When half the country is covered in snow, eating local becomes more difficult. What you can eat comes down to what you’ve put away (frozen, pickled, canned) and what root vegetables you may have in the basement … or those still available at the grocery store.
A couple weeks ago I filmed a piece on a tastily productive but not so sustainable greenhouse. This latest video offers a similar conundrum: a local business that creates a great year-round specialty product, but does so with limited concern for the vast energy consumption needed to control the heat and ventilation during a Minnesota winter.
So we can add mushrooms to the endless debate of where, when, and how you should be getting your food. Is it better to ship them from whatever part of the country has the appropriate climate? Or should we in Minneapolis be eating oyster mushrooms only in late fall?
While you decide, here’s the recipe from the video. It would make a great New Year’s Eve appetizer.
Mushroom, Wild Rice, and Cranberry Terrine
1 quart button mushrooms, diced
1 small onion, diced
1/6 lb. butter + 2 tablespoons
1/4 cup whiskey, port, or vermouth
1 or 2 bunches of oyster mushrooms (or matsutake mushrooms) broken into smaller chunks
1/4 cup dried porcini mushrooms + 1 tablespoon
1/2 cup wild rice (wild, hand-harvested, not paddy rice)
4 springs marjoram (thyme, sage, or rosemary are fine too)
1/4 cup dried cranberries
Heat 1 1/2 cups of water. Let porcini mushrooms steep in water for 20 minutes. Remove porcini mushrooms and set aside.
Cut the stems off oyster mushrooms and button mushrooms and add stems to porcini stock. Cook for an hour. Salt the broth to taste and add wild rice. Cook for 25 minutes or until the rice is just cooked (still has some bite).
Meanwhile, sauté onion in half the butter. When the onions are translucent, add the button mushrooms and rehydrated porcini. When mushrooms are cooked through and all of the the water in the pan has evaporated, deglaze the pan with the whiskey. Cook for another 2 to 3 minutes. Salt to taste.
Preheat oven to 325. Let your mushrooms cool down for 5 minutes so they’re warm to touch — not burning hot. Purée the mushrooms with the marjoram, the rest of the 1/6 lb of butter, and the egg. The mixture should blend easily.
Sauté oyster mushrooms in 2 tablespoons butter until tender. Salt to taste.
In a mixing bowl, combine the mushroom purée with the cooked wild rice, oyster mushrooms, and dried cranberries.
Oil a small loaf pan or terrine mold. Line it with plastic wrap. Fill with the mushroom mixture, close with plastic wrap and then with tin foil. Set the terrine mold in a pan, fill with hot water to just below the top of the terrine. Place in the oven and cook at 325 degrees for 1 hour.
Remove the terrine from the water. Let sit for 10 minutes, then press something on top of the terrine so it is weighted down evenly. Let it press overnight or for at least 5 hours in the refrigerator.
Serve the terrine as is — on bread, in a salad, or as a composed dish. I seared the terrine by grinding a teaspoon of wild rice in a spice grinder, lightly dusting each side of a slice of terrine with the rice poweder, and frying it in butter. I served the terrine with cranberry puree and pickled mushrooms. To pickle the mushrooms: Combine 1 part cider vinegar, 1 part rice wine vinegar, 1 part honey, and pinch of salt. Marinate mushrooms overnight.