Archive | 4:06 pm

Holy Fungi

12 Jul

Every couple of years I’ll wake up to find a giant fungus growing beneath the oak tree outside my living room window.


Well, last year, my son’s interest in fungi let me recognize it as chicken-of-the-woods when it popped up this year.

my hand for some perspective

That means I harvested it.  Do you see how huge this thing is?  I had to use my machete to cut it off the ground.

I cannot tell you what a chore it was to clean it up.  It completely grew around the grass.  It was embedded in there.  I ended up throwing half of the thing away because I just couldn’t get the grass out of it.  I did also promise my son that I’m sure I missed some grass.

By the time I had finished, I had two 9×13 glass baking dishes full of mushroom.  I tried giving it to him just cleaned, but he informed me that he didn’t know how to cook it.  Um…

I called my mom, and we spent a lot of time preparing this thing and breading it and turning it into popcorn chicken-of-the-woods.

It really is delicious.  We pooped out, and we still hadn’t finished the first pan.  Of course, another marathon day of working on it followed, and the whole thing has been prepared and frozen (or eaten).

Since I had a lot left, and it was some of the big chunks, I decided to try turning it into bacon.

I started by slicing it as thin as I could.  By the way, you can use this recipe with  a portobello or shiitake mushroom cap as well.

Then I made the glaze.

Whisk together:

  • 4 Tbsp. Tamari sauce (or soy if you don’t care about sodium content)
  • 4 Tbsp. real maple syrup
  • 2 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 2 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp. liquid smoke
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil

Dip or brush both sides of the mushrooms slices with the glaze.  Then place them on a baking sheet.  I did get smart with the second batch, and I put parchment paper in the pan to make the cleanup easier.

Bake it at 375°F for 20 minutes. Flip them over and bake another 10 minutes.

It’s delicious like this, or you can fry them in a skillet with a bit of oil to crisp them up.  Thank heavens they freeze well.

I am so bad at food photography.

I must say, as much work as it was, I’m probably still going to harvest it the next time it pops up because it was delicious!