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May 1, 2010

Marxfoods.com- Review - MUSHROOMS!!

Marxfoods.com- Review - MUSHROOMS!!

I absolutely LOVE Marxfoods and working with Justin, who is a wonderful contact there.

We have reviewed products from Marxfoods in the past like their Palm Leaf Dinnerware, which I personally feel are THE best paper plate products out there (reusable, sturdy and washable!) and the absolute best, I mean D-E-L-I-C-I-O-U-S rice and dried peppers I have been able to find! Their red or black rice are seriously, THAT good! I cook rice often, (at least a couple times a week) and have never met a similar product, Marxfoods rices definitely are the best (easy to cook, very delicious) we have found.

Justin is fast becoming my best friend by winning me over with food :-) You know how they say a way to a mans heart is through his stomach? The way to Honey Bear and me is great food made with incredible ingredients - and that is what we have gotten with every product we have received from Marxfood through Justin.

I am thrilled to direct you to the variety of dried mushrooms Marxfood carries. We received one pkg of morel, one pkg of black trumpet, one pkg of porcini, and one pkg dried northwest mix - each has their own distinct flavor from mild to strong, but we were so impressed by each of them, there isn’t one that we can choose as a favorite, they are ALL delicious!

You wouldn’t believe just how easy they are to cook with, their incredible flavors will just satisfy you in ways you simply cannot find coming out of a grocery store - your stomach will seriously thank you!

I have eaten mushrooms like this in restaurants, but I have never cooked with them. Along with the mushrooms, we received information regarding them, to give us an idea of what they are about. My first interest regarding these mushrooms is the quote from their site: mushrooms are a gem of nature.

They certainly are….


I love Morel mushrooms – if you don’t know what they are, here is their brief description:
Wild morel mushrooms are regarded by many to be the best wild mushroom variety. They’re very popular because of their tender, honeycombed texture and earthy, rich flavor. They pair well with butter, cream, cheese and eggs. Because they are hollow inside, they are easily stuffed.

I surfed Marxfood for recipes I can re-heat/re-serve on the road (we have everything except a sink and shower in the truck) and this Morel recipe was my choice to make the first day our package arrived:

Crock Pot Swiss Steak with Morel Mushrooms
by Nichole # 44
Use any steak or choice of meat desired
1 package of dry onion soup mix
1 can of cream of mushroom soup mixed with a little water

Put these in the crock pot on low for around 7 hours or high for 3-4 hours. Add morels right at the end. Serve over rice or with mashed potatoes. Extremely easy, mushroom flavor explosion and simply put….good!

Here are the specifics for Morel Mushrooms:
Morel mushrooms grow wild in the mountains of the Pacific Northwest from May to July. They are prized for their intense earthy flavor and smoky/woodsy aroma.
Dried Morels have a honeycombed, hollow, cone-shaped cap from 1 to 3 inches high. They grow naturally in a range of colors from tan to almost-black. Morels are also one of the first species to colonize forests that have experienced fires the previous summer.
Applications: Morels lend deep, earthy flavor to stews, sauces and stuffings. Once reconstituted, they are excellent roasted or sautéed whole and shown on their own. A spring mushroom, they pair well with spring vegetables and game meat.


We have had a mushroom dish every other day since they arrived, so our next choice was the Wild Black Trumpet Mushrooms. I have never heard of these and was nervous about their flavor and how was I going to use them in a recipe. I surfed the net and found Petichef who created a GREAT recipe:

Black Trumpet Mushrooms with Egg Noodles
Serves 1

1/2 oz. dried Black Trumpet Mushrooms
1 Tbl. extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. minced garlic
dash of Worcestershire sauce
dash of Tabasco sauce
1 serving of cooked egg noodles
Parmesan cheese

Rehydrate the Black Trumpet Mushrooms according to package. In a small frying pan heat oil and saute garlic until lightly browned. Add mushrooms, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco sauce and noodles. Toss to coat with oil and garlic. Serve with fresh grated Parmesan cheese.

What a delicious way to eat these mushrooms!

Here are the specifics for Black Trumpet Mushrooms
Black Trumpet mushrooms are fragile and trumpet-shaped with a waxy grey surface. It is a very rich and buttery mushroom. They are popular in French cuisine because of their unique flavor and texture. Wild black trumpet mushrooms grow in the Pacific Northwest, typically between January and March.
Origin: All of our wild mushrooms are sustainably hand-foraged in the pristine mountains of the Pacific Northwest.
Applications: Dried Black Trumpet Mushrooms are great in stews and soups or for braised meats.


The next mushroom I experimented on Honey Bear is the Porcini Mushroom – now THIS one I have had on many occasions and is quite common on menus…I absolutely LOVE, I mean LOVE Porcini mushrooms! Why? Marxfood put it quite simply here: Dried porcini mushrooms are incredibly versatile because of their rich, meaty flavor, but fresh porcini mushrooms are a rare treat especially treasured by Italian chefs. Porcinis are one of the few wild varieties that can be eaten raw (though they’re stupendous grilled) and have two growing seasons. They’re delicious sautéed or grilled. Frozen porcinis are a good substitute for fresh.

Surfing the net, I found a recipe from 101Cookbooks.com and all I can say is oh my goodness! If you are a fan of fettuccini, you will LOVE their recipe:

Porcini Mushroom Fettuccine
(All notes are from their site, not mine)

I used Pecorino, but you can use Parmesan if that is more convenient. I suspect this would also be delicious with spinach or whole wheat noodles, or a blend - similar to the "straw and hay" recipe in Super Natural Cooking. Feel free to use dried noodles as well, if that is easier for you to come by. If porcini mushrooms aren't available feel free to substitute brown mushrooms - roughly a cup or two chopped. If you want to get extra decadent, finish off the noodles with a splash of cream.

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2-3 fresh porcini mushrooms, chopped (1-2 cups)
fine grain sea salt
5 cloves garlic, chopped
1 pound fresh egg fettuccine noodles
scant 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
1/4 cup Pecorino cheese, grated
zest of one lemon

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. In the meantime, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in your largest skillet over high heat. Add the mushrooms and a big pinch of salt. Saute the mushrooms until they release their liquid and begin to brown. Now stir in the garlic and cook for another 30 seconds or so. Remove from heat and set the skillet aside - I also set aside a little stash of the browned mushrooms (in their own little cup) to use later as garnish. Salt the pot of water generously and cook the fettuccine noodles according to package instructions - this is usually just a minute, or less. Drain. Transfer the noodles to the skillet with mushrooms, and stir in the black pepper, cheese, lemon zest, and the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. A splash of cream tossed in here would really take things over the top - totally optional. Serve on a platter, with as many of the mushrooms on top as possible.
Serves 4 to 6.


Here are the specifics for Porcini Mushrooms:
Porcini mushrooms are valued for their meaty texture, great depth of flavor and distinct shape. They have a classic embellished mushroom shape and large slices. The meat-like texture of Porcini, with its earthy and somewhat nutty flavor is unequaled among mushrooms and lends itself to countless dishes. Dried porcinis have a buttery fragrance.
Porcinis grow wild in Pacific Northwest forests typically from June to July and again in September.
Origin: All of our wild mushrooms are sustainably hand-foraged in the pristine mountains of the Pacific Northwest.
Applications: Porcini mushrooms are rich, meaty and amazingly versatile, delicate enough to give grace to an elegant stew or sauce, and yet vigorous enough to stand up to something as flavorful as a thick grilled steak.


And the very last mushroom on our list to try was the Wild Mushroom Mix:
Which are: A wild mix of the most delicious Pacific Northwest mushrooms: wild morel, lobster, chanterelle, porcini and black trumpet mushrooms. Being a mix, this opened a Pandora’s box of ideas! Lobster mushroom?? Oh am I game for this one!

Ina Garten (Barefoot Contessa) from FoodNetwork.com has a sauté recipe that was super easy to use on our grill (in a heat proof pan of course) and yum-my!!

Sauteed Wild Mushrooms
2004, Barefoot in Paris, All Rights Reserved
Prep Time: 25 min Inactive Prep Time: -- Cook Time: 15 min Level: Easy
Serves: 4 servings

2 pounds mixed wild mushrooms, such as cremini, shiitake, porcini, and portobello
1/2 cup good olive oil
1 cup chopped shallots (4 large)
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped garlic (6 cloves)
1 cup chopped flat leaf parsley

Brush the caps of each mushroom with a clean sponge. Remove and discard the stems. Slice the small mushrooms thickly and cut the large ones in a large dice. Heat the olive oil in a large (11 - inch) Dutch oven or saucepan. Add the shallots and cook over low heat for 5 minutes, or until the shallots are translucent. Add the butter, mushrooms, salt, and pepper and cook over medium heat for 8 minutes, until they are tender and begin to release their juices, stirring often. Stir in the garlic and cook for 2 more minutes. Toss in the parsley, sprinkle with salt, and serve warm.

Here are the specifics on Wild Mushroom Mix:
A wild mix of the most delicious Pacific Northwest mushrooms: wild morel, lobster, chanterelle, porcini and black trumpet mushrooms.
Origin: All of our wild mushrooms are sustainably hand-foraged in the pristine mountains of the Pacific Northwest.
Applications: Many chefs use the blend for stocks, sauces and stews
.


Storage and Handling: Dried wild mushrooms can be stored away from light at room temperature for at least a year in airtight plastic bags, jars or other containers. Dried mushrooms do not need to be refrigerated.

Specifications: Your dried porcini mushrooms will arrive in a large zip lock bag.

I am pleased to have been able to review these mushrooms from Marxfood – they were easy to use - each, with their own distinct flavors – and delicious! I reiterate, we have yet to find in the supermarket any product that has compared to the incredible flavors and quality that Marxfood offers in their products!

Please be sure to stop by Marxfood, give them a look over and seriously think about trying out a product or so – we have not been disappointed in their service, the quality of their food, the care of the packaging or the personal service offered by Justin.

Thank you again Marxfood!





Disclosure of Material Connection: I received these products from Marxfood strictly to review and at no time do/did I receive any monetary compensation. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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