumpet (Craterllus Cornucopioides), also known as horn of plenty, is considered a great delicacy. This fragile, trumpet shaped mushroom has a waxy, charcoal-gray outer surface, while the inside is a velvety blackish-brown. This is an incredibly rich and buttery mushroom. The Black Trumpet can be found growing in large groups in damp deciduous woods, especially under oak or beech, during summer and fall.

Suggested Use: Black Trumpets work well as a flavoring ingredient in soups and casseroles. Black Trumpets are great in vegetarian cooking because they add a richness and depth that is often the role of meat in a recipe. These Mushrooms are delicious sauted and added to rice dishes, particularly wild rice. 
Bolete MushroomsBoletes  
Boletes (Boletus Luteus) are Mushrooms that have tubes, a spongy layer containing tiny pores instead of gills. This Mushroom is the king of the edible Mushrooms. This Mushroom typically grows in the summer or fall and are found growing under conifers and hardwoods in temperate climates. The Mushrooms are used fresh or dried for consistent availability. The French name for a Bolete is Cepe. In Britain this Mushroom is known as the Penny Bun. The European Boletes are sliced then dried for use. These Boletes are dark brown in color and range from 1 to 2 inches in length by 2/8 to 1/4 inch wide. The Boletes have a rich, deep, earthy flavor which is famous throughout the world in numerous cuisines.

Suggested Use:  Boletes are great in pasta sauces, soups and any recipe calling for Wild Mushrooms. Boletes are wonderful in wild rice pilaf or add them to your next stuffing or casserole dish. 

Button MushroomsButton Mushrooms
The White Button (Agaricus Brunnescens) is the most frequently used of all Mushrooms. Also, called Champignon, they've been cultivated by the French since the 1700's. Today, the United States is the largest grower of cultivated White Button Mushrooms. The Champignon retains it's shape well when cooked, although they do shrink a little in size. The Champignon has a mild flavor and firm texture and comes in sliced form. The Champignon absorbs flavors well in any dish.

Suggested Use:  When reconstituted, Dried Champignon look, cook and taste just like their fresh form. Delicious in gravy, sauces, cream soups, stews, stir fry recipes, pasta, casseroles - just about anything youd want to use mushrooms in Buttons are good to take along on camping trips to add extra flavor to camp fire meals.
ChantrelleChantrelle Mushroom
Chanterelles (Cantharellus Cibarius) are Funnel Shaped Mushrooms that are relatively uncommon. They bear a slight resemblance to Horn of Plenty, but are smaller, brownish-gray in color rather than black, and have a compressed stem. Very sought after for their tender texture and flavor, they are an uncultivated mushroom. They grow in clusters under broad-leaved trees and are difficult to find among the leaf litter. Chanterelles are found in coniferous and hardwood forests of Northern climates.

Suggested Use:  Chanterelles have a delicious flavor. They are great sauted in butter with onions or shallots. This is a wonderful Mushroom for sauces. Chanterelles go well in cream sauces. The flavor of this Mushroom is so delightful that it is best cooked with light seasonings so that the Mushroom taste can be highlighted.

LobsterLobster Mushroom
The Lobster Mushroom (Hypomyces Lactifluorum) is a Parasitic Mushroom which uses another Mushroom as its host; and dramatically increases the flavor of that host. The Lobster Mushroom derives its name from the reddish color of the Mushroom. This Mushroom is a great addition to Mushroom dishes because of its beautiful color which is rather unique in the edible Mushroom world. Lobster Mushrooms have a firm, soft texture, delicate flavor and the slices range from 1 - 3 inches wide. The Lobster absorbs flavors of a dish well while adding eye appeal.

Suggested Use:  Lobster Mushrooms add a beautiful touch of color to dishes. They are great in baked dishes or sauted and served with meat or tofu. Use in place of any Mushroom, Lobster are very versatile.
Morel MushroomsMorel Mushrooms
Morel mushrooms (Morchella Elata) are honeycomb capped mushrooms that are the delight of the north woods. Morel mushrooms have a wonderful buttery, woodsy flavor that is delicious with beef, game, poultry and seafood. Typically, morels range from 3/4 of an inch to 4 inches in height. Morels have a cream colored base and a dark cap. Typically found in the Pacific Northwest, morels inspire an early spring pilgrimage in a quest for this rare and delicious treat. Although there are many beliefs, it is commonly believed that morels arrive within 20 days after the first spring frost. Hunters of the Morel Mushroom rarely reveal their harvesting locations. Furthermore, if the location of the wild mushroom is not picked clean the mushrooms will return the following spring.

Suggested Use:  Because of their earthy flavor, morels are often paired with cream or white wine sauces and milder flavored meats, such as veal or chicken. They are also wonderful when partnered with grilled and roasted foods.
PorchiniPorchin Mushrooms
Porcini mushrooms (Boletus Edulis) are a very popular mushroom throughout Europe and the United States. During late spring and early summer the porcini grows in abundance. Porcini mushrooms have a distinct flavor. The flavor can be almost addicting. Dried porcinis are a very economical mushroom as the flavor is very concentrated. Porcinis are graded by size, color, aroma, and variety.

Suggested Use:  Porcini are delicious in soups, sauces, stuffings and stews. Dried Porcini can be substituted for any Mushroom in any recipe; typically a smaller amount of Dried Porcini can be used in recipes than other Mushrooms because of the intense flavor of the Porcini.

PortabellaPortobella Mushrooms (Agaricus Bitorquis) are an extremely large, round, firm, dark brown Mushroom. This Mushroom is the fully mature form of the White Button Mushroom. This Mushroom measures between 5 and 8 inches in diameter with an open, flat cap. Because this Mushroom is the elder of the species, it's gills are fully exposed, which means that some of the Mushroom's moisture has evaporated. The reduced moisture creates a dense, meaty texture and enriched flavor. This Mushroom has a delicious mild, woodsy flavor. Poratobella are like White Button or Champignon Mushrooms only larger and have a deeper flavor. Use the Portabella wherever you would a White Button if you want to enhance the flavor. This Mushroom comes as a large sliced about 3--4 inches long and 1/2 - 3/4 of an inch wide.

Suggested Use:  Portabella Mushrooms are delicious and versatile. With a rich, firm texture, they're an excellent choice for grilling or broiling. Their savory flavor compliments steaks, chops, poultry, seafood and grilled vegetables. Use them in stews, soups, couscous and casseroles. Marinate Portabella in red wine, garlic and herbs.

Black Trumpet MushroomShitake Mushrooms
Shiitake (Lentinus Edodes) is often called a wild mushroom, however it is only found cultivated. The origin of this mushroom is debated. Either the Chinese or the Japanese were the first to cultivate shiitake over 1200 years ago. Available fresh in nearly all U. S. markets, there is also a very large demand for the dry form. Dried shiitake caps are dark brown on top, with tan gills underneath. The rim of the dried shiitakes curls down toward the stem. Shiitakes have a meaty flesh and a full bodied, bosky flavor. Shiitakes may also be referred to as Chinese black mushrooms or forest mushrooms. Shiitake (shee - tah-kay).

Suggested Use:  Delicious added to vegetables and Asian soups. Chop and mix with bread crumbs for a savory stuffing for grilled vegetables. Add shiitake to soups, stir fry dishes, rice dishes and casseroles.
Woodear MushroomsWoodear Mushroom

Woodear mushrooms (Auricularia Polytricha) are cultivated all over the world but grown for the commercial dry market almost exclusively in China. They are thought to look like ears growing out of trees, hence the name. This mushroom has other names such as tree ear and black fungus. It is often confused with the cloud ear. Woodear mushrooms are believed by many to be good for the heart. When reconstituted, the brownish tan inner color blends with the black exterior color to create a singled colored brownish black mushroom. The woodear has a firm skin with a slightly crunchy texture and an earthy flavor. Shredded woodear mushrooms are thin, long slices of the whole woodear mushroom.

Suggested Use:  Wood Ear Mushroom's texture is crunchy and its flavor is mild. This Mushroom is very popular and served often in Oriental soups. Wood Ear are often called for in pork recipes, though they can be used with most meats.
Pies & Plates' Special Mushroom Blends
At the present time we are carrying only unique mushroom blends because we think they are more interesting and fun to cook with!  If there is enough demand for a certain mushroom we may offer it in the future.  If your recipe calls for a certain type of mushroom, for example, Chantrelles or Porchini you can eaisly subsitute one of our blends that contains the called for mushroom!  
Our Steak Blend is a delicious combination of Oyster, Blazei, King Oyster and Porcini mushrooms. It was specifically designed to enhance the flavor and presentation of any steak. It is the perfect blend of mild and wild flavored mushrooms.
Our European Blend has a robust and hearty flavor, perfect for beef recipes. This Dried Mushroom Blend contains Morels, Chanterelles, Black Trumpets, Porcini, Lobsters, Sliced Shiitakes, and Boletes.
Our Forest Blend is an earthy, yet savory combination of Shiitake, Porcini, Oyster, Bolete, Wood Ear and Sliced Shiitake.
Our North Woods Mushroom Blend is a savory and versatile mixture of wild and cultivated Dried Mushrooms. This Blend adds a rich, hearty flavor containing Lobster, Shiitake, Porcini, Morels, Oyster, Sliced Shiitake and Boletes.
Our Special Blend is a mild, yet savory combination of Shiitake, Chanterelle, Morel, Porcini, Oyster and Bolete.
Our Stir Fry Blend has a delicately mild flavor that is suited for stir fry recipes. This Dried Mushroom Blend contains Shiitake, Shredded Wood Ear, Sliced Button, Cloud Ear and Oyster.

Pies & Plates, 2310 Tamiami Trail, Ste 3117, Punta Gorda, Florida 33950
(941) 505-7437