Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Humongous Fungus

Remember the mushroom growing kit I got at greenfest a few weeks back?  Well, last week I got around to starting it.  Inside the box is a bag filled with used coffee grounds and mycelium (the plant part of the fungus).  To get the growing started, you cut out the perforated window on the box, cut a slit in the shape of a plus sign and soak the bag for 24 hours in water.  Then you just place it on the windowsill facing away from the sun and spritz with a little water each day.  The box says "in as little as ten days" you'll have a bunch of oyster mushrooms ready to eat.

 I accidentally cut the bunch off before taking the picture.
What they don't tell you is how fast they grow and sometimes you get them in less than 10 days!  Once they started growing they grew so fast that I swear I could see them grow.  We'd leave the room and several hours later, they would look different.  Shawn's reaction to this every time was "holy shit!"

So last night we had oyster mushroom spaghetti in pink sauce.  I got the recipe at the booth where they were selling the boxes, but as usual, I didn't follow the recipe exactly because I didn't have one of the ingredients and I just don't follow recipes well.

1 cup chopped onions
1 clove garlic (minced)
Olive oil
1/4 cup tomato paste
3 cups milk
1 tablespoon flour
several handfulls baby spinach
Salt and pepper to taste

Set a large pot of salted water to boil your pasta.  First saute the onions until just about carmelized, adding the garlic at the end.  In a blender mix the flour, milk and tomato paste.  Add the caremlized onions and puree.  In the meantime take a pound or so of oyster mushrooms and chop them up.  Saute them in the same pan (without the onions) with 2 tablespoons butter until golden brown.  Throw in the spinach to wilt.  Add the pureed tomato mixture and add salt and pepper to taste.  That's pretty much it, we tossed in the cooked spaghetti and topped the whole thing with a sprinkling of parmesan cheese.

Overall, it was pretty good.  I used a little too much flour (the ingredients list above reflects the change I would make if I were to make it again) so the sauce was a little thick.  I might also add more cheese or butter to it to add more flavor since both Shawn and I agreed that "something was missing."

The box is already starting to grow another batch of mushrooms from the same cut I made in the bag.  Did I mention that we can do as many as 4 cuts total?  We've got a lot more mushrooms headed our way!

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