– How To Cook Gourmet Mushrooms, Featuring Mushroom Pie Recipes for National Pi Day!
During my childhood, I vividly recall eating mushrooms occasionally for dinner. Looking back, it might explain my current fascination with this superfood.
We would add them to omelets, smother them in cream sauce, and combine them with a variety of vegetables and meats. And let’s not forget the delicious mushroom pies we indulged in from time to time.
In those days, we only tried common mushrooms such as White Button, Cremini (Italian Brown), Oyster, and Portobello mushrooms. However, as my interest in mushrooms grew, so did my knowledge of the edible fungus.
I started experimenting with mushrooms of various tastes, sizes, textures, and nutritional compositions such as Lion’s Mane, Shiitake, Maitake, and more. They all became familiar faces at the dinner table.
Yesterday was National Pi Day and as you know, I am obsessed with mushrooms so what better occasion than to share with you two of my most treasured mushroom recipes! So, let’s begin!
National Pi Day: Bake a Mushroom Pie for the Pi Day
In this article, I have the opportunity to discuss my two greatest passions: Mathematics and Mushrooms.
Every year on March 14, we celebrate National Pi Day. Pi, or 3.14 (the first three numbers), is a magical mathematical concept that is unpredictable yet beautiful and fantastic.
Did you know that scientists have managed to calculate up to 10 trillion digits after the decimal point? Plus, no number sequence ever appears more than once.
William Jones, the Welsh mathematician, named the mathematical constant “3.14” as Pi after ‘Perimitros’, the Greek word for ‘perimeter.’
Pi represents a circle, a shape of definite perfection, and has a value that remains the same regardless of the size of the circle. Mathematicians and teachers started using pie to promote the mathematical constant.
Large-scale celebrations of Pie began in 1988, and a resolution was passed in the U.S. House of Representatives in 2009 to declare March 14 as National Pi Day.
In the United States and other parts of the world, Pi Day is celebrated in many ways. Pie-eating contests are organized in many places. Restaurants sell pies and pizzas at a discount, and fun games like pie throwing are also organized.
This Pi Day, let’s celebrate both math and health by baking mushroom pies!
How to Cook Gourmet Mushrooms?
Ah, we all have our peculiar tastes when it comes to food, don’t we? Some might call us eccentric, but we remain steadfast in our ways.
As for me, I have found a true food soulmate in the mushroom. Whether fried, grilled, or baked, I have tried every method of preparation under the sun. But, it might surprise you to learn that I have also boiled mushrooms. Yes, you heard me right, boiled mushrooms.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. Boiled mushrooms? That sounds positively bonkers. And I’ll admit, my friends and family have given me their fair share of strange looks over the years. But, as they say, old habits die hard. And so, I continued to boil my mushrooms before adding them to any recipe.
It was only recently that I discovered the true beauty of this method. You see, boiling is actually the best way to cook gourmet mushrooms.
Don’t just take my word for it, though. Jim Fuller, co-founder of Fable Food and one of Australia’s top chefs, swears by boiling mushrooms to achieve the perfect texture and flavor.
Here’s how it works. Simply start any recipe by adding water to your mushrooms and let them boil away.
Even though mushrooms release water on their own, you can add as much water as you like without fear of overcooking them. That’s because of the unique cellular structure of mushrooms, which makes them nearly impossible to over-boil.
Once your mushrooms are perfectly cooked and tender, let the water in the pan evaporate before adding oil or butter. And voila! You’re left with perfectly boiled mushrooms, ready for further processing.
Now, some might think this method is reserved only for chefs. But, according to Fuller, it’s perfectly suited for anyone and any type of mushroom.
Whether the flame is high or low, and whether you have too much or too little water, the end result will always be the same: perfectly tender mushrooms.
It might surprise you to learn that many chefs around the world are still unaware of this method, despite its merits according to culinary arts and food chemistry.
But, there are also those who have been boiling mushrooms for years and swear by its effectiveness. In fact, many of them have taken to Instagram to back up Fuller’s claims and sing the praises of the humble boiled mushroom.
How Different Cooking Methods Affect Mushrooms
There is a growing realization that mushrooms are highly nutritious and boast a wealth of medicinal properties. Many people, however, often ask about the effect of various cooking methods on the nutrients found in mushrooms.
Mushrooms are low in calories and fats, they are an excellent source of proteins, vitamins, and dietary fiber. Additionally, mushrooms contain minerals, antioxidants, amino acids, and special compounds with therapeutic properties.
However, it’s important to note that you can’t eat mushrooms raw in their natural. Once or twice, in small quantity, is acceptable.
Moreover, the Mushroom Technological Research Center in Spain has reported that the cooking process can impact the nutritional content of mushrooms.
In a recent study, researchers examined the effects of four different cooking methods (frying, boiling, and two others) on the antioxidant and nutritional properties of king oyster, oyster, shiitake, and white button mushrooms.
The study’s results concluded that boiling is a far superior cooking method to frying when it comes to preserving the nutritional properties of mushrooms. Frying resulted in the highest loss of nutrients, whereas boiling retained the most antioxidants and nutritional value.
Therefore, if you want to enjoy the many benefits of mushrooms, it’s best to avoid frying them and opt for boiling them first instead. With their impressive nutritional profile and therapeutic properties, mushrooms are a true superfood that should be included in everyone’s diet. If you want to add more of those medicinal mushroom benefits into your daily routine, shop our top seller, the Mushie Power Bundle which gives you a whopping 8,000mg of organic super mushroom power with an extra 1000IU of vitamin D!
Mushroom Pie Recipes: Merging Taste and Health This National Pi Day
Mushrooms are a delectable ingredient in almost any dish, but they truly shine in pies. For vegans and vegetarians, mushrooms make an ideal substitute for meat.
Additionally, mushrooms are heart-healthy due to their low sodium and cholesterol content. While some gourmet mushrooms can be consumed raw, I recommend cooking them before consumption. And in honor of National Pi Day, why not try out these delicious mushroom pie recipes?
Mushroom and Gruyere Pie Recipe
This savory Mushroom and Gruyere Pie recipe is a perfect addition to any meal on Pi Day, whether it’s for breakfast, brunch, or dinner. The flaky pastry and the earthy mushrooms are the perfect combination of textures and flavors.
- Gruyere cheese: 4oz
- All-purpose flour: ½ cup
- Whole wheat flour: 2 cups
- Thyme: 4 tbsp (chopped)
- Meyer Lemon: ½ (grated zest)
- Salt: 1 tsp
- Cold unsalted butter: 1 cup (cut into cubes)
- Ice water: 5 to 6 tbsp
- Egg yolk: 1 + 1 tsp water
- Sea salt flakes
- Black pepper (ground)
For Mushroom Filling:
- Butter: 4 tbsp
- Onion (large): 1 (chopped)
- Mushrooms: 2 lb (sliced)
- Flour: 1 ½ tbsp.
- Half-and-half: 2/3 cup
- Sherry or Cognac: 1 ½ tbsp.
To begin, prepare the crust by cutting the butter into small cubes approximately half an inch in size. These cubes will be used later, so keep them in the refrigerator until needed.
The first step in preparing the dough is to mix the dry ingredients, including flour, Gruyere cheese, salt, lemon zest, and thyme, in a food processor. Make sure to mix the ingredients evenly.
Next, add the butter cubes to the dry ingredients and mix them evenly in the food processor. Once the butter pieces are distributed evenly, add ice water in small increments. For the first couple of times, add two tablespoons, followed by one tablespoon of ice water. The ingredients will clump together, and the dough will slowly start to take shape.
When the dough reaches the right consistency, transfer the contents of the processor to a plastic wrap placed on the counter.
Shape the dough into small balls and use a rolling pin to create flat disks. Place the flat dough disks one above the other and insert the plastic wrap between each disk to prevent them from touching. Chill the disks in the refrigerator for at least an hour before making the mushroom filling.
In another container, boil the mushrooms in adequate water. Let the water evaporate, allow the mushrooms to cool, and then slice them after removing the stems.
In a large hot skillet, add some butter and let it melt. Then, sauté the chopped onions until they turn slightly brown. Add the sliced mushrooms to the onions and stir the contents occasionally for about five minutes.
Next, add flour and then half-and-half, stirring until the mixture comes to a boil. Turn off the heat and add salt, pepper, and sherry (or cognac). Set the filling aside and start working on the pastry.
Take out the dough disks and use a rolling pin to roll them again into thin sheets approximately one-eighth of an inch thick. The dough disks should be one inch larger than the pie plate.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
To create the lattice-shaped strips that will cover the top of the pie, cut the dough disks into half-inch strips and keep them in the refrigerator.
Gently cover the pie pan with the flat dough disk, so the dough takes the shape of the pan. Then, use pie weights to blind bake the crust for 20 minutes. Once the crust is done, remove the pie weights and let it cool for 15 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit to bake the pie.
Transfer the filling onto the pie crust and spread it evenly to create a thick layer in the pan. Place the dough strips horizontally and vertically, spacing each strip one inch apart.
Prepare the egg wash by mixing egg yolk and a teaspoon of water. Gently apply the egg wash to the pastry with a brush and sprinkle with flaky salt and powdered black pepper.
Bake the pie in the preheated oven for approximately 30 minutes, or until it is nice and brown. Remove the pie from the oven and let it cool for some time. The Mushroom and Gruyere Pie is now ready to be served.
Vegan Shepherd’s Pie with Mushroom
A healthy twist to traditional British Classic comfort food. This vegan Shepherd’s Pie goes well with any type of mushroom.
- Potato: 3 lbs
- Mushroom: 2 lbs (boiled and dried)
- Onion: ¼ cup (diced)
- Flour: 2 tbsp
- Thyme: 1 tbsp (minced)
- Rosemary: 1 tbsp (minced)
- Garlic: 3 cloves (minced)
- Pearl onions: 1 cup
- Carrots and frozen peas: 1 ½ cup
- Vegetable broth: 1 cup
- Wine (Red): ¼ cup
- Garlic powder: 1 tsp
- Vegan butter: 3 tbsp
- Olive oil (extra virgin): 4 tbsp
- Salt: 1 ½ tsp
To prepare the potatoes, use a pressure cooker or pot with enough water to cover them, but don’t peel them beforehand. Peeling before boiling causes the potatoes to absorb excess water. Once boiled, let them cool, then dry the skin with a clean towel and peel it off.
While the potatoes boil, prepare the mushrooms by boiling and slicing them, removing the stems. In a heavy-bottomed pot, heat some olive oil and sauté the chopped onion until it turns golden brown. Then add garlic, thyme, and rosemary, and sauté for at least a minute until fragrant. Add the mushrooms and stir the contents for about 5 minutes.
Add flour and the remaining olive oil, and mix everything until it forms a thick paste. Add a pinch of salt, red wine, and remaining stock, and let it simmer for a while. Finally, add pearl onions, carrots, and peas, and stir until everything is well cooked, for about 20 minutes.
In a large bowl, place the boiled potatoes, and add garlic powder, salt, and vegan butter. Mash and mix the potatoes until they become soft and creamy, ensuring there are no lumps.
Transfer the vegetable and mushroom mix to a baking dish, spreading it to form a thick layer covering at least half of the dish.
Scoop a large spoonful of mashed potato and spread it over the mushroom mix. Brush some olive oil over the potato layer and bake in an oven at 425°F for about 40 minutes.
Once the top layer starts to bubble and turns slightly brown, remove the baking dish from the oven and let it cool before serving.
For years now, I’ve been cooking mushroom pies for Pi Day and I’m excited to share my favorite recipes with you!
These pies are not only delicious but also healthy, and I recommend boiling the mushrooms before cooking to enhance their flavors and ensure the best results.
Don’t worry if you’re not an experienced chef; these gourmet mushroom recipes are easy to follow, and you’ll end up with pies that taste heavenly. Let’s make this National Pi Day extra special with these mouth-watering mushroom pies!
Nutritional properties of mushrooms are better preserved when they are grilled or microwaved (2017) ScienceDaily. Available at: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/05/170519083817.htm