Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Pickled Mushrooms, Two Versions

version 1

Pickled mushrooms version 1
500g/1lb mushrooms
250ml/8oz white wine vinegar
250ml/8oz white wine
250ml/8oz water
1 thyme sprig
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
3 black peppercorns
2 tbsp caster sugar
1&1/4 tsp salt

Cut any large mushrooms into quarters.
Pour the other ingredients into a saucepan and bring to a boil, then add the mushrooms. Lower the heat and simmer for about 8min. Remove the mushrooms with a slotted spoon and continue to cook the liquid for a further 5 minutes to reduce. Remove from the heat and leave to cool.
Sterilize a preserving jar. Fill with mushrooms and pour over liquid. Seal with an airtight lid and store in a dark dry place.

My only big problem with this one, is that it doesn’t say how long to leave them before opening. I have to assume that means that they don’t need very long. I think I am going to open them next week and see how they are. I will post again to let you know. I did taste one that didn’t fit into the jar, and if it was any indication of the final product, I think I will be quite pleased. This was a pretty easy and very satisfying process.

version 2

Pickled mushrooms version 2
500g/1lb chanterelle mushrooms
1 shallot
1 thyme sprig
5 peppercorns
1&1/4 tsp salt
250ml/8oz whit wine vinegar
250ml/8oz water

cut any large mushrooms in half and place all the mushrooms in the preserving jar. Add the shallot thyme peppercorns and salt.
Pour the vinegar and water into a pan bring to a boil then reduce the heat and simmer for 2-3 min. Pour the mixture into the jar and seal with an airtight lid.
Place the jar in a large saucepan, add enough water to cover and bring to a boil. Boil for 1 hour (timed from when it starts to boil). Remove the jar from the pan and leave to cool completely. Store in a dark, dry place.

Big failure! Absolutely not right!
The main reason that I tried this one, is because I had a huge fear of boiling sealed containers. I was always led to believe that if you put a sealed jar or can into boiling water, it would explode. Apparently this is only sometimes true. I needed to go ahead and do it, so that I could see for myself that there would be no screaming and bloodshed as a result, and that part was a success. The jar just boiled away happily for an hour.

The failure was the actual mushrooms. I did not use Chanterelle, I used regular old button. The problem with that is button mushrooms have no give at all. I tried to force as many as possible into the jar, but if I pushed too hard they would crack and fall apart. The jar looked pretty full, but after an hour of cooking, the mushrooms got more flexible, and also smaller, which left me with a jar that was almost half empty liquid, with some mushrooms floating on top, and also had way too much air trapped in it. It was not possible to store them in that condition.

I decided to eat them right away instead of storing them. They taste ok, and if I had done a better job, it might be a really good recipe, but the other recipe was so much easier and I think they will be just as tasty.

At least I got over my fear of boiling jars.

Oh, and these were both from a book called "Jams, conserves & Preserving"

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