This year turned out to be no great shakes for mushrooming in our part of the Southwest. The Pacific Northwest is having an epic year for mushrooms, and parts farther north of had a good year and did well, but we just didn't see much. We started off with some cauliflower mushrooms and some oysters, but the boletes never did appear, even after the big rain in September.
Some friends of ours were up in our old stomping grounds in north central NM (their old stomping grounds, too, as far as that goes) and found king boletes in September as well as what they were pretty sure were lobster mushrooms. Up north again soon after, they made a positive ID and found a few that were still good. From what they say, it was a really nice flush of lobsters, something we've never come across. J & T generously shared their haul, so we made a "lobster" risotto after slicing a couple up, sauteing them in butter, and just eating them.
5 c grouse stock
1 c white whine (can't manage white whine? any color or ethnic background whine will also work, just make sure it is at least off dry).
1 1/2 c arborio rice or other medium grain rice
1/3 c finely chopped white onion or shallot.
fresh Italian parsley
1 c (or more!) chopped lobster mushroom
A description of making risotto can be found here (not coincidentally, that risotto also featured gift fungus), so if you're not familiar with the process, you can read about it there.
We've had lobster mushrooms in a dish of rabbit in brown sauce at "Local 360" in Seattle, which was a wonderful dish. Without diminishing the accomplishments of that chef, I'm inclined to credit the mushrooms, as this risotto was most excellent, without any other special ingredients or technique. The mushroom is toothsome and manages to combine seafood notes with a bit of earthiness, far superior to the crustacean version in my mind and a lot less work.
Perhaps we'll get another big rain late in the season next year. If that happens, A and I are trekking up north to find us some dirt lobster.
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