Amy Bachhuber and Rohn Sorensen are the co-owners of Superior Mycology Co.
Both having a love for being in the woods and having a natural curiosity of nature, Amy and Rohn met roughly five years ago and began their partnership by sharing photos of mushrooms with each other. “We started foraging together and had a blast learning and trying new varieties of mushrooms”, they commented. Eventually, after getting to learn about the different seasons of growing, Amy and Rohn decided to start growing indoors to “be able to have fresh mushrooms even when there is snow on the ground”, they said.
Enjoying the ability to grow delicious mushrooms during the “off-season”, Amy and Rohn decided to get a Community Supported Agricultural (CSA), and begin growing there. Amy has a Certified Wild Mushroom Expert Certification in the State of Michigan, which is required to sell mushrooms, specifically ones that are foraged.
While the Houghton and Keweenaw Counties are great places to forage, there are many toxic “look-alikes” that could be misidentified. Because Amy is certified, she knows which are which and has learned proper identification techniques. An example that Amy and Rohn warn about is morel’s, which have a toxic “look-alike” called “the false morel” or Gyromitra esculenta. A warning they stress is, “[t]he existence of these toxic mushrooms in our forests and the possibility for misidentification with a choice edible is very real. We cannot stress enough that an abundance of caution should be first and foremost in foraging wild mushrooms.”
To avoid misidentification, Amy and Rohn have some great safe/edible mushrooms for sale that have some awesome health benefits.
Generally, mushrooms are fat-free, contain very little sodium, and are low in calories. They will add a delicious flavor to meals and for individuals who have plant-based diets, mushrooms can even be substituted for meats. Mushrooms are also packed with vitamins and minerals, such as B vitamins, vitamin D, and potassium. Amy and Rohn also shared that some mushrooms, like Oyster Mushrooms, contain beta-glucans. Beta-glucans are currently being studied for their effects on the immune system. Mushrooms can also produce additional bioavailable Vitamin D if they are exposed to UV light before preparation.
Amy and Rohn recommend Oyster Mushrooms as a great place to start if you’re interested in implementing mushrooms in your diet. They also recommend Lion’s Mane, which is sweet like crab meat. Below are a few recipes they recommend for those looking to give mushrooms a try.
Basic Mushroom Sauté
8 oz of mushrooms
2-3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 T butter or other oil
1 T tamari
1/2 T rice or white wine vinegar
1/2 T sweet cooking wine or white wine
- Tear your mushrooms into pieces.
- Heat a heavy skillet on medium heat
- Place mushroom pieces in the skillet with NO oil or butter and let them steam off some of their water.
- Once they stop steaming and have shrunk to about 1/2 to 2/3 their original size, add butter and chopped garlic
- Saute until garlic is fragrant and the mushrooms are well cooked.
- Turn the heat off and add the mixed tamari, cooking wine and vinegar. Toss and allow the sauce to coat the mushrooms
- Now they can be stored in the refrigerator for about 5-7 days and used in eggs, on pizza, in pasta, over meat or fish, you name it!
- 1 lb lions mane or other Hericium mushrooms
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons water
- ¼ cup minced scallion
- ¼ cup minced red bell pepper
- ½ cup panko breadcrumbs
- ¼ cup high fat mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons chopped herbs like cilantro tarragon, or Italian parsley
- 1 tablespoon worcesterchire or similar I use mushroom ketchup
- 1 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning optional, a mix of paprika, cayenne, and extra salt can be substituted
- 1 large egg
- Kosher salt to taste
- All purpose flour for dredging
- Flavorless oil for cooking the cakes
- Fresh green salad
- Dollop of spicy mayonnaise optional
- Fresh cut chives optional
- Lemon wedges
Wilt the mushrooms and remove the water
- Pick the lions mane mushrooms into pieces to resemble crab meat. Put the mushrooms in a pan with the water and salt, cover and bring to a simmer, stir, cover, and cook for a few minutes until the mushrooms are wilted and have given up their juice.
- Allow the mushrooms to cool, then squeeze out as much water as you possibly can. This step is important as mushrooms, unlike crab, contain lots of water.
Mix with the crab cake mix
- Combine the mushrooms with the cake ingredients and mix well. Taste a bit of the mixture (you can cook it if raw egg weirds you out) adjust the seasoning for salt and anything else you’re looking for, then allow the crab cake mix to rest for at least 15 minutes to allow the breadcrumbs to hydrate, which will make forming the cakes easier. In a perfect world, you’ll let it sit overnight.
- To cook the cakes, form 4 oz patties of the mixture (it will be delicate, don’t worry—the egg will set as they cook). For the most refined look, form the cakes using a ring mold.
- Heat a pan with a few tablespoons of oil.
- Heat an oven to 350F. Meanwhile, gently dredge the cakes in flour on both sides, tap off the excess, and brown gently on medium heat. When one side of the cakes are golden brown, gently flip the cakes and transfer the pan to the oven and cook until hot throughout, about 10 minutes.
- Remove the cakes to a plate with a fresh green salad, top with a dollop of spicy mayonnaise or aioli if using, sprinkle with chives and serve with lemon wedges on the side. The cakes are also excellent served on a bun like you would a burger.
Another Suggestion from Amy & Rohn
Simply saute about ½ pound of oyster mushrooms with onions or shallots and garlic. Once the onions begin to soften and mushrooms are cooked, add some thyme and a little white wine (optional). Then add a quart of broth and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste and blend the whole thing until creamy. Serve with a little soy sauce and crusty bread!