A Forager's Thanksgiving

boston-ivy-smMost of the leaves may have fallen already, but the foraging season continues here in Brooklyn.

I’m spending Thanksgiving with three of my foraging buddies and their friends. It’s a potluck, and the hosts are both professional chefs. No pressure.

Since I don’t pretend to be a chef (I’m a good cook, but that’s not the same thing), I’m keeping my contribution simple and counting on one very special ingredient to make it feast-worthy: lion’s mane mushroom (Hericium erinaceus).

Lion’s mane is a tooth mushroom and has a texture like lobster when cooked. The flavor is mild but delicious.

When my mom was here visiting a couple of weeks ago I came up with a Leek and Lion soup that we both agreed was a keeper recipe. Make a simple potato leek soup and puree it. Sautee lion’s mane mushrooms in butter and add them to the soup, but don’t puree the mushrooms. Stir in a hefty splash of local heavy cream (It’s a holiday. You’re not allowed to count calories on a holiday). Garnish with minced field garlic leaves.

Have I mentioned that it’s been an amazing mushroom hunting season this fall? The rain early this week followed by warmer temps coming up should be perfect for ‘shrooms. I’m heading back to the park this weekend to hunt for more Oysters (Pleurotus ostreatus).oysters-sm

Jeremy and Allie are in charge of the bird, so I won’t have the carcass to deal once the day after’s turkey sandwiches are gone. But for those of you who will have a heap of turkey bones after the celebrations, here are my favorite ways to make and preserve soup stocks.


Happy Thanksgiving!

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