17 December 2013

Drying Mushrooms

Last Sunday I called in at our local fruit and veg market towards closing time (always the best time to go for bargain basement prices) and bought 3kg of mushrooms for just $4!

Oh joy! Oh bliss! We all love mushrooms; on toast, in soups, in quiche, in salads and on pizza so there was no way I was going to not buy those mushies. But even we can't get through three kilos of mushrooms before they start to get a little dried and wrinkly.

Which reminded me of a really simple way to preserve them: drying.

Using two bowls, I peeled and sliced them and spread them in the trays of the dehydrator and set it to 60 degrees and let those mushrooms dry right out. The peelings and the stems went straight into a ziplock bag then into the freezer to be used in stock later on - no waste from these mushrooms.

The dehydrator was set up outside, on the back verandah, because well frankly the aroma of mushrooms can be a little overpowering, especially when it hangs around for 12 hours.

When they were thoroughly dry and crisp I tipped them into a colander to cool before putting them into an air tight jar in the pantry.

We have lots of lovely mushrooms to use in cream of mushroom soup or a stroganoff or even on our pizzas on Thursday nights. Soaked in boiling water for a few minutes they will be delicious on pizza and it only takes a few minutes to reconstitute them.

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