Contributed by: News Canada
The *Clean* Dirt On Mushrooms
(NC) - What exactly are those specks of dirt on fresh mushrooms? The specks of dirt that you occasionally see on fresh mushrooms are particles of peat moss. Most Canadian mushroom growers use peat moss as the 'casing soil' on top of the growing medium called substrate. The substrate supplies the nutrients to mushrooms. The peat moss holds the moisture. Mushrooms are grown in beds made of wood, steel, or aluminum. Before each crop is planted, the rooms are sterilized at 160 F (71 C) for 24 hours to ensure that the equipment is clean before each crop.
In the beds, the substrate layer is about 8 inches (20 cm) thick. Two inches (5 cm) of peat moss is spread over the substrate to supply moisture. This is called the "casing layer". The mushroom mycelia permeate throughout the substrate and grow up through the casing layer. By controlling the temperature, humidity, oxygen and CO2, the grower stimulates the mycelia to form mushrooms on the surface of the peat moss. The whole process from spawning to harvest takes about 14 days.
So, the specks that you see on fresh mushrooms are "clean dirt." There is no need to peel the mushrooms or scrape out the gills. Simply rinse the mushrooms under cold running water and pat dry just before you use them. More mushroom nutrition information and references, great tips and recipes can all be found online at www.mushrooms.ca.
Great to serve for family breakfasts or weekend brunch. Spice it up as desired with the suggested variations for luncheon or supper dish.
Preparation Time: 8 minutes - Cooking Time: 10 minutes
In a large non-stick skillet heat oil over medium-high heat; saute mushrooms and onions about 3-4 minutes or until lightly browned.
Place muffins cut side up on flat baking sheet and broil until well browned. In a medium bowl whisk eggs, milk, salt, pepper and seasoning together until well combined. Lower heat to medium-low; pour egg mixture over mushrooms; with large spoon or heatproof rubber spatula push the eggs gently around the pan as they set. Continue until they are, creamy and just set but still moist, about 2-4 minutes.
Remove from heat; spread muffins with ketchup if desired. Spoon equal portions of egg mixture on top of muffins. Sprinkle with cheese. Place under broiler 1-1/2 minutes or just until cheese melts. Serve hot.
Muffins may be toasted in toaster and egg topped muffins can be placed in warm oven to melt cheese and hold until serving time.
Substitute green or red pepper for onion; add 2 minced cloves garlic with the mushrooms and substitute chili powder for Italian seasoning and salsa for ketchup.
More great mushroom recipes can be found online at www.mushrooms.ca.
Serving Size: Makes 4 Servings
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