Add variety; try these different types of mushrooms
(NC) Mushrooms are one of the most versatile and natural ingredients used in today's cooking. With their rich and meaty texture they can be used in almost any dish, from breakfast to dinner. Most Canadians are familiar with Canada's most popular mushroom, the white button, but what about all the other varieties on the market? Specialty mushrooms are just as easy to prepare, and are packed with flavour and nutrients.
Crimini mushrooms have a rich and nutty flavour that is slightly stronger than the white button mushroom. What's great about the crimini is that it can be substituted for white buttons in any recipe. This gives you the opportunity to experiment with its stronger flavour and full texture.
The large Portabella mushroom is well known by vegetarians. Its intense meaty flavour and robust texture make it ideal for replacing meat in burgers, pastas and other entrées.
Shiitake mushrooms are a flavourful mushroom that is often found in Asian cooking. These woodsy mushrooms have a very soft texture when cooked and are prefect stir-fried or sautéed with poultry, meat or pasta. Tough stems should be removed, and can be used to make stock.
Oyster mushrooms are best eaten cooked. They have a mild flavour and velvety texture which is complemented nicely by cream sauces, pork or seafood.
The King Oyster mushroom may take some by surprise. The entire mushroom is edible, including the thick stem, which is pleasantly chewy. King oysters have a very delicate woodsy flavour with a hint of sweetness. They stand up well to being sautéed, stir-fried and grilled.
Enoki mushrooms are the most unusual looking of the bunch. These tiny mushrooms are grassy with a slight woodsy flavour. Enoki's are best used raw, and make a great alternative to bean sprouts. They make the perfect addition to salads, soups and sandwiches, and add interest as a garnish on stir-fries.
For more delicious recipe ideas visit Mushrooms Canada at www.mushrooms.ca.
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