Friday 8 January 2016

Experiment - Recipe: Gherkins Are Not The Only Pickle! Pickled Shimeji Mushrooms

This summer I had great fun sourcing charcuterie for an outdoor offering I was working on. Putting together some summer love for our guests!! As well as cheeses, conserves and breads, pickles are a regular addition to a good charcuterie board. 

While I was hunting for something different to accompany the selection it became clear that there’s much more to pickles than gherkins so I thought I’d try some pickled mushrooms out!! (amongst other things)

Incidentally these go very well with a wide variety of main ingredients including fish, scallops, pate, tuna, lobster anywhere where you want to add little acidity to really bring out the flavours, and it add a little texture too!! What’s not to like! 

ingredients (makes 600ml jar)
for the pickling liquor (2:1:1 vinegar:sugar:water)
250ml vinegar
125ml sugar
125ml water
12g salt
2g black pepper corns
2g coriander seeds
2 bay leaves
sprig of coriander

for the mushrooms
150g buna shimeji mushrooms (dark cap - white are shiro either will do)

apparatus / equipment
sterilised jar
creme fraiche / cream pot lid

bring pickling ingredients to boil, make sure sugar is dissolved and allow to cool

I got these mushrooms from the supermarket, they’re obviously grown in containers with a round edge, which produce bunches of mushrooms. Cut about 1cm (1/2 inch) off the base of the bunch where the root stem is.

You should then be able to gently break the bunch apart, pulling off individual mushrooms.
Put them into a sterilised jar and add the cool liquor over the top adding any other dry leave of flavourings you might like to try.

So that the mushrooms are preserved they must be completely covered!

If you buy pickled shallots you’ll notice they have a little plastic mesh in the jar. It’s to keep the contents from floating above the pickling liquor and going off!!

I improvised one from a creme fraiche lid! I cut a few slits into it to allow the bubbles through, but cunningly (raises eyebrows) not the mushrooms!

thinking ahead
You can make these well in advance, at least 3 hours for them to take up the flavour of the liquor though.

You can pickle almost anything as far as I know!! Cabbage (Kimchi & Sauerkraut), gherkins, lemons, eggs, fish, meat, ago, chilli. Just make sure you use the right process!! This process is good for anything you can eat raw. IE not meats / fish / seafood!

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