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Polish style pickled Mushrooms

I happened across a large Chicken  Of The Woods ( Laetiporus sulphureus )yesterday. I’ve had an interest in Mycology since I was young and know the easily distinguish edible fungi reasonably well. But a cautionary note first – If you are not 100% sure of what you have found it’s really not a good idea to eat it. Chicken Of The Woods is a polypore fungus which grows of damaged and dying trees. It can only really be confused with The Blackening Polypore but as this is also edible there not much of an issue if you have the wrong one. But it’s clear as soon as you cut them. As the name indicates The Blackening Polypore turns black quite quickly when cut. This recipe was suggested by the Polish chap at our local deli. He asked why I was buying two large bottles of 10% pickling vinegar. When I told him he smiled and said that adding a Bay leaf and Coriander or Dill seeds will remove the slightly woody taste. Our Polish friends have a much more positive outlook on fungi than we do and have been preserving them for centuries.

If you fancy trying this with ordinary shop bought mushrooms it will work equally well. The only pickled mushrooms we’ve had which were not to our taste were pickled Ceps which have the texture of Slugs – Shudders!

Ingredients:-

Mushrooms of your choice (Ceps if you really must!)
Coriander Seeds
1 Bay Leaf
1 large clove of Garlic, sliced
10% Pickling or distilled Vinegar

Method:-

(1) Chop the mushrooms into quite large pieces. If you are using Chestnut Mushrooms for example, halve them.
(2) Add enough Mushroom to fill a large jar. We had a Kilner jar, but any large jar will do.
(3) Add the seeds, Bay leaf and Garlic.
(4) Top the jar up with Vinegar so that all the Mushrooms are submerged.
(5) Seal and pop in a cupboard.

They should be pickled in a week or two. Once pickled they will keep for a considerable length of time. Unless we really like them…...

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