Spring brings us several edible or even delicious mushrooms, such as the Fairy Ring Mushroom, Morels and the Mushroom of Saint George. The Fairy Ring mushroom is a very common mushroom in many countries. The name is not very helpful since many mushrooms grow in the pattern of a ring. The German and Dutch names (Rasen-Schwindling and Weidekringzwam) are more helpful; these refer to the fact that the mushroom grows in meadows and lawns. It’s a small, very edible mushroom, available from early spring until late autumn. Its taste is a bit sweet and perhaps that’s why some people suggest using them to make sweet mushroom cookies. Hm, we think you can do better than that! Earlier we combined the mushroom with pork chops. Today we use the sweetness as a starting point of a vegetarian dish with udon, our favourite noodle.
Given the sweetness of the dish, the depth of the udon and the hint of spiciness (fresh ginger), we suggest a medium bodied, dry white wine. Could be a Riesling or perhaps a Grüner Veltliner. A well balanced, round sake will also be great with the dish.
What You Need
100 gram of Fairy Ring mushroom
Oyster Sauce or Mirin
What You Do
Start by cleaning the mushrooms with kitchen paper. Remove the stems. Slice the scallions thinly, separate the white and the green. Add the udon to boiling water. The noodles will take some 10 minutes, which gives you sufficient time to prepare the mushrooms. Fry the caps in olive oil. After a few minutes, add the white of the scallions. Fry for a minute or so. Reduce heat. Add some grated ginger, soy sauce and sesame oil. To enhance the sweetness of the mushroom, add some oyster sauce or mirin. Add a teaspoon to start with. Taste and adjust. Perhaps a second one? Be careful not to overpower the delicate flavor of the mushroom. When ready, add the udon straight from the pan to the mushrooms. Combine. Leave for a minute or two. Add a bit of stock. You’re looking for generous coated udon with shining mushrooms. Just before serving add some freshly grated ginger, a dash of sesame oil and the green of the scallions.
In some countries the mushroom is known as Mousseron, which sounds French, however in France the Fairy Ring mushroom is called Faux-Mousseron, to distinguish it from the real Mousseron, the mushroom we know as the Mushroom of Saint George. At least both are edible!
A classic book on mushrooms was written by chef and author Jane Grigson: The Mushroom Feast, originally published in 1975. The book Is beautifully illustrated by Yvonne Skargon. Jane Grigson is known for many other classics such as The Fruit Book and The Vegetable Book.
The Mushroom Feast includes a chapter on the best edible mushrooms and ways to preserve mushrooms. Other chapters describe how to combine mushrooms with fish, meat, poultry and game. One chapter discusses mushrooms in the Japanese and Chinese kitchen. Jane Grigson also provides interesting background information, like Colette’s view on truffles. Worth reading, with or without truffles.
It isn’t a handbook for foragers, but no book ever is.
The Mushroom Feast covers a wide range of mushroom recipes: soups, salads, pies, sauces and intriguing combinations like creamed cucumbers with mushrooms and classics like mushroom soufflé. The recipes are clear and well-written.
You may perhaps think the recipes are a bit old fashioned, but that shouldn’t stop you from reading them. Be inspired by one of Britain’s finest writers on recipes and food.
The Fairy Ring Mushroom is a very common mushroom in many countries. The name is not very helpful since many mushrooms grow in the pattern of a ring. The German and Dutch names (Rasen-Schwindling and Weidekringzwam) are more helpful; these refer to the fact that they grow in meadows and lawns.
In France the Mushroom of Saint George is called mousseron and the Fairy Ring Mushroom faux mousseron. But becauseof the limited availability of the Mushroom of Saint George the faux (false) is dropped in the second name and the Fairy Ring Mushroom is often referred to and sold as mousseron.
It’s a small, very edible mushroom, available from early spring until late autumn. Its taste is a bit sweet and perhaps that’s why some people suggest using them to make sweet cookies. Hm, we think you can do better than that!
We combine the Fairy Ring Mushroom with excellent organic pork (also a touch of sweetness), cream, white wine, fresh sage and a splash of cognac to give the dish a nutty component.
We enjoyed our Fairy Ring Mushrooms and pork with a glass of Austrian Zweigelt, produced by Weingut Prechtl. This red wine is fruity and elegant with notes of blackberry and cherry. The tannins are well structured but not overly present. In general you’re looking for a full bodied red wine with fruit and not too much acidity.
What You Need
2 Organic Pork Chops with lots of nice fat (Sirloin or Shoulder)
Start by cleaning the mushrooms with kitchen paper. Remove the stems. Fry the caps in olive oil. When the liquid has evaporated, add some dry white wine and two finely chopped leaves of sage. Allow to simmer for 5 minutes or so. Add some crème fraîche and a few moments later a splash of cognac. Stir and leave to simmer for another 5 minutes. In parallel fry the pork chops until brown and leave to rest in aluminium foil. Remove the pork fat from the pan and deglaze with chicken stock. Reduce. Now add the liquid from the pan to the mushrooms, add more finely chopped sage and some black pepper.