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Delicious Blewit Soup

4 Jan

Picking blewits in the winter is lots of fun. There are not many other edible mushrooms to be picked in the cold months, but they take some time to find, being covered with leaf litter.

Usually we find them in our secret spots, have a blast picking them, cause they are usually in large numbers. Then we give them away.

Why do we give them away? Well let’s just say that we didn’t know how to cook them.

One time, I tried cooking them down, and I almost got sick. The smell was so overpowering, and looking at the slimy residue that the mushrooms were leaving behind, did not help at all.

Yesterday, we went to take Enoki for a nice run in the woods. It was such a beautiful day outside, we  put on our sneakers, and out of the door we were. We went to one of our secret spots, and we found nothing at first, and by luck, Tradd saw some bumps in the leaf litter, and sure enough, we went home with 2 dozen blewit mushrooms.

We got them home, and  I made a very brave decision to cook them up in a soup.

I cut off the stem bases with the leaf litter and dirt for Blewit Burritos and Blewit Bombs. Here are some videos from our youtube channel that show you how to make a blewit burrito, and a blewit bomb if you picked some, and you want to make your own patch.

Blewit Burrito:

Blewit Bomb:

Here goes the recipe. Tradd got it from Tim Geho, a very good friend who is a mushroom encyclopedia.

Creamy Blewit Soup
From Joe’s Book of Mushroom Cookery

1 cup Blewits, sliced thin
1 T. fresh shallots, chopped – I subbed onions for shallots, since I didn’t have any
1 T. butter, melted
1 cup half cream, half milk
1 cup rich chicken stock – I only had vegetable stock cubes, so I dissolved one in a cup of water
1 t. anisette – I subbed with a few drops of anise extract
salt and pepper to taste
4 egg yolks, beaten and mixed with 1/4 cup cream

1. Wash the mushrooms, and saute them with the shallots in the butter over a medium heat. You want to draw the liquid out of the mushrooms, but you do not want to let it evaporate. Saute for about 2 minutes.
2. Add the half-and-half, stock, anisette, and salt and pepper to taste.
3. Bring the mixture back up to heat, but do not let it boil excessively.
4. Slowly thicken the soup by adding the egg yolk and cream mixture, while stirring the soup gently. Stop adding when the soup is just shy of the proper consistency, and stir. Then take off the heat immediately and let it sit for 5 minutes before serving. You may have to stir the soup again before serving.

The soup was absolutely delicious. You must try it.

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Blewit Madness – Winter ’08

21 Jul

(NOTE: this is an old blog  ( December 18, 2008) I transferred it from blogspot)

What a beautiful day today. It is mid december and it was 65-68F outside. And on top of that -sunny. Aaaaaah! I was itching to be outside today, but my day job keeps me stuck to the computer most of the day.

Tradd was outside planting blueberry plants, all the doors and windows were open, the new kittens were hanging out outside, and off course I was taking multiple breaks, visiting Tradd.

Then Tradd mentioned we should go to our new Blewit spot. And I was like, OK!!!!! So I clocked out of work early (bad Olga, bad), and we drove to Clemson, and guess what.

WE FOUND 4 KILLER BLEWIT PATCHES

Tradd with blewits

I was so happy. Most of them, Tradd said we were going to use for just harvesting their stem butts. I should explain that. Blewits are one of those mushrooms that you can propagate straight from their stems. You don’t need a lab. It is the coolest thing, and it really works. We have this procedure outlined on our website. Here is the link.

Clitocybe nuda

 Anyways, back to the glorious picking. Luckily we had a basket with us, we filled it up to the top, no more mushrooms could even fit in there. Around 20 lbs of Blewits. Awesome!

Blewit

We took them home and cleaned them for two hours, I thought it was never going to end, now they are steaming in a huge pot, they will end up in the freezer, once we figure out some great recipes, they will get cooked for real. And since it is 11:00 pm, that ain’t going to happen tonight.

A little bit about blewits. It’s latin name is Clitocybe nuda. It used to be Lepista nuda. It is a fall/winter mushroom.

A week ago we went up to Asheville for the Asheville Mushroom Club holiday party. AMC is a kickass mushroom club, and we are members. Check them out here. And their parties are off the chain. Anyways every year on the way there, we stop in Brevard at another of our secret blewit spots, and we found some just like the year before, and they were completely frozen, LOL. They like the freeze. They actually need the freeze to fruit.

Blewit mushrooms

They are purplish to beige in color, and can be confused with some other purplish looking mushrooms that fruit aroud the same time, like the Cortinarius species, which are not very good to eat, and can be quite poisonous. So if you are out there mushroom hunting, have your field guides handy, and please be a 100% sure that you have got a blewit, before you eat it.

This one was covered with leaves before I found it

They can be a bit slimy when cooked down. I learned a little trick from David Arora’s book. Sautee them on max heat with no oil, and sprinkle them with salt to draw out all the moisture out of them. After all the moisture is out, cook them for a few more minutes, stir them so they don’t stick. Then cook them the way you like, and that should do the trick. 🙂Cooking with mushrooms