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Saturday, September 20, 2008

puffball



I had so many things I wanted to post about in the food department.
I have a fantastic white eggplant and some fresh from the garden tomatillos and chiles and tomatoes and I had moussaka and salsa and caprese salads all dancing around my little head. I remembered I was going to do a mushroom post and then my memory kicks in and I remembered I made a chile promise, dont worry it will get there, probably when you least expect it. It was a year ago exactly that I posted about the very same thing but without the same results..... Remember on Wednesday I said I was going mushroom hunting on Friday? Well I did.



When lo and behold I find not one not two but four giant puffballs. I knew they were going to be where they were from last year when I got there too late and they had already 'puffed' so this year I got on the early bus and boot scooted right on up to these big boys. (early bus is just a figure of speech, I drove) I have the biggest tomato I could find, to give you some size reference, cuddled right up to these giants.



Well I talk a big game but truth be told this is my first ever experience with the giant puffball. I always fantasized about finding this gem from way back when I was a kid. I grew up in the desert 'aint too many mushrooms out that dry way. So this was a mini nirvana, so to speak. These fun guys slice up like bread for starters but once they are cooked they are like the most flavorful tofu you have ever imagined - thats right they have a tofu consistency when cooked - strange- o- rama.



I had to test one, since I had never had it, so I made a 'steak' with wild garlic chives, I find wild garlic chives almost everywhere I go. This is when I discovered it was like tofu, I splashed a little truffle oil just to ramp it up and I ate this like a king. But that wasnt the end of my experiment.....



I made giant puffball parmesean. I cant believe what I am eating when I bite into each and every pillowy, soft and creamy bite, trust me it is not like anything ever, except tofu, the best tofu you have ever had! I sliced a few large hunks off the biggest one and still had all this left over(background) before they got old fast and I tossed most of it except the smooth one. I didnt photograph when I finished slicing and frying the remainder but stay tuned these slabs were cooked with garlic and are awaiting both freezing and the food dehydrator, separately and respectively, so that I can see what I can do with them come January. Ever had this mushroom? It was my first time.

18 comments:

TavoLini said...

wow--no, I have never had this mushroom. It's the biggest I have ever seen. I'm very curious--you keep referring to its tofu similarities--does it absorb flavor the same way? Or are you referring to texture?

I'm also interested in the dehydrating aspect, because I would think that would intensify the natural flavor. Is there much flavor? Maybe a miso soup with puff ball squares. Keep us updated..

doggybloggy said...

tavolini: it absorbs like a sponge. I am hoping the dehydrator will evaporate the water while leaving the absorbed oil mixed in to make a giant puffball jerky that will be good both dry and rehydrated - the frozen version gives me little hope. (tons of flavor BTW - I would rank them in the truffle world)

snugs said...

"it is not like anything ever"

ever is a really big word..it sure must have been a good one..

buffalodick said...

Pretty good description.. Dehydrating might be a great idea- probably intensify the flavor..

The Blonde Duck said...

That reminds of me of the giant marshmellow man in Ghostbusters!

doggybloggy said...

snugs: beyond anything ever would be more like it

buff: what did you do with yours?

the blonde duck: marshmallow with a distinctly earthy flavor to boot...who you gonna call?

Anette said...

That was without doubt the biggest mushroom I've ever seen!! In Norway there is one smaller looking quite the same. First it's fresh and white like the one you had, and later it gets browner, and if you step on it, it lets "smoke" out. So we call it (translated) smoke-mushrooms. If you catch it fresh like you did, you can eat it. But Oh my, that was some big balls!

buffalodick said...

Sauteed with seasonings.. I think making strips out of it, battering and deep frying it might be worthwhile..

Emiline said...

HI! Like the new look of your blog. Sorry I didn't get to meet up with all my NYC buddies. I had a very secret, busy schedule.

SO wait a minute. Are you still alive? Isn't that a little daring to be eating these wild mushrooms?
They do sound good though. I like tofu.

I don't know about all those ball comments.

Michelle said...

wow! That is huge! I've never heard of this kind of mushroom. We have morrells that grow here. The pickers take over the forest each spring!

TavoLini said...

....I think its someone's birthday today...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!

Slip said...

Dog,
You are in for a treat when you dehydrate puffballs, they take on a new texture. Put them in sauce and you would swear there is meat in the sauce! I picked several myself the last couple of weeks.

doggybloggy said...

anette: sounds like the same thing we say puff you say smoke...

buff: I have precooked the rest of what I have and I am thinking of batter dipped and fried again to double cook them and crispy them up

emiline: super secret ny adventure huh? we have cameras everywhere in this city -you were being watched - I got rid of the anatomy references...BTW

michelle: do you pick and eat the morels? those are mighty tasty

tavolini: thanks for remembering but how did you know it was today?????

Marjie said...

Not a big fan of shrooms here, I just can't eat fungus. They are very interesting looking!

Also never seen a white eggplant, but I've never eaten a purple one either, so I'm probably peculiar.

TavoLini said...

Doggy--you posted it a while ago, and I remember thinking, that's the first day of autumn!

deb said...

how fun! Great post. It look like turkey slices and the size about the size of Megan's head!

what will become of the white eggplant?

happy b-day?? ;)pre or belated

i made a 4 layer B-day cake in my head for you. It included dried Dixon chili's, imported dark chocolate, sunflower seeds , zuchinni, Buttermilk white chocolate frosting. Oh and it's a Red Velvet version chocolate cake. That's as far as it got. Enjoy in your head.

Bina said...

Never had them, never seen them, and never heard of the, but you make it look and sound so damn good!!!!!

Maggie said...

I've been looking for them but only found the little ones. I need to get to the woods! THe jerky sounds like it will be killer.

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