Mysterious Mushrooms

Mushroom Background

Mushrooms have earned a mysterious and magical reputation. They are neither plants nor animals, yet exhibit qualities of both. They are fungi that thrives in a dark, cold environment, and some grow overnight. Out of the 14,000 varieties of mushrooms, only 2,000 are edible. Just one or two poisonous mushrooms can cause severe physical distress, like vomiting, cramps, liver damage, convulsions, diarrhea, hallucinations, or even death. We must respect the mushroom.

Maybe it was extreme hunger?

Extreme hunger was the force that drove the first few brave individuals to make that sacrifice, while paving the way for the mushroom lovers of today. Perhaps it was the possible danger involved that intrigued them most. How many trials and errors were performed before we eventually gained enough knowledge about them? I truly appreciate their courage because I wouldn’t have thought to taste them, they are ugly, filthy and distorted with spores and odd coloring. Yet I find them fascinating.

Mushrooms are healthy and delicious

Mushrooms contain more positive than negative attributes. Who would of thought that they would turn out to be so delicious and beneficial to our overall health? They are low in calories, rich in vitamins, protein, fiber, carbohydrates and folic acid (which is seldom found in veggies). Studies have proven that diets that include mushrooms can greatly reduce risks in heart disease, diabetes, obesity, cancer and high cholesterol. Mother Nature is so damn cool!!!

Mushrooms are delicacies

Mushrooms are found all over the world. In China, they have been used for medicinal purposes for thousands of years.  In Ancient Egypt, they were considered a delicacy fit for The Pharaohs. They have a meaty texture and an earthy flavor that is highly enhanced when cooked. The versatility of this food can satiate the appetites of carnivores,vegetarians and vegans alike.  There are a myriad of ways in which we can cook them. I just adore mushrooms. (I don’t condone their use for hallucinogenic purposes, though.)

Here are two sites that present a time lapsed view of mushroom growth.

www.geekologie.com/2009/03/timelapse_video_of_mushrooms_g.php

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=siePfHiZPC4

Stuffed Mushrooms recipe

  • 8 to 10 medium mushroom, firm, closed caps
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 tablespoons minced onion or green onion
  • 1 tablespoon of minced red pepper
  • 1/4 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup of plain bread crumbs (see below)
  • 1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons of water
  • 3 tablespoons of dry white wine
  • salt & pepper to taste

Prep:

Preheat oven to 350°. Wash mushrooms quickly under running water; drain on paper towels. Pull stems from mushrooms and chop finely. Melt butter in a skillet over medium-low heat; add chopped mushroom stems, red pepper and onion. Sauté until tender. Stir in Worcestershire sauce, dry white wine, soft bread crumbs, cheese, salt and pepper. Sprinkle salt over mushroom caps and fill with sautéed mixture, mounding over the top. At this point, you may cover and refrigerate these mushrooms for up to 24 hours. Before serving, put 2 tablespoons of water in a shallow dish and arrange stuffed mushrooms in dish. Bake for about 20 minutes. Serve hot.
Makes 8 to 10 appetizers.

For Breadcrumbs Place bread on cutting board and use fork tines to tear off crumbs, or use food processor to make finer crumbs. One slice bread makes about 1/2 cup lightly packed crumbs. You also have the option of picking up a jar of breadcrumbs from the market. Enjoy!

Recipe courtesy of Melissa, aka FoodVixen. 🙂

Images provided by Google

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