Okay. I’ve told you about crystal mushrooms. Today we’re going to smoke mushrooms.
For real, girlfriend.
Do this in the correct order or it won’t work so easy. And part of this whole affair is to be easy. Right?
You will need the following:
Heavy duty foil
Container with snug lid
Wood chunks about 2″ x 3″ in size
Spices: Garlic powder, sugar, paprika, salt & pepper
Spray oil (Pam, Kelapo, etc.)
Get your wood chunks ready. I used cedar because that’s what we had on hand from grilling salmon the other night. The planks were already partially charred, so a little more wouldn’t hurt. You can use store bought chips like apple-wood or mesquite. The pieces need to be small enough to fit the container you’ll use, but not so small they’ll burn into ash. Use chunks.
Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Cover a large cookie sheet with foil and spray on oil. Set aside. We use Kelapo Extra Virgin Coconut Oil. It’s supposed to be healthier.
Mix in bowl, or zip baggie large enough to hold all of the mushrooms, the following:
1 tsp smokey paprika
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp sugar
salt & pepper to taste
Set aside. This is enough for about 2 small containers of mushrooms, adjust quantities to suit.
Cromini mushrooms — thinly and uniformly sliced. Figure 5-6 per person.
Spread sliced mushrooms on cookie sheet. They can touch, but don’t crowd. Make two batches, if necessary. Place in oven.
Ovens vary, so start watching them after about 15 minutes. You want them dark, but not burned; crisp, but not dried out– a little of the moisture still sizzling. I cooked one batch 25 minutes, another batch 35 minutes.
Remove from oven, place in bowl or baggie, and coat with seasoning.
We’ve all done something similar to the above by toasting bread or broiling fish.
Now, you’re going to learn something new and, quite frankly, amazing.
Something anyone can do, but I’m going to show you . . . How to Smoke at Home without using a smoker or calling the fire department.
You need an easy to open, heat resistant container with a snug lid. I used a pot and lid. Line the inside with foil. This isn’t necessary unless you like a smokey, charred pot at the end of this project. The foil will avoid that. You can use regular foil, if you like. It’s just making a lining in the pot.
The first time I did this, I used a bowl to hold my chips. Big mistake. See the cute, little blue mixing bowl in the first picture? That is part of a set. I scrubbed for ten minutes with a Brillo pad getting the char out. You have been warned– line your pot.
Tear off a 12″ piece, or more depending on your pot, of heavy duty foil. Fold in half and in half again and then again or only partly, until you have a square that’s just bigger than your pot. See the top picture.
Poke holes in folded foil. Use something strong enough to go through the 5-6 layers of foil you’ve folded up. An old fashioned ice pick works great.
The folded foil is the tray the mushrooms will sit on inside the pot while smoking. This is how your foil tray will sit in the pot. It’s width is slightly smaller than the diameter of your container, but the diagonal length is larger. Using folded heavy duty foil will give it enough stability to not flop in the pot. It can sit directly on the charred chips. The smoke will come up around the sides and through the holes you punched.
Next, you’ll add some of the mushrooms you’ve baked. They can be two layers, but not piled too high. They will go in the pot last. I want you to have them ready.
In order to get your wood all smokey, you’ve got to have fire. You can use the gas burner on your stove or your fireplace. Since it was a pretty day, I went outside and turned my gas grill on high.
Add the chunks of wood with the tongs and reduce the heat to medium. (Keep the tongs nearby)
While they were heating up to catch fire, I retrieved the pot & lid, foil square, and baked mushrooms from inside and returned to the grill– might as well do this whole affair outside. The chunks were starting to flame. Let them go just a second to make good smoke.
Now, you’ll have to work quickly, so you don’t loose the smoke.
Pick up the wood chips one at a time with the tongs, blow out the flame, and put them in bottom of pot that you’ve lined with foil. Add the rest of the chips until they cover most of the bottom. I used about a cup of wood chips.
Top the chunks with your square tray of mushrooms and quickly replace the lid.
If you don’t think there’s enough smoke, you can remove the foil tray of mushrooms, return the chunks to the grill, rekindle them, and do-over. This isn’t a souffle, the mushroom are happy to wait.
Let it sit for 45 minutes to an hour. You’ll see the smoke get all swirly inside the pot, but it should not be seeping out the edge of the lid.
Ta-da! This is what you’ll have:
I didn’t think much of their taste directly from the plate, but my guy liked them. We tossed them in a salad and they added a nice smokey layer of taste. Here’s a salad we like:
Mandarin oranges (canned-drained, or fresh)
Top with a poppy seed dressing and bread crumbs (I’ll be giving you my recipe for these soon)
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