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Author Topic: Abalone and Wild Mushrooms............  (Read 1935 times)

Offline todd

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Abalone and Wild Mushrooms............
« on: April 13, 2010, 12:20:47 PM »
Everyone keeps asking me what is a good mushroom to cook along with abalone?  I can tell you two quick and easy recipies that will score big at any campground or party.

 First let me pair mushrooms with the most common way of cooking our coveted Gastropods.  So everybody knows how to bread up abalone, right?  Now think, whats one of the best if not the best breaded and fried mushroom??? All across Japan, China, Europe and among mycological societies various cookbooks, a recomended mushroom for the job is Pleurotus ostreatus, commonly refered to as the Oyster mushroom.  This white mushroom that grows on trees and not from the dirt, is also convienently located at nearby forested areas with hardwoods and tan oak, a vary recognizable fungi found in Salt point state park, Jackson State forest in Mendo, Van Damm, Stillwater cove and so on, it is very common in our forest and can be found easily in supermarkets these days.  Get your self some oysters are treat them the same way you would breaded abalone= salt and pepper the shroom,then dip them into eggs, then dredge through crumbs... After the breaded abalone is done searing in the pan, deglaze the "essence" left in the empty pan with some lemon juice, add a little olive oil  or butter then and add the breaded oysters. This way, the oysters will pick up the leftover "abalone essence", flip over when browned, and prepare for5th level gluttany, in all it take less than 5 minute .  Equally good is Oyster mushroom tempura if you are doing a deep fry. I would pair this dish with a micro-brew if you are doing a beer batter as a alternitive for this dish.   Abalone and Oysters, doesnt that sound soo good?  Its Nor-Cal coastal comfort food.

What if its the middle of summer and your friends cant come down from oregon with fresh morels mushrooms like last year? Is your abalone dish going to suffer and not live up to everyone expectations from previous years gluttany?  Here is the secret off season recipe shared with me by my fungi foraging and abalone hunting friend Jessica from Sonoma county.  Jessica has many secret places to hunt and covets her local spots, especially the Craterellus cornucopioides , it is refered to as "horn of plenty" "Black Trumpet" "Trumpet of Death" and know in France as the poor mans truffle, but dont be fooled, this mushroom can sell for over 25$ per pound at whole foods and markets like that.  Often occuring in "black outs", the ground will be covered  in the mid to late winter every season.  Our Northern Coast are abundant  with these earthy delights.  Though good fresh, the dried trumpets take on a super concentrated flavor that gets better and more dank with age.  To bring your breaded abalone to the 5th level, follow these words= Take a handfull of cleaned dried Black Trumpets and pulse them in a coffee grinder till the same size as the bread crumb.  Use a ratio of 1/3 black trumpet and 2/3 bread crumb.  Pound your abs, dip into egg wash and then bread with the Black Trumpet enfussed bread crumbs.  The Black Trumpet flavor with be subtle and in the background, yet people will not know how you made recognizable bland breaded abalone, taste so appealing all over again....Take advantage of the cornicopia of Black Trumpets which fruit within walking distance of all our prized Nor-Cal Coast abalone diving spots.
Todd Stagnaro

Offline MATT MATTISON

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Re: Abalone and Wild Mushrooms............
« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2010, 01:33:46 PM »
Man that sounds good Todd I am wanting to get more into mushroom picking maybe one of these days we can do a ab dive and then go pick some fungi  :icon_thumleft:
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Glaucus

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Re: Abalone and Wild Mushrooms............
« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2010, 03:04:04 PM »
Wow, I really need to learn to pick mushrooms, this sounds amazing!  Todd, do you know where someone would start getting in to picking?  Like a class or something?  I've thought about getting a book, but it sounds like a good way to do myself in.

Offline Julian

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Re: Abalone and Wild Mushrooms............
« Reply #3 on: April 13, 2010, 03:46:20 PM »
Nice post.  For my buddies and I these two hobbies prety much go hand in hand.  Last several dives we went mushroom hunting afterwards. 





Black trumpets looked like they were starting to thin out when we went a couple weeks ago...along with hedgehogs.  But during the winter its not too hard to find more of those two than you can carry.

I cant wait to try something with abalone and golden chanterelles or ab and king boletes when they come back out.

Pacific Freediver

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Re: Abalone and Wild Mushrooms............
« Reply #4 on: April 13, 2010, 03:51:34 PM »
I guess freediving and mushrooms go hand-in-hand...mmmmm Chanterelles.

(see thread)
http://www.pacificfreediver.org/index.php?option=com_kunena&Itemid=127&func=view&catid=258&id=136


« Last Edit: April 13, 2010, 04:01:34 PM by Pacific Freediver »

Offline todd

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Re: Abalone and Wild Mushrooms............
« Reply #5 on: April 14, 2010, 08:01:40 AM »
thats the stuff, I see some pigs ears in there too, quick story, It was last october, 1 week after the huge early storm we had.  I decided to hit up lake Ross for some late season abalone on a day when the swell was really light.  The Parks just started to close all the front gates and I thought I would get a ticket unless I was at a Cal-trans Pull out so I parked at Cardiac Hill and walked north to Reef Campground on hwy 1.  After pulling some abs and feeling good I put out my thumb on the way back and some local guy stoped his truck.  His front seat was clogged with buckets and coolers so I opted for the back.  When we got to the car he asked if I was diving (of course) and then he showed me his stash, pounds and pounds of porcini! One week after the storm in 70 degree weather, the guy had hundreds of dollars worth and he was going home to wiegh them out.  He sent me off with a couple numbers 1 grades, man what good karma that day turned out to be, had lake ross all to my self, no other people in the water and then get rewarded for walking with porcini, abalone and mushrooms go hand in hand somtimes......
Todd Stagnaro

Offline todd

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Re: Abalone and Wild Mushrooms............
« Reply #6 on: April 14, 2010, 08:08:54 AM »
little shroom and ab haiku

People go to the coast to hunt mushrooms and abalone,
they rush around trying to be the first,
Looking to find them as fast as possible,
Yet the biggest abalone and mushrooms, in full sight, never run away.......


Todd Stagnaro

Offline Julian

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Re: Abalone and Wild Mushrooms............
« Reply #7 on: April 14, 2010, 11:25:30 AM »
Wow, I really need to learn to pick mushrooms, this sounds amazing!  Todd, do you know where someone would start getting in to picking?  Like a class or something?  I've thought about getting a book, but it sounds like a good way to do myself in.

The general rule among mushroom hunters (even more so than ab divers) is that you dont point out your spots.  Its just another one of those things you feel out on your own. 

But while no one may give you the latitude and longitude GPS coordinates, I will tell you that a great place to start is the woods around Salt Point...off the beaten path (get off the trails, go off in the woods a bit)...and keep your eyes peeled especially under tanoak and long-needle pine trees.  A lot of the wild mushrooms up on the north coast- like porcinis/king boletes, chanterelles, hedgehogs, etc- are mycorhizzal and depend specifically on spruce, pine, and oak to grow.  Just be careful and tread lightly when youre tromping around off the path- you dont wanna kick up too much of the duff and you want to disturb the ground as little as possible when youre out there; the mycelial network the mushrooms pop out of can be disturbed and damaged by too much raking and trampling.

As far as books...I've got lots but you really cant go wrong with these two in particular.



Mushrooms Demystified is more or less the mycology bible.  A hefty and exhaustive work that tells you just about anything you'd want to know about any sort of mushroom, how to tell them apart, and how to look for them.

For a more compact and colorful field guide...



This one is pocket-sized and deals specifically with most of the californian varieties.  All the photos are in color (as opposed to a small middle section in MD), the tone is a bit more user-friendly, and the identification keys are a bit easier to grasp.

I'd start with "All the Rain Promises" and just take a couple hikes after rains or after a dive up around there to see what you can spot.  Its a good idea to start out with mushrooms that have no gills- the so-called "idiot-proof" stuff like King Boletes, Hedgehogs, Black Trumpets, etc.  Theyre hard to mistake for anything else and give you a good intro into identification and learning to spot poisonous varieties.

Offline Geoffrey

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Re: Abalone and Wild Mushrooms............
« Reply #8 on: April 14, 2010, 11:38:27 AM »
Here are some more pics of Julian and I and our awsome winter haul! I love having so many reasons to visit the Sonoma coastline!





Offline Stacy Stephenson

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Re: Abalone and Wild Mushrooms............
« Reply #9 on: April 14, 2010, 01:59:34 PM »
Those are'nt the funny shrooms are they?
Stacy Stephenson
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Offline gsharp

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Re: Abalone and Wild Mushrooms............
« Reply #10 on: April 14, 2010, 07:50:07 PM »
Can mushrooms be found in the Stillwater Cove area?  I might be able to get my wife interested in going to the coast with me, if she can get mushrooms.  That means more chances to abalone dive for me.
Glen Sharp

Offline Julian

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Re: Abalone and Wild Mushrooms............
« Reply #11 on: April 15, 2010, 03:29:02 PM »
Can mushrooms be found in the Stillwater Cove area?  I might be able to get my wife interested in going to the coast with me, if she can get mushrooms.  That means more chances to abalone dive for me.

Here's the thing...some areas have rules against picking mushrooms.  I've seen it posted in a few different places.  One of the reasons for Salt Point's reputation as a good picking area is that its one of only 3 or 4 parks in California where mushroom gathering is known to be permitted. 

Again...I'd just start off in general in the woods around Salt Point.  Where you see people pulled off on the side of the road at a place that means they obviously arent diving- a lot of times that can be your clue-in to some good general spots to look.  Eventually though, you'll get the hang of sniffing out your own spots and the hobby will just make for a good hike/treasure hunt whenever the mood strikes.

Offline Tino B

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Re: Abalone and Wild Mushrooms............
« Reply #12 on: April 15, 2010, 05:00:12 PM »
It was an excellent year.
I had so much fun tromping around the woods esspecially when the ocean conditions sucked.
Hope the next fruiting is just as productive...





Offline Stacy Stephenson

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Re: Abalone and Wild Mushrooms............
« Reply #13 on: April 15, 2010, 08:18:31 PM »
You bunch of shroom heads, looks great I'm afraid to eat them.
Stacy Stephenson
Rock Hard Dive free NCUWH's

Offline Geoffrey

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Re: Abalone and Wild Mushrooms............
« Reply #14 on: April 15, 2010, 08:53:30 PM »
HOLY CRAP TINO! Well done man! Those are absolutely beautiful!

 

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