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Lake life

The mushroom reward

This is the third part of a 3-part series

Thanks to Trey Williams for the information we’ve shared the past three days. We end today with Trey’s favorite part. Williams doesn’t just hunt, harvest and clean wild mushrooms to pass the time of day. He does it because of the reward in the kitchen. Here are his tips on what to do with mushrooms once you harvest them.

Take it away, Trey: Cooking has always been a big part of my family, though I’m probably the first one to ever cook a mushroom I found in the woods! There’s just something self-satisfying about cooking a venison backstrap that you killed and butchered yourself, and topping it with sautéed mushrooms that you foraged from the same block of woods.

The great thing about mushrooms is that they are generally very versatile! I think that Chanterelles pair really nicely with venison. Lots of recipes out there that combine those two! Oysters do to, and can really go with anything. You can take any recipe that calls for portobello, cremini or button mushrooms (which incidentally are all the same species) and substitute oysters without an issue. You might be able to do the same with Chants, but they really do have a unique flavor so I’d be careful substituting them. Either way – I usually look to chanterelles and/or oysters to be either a “side dish,” or as an accompaniment to a good piece of meat.

Chickens and Lions Mane, on the other hand, are a little different as they can both be showcased as the “main course.” For instance – chickens can be used in place of poultry in many recipes that call for boneless or diced chicken. I’ve even gone so far as even grilling them with a little teriyaki sauce! Lions Mane can be used in place of seafood, and while I haven’t done it personally, I’ve seen many recipes calling for people to shred the flesh and making “mock” crab cakes. I haven’t done that yet because I don’t find many of them, and the simple preparation above is hard to pass up!

And this advice from Trey is worth repeating:

“DO NOT EAT ANYTHING YOU’RE NOT 100% CERTAIN IS EDIBLE!! Seriously… This can be a fun and rewarding hobby (as much or more than hunting or fishing), but don’t be stupid. Know what you are eating. There are some dangerous mushrooms out there… I stick to these 4 because I know them, and am comfortable making the ID. If you plan on foraging and cooking wild mushrooms, PLEASE do more research than simply reading this article. It’s not hard, but you just have to know what you’re doing!”

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