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Posts tagged ‘wild mushrooms’

Growing Mushrooms Organically

It’s Day of the Mushroom today! To celebrate, here’s a little behind-the-scenes view of the process of cultivating mushrooms.

Our wild, foraged mushroom selection varies with the seasons, but our cultivated organic mushrooms are available all year. Grown in large mushroom houses, with just the right amount of humidity and at the perfect temperature, these fungi are a minor miracle.

In an effort to recreate the natural conditions of the forest, pristine wood pulp, or another similar substrate, is steamed and purified, then is inoculated with specific mushroom spores.

 

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The substrate steamer.

The inoculated material is placed in large jars with wide mouths. The jars are placed into trays, and then on shelves, which fill large rooms.  The mushrooms grow rapidly in the controlled conditions, and they are monitored and harvested at the optimum time. Because they are not on the forest floor, these mushrooms are not subject to insects and other factors in nature that can compromise their quality.

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Pioppini mushrooms beginning to grow.

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The Marvels of the Morel Mushroom

It’s spring and that means it’s time for morels! The first shipments are arriving at the D’Artagnan warehouse and being snapped up by chefs for their spring menus.

Morel mushrooms are a source of passion and culinary wonder, inspiring recipes, and annual spring festivals across the United States. They are known as a chef’s mushroom with an opulent, earthy flavor and texture that builds wonderful, rich sauces. But the flavor of the morel is so complex that it can be enjoyed simply. Just a sauté in butter with a bit of salt and cracked pepper is all it takes to create something extraordinary.

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Part of what makes them so beloved is the fact that they can be rare and hard-to-find. They are most common in moist deciduous woods, and are often associated with dead or dying elms, sycamore and ash trees, and old apple orchards, though some mushroom hunters report finding morels in their own suburban backyards. The pale, grayish or yellow color of the morel often blends perfectly with the dead leaves on the forest floor in early spring.

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New Year’s Eve Party

We think every party needs a charcuterie board on the table. With that strong beginning, you can serve all manner of tasty nibbles and host a New Year’s Eve party that everyone will talk about well into next year.

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If you take our suggestion and serve charcuterie – duck rillettes, pâté, saucisson sec – these quick pickled mushrooms will complement the rich flavors and textures nicely.

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Our chorizo croquettes are served with smoky paprika sauce and make a fabulous finger food for a New Year’s Eve party.

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Get the best puff pastry you can find for these mushroom vol-au-vents. And let the vegetarians know that you will have tasty options for them.

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New Year’s Eve calls for the fancy stuff. Our caviar pairs well with baby red potatoes and crème fraiche in this simple –  yet elegant – recipe.

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These dainty deviled quail eggs with porcini and parmesan  will be a hit. Set them in a drift of parmesan cheese and watch them vanish fast.

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And after the revelry is done, and you are looking for a fortifying New Year’s Day brunch, look to our recipes for inspiration. Because bacon helps make everything better. Your resolutions actually begin January 2.

 

Favorite Side Dishes for Thanksgiving

This week we are offering 15% off holiday essentials – we think of them as the “little helpers” to ease you through this year’s holiday meal and make it extra-special. Things like black truffle butter, duck fat, demi-glace and bacon. Imported French chestnuts and porcini powder bring earthy flavor and umami to recipes like classic stuffing. Speaking of which, maybe your stuffing needs a little foie gras this year. These cubes of flash-frozen foie gras are quite handy at the holidays.

For further inspiration, here are a few of our favorite things to make for the Thanksgiving meal. Just click on the photo for the recipe.

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Save 15% Off Holiday Helpers!

While the holiday bird may take center table (ours truly are stars!), the supporting cast of savory side dishes is just as important. We’re offering some of our favorite ingredients for those dishes at 15% off this week.

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Add flavor and texture to your basic stuffing with our mushrooms or chestnuts. And don’t make a holiday feast without black truffle butter – whether under the turkey skin or in mashed potatoes, it lends a rich, earthy flavor that is completely unique.

Enrich your gravy with our duck and veal demi-glace for silky body and great depth of flavor. Green beans are a holiday standard but have you tried them sautéed in duck fat? Sublime.

Take the stress out of Thanksgiving with 15% off these holiday helpers  – but only until Sunday, November 16th at midnight EST.

And if you haven’t pre-ordered your bird, there’s still time. Click through to peruse your options – we’ve got heritage breed, organic or wild turkeys. And for those who plan a small holiday gathering, we offer bone-in turkey breast and free-range capon.

 

Mad About Mushrooms

We’re more than just meat … did you know that D’Artagnan is also a purveyor of mushrooms?  We follow the seasons around the globe to bring wild mushrooms to our chef clients.  The fragrant and delicate truffles and porcinis, morels, chanterelles, mousserons, hedgehogs, matsutakes, chicken of the woods and many more, come by truck and airplane from just about every corner of the globe. Foraged from woods and mountains by experts, then swiftly transported to us, these are the very essence of wild eating. Their seasonal availability, fragile and perishable nature, and their susceptibility to the vagaries of weather make them all the more precious.

We also offer beautiful cultivated and wild mushrooms that work in many recipes, such as the ones below. We hope they will inspire you to cook a meal that includes mushrooms. And should you be inclined to explore, or rather, to forage for more, you will find others on our website.

Creamed Mushrooms on Toast

This simple recipe is rich and comforting. And while we think it’s totally fabulous as-is, when you add a generous knob of black truffle butter and serve it on petit toasts, it becomes luxurious party food.

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Creamed Mushrooms on Toast, recipe by Colman Andrews

Ingredients

Serves 6

4 tablespoons butter, plus more for buttering rolls
2 lbs wild & exotic mushrooms, brushed clean, cut into pieces of equal size or left whole if small
6 small French rolls
1 cup heavy cream
Coarse sea salt
Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish (optional)

Preparation

1. Preheat the broiler.

2. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring frequently, for about 20 minutes, or until they have released their liquor and reabsorbed some of it.

3. Meanwhile, split the French rolls, butter them lightly, and toast them lightly under the broiler. Divide the toasted rolls equally between 6 plates (2 small halves or 1 large half on each plate).

4. Add the cream to the mushrooms, stirring it in well, and continue to cook for another 8 to 10 minutes, or until the sauce thickens. Season to taste with salt, then spoon the mushrooms and sauce over the rolls. Garnish with some chopped parsley, if you like.

Pasta with Foie Gras & Wild Mushrooms

Add a little luxury to weeknight dinner with this simple recipe that uses top-tier ingredients but comes together in minutes. It’s a favorite dish at D’Artagnan, and we’ve served it at many tasting events to great acclaim.

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Ingredients

Serves 4

8 ounces foie gras cubes
1 pound Gemelli pasta, or similar
2 Tablespoons black truffle butter
1 container duck and veal demi-glace
2 cups wild mushrooms, chopped
1 Tablespoon porcini powder
Salt & freshly cracked pepper

Preparation

1. Cook pasta in lightly salted water, to al dente. Reserve about 3/4 cup of pasta water, set aside. Drain pasta, rinse with cool water and set aside.

2. Heat a large, dry skillet over high flame. When hot, sauté foie gras until golden brown (about 1 minute), then remove from pan and set aside. Add the mushrooms to the same pan and sauté for 2-3 minutes.

3. Leaving the mushrooms in the pan, add the demi-glace, reserved pasta water and porcini flour, then reduce by a third.

4. Add the cooked pasta to the pan, toss to coat with the liquid, add 2 tablespoons of black truffle butter, allowing it to melt. Now add the sautéed foie gras, and toss it all together gently.

5. Add salt, pepper, and more truffle butter, to taste.

 Wild Mushroom Bread Pudding

This versatile, savory bread pudding pairs well with meat or poultry and can be baked in a large dish or individual ramekins.

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Ingredients

Serves 8

4 cups fresh brioche cubes (about ½”)
2 lbs assorted wild mushrooms, chopped
2 shallots, finely chopped
3 tablespoons black truffle butter
6 sprigs flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
10 chives, finely chopped
3 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves only
2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
4 eggs
1/2 cup grated hard, aged cheese (such as Parmigiano-Reggiano or Mimolette)

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a medium sized casserole, about 9×12.

2. Spread brioche cubes in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake until golden brown, turning once, about 10 minutes. Set aside.

3. In a large skillet over medium heat, melt 1 tablespoon black truffle butter. Add shallots and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until they begin to soften, about 3 minutes. Add mushrooms, season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until mushroom liquid has evaporated and mushrooms turn golden (about 15 minutes). Stir in thyme, parsley and chives. Cook about 1 minute more, remove from heat.

4. In a large bowl, whisk together cream, milk, eggs, and cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Gently stir in mushroom mixture and bread cubes, turning to coat. Let rest for about 10 minutes, then pour into prepared dish.

5. Bake until slightly firm to the touch, about 30 – 35 minutes. Cool slightly on wire rack, then unmold and serve.

Broiled Wild Mushrooms with Tamari Butter

This simple recipe from Bruce and Eric Bromberg of Blue Ribbon fame, has few ingredients but is packed with umami. It’s a favorite dish at their New York City restaurant, Blue Ribbon Sushi, and once you see how easy and delicious it is from your own kitchen, we have no doubt it will be one your favorites too! And it takes only ten minutes to make.

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Broiled Wild Mushrooms with Tamari Butter by the Bromberg Brothers. Photo: Quentin Bacon.

Ingredients

Serves 4

1 pound wild & exotic mushroom mix, gently cleaned and trimmed if needed
2 tablespoons tamari
2 tablespoons sake
4 tablespoons unsalted butter

Preparation

1. Preheat the broiler.

2. In a medium bowl, toss together the mushrooms, tamari and sake. Arrange on a rimmed baking sheet and dot with butter. Broil, turning once, until tender and golden, about 5 minutes total.

Holiday Helpers are 15% OFF this Week!

This time of year it’s all about the turkey at D’Artagnan. But let’s not forget all the side dishes that are vital to the Thanksgiving feast.

Mashed potatoes, anyone? We always add black truffle butter to ours.  And who doesn’t love stuffing? You need wild boar sausage and chestnuts for that.

Duck fat and demi-glace are workhorses in the kitchen. And what holiday is complete without a little foie gras and fungi?

Be prepared for anything with our holiday helpers, all 15% off this week.

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Turkey Breast Recipes

The question of whether you prefer white or dark meat is a crucial one at Thanksgiving. But how can one turkey yield enough of the preferred meat for each diner? The simple answer is to augment the whole roasted turkey with a turkey breast.  And the overwhelming majority of people prefer the pale, juicy meat of the breast (don’t look at us! We like it dark).  You can roast the breast whole, or debone it, stuff and then roast it. Here are three tempting recipes that work for Thanksgiving, but are also perfect for any meal.

Simple Roasted Turkey Breast

Here’s a basic technique for roasting a bone-in turkey breast, which is great for smaller holiday gatherings or even a sunday roast. Add your favorite herbs and spices as you wish.

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INGREDIENTS

4-6lb bone-in turkey breast
2 tablespoons duck fat, softened
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup water, if needed

PREPARATION

1. With the rack in the center position, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Fit a small roasting pan with a V-shaped rack.

2. Rub softened duck fat (or olive oil) over turkey breast, and season with salt and pepper. Center turkey breast on rack, skin side up. Transfer to oven, and roast until juices run clear and an instant-read thermometer reads 160 degrees F when inserted into the thickest part of the breast, about 1 hour and 20 minutes. (If at any point the butter/juices in the pan start to burn, add about ½ cup water to the pan.)

3. Transfer to a platter, tent loosely with foil, and let rest for 10 minutes before carving.

Turkey Roulade with Black Truffle Butter

This simple turkey breast roulade not only makes a fabulous holiday centerpiece, it makes versatile leftovers too!

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INGREDIENTS

4-6lb bone-in turkey breast
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
3oz. container black truffle butter, softened
½ cup water, if needed

PREPARATION

1. With the rack in the center position, preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

2. Using a sharp boning knife, place knife close to bone and carefully remove breast from bone, keeping breast meat connected. Place deboned breast skin-side down on work surface. If necessary, carefully pound breast between plastic, keeping skin intact, to make even. Season with salt and pepper then spread evenly with truffle butter.

3. Fold left and right sides in toward center and roll evenly until both sides meet. Turn rolled breast so skin side is facing up and adjust shape as necessary. Using kitchen twine, tie at 2-inch intervals. Transfer to a roasting pan and season the outside with salt and pepper.

4. Transfer roasting pan to oven and cook for 30 minutes. Decrease oven temperature to 350 degrees and continue cooking until internal temperature reaches 155 degrees on an instant-read thermometer, about 1 hour more. (If at any point the butter/juices in the pan start to burn, add about ½ cup water to the pan.) Remove turkey from oven and transfer to a cutting board. Let stand 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

Turkey Breast with Mushroom Stuffing

This simple turkey breast roulade is packed with earthy flavor from mushroom duxelles and sauteed leeks. Delicious.

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INGREDIENTS

2 tablespoons black truffle butter
1 medium shallot, chopped
1 pound organic chef’s mix mushrooms, sliced
2 tablespoons water
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 small leek, cleaned, trimmed, and finely chopped
1 teaspoon sherry-wine vinegar
6-8lb organic turkey breast
½ cup unsalted butter, melted

PREPARATION

1. Heat truffle butter in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add shallot and cook, stirring, 2 to 3 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring, 5 to 6 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and add 2 tablespoon water; season with salt and pepper and cook until mushrooms are tender, about 5 minutes more.

2. Remove from heat and transfer to the bowl of a food processor; pulse 2 to 3 times to coarsely chop. Set chopped mushroom mixture aside. Add remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil to skillet and heat over high heat. Add leek and season with salt and pepper; cook, stirring until leek is tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Add chopped mushroom mixture to skillet and stir to combine. Remove from heat and add vinegar; stir to combine. Transfer to a bowl and let cool to room temperature before using. (This can be done up to 1 day ahead!

3. With the rack in the center position, preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

4. Using a sharp boning knife, place knife close to bone and carefully remove breast from bone, keeping breast meat connected. Place deboned breast skin-side down on work surface. If necessary, carefully pound breast between plastic, keeping skin intact, to make even. Season with salt and pepper then spread evenly with mushroom stuffing, leaving a half-inch border on all sides. Don’t mound the stuffing or the turkey will be difficult to roll. Starting at 1 end, roll the turkey like a jelly roll and tuck in any stuffing that tries to escape on the sides. Carefully turn roulade skin side up and reshape if necessary. Tie the roast firmly with kitchen twine every 2 inches to make a compact cylinder.

5. Place roulade on a rack over a sheet pan. Brush with the melted butter, sprinkle generously with salt and pepper, and roast for 1 3/4 to 2 hours, until an instant-read thermometer registers 150 degrees F in the center. Remove turkey from oven and transfer to a cutting board. Let stand, loosely tented with foil, at least 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

Turkey Breast Roulade with Brioche & Sausage Stuffing

This recipe is great for smaller holiday gatherings. Once you master the roulade technique, you can use any of your favorite stuffings, but we love this one which contains both salty and sweet bites.

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INGREDIENTS

7-10 lb organic turkey breast, deboned & butterflied
Coarse salt & freshly ground black pepper
2 cups stale brioche cube
1 package duck & Armagnac sausage
12 pitted prunes, diced
1 small stalk celery, diced
½ medium carrot diced
1 two-inch section of leek, sliced thin
1 shallot
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
3 leaves fresh sage, chiffonade
4 tbs butter, melted
1 cup chicken stock

PREPARATION

1. Make your stuffing: Remove the duck & Armagnac sausage from its casing and place in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Brown the sausage, breaking up any large chunks as it cooks. Using a slotted spoon, remove to a large bowl and set aside. Pour off all but about 2 tablespoons of the sausage fat from the pan. Place the pan over medium heat. Add celery, carrot, shallot and leek. Cook, scraping up the crispy browned bits from the bottom of the pan, until soft and translucent. Add to the sausage.

2. While the sausage/veggie mixture is still warm, stir in the herbs. Add toasted brioche, mix to combine. Season with salt & pepper. Add melted butter and chicken stock. Using your hands, turn the mixture to combine, squeezing the bread cubes to moisten. Stir in prunes. Set aside.

3. Debone your turkey breast: using a sharp boning knife, carefully run the blade as close to the bones as possible, all around the rib cage and up to the back, to remove. It’s easiest to work on one side at a time. Be mindful to keep the breast intact. Reserve bones for stock. If the breast meat is too thick to roll, butterfly it or carefully pound with a meat mallet to flatten a bit. Keep breast skin side down, season with salt & freshly ground black pepper. Spread stuffing evenly, leaving a half-inch border on all sides. Don’t mound the stuffing or the turkey will be difficult to roll. Starting at 1 end, roll the turkey like a jelly roll and tuck in any stuffing that tries to escape on the sides. Carefully turn roulade skin side up and reshape if necessary. Tie the roast firmly with kitchen twine every 2 inches to make a compact cylinder.

4. Place roulade on a rack over a sheet pan. Brush with the melted butter, sprinkle generously with salt and pepper, and roast for 1 3/4 to 2 hours, until an instant-read thermometer registers 150 degrees F in the center. Remove turkey from oven and transfer to a cutting board. Let stand, loosely tented with foil, at least 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

Duckspotting @ Destination Dogs, New Brunswick, NJ

Duckspotting is snapping & sending in pics of dishes from your favorite restaurants, made with D’Artagnan ingredients! We supply restaurants all over the country & love to see what creative chefs are doing with our products. Keep sending them in!

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Where: Destination Dogs

What: Chef John Durna’s Quail and Roasted Wild Mushroom Sausage Topped with Baby Spinach, Quail Egg and White Truffle Vinaigrette

How: Destination Dogs is located at 9 Spring Street, New Brunswick, NJ 08901 | (732)993-1016 | follow them on twitter @DestinationDogs

Dining out & spot some fabulous dishes made with D’Artagnan ingredients? Snap a pic & email with the details to alishah@dartagnan.com We’ll give you & the restaurant a shout out!

All About Porcini Mushrooms

The porcini is a native mushroom almost everywhere in the Northern Hemisphere, throughout North American, European and Asian forests, though it has been introduced in parts of the Southern Hemisphere, including Australia and South America. The universally popular boletus mushroom grows under specific trees, including pine, but most commonly under chestnut trees, during the summer and autumn. Known, and loved, in Italy as porcini (meaning piglet), this mushroom is also called cèpe in French, from the Gascon word cep, meaning trunk, referring to its fat stem. Sometimes the porcini is called the king of mushrooms.

Porcini are always gathered in the wild and not cultivated, because the complex and symbiotic relationship between the mushroom and the tree roots is hard to reproduce. All varieties of porcini are characterized by a thick stems and round, fat caps when young. As the mushroom grows the cap flattens and opens up a bit. So a fat young porcini mushroom will look entirely different than the older version. Stems are pale and caps can range from light tan to deep burgundy-brown. Porcini can grow as large as a foot across but are often picked when much smaller. The porcini differs from other mushrooms in that it has a spore sponge, not gills underneath the cap. As the mushroom ages this pale spore sponge will darken and turn green. This is something to look for when buying fresh porcini, and is an indication that the mushroom is past its prime. There are lots of look-a-like boletes that get passed off as porcini, but aficionados know that nothing can come close the king of mushrooms.

Cleaning
Use a minimum of water and try not to allow water to enter the spore sponge under the cap. Cut away any dark spots or green areas. Keep an eye out for worms, who also find porcini tasty. If there is lots of dirt on the porcini, toss it gently in a colander, or gently wipe with a damp paper towel.

Eugenia Bone’s Bruschetta with Porcini Butter & Truffles

Cooking
The versatile porcini has been used in traditional cooking from Scandinavia to Southern Europe, and the mushroom is a favorite in Gascony, France, cooked in duck fat, of course. And Italians have made an art of cooking with porcini, both dried and fresh. The cap and stem of this mushroom are equally tasty, but the texture of the stem is slightly tougher than the cap. The porcini mushroom is meaty and the taste is intense: rich and woodsy with subtle nutty undertones. These mushrooms are delicate in flavor but vigorous enough in body to be used in brown sauces, and will stand up to strong flavors like grilled steak. Cook the stems slowly, in soups or braises, but sauté the caps in duck fat or butter. Porcini are a wonderful partner to pasta, risotto and gravies.

Frank Stitt’s Pappardelle with Rabbit, Porcini & Parmesan

Preserving
If you are lucky enough to possess fresh porcini, eat as many as you can in that state. However, this sturdy mushroom dries well. More often available frozen or dried, the flavor and texture of this hardy mushroom can withstand either process. Dried mushrooms can be reconstituted with hot water in a short time, and the porcini-infused water can also be used in a sauce, soup or pasta dish.

You may find porcini powder available year round, which can act as a magical dust in dry rubs, stews, stuffing, and especially in sauces. It is like a secret weapon in the kitchen, bringing great depth of flavor in any dish to which it is added.


RECIPE SUGGESTIONS:
Roast Veal with Porcini
Mario Batali’s Barbequed Squab al Mattone with Porcini Mustard