Everyone in our family loves mushrooms. We love them raw as snacks. We love them sliced and fried in butter or mixed into stir fries. Fresh mushrooms are great to have on hand to add to all sorts of recipes.
But as our kids went off to university and college, we found that sometimes a package of mushrooms didn’t get eaten before they started to go bad. That’s where having our Excalibur dehydrator (<-affiliate link) comes in handy.
Dehydrating mushrooms is so easy.
First wipe off any bits of dirt that may be on the mushroom. Then slice each mushroom into 1/4” slices. Arrange slices on the dehydrator trays.
Put the trays in dehydrator.
Set the temperature at 120 degrees F and the timer for 10 hours.
The water content of mushrooms varies so you’ll want to check the mushrooms after 10 hours to see how far along in the drying process they’ve gotten to. Most of the books I have instruct to dehydrate until they are tough and leathery.
With the humidity we have in the South, I like to dry our mushrooms until they break when tested. Our last batch took about 20 hours to get to the point.
When they came out of the dehydrator they looked like this:
Those four trays of dehydrated mushroom fit into a one quart canning jar; with a few missing that got snacked on. Seriously, I could eat these by the handful. They are that good.
Add the lid to the jar and store them in a cool, dark cupboard until needed for a recipe.
We add dried mushrooms to homemade pizzas. No need to even re-hydrate them, just scatter them over the top of the pizza before adding the cheese.
When making Salisbury Steak, I used to use a can of mushroom soup to make the gravy. But now, I re-hydrate a couple of handfuls of dried mushrooms in a bowl with boiling water. I do this about an hour before I want to make supper.
Once the beef patties are cooked almost through, I pour in the mushroom and water mixture. I let everything boil for a few minutes until the beef patties are completely cooked and then add my flour/water mixture to make the gravy.
It tastes so good and I no longer have to worry about consuming the MSG, not to mention other unpronounceable ingredients, that are added to commercially canned mushroom soup.
And I also used re-hydrated mushrooms when I was making the Beef Rouladen that will be featured in next week’s German Cooking week.
Speaking of which, in honour of the calendar turning to October and the Oktoberfests which are being held throughout the world… each weekday next week, I’ll be sharing a different recipe that I learned to cook while Dave and I were posted to Germany from 1984 to 88 and which have become family favourites.
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