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Fungi (Mushrooms)

Mushrooms and Leeks - Sharon Nelson
Salt-fried Mushrooms - Jennifer Scates
Marsala Mushrooms - Marian Van Til

Mushrooms and Leeks - Sharon Nelson
My favorite, from To the King's Taste by Lorna J. Sass. It was adapted from a recipe in The Forme of Cury, written in Richard II's day. It's pretty quick to prepare (except for the "washing the leeks" part of course ... alas I have also found the ones I can get here are inevitably gritty).
Mushrooms and Leeks (serves 4-6)
8 small leeks
3 tbs. butter
1 1/2 lbs. large mushrooms, quartered
1 cup vegetable or chicken stock
1/2 tsp. brown sugar
1/8 tsp. saffron
1/2 tsp. minced fresh ginger ("fresh" is important; powdered dried ginger won't do it)
beurre manie: 3 tbs. soft butter combined with 3 tbs. white flour
salt and freshly ground pepper
1. Wash leeks carefully and slice them into rings, discarding roots and green tops.
2. Saute leeks in butter in a large heavy skillet until they begin to wilt. Then add mushrooms and toss to coat.
3. Combine stock, sugar, saffron, and ginger, and pour the liquid over vegetables.
4. Simmer covered for about 2 minutes.
5. Add beurre manie, stirring rapidly over a low flame until liquid thickens and vegetables are evenly glazed.
6. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Salt-fried Mushrooms - Jennifer Scates
Salt fried mushrooms (or shrimp, which should be cooked in the shells) (and possibly with the heads on, depending on your tolerance for that sort of thing): take 1/2 pound plain white or italian brown mushrooms, wash 'em, cut 'em in half or not, as you like. Over a high flame, heat a large saute pan, throw in enough olive oil to skim the bottom of the pan, throw in the mushrooms and wiggle the pan semi-briskly, sauteing the 'shrooms until the juices come to the surface. Turn the heat to medium-low, and continue sauteing and wiggling the pan until the juices reduce. Throw in salt - more, more, more than you think appropriate (I end up using about 3 or 4 tablespoons) - turn the heat up to high for a finish, and serve hot and hot - or room temperature. This is a very quick-cooking recipe - it shouldn't take more than 6 or 7 minutes. You can add chopped garlic along with the mushrooms at the beginning, or chopped parsley at the's a flexible recipe. And at our house, the 1/2 pound serves one person. Maybe. If there's not a lot of other stuff to eat alongside.

Marsala Mushrooms - Marian Van Til
A favorite of Ed's and mine that I concocted is using it to sauté portabella mushrooms. I first sauté them slightly in olive oil and a few shakes of Penzey's garlic salt, and pepper. Then add the marsala: a few tablespoons (or a few more! -- depending on what you like and how many mushrooms you have). I allow the liquid to pretty much evaporate and the mushrooms to take on a nice browned coating. The taste is fabulous. Rich marsala-mushroom flavor, and slightly garlicky, slightly sweet. Regular mushrooms are ok too, but I find that portabellas have more flavor. You can eat this with steak, or chicken, or pasta or just pig out on the mushrooms!