Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Vegetarian Buffalo "Chicken" Mushroom

Buffalo "Chicken" mushrooms are the perfect wild food to bring to your next World Cup, or other sporting event, party. As a foraged, vegetarian take on the popular chicken wing, they are tasty, quick to make, and very approachable to people not used to wild foods.

Laetiporus cincinnatus (the white chicken mushroom)
grows in "rosettes" at the bases of trees.
Plus, the chicken mushroom itself is abundant, often very large (great for party food), and easy to ID, which helps ease the mind of anyone who is mycophobic (afraid of wild mushrooms).

It looks like 2014 is going to be another banner year for Laetiporus growth, especially Laetiporus cincinnatus, the so-called "white chicken" (because it has a white, as opposed to yellow, underside). So go out and hike--the bright orange colors will jump out at you, if you are observant! Enjoy nature, and bring back a fun treat for yourself and all your friends.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Dijon Chicken with Foraged Juneberries in a Beurre Rouge

Been a little longer than I intended since my last post. My experiments with wild foods in the kitchen haven't really been post-worthy lately. I experimented with a dryad's saddle mock-meat, it was good, but needs more work. Some of the black locust blossom ideas I had came out just nasty, and had to be tossed.

So, back to revisit a dish I actually made last year, but didn't post about. Amelanchier, known locally as service berries, juneberries, shad bush, or saskatoon berries, are a native North American (generally) large bush or small tree. I say generally because there are also European and Asian varieties that have occasionally been planted here. All are edible, but the quality of the fruit varies.

Amelanchiers have very pretty, delicate white blossoms in the early to mid-sping, which lead to them frequently being planted as decoration. You can often find them in urban and suburban areas. My street, and the surrounding streets have them planted regularly between the road and the sidewalk.