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Huge puffball haul - ideas for using/preserving them.

 
pollinator
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Our field has grown puffball each autumn for the last few years. This time it has excelled itself - I have a dozen large puffballs in good condition, mostly the size of soccer balls. Way more than we can eat while fresh.

I'm thinking of drying them.

Options:
1) Dry then blend to a powder to use as a flavouring/thickener for sauces
2) Dry in chunks

I love mushrooms, but I'm the only one in my family who would happily eat large portions of them. I think chunks will be less popular with the family.

Anyone have any tips?
 
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Michael, great haul! Great ideas for preserving your harvest. Can you do both? Dehydrate them in bite-size slices and maybe powder most of them, but leave a few?
 
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It should be possible to partially cook them and then freeze them if you wanted them as something you can just toss a handful into something without really changing the texture much. Other than that, drying is all I can imagine doing.
 
Michael Cox
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I have some slices drying now.

Fried a couple of slices up, but I didn’t like the texture. It was fine raw, but ended up a bit slimy and greasy. Probably cooked them in too much butter. I basically treated them like I would standard supermarket bought mushrooms.

Am I doing it wrong?
 
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Cook them less or more. Even supermarket mushrooms have a point where they are slimy. I've never been lucky enough to find a giant puffball in good condition but I like their smaller cousins kebabed and grilled they have a texture like marshmallows that way.

How about making mushroom ketchup? That's an excellent ingredient to add to soups, stews etc anywhere you would put Worcester sauce.
 
pollinator
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Try searing a high heat to "power through" the slime factor.  Works great on oysters and shiitakes, which also tend to slime.
 
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Thanks for the cooking tips! How were the flavor of these? Do any of you ever marinate them?
 
Mk Neal
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I like soy sauce & mirin with mushrooms.
 
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I like to think of puffballs as the tofu of the mushroom world. They are great fried up until crispy when well seasoned or marinated. But as much as we like dehydrating, I have to admit that our early attempts many years ago to dry puffballs lead to disgusting results. The odor when dried was a bit like old gym socks that were unwashed and left in a locker. But one year we had several big puffballs that were 12-18" in diameter - way too much for fresh eating. So I fried them all up in 1/2" cubes, ate what we could and dried the rest. They came out fine, we stored them in a very cool place and ate them up as soon as we could as I thought the oil might get funky if left too long. They made great tasty chunks when added to pasta sauces.
 
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This is fascinating, I had no idea those were edible! We had 4 or 5 huge ones pop up in our yard over the last year, next year we'll have to give them a try. Thanks for this
 
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I'm rather late to the party, so these ideas I guess are more in case someone sees this in future years:

1. Chopped fine, turned into mushroom duxelles

2. Sliced into thinnish slices, dried/dehydrated to make flakes like potato chips

3. Make mushroom stock, boil it down, then freeze it and use in soups/sauces. I guess you could can it too, though didn't try. The goal is to extract the mushroomy umami but get rid of the tasteless, hard-to-keep stuff.

Last time we found giant puffballs, after gorging on fried/sauteed slices we tried all 3.
1. and 3. worked out great, though felt a bit of a waste given the size of the puffballs
2. came highly recommended by several people, but we found our chips had no taste. Not sure why. And lots disintegrated into powder and a couple yellowed before drying, so we threw them out.

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