top of page
Search

Updated: Feb 3, 2022



Never in a million years would I have dreamed Lobster mushrooms existed before I found out about them. But, there are bright and vibrant orange to red mushrooms here in Canada, that smell and taste like seafood. The excitement of finding one was part of what got me hooked on foraging wild mushrooms. A fresh lobster mushroom REALLY smells like seafood. Dried do too, but not quite as strong. Their texture and flavour cooked up is nothing like your typical button mushroom. And probably no one would guess they were eating a mushroom if you didn't tell them.

Lobster mushrooms are a source of B vitamins, vitamin D, protein, minerals and more.



Lobster mushrooms (Hypomyces lactifloreum) are actually the body snatchers of the mushroom world. They are actually a fungus that parasitize certain Russula mushrooms, particularly Short stemmed russulas and sometimes Lactarius mushrooms and transforms them into Lobster mushrooms. But trust me, they're delicious and don't attack humans, or I'd be one by now for sure.

Often lobster mushrooms are hiding under the moss or just peaking out, so some people carry a stick and poke lumps of moss to see if it's a rock or a mushroom. These are a late summer early fall mushroom in most of Canada, and don't do well once the rain or snow hits. We've found them in all sorts of habitats, but they seem to like gentle slopes and mossy areas and conifer boreal forest, though we have found them in mixed deciduous forests.

Please don't just run out and start foraging though, study some ID books relevant to your area, join your local mycological society, or buy from professional harvesters by clicking here.


Creamy Lobster Mushroom Rosè


By Caitlin Beer


Time: 20-30 minutes

Serves 4-6


You'll need:


• Medium saucepan (frying pan)

• Medium pot

• Stirring utensil

• Grater

• Knife or food processor

• Measuring cup


INGREDIENTS

• 1 cup Classico sweet basil marinara or other tomato based pasta sauce (if you use a plain sauce, add 1 T dried basil and an extra 1/2 teaspoon salt)

• 1 cup milk (can substitute dairy alternative)

• 1/2 cup cream (substitute 1 can full fat coconut cream for all dairy, or just add more dairy alternative)

• 1/2 cup vegetable or chicken broth (to soak mushrooms in) or water

• 1/2 teaspoon salt

• 1/2 cup parmesan (can buy vegan parmesan) feta is also a delicious substitute

• 14 g Wildland Foods lobster mushrooms (approximately 1 cup) or dried Chanterelles

• 2-3 garlic cloves (substitute 1 teaspoon garlic powder)

• 1/2 red pepper diced

• 1/2 medium onion or 1 small onion diced (substitute 1 T onion powder)

• 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika

• 3 Tablespoons cornstarch

• 2 Tablespoons butter or sunflower oil

• 4-6 servings fettuccine or linguine noodles (any noodles will do)

• 6 cups water + 1/2 t salt for cooking noodles


DIRECTIONS


》Soak lobster mushrooms in cold broth 4+ hours or hot broth 15-20 minutes. I like to crush them slightly while dried so the pieces are smaller.


》 While mushrooms are rehydrating, dice up onion, red pepper and grate or finely dice garlic. Sometimes I use a food processor, sometimes a knife.


》Heat medium saucepan and butter on medium low and saute your onion, red pepper and garlic for 10 minutes, stirring regularly and adjusting heat as needed until lightly browned.


》Add mushrooms and saute 5 more minutes.


》 Bring to boil a medium pot with 6 cups water and 1/2 teaspoon salt to cook pasta.


》Add pasta sauce, broth from soaking mushrooms, cream, milk, parmesan, salt and paprika and cornstarch to saucepan with onions, red pepper and garlic and stir well, cooking on medium low heat until sauce is thickened, about 5-10 minutes. Taste and add salt if needed.


》Cook pasta as directed, usually 8-9 minutes, drain in strainer.


》Either add noodles to sauce and toss before serving, or place noodles on plates and top with sauce. Garnish with parmesan or feta and enjoy!


Notes: if you've never tried lobster mushrooms, eat in moderation in case of allergy. All wild mushrooms should be cooked before eating.


Lobster mushoom, pushing up moss and debris. Photo by Caitlin Beer 2020









671 views2 comments

Updated: Feb 5, 2021

The elusive and renowned Morel mushroom. Often hiding in plain sight, these mushrooms are probably second only to Truffles as far as gourmet mushrooms go.


That is because their meat-like texture and taste are paired with a rich umami flavour and they are very difficult to grow because they are mycorrhizal mushrooms, which means they have a symbiotic relationship with certain trees that is hard to replicate artificially.


There are many different varieties of Morels, their latin genus name is Morchella, such as Morchella tomentosa, Morchella angusticeps etc. but they are all edible. However there are a few lookalikes such as Gyromitra and Verpa, so before you jump on the foraging train, please be sure to do sufficient research and be 200% certain of your identification before consuming, or purchase your morels from professional foragers by clicking here.

However, this is not an identification post, it is a recipe, so I will get to the point.


Now before I start, this gravy recipe is amazing on everything. I mean, whatever you would normally put gravy on. Mashed potatoes, veggies, rice, biscuits... I have chosen to adorn fries with it and cheese curds because that is part of my Canadian heritage, and it is delicious.


MOREL POUTINE

Serves 3-4

35-40 minutes from start to finish


INGREDIENTS

• 14 grams (0.5 oz) Wildland Foods morels

• 2 cups broth, either mushroom, vegetable, beef, or chicken

• 1/2 teaspoon thyme

• 1 Tablespoon butter

• 3 cloves garlic

• 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

• 1/2 teaspoon onion powder

• 1/4 teaspoon celery seed (optional)

• 3 Tablespoon cornstarch + 2 T cold water

• 1/4 teaspoon salt

• 1/4 teaspoon pepper

• 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce (if vegan, buy vegan version)

• 4-5 medium potatoes + oil for frying or baking (I used sunflower oil)

• 1 package cheese curds (grated mozzarella works in a pinch, but not technically poutine worthy)


DIRECTIONS


》 Heat broth in small pot on med high. Once boiled, remove from heat and add dried morels. Make sure all morels are submerged. They will want to float, so weight down with bowl or 'wack a morel' periodically. Set aside to rehydrate for 15 minutes while you do step 2.


》 Wash or peel potatoes and slice into fries. It's best to dry them thoroughly. If baking, preheat oven to 425 Fahrenheit. I often use parchment paper on my pan, but it's not necessary. Make sure fries have space between them so they can get crispy and lightly coat with oil. If frying, start to heat 3" oil in pot on medium high. An actual deep fryer is much safer, so please be cautious if using a pot.


》Heat butter or oil in small frying pan. Add grated garlic and sauté on low 5 minutes. If your morels are rehydrated enough you can add them now after slicing into rings. Sauté morels + 1-2 Tablespoons of broth with butter and garlic for an additional 5 minutes on medium low.


》Add fries to preheated oil or place lightly oiled fries in heated oven on the center rack. Bake 15 min before flipping with a spatula to bake 15 min more.


》Put morels back in broth, adding your onion, garlic powder, thyme, salt and pepper. Mix cornstarch in small cup with 2 Tablespoons of cold water and then add to broth mixture, whisking or stirring to ensure thorough mixing. Cook for 5-10 minutes until desired thickness is achieved.


》Once fries are done, season with salt and adorn with cheese curds and gravy and enjoy!


If you fried your fries, save your cooking oil and keep it in the fridge for next time! It can be used 3-5 times safely.










315 views0 comments

Updated: Feb 1, 2021

By Caitlin Beer


A world famous wild mushroom, Chanterelles are also known as Girolles in France and the UK, Pfifferling in Germany and Lisichka in Russia and the Ukraine. They have a unique, nutty, buttery flavour that some say has a peppery taste. When fresh, they have an aroma reminiscent of apricots, which I look forward to every year.

In European culture many grow up foraging wild mushrooms with their families or seeing wild mushrooms in local markets.


There are many different varieties of Chanterelles that grow in Canada. Some examples are Cantharellus subalbidus, C. cinnabarinus, C. cibarius, C. formosus, and

Craterellus tubaeformis as well as many others.

You can buy dried Chanterelles online here or learn to forage them for yourself*at your own risk after doing sufficient research and/or mentoring under an experienced forager.


Many people prefer them fresh, but their flavour is greatly concentrated when dried, which I love. Yes, their texture is much different and slightly chewy but still delicious. This is why I prefer to crush them into smaller chunks which means more flavour in each bite! Even if I have fresh chanterelles on hand, I still use dried in this soup, and just add a few freshly sautéed (or pickled) to garnish.


Did you know that mushrooms are technically not a plant at all? They don't

photosynthesize, and some, like Chanterelles, are mycorrhizal which means

they have a symbiotic relationship with certain plants and trees where they give the plants water, minerals and nutrients in exchange for sugars (energy). Chanterelles haven't been successfully grown commercially because of this relationship.


They are a great source of vegan vitamin D, boasting your daily value of vitamin D (400-800 IU) per 100 g of fresh mushrooms (=10 grams dried) which they make in the same way as humans, from sun exposure. Which they only get because they are wild mushrooms! They also are a source of B vitamins, iron and more.


Without further ado...

CREAMY CHANTERELLE POTATO SOUP

5-6 servings

Approximately 286 calories per 1 cup (8 oz.) serving

Recipe makes approximately 1.5 liters of soup

Takes about 25 minutes from start to finish


INGREDIENTS:

• 2 cups vegetable or chicken broth

• 14 grams dried Wildland Foods Chanterelles** click here to view product

• 3 medium sized yellow or russet potatoes

• 3 Tablespoons butter or sunflower oil

• 1 small onion or half a medium onion

• 2-3 garlic cloves

• 1/2 teaspoon salt

• 1 teaspoon dried Wildland Foods nettle flakes or parsley click here to view product

• 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme (or spruce tips)

• 1/4 teaspoon celery seed

• 1/2 cup Whipping cream or coconut cream***

• 1 cup Water (mix with cornstarch)

• 3 Tablespoons Cornstarch (optional, can omit and blend half of soup to thicken)


DIRECTIONS

》Add to a medium sized pot and simmer on low

• 2 c. vegetable, chicken or mushroom broth

• 14 grams dried Chanterelles, crushed 1/4"

• 1/4 t. Celery seed (optional)


》While the above simmers, chop and add to broth:

• 3 medium sized potatoes, diced into approximately 3/4" chunks

• 14 grams dried Chanterelles, crushed or ground


》Now heat skillet on medium low and sauté for 10-15 min being careful to watch and stir so it doesn't burn:

• 3 T sunflower oil (or butter)

• 1 small onion diced or 1/2 med onion

• 2-3 cloves garlic


》Check your broth and potatoes and give them a stir, potatoes should be tender in 20 minutes from actively simmering.


》Onions and garlic should be lightly browned or caramelized if you have the patience. Now add onions to broth and potato pot as well as:

• 1/2 t salt

• 1 t dried nettle flakes or parsley*

• 1/2 t dried thyme

• 1/2 c. Whipped cream or coconut cream

• 1 c. Cold water (mix with 3 T cornstarch)


Now you have three options:

Either

A. You add 3 T cornstarch to thicken (mix with cold water before adding to avoid clumps) (medium thickness)

Or

B. You blend half of the soup so the potatoes thicken it. (Thickest option)

C. Just leave it as is (thin broth)


Add more salt if desired

Serve with garlic grilled swiss or mozzarella cheese toast if you'd like, or buns or biscuits!


Pair with Pinot grigio or other white wine, cider, or sparkling apple or pear juice if you so desire.

ADDITIONAL OPTIONS:

• Add 4 slices of bacon, diced when cooking onions

• Garnish with parmesan or nutritional yeast


Have you tried Chanterelles? What's your favourite way to use them? I'd love to hear what you think of my recipe!


Recipe and blog post by Caitlin Beer


NOTES

**Or other dried mushrooms, morels, lobsters or pidpenky work well, but for morels and pidpenky I would rehydrate first and saute with onions and garlic for best flavour and texture. If you use fresh Chanterelles, be sure to dry saute first and brown the mushrooms well. You will need at least 1/4 lb of fresh mushrooms and I would blend or finely chop half or just add as a garnish.

***If you use other non dairy options that are less thick than coconut milk, replace water with that as well, so it will be 1.5 cups of non dairy milk

**** (you can use chopped fresh herbs if you desire)

*All Chanterelles are delicious, though we would not recommend Yellowfoot Chanterelles for this recipe for 2 reasons:

1.) they are tedious to pick much of and very lightweight, practically disappearing when dehydrated.

2.) They rehydrate much better than the others due to their hollow nature, so we would save them for garnishes or perhaps add them to this recipe whole in combination with other crushed Chanterelles.

Above: Pacific Golden Chanterelle (Cantharellus formosus)

Photographed by Caitlin Beer

646 views0 comments
bottom of page