RED WINE and DARK CHOCOLATE

Who would have guessed that two substances long associated with indulgence could be so good for us.

For the last several years, food researchers, chemists and doctors have learned that both red wine and chocolate contain powerful phytochemicals that offer disease prevention and are beneficial to our good heath………but together, they can be a key to wellness and healthy living.

 RED WINE  and CHOCOLATE (in moderation) 

*Contain  CATECHINS that raise HDL (good) cholesterol levels

*Contain  RESVERATROL which rejuvenates cells.

* High in  antioxidants, flavonoids, sapponins, and polyphenols

* Prevent blood clots

* Reduce  inflammation

* Reduce  FREE RADICALS

* Lower  blood pressure

*Reduce  atherosclerosis

* Hardens enamel and prevents tooth decay

* Contain  GUERCETIN, which helps prevent lung cancer

*Increase libido

* Prevent  osteoporosis

* Lower  blood sugar

*Support  your immune system

*Reduce stress

*PLUS….helps with ADD/ADHD, allergies, Alzheimer’s, anemia,

  Wrinkles, asthma, cataracts, constipation, fibromyalgia, insomnia, memory loss, prostrate cancer, stroke and much more!

Red wine and dark chocolate Pairings

Paring red wine and chocolate is a delicious task. Both red wine and chocolate have more than 500 subtle flavor components that enhance each other.

  • Chocolate has been enjoyed since the Olmec Indians discovered its benefits in 1500 BC.
  • Both chocolate and wine come from fruits and are products of fermentation.
  • Choose chocolate with over 50% cacao
  • Enjoy the color, textures, and aromas of both wine and chocolate.
  • Chocolate melts at body temperature (98 degrees) Observe the tastes and textures of both as you slowly swirl combinations in your mouth.
  • Cleanse your pallet with water after each pairing
  • Both red wine and dark chocolate contain impressive amounts of healthy chemical compounds.

Here are some pairings you can try.

   Hazel Nut Truffle +  Block 9 Pinot Noir

   Semi Sweet +  Ferreira Ruby Port

   Mocha Brandy + Grayson Zinfandel

   Dark Chocolate Sea Salt + Buller Tawny Port

   Grand Marnier + Red Dust Shiraz

   Raspberry Truffle+  Twenty Bench Cabernet Sauvignon

The Secret:  The polyphenols and antioxidants in Red wine and dark chocolate in combination are more effective than alone.  So enjoy these two super health foods together everyday.

          The Chocolate Therapist, by Julie Pech, John Wiley Inc, Hoboken, NY

MAKE YOUR OWN HEALTHY CHOCOLATE/NUT/FRUIT BARK

Melt the following ingredients in a pot, let it cool down, pour onto a sheet of parchment paper.  Chill in frig or freezer.

1 cup coconut oil, ¾ cup light raisins, ¾ cup sliced almonds, ¼ chunky almond butter, ¾ cup un-sweetened cocoa powder, 1 TBS vanilla,  3 TBS agave nectar or quality honey.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR,  Wellness Chef Doug Cordier, is a food writer, TV cook, and Certified Nutrition Wellness Consultant.  Owner of Cascom Group Travel, Doug has been teaching corporate and Italian cooking classes plus leading culinary tours to their villa in Tuscany. For more foodie thoughts and recipes, try www.cookingwithcordier or call 313-881-6699

Sterling Heights, Michigan   Sept 29, 2012

            WELLNESS FAIR

If you’re interested in good health, good food, and fun,

join me at the 2nd annual WELLNESS FAIR.

I’ll be serving my special GAZPACHO for FREE

Enjoy: live music, free food, vision & hearing testing,

prizes, free child ID cards. 

American Polish Cultural Center

2975 E. Maple Rd, Troy, MI

 

 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR,  Wellness Chef Doug Cordier, is a food writer, TV cook, and Certified Nutrition Wellness Consultant.  Owner of Cascom Group Travel, Doug has been teaching corporate and Italian cooking classes plus leading culinary tours to their villa in Tuscany. For more foodie thoughts and recipes, try www.askthecooks.com or call 313-881-6699

 

Gaz-WOW-cho (Chilled Spanish Veggie Soup)

Gaz-WOW-cho, Spanish chilled veggie soup

Wellness is a natural state of equilibrium or being in balance.  St.Luke said “heal thyself”  When your body and mind are in balance your body will heal itself. Unfortunatel, America has become lazy.  We have let others take charge of our health. Just take a pill.  Just look around and you you’ll see this doesn’t work.

We all need to become more self reliant and serious about a healthy lifestyle.

Today, over 33% of Americans are obese.

We could eliminate obesity by following some simple guidelines and improve our chance of living a longer and healthier life 

Try this and feel better:

* Calculate your body mass index at www.webmd.com/diet/calc-bmi-plus

* Consume fresh organic foods close to their source

* Avoid hydrogenated foods

* Learn to read and head food labels

* Drink lots of filtered ionized water

* Eliminate high fructose corn sugar

* Eliminate high glycemic foods

* Avoid white flour and white sugar

* Be active, “when you rest you rust.”

* Add fiber to your diet

* Reduce total calories

* Replace processed foods with fresh veggies, fruits, nuts and whole grains

* Use only olive, coconut or grape seed oils.

Wellness cooking is preparing nutritious meals that are delicious and yet nutritious.

If this sounds impossible, try this simple unique summer gazpacho (Spanish chilled soup) It’s a combination of  pineapple, watermelon, cucumber, tomato, lime/lemon juice, and cilantro with a little kick of jalapeno pepper….it is very refreshing, you’ll be the hit of the party.

Pineapple/watermelon Gazpacho (Gaz-WOW-cho)

Chilled Spanish fresh vegetable soup

Fat free, calorie free, gluten free!

2 cups pineapple

½ cup red pepper

3 stalks celery 

1 -2 cucumbers (seeded)

2  cups watermelon

½ cup red onion

½  small mild jalapeno pepper (de-seeded)

1 toe chopped garlic

1 cup  cilantro

2 TBS lemon juice

4 TBS lime juice

3 TBS raspberry vinegar

1 20 oz can crushed tomatoes (Dei Fratelli brand is great)

 chives for garnish

Directions……….

Place first 12 ingredients in food processor

PULSE  until chunky, add tomatoes, pulse.

 Chill at least two hours before serving

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR,  Wellness Chef Doug Cordier, is a food writer, TV cook, and Certified Nutrition Wellness Consultant.  Owner of Cascom Group Travel, Doug has been teaching corporate and Italian cooking classes plus leading culinary tours to their villa in Tuscany. For more foodie thoughts and recipes, try www.askthecooks.com or call 313-881-6699

 

 

Summer Fruit Salsa……. or Ceviche?…….REFRESHING! 

Summer fruit salsa

Beautiful to behold, this deliciously different fruit salsa is perfect for the warmer months. Fruit salsa goes well with grilled meats, sandwiches, burgers, pasta and vegetables.  But…it’s  most amazing asset is its nutritional value. This recipe serves four people yet it is almost CALORIE FREE!  25 calories, and .03 grams of fat per serving (if you don’t add the  raspberry vinaigrette)  Plus it is totally GLUTEN FREE, and can become a refreshing CEVICHE by just adding some chopped shrimp.

So many times during the warmer months, we get bored with the same old salads.  Why not add a different sweet and sour twist with watermelon, pineapple, plus a little jalapeno kick to boot.

FRUIT SALSA

                                                                               Calories            Fat       

½ cup pineapple (1/4 “ chop)                      33              .02

½ cup tomato (1/4 “ chop)                            10              .01

½ cup watermelon (1/4 “ chop)                10              .01

½ cup cucumber (1/4 “ chop)                    10              .02

¼  cup diced jalapeno pepper                    12              .02                 

½ cup  chopped green onion tops            5              .01

½  cup  red onions (diced)                           20              .01

½ cup chopped cilantro                                 0              .01

Pinch sea salt                                   Total         100            .11

Vinaigrette                                                       250-350      .00

Add 1 tsp lemon or lime juice, plus 1 TBS raspberry vinegar to bowl, whisk in 2-3 TBS olive oil until thickened.  (3 parts oil to 1 part vinegar)  Don’t add the vinaigrette yet.  Refrigerate for one hour. For the freshest flavor, toss the salsa with a pinch of salt and then the vinegar just before you serve it, or you can add the vinaigrette and let it marinate before serving.

(vinaigrette adds 200 – 300 calories)

 Special Note:  CEVICHE

Try adding chopped shrimp to this salsa and it becomes ceviche, the famous South American dish dating back to the Incas.

 Needless to say, preparing and eating delicious and nutritious foods is not only fun, but really good for your health.

 About the Author:  Wellness Chef Doug Cordier, is a food writer, TV cook, Certified Ergonomic Consultant and business man. Doug is the owner of Cascom Group Travel and has been teaching corporate and Italian cooking classes for twenty years, plus leading culinary tours to their villa in Tuscany. For more foodie thoughts and recipes, try www.askthecooks.com  

 

What’s all this hubbub about gluten?

When I first started working on this posting for my foodie blog, I thought about several titles.  Confused about gluten? How to have a gluten free lifestyle? or how about Gluten free, Why?  The problem is, today, there is so much confusion about “gluten free” cooking, how do you straighten it all out?  So here is my attempt to reduce some of that confusion for the uninitiated.

 First, what is GLUTEN anyway, and why is it so bad for humans? 

Gluten (from Latin gluten, “glue“) is a protein composite found in foods processed from wheat and related grain species, including barley and rye. It gives elasticity to dough, helping it to rise and to keep its shape, and often giving the final product a chewy texture.

 It is estimated that over 15% of the U.S. population (or one in seven) have a sensitivity to gluten.  That’s a huge number! Certain  people can develop what is called Celiac DiseaseCeliac disease is a serious disorder.  However, many people may not even know they have a sensitivity to gluten. Celiac disease or gluten sensitivity causes many unpleasant digestive disorders that can wreck havoc on a person’ life, and lead to such medical conditions such as: bloating, diarrhea, gas and flatulence, nausea, acid reflux, constipation,  or other conditions such as depression, autistic behaviors, joint pain, fatigue, infertility, ADD/ADHD, headaches, acne, bruising, night blindness, hair loss, eczema and more.

So how do you guard against this happening to you?  If you are already experiencing some of these conditions, eliminating wheat, barley, and rye products from your diet may be the answer to a healthier “gluten free” life style.  This means leaving out certain foods from your diet (here’s a partial list) Pasta, pizza, crackers, wheat breads, beer, cereal, pretzels, bagels, baked goods, cookies, etc.

Now you say huh?  Are your crazy? What‘s left to eat?  How can I give up bagels, pasta, beer and pizza?  Come on….you could do it.  Years ago, living a “gluten free” lifestyle was pretty difficult because many manufacturers were including “hidden gluten” in many of their products.  Today, there are many “gluten free” products on the market that can help everyone to lead a more normal life. Many manufacturers now include gluten information on their labels.  So check those nutrition labels on the side of every package . 

The question arises, should we be consuming wheat products at all? The fact  is, humans haven’t been consuming wheat, barley or rye for that many years along our total evolutionary timeline.  Our early ancestors didn’t even have these grains until many thousands of years later. For millennia human’s diets consisted of meat, vegetables, fruits and nuts.  I’m not recommending we return to the “stone age” but,  perhaps we could ALL lead a healthier lifestyle and feel better if we eliminated gluten from our diets.

Actually, there are far more foods that don’t contain gluten than do.  Beef, pork, poultry, fish, corn, nuts, seafood, vegetables, potatoes, legumes, eggs, fruit, dairy products and on and on.  Then there are the new “gluten free” products that are substitutes for many of the products on the “no-no” list. Super markets have “gluten free” sections where you can find many of these substitute brands. With a little hunting around, many grains that are gluten free: rice, tapioca, buckwheat, arrowroot, amaranth, quinoa, millet, taro root, and tef can be found.

One of the issues that “gluten freeers”  have to deal with is cross contamination.  If you have a “gluten freeer” in your home it can be tough to prevent cross contamination.  Therefore a little preplanning and care in the kitchen can mean a lot to gluten sensitive individuals. 

 

Gluten free dishes do not have to be flavorless and boring.  Try to stay away from prepared foods. Preparing foods with fresh ingredients will change your whole culinary experience. Your cooking will taste much better because you are using fresh produce.

Try this gluten free dish and see what I mean.

Green Chili Enchiladas with Lime

Ingredients                                                                                                       

8 fresh corn tortillas                                            

1/2 lb ground beef                                                                               

1/2 cup chopped red onion                                                                                

1-2 jalapeno peppers (diced)                                          

1-2  lime (juiced, about 4 TBS)                                            

1 cup grated cheese for inside of tortillas             

1 cup green chili sauce (small can)  

1 toe garlic (minced)                                                 

1/2 cup grated cheese for topping

cilantro or chives for garnish

sea salt

 

1. Brown ground beef in pan, add onions , garlic  

3. Stir in lime juice, cook one minute, remove from heat & let cool

4. Heat tortillas in microwave for 10 seconds (just to get them flexible)

5. Spread tortilla on cutting board, and place about 2-3 TBS meat mixture in

    lower third closest to you.

6. Add 1 tsp chopped peppers and 2 TBS grated cheese.

7. Roll up tortillas tightly and place in oiled baking dish (seam side down)

8. Pour green chili sauce over surface, then add remaining cheese on top

9. Bake in 350 oven for about 20 minutes or until bubbly or cover with plastic wrap, and micro on med for 2-3 minutes until heated through.

10. Garnish with cilantro  (serves about four people)

 

To sum up, GLUTEN is a large protein found in wheat, barley and rye that many people have a sensitivity to. By removing this protein from your diet, you can also eliminate numerous digestive disorders from your life.  If you are experiencing  problems with digestion, perhaps you could try living GLUTEN FREE and improve your health by preparing delicious foods with fresh ingredients.

I highly recommend the book Gluten-Free Cooking for Dummies, by Danna Korn, and Connie Sarros.  It will explain in depth the basis for starting a Gluten-Free lifestyle and improving your health for life.

About the Author:  Wellness Chef Doug Cordier, is a food writer, TV cook, Certified Ergonomic Consultant and business man. Doug is the owner of Cascom Group Travel and has been teaching corporate and Italian cooking classes for twenty years, plus leading culinary tours to their villa in Tuscany. For more foodie thoughts and recipes, try www.askthecooks.com  

 

 

TRUE WELLNESS COOKING

 

(by Wellness Chef Doug Cordier)
This article first appeared in my friend George Diamond’s blog.
 http://loseweightfastwithoutdieting.com/blog/2012/02/13/true-wellness-cooking/
Think and GET THIN….by George Diamond
 
  

Zuppa di pane   Zuppa di pane

 

WELLNESS COOKING should be just that, “cooking to be well”, but so many times when we see “wellness recipes’ we’re reminded of some diet we had to be on to loose weight in the past. Wellness cooking doesn’t have be about preparing boring foods that we know are good for us but just don’t taste that great. The following recipe is a Wellness Cooking Recipe that provides both great taste and balance between carbohydrates, protein, and fat, plus VERY low calories! You could even prepare this dish with GLUTEN-FREE bread.

As a classic Italian cook, I believe in the philosophy of reducing a recipe to the lease number of fresh ingredients. For this reason, one of my favorite dishes to prepare is BREAD SOUP. The recipe that follows is called PAPPA ALA POMADORO. In this case the word PAPPA has nothing to do with His Holiness the Pope, or your grand dad. Instead it has it’s origin in the word PAP, which means baby food.

Another reason why I love doing this dish is, people can watch you create it in just a couple of minutes………I finish it off by anointing each serving with a special high grade olive oil and a dusting of parmesan cheese. Then I sit back and watch their expressions. They oooooh and aaaaah and just can’t believe something this luscious can be so simple and fast So, now you can do the same with your friends and family, and spread the word about the simplicity of authentic Italian cusine……..true WELLNESS food.

Zuppa di pane (pappa ala pomadoro)
Classic Tuscan Bread, tomato/basil soup

1 ½ cup red onion (chopped)
1 large can crushed tomatoes (2 lbs fresh finely chopped)
1 1/2 handfulls of stale Italian bread (about 2 cups)
2 cups water
1 cup torn fresh basil leaves
6 Tbs good extra virgin olive oil (divided)
¼ cup grated quality parmesan cheese
1 large toe garlic (thinly sliced)
Sea salt & freshly ground pepper

1. In large sauté pan heat 3 tbs oil, cook garlic for 1/2 minute (do not brown)
2. Add onions and sauté for 3 minutes
3. Add tomatoes, cook for 5 minutes until they start to break down
4. Tear bread into chunks and add to liquids
5. Add water, cook mixture until it bread breaks down…
6. When soup is the right consistency, add salt, pepper,
7. Tear up basil leaves and mix into soup. Transfer to bowls, anoint each with olive oil and parmesan cheese.

Buon Appetito!

About the Author Wellness Chef Doug Cordier, is a food writer, TV cook, Certified Ergonomic Consultant and business man. Doug is the owner of Cascom Group Travel and has been teaching corporate and Italian cooking classes for twenty years, plus leading culinary tours to their villa in Tuscany. For more foodie thoughts and recipes, try www.askthecooks.com
 

My friend George Diamond with his latest book

 

Losing Weight Doesn’t Mean Bad Tasting Food

Do you think losing weight means eating bland foods?  If you answered “YES” you are not alone.  When I was starting the weight-loss process, I would have answered, “YES” to this question also.  This was one of the hesitations I had with losing weight. I thought I had to start eating healthy, bad tasting and low calorie foods.  This is far from the truth.  Healthy food does not have to taste bad.  Low calorie food does not have to be bland.

A good way to keep from eating bland foods is to add spices to your food for an explosion of flavor that can help satisfy your taste buds.  I have also found that flavorful food will be more satisfying, and therefore, I won’t eat as much.  Additionally, it will keep me from feeling that I was depriving myself of eating good-tasting  foods. 

There are many different spices I like to use. Hot and spicy seasonings, like chilies, curry, chili power, paprika, Cajun seasoning, and / or mustard can add a nice kick to your meal.  These hot spices have been shown to boost metabolism rates.  They will also add an explosion of taste to your meal. 

If these spices are too hot for your palette, you can try others like, garlic power, pepper, oregano, onion power to name a few.

Spices will add a lot of flavor to your meals without having to use a lot of fat and calories.  Once again,  many of the hotter seasonings and spices speed up the digestive system and may help your body burn a few extra calories.  I am certain that Doug will be showing you how to prepare foods that will not only taste great but will be healthy for you.  Always remember to watch your portion sizes. Healthy foods can pack on the weight if eaten in large quanties.

For more information on how to lose weight and keep it off visit.

http://www.DontDietJustThink.com

George A. Diamond

Author of the book: “Don’t Diet! Just Think And Get Thin

 

PICKLED GREEN TOMATOES

how to make pickled green tomotoes

 

Pickled Green Tomatoes

So it’s the end of the growing season, and you have tons of those little hard green tomatoes still hanging on the vines……to small to make “fried green tomatoes”  but such a waste to throw them away.  What to do?  

Solution….make pickled green tomatoes…..it’s quick and really easy………and people will say “wow….what a great idea”

PICKELED GREEN TOMATOES

2 pounds (hard green tomatoes)

1 cup white vinegar

1 cup water

1 serrano pepper

2 bay leaves (optional)

6 toes fresh garlic

1 TBS black pepper corns

Small bunch of fresh dill

2 tsps kosher salt

Makes about two quart jars.

 

Directions:

Heat canning jars and lids in simmering water for ten minutes.

Wash tomatoes well and pack into sterile jars.

Add garlic, pepper corns, peppers, and dill.

Fill each jar to the top with hot vinegar solution.

Transfer to refrigerator for two days….that’s it!!!!!

About the Author  Part time chef Doug Cordier, is a food writer, TV cook, Certified Ergonomic Consultant and business man. Doug is the owner of Cascom Group Travel and has been teaching corporate and Italian cooking classes for twenty years, plus leading culinary tours to their villa in Tuscany.  For more foodie thoughts and recipes, try  www.askthecooks.com 

 

 The Lobster Boys ……Seafood Parties  for hir

Doug & Dave with their big red lobsta trailer

As the story goes, 20 some years ago Dave Hohlfeldt , Doug Cordier and a group of close friends decided to have a “down home New England Seafood Party”   They all met at a nearby park with their gear and plenty of lobsters, clams, mussels  and shrimp.  Problem was, their method of cooking all this seafood was to employ a Coleman stove!  Needless to say……the water in their lobster pot never boiled……they ended up cooking the lobsters at a nearby friends home. . 

 

Embarrassed by the failure Dave and Doug, vowed to remedy the situation.  They cut the top off an old beer barrel and purchased their first 180,000 BTU burner.  From this point onward,  Dave and Doug  were now able to cook 35 lobsters at a time…..plus mussels and shrimp!  Seafood season was looking up.

Soon, word spread, Doug and Dave were doing back yard lobster parties for other groups and became know as the ”Lobster Boys”   Soon the Lobster Boys were in high demand for local charities….donating Lobster Parties for schools and private groups.   

 

“What a terrific party you Lobster Boys put on for me earlier this year!!  You supplied everything —  set up, decorations and of course the most delicious seafood ever!!  I loved you were both part of the party, and especially your “Lobster 101″ class.  All of my guests were particularly impressed, but not as impressed as I was.  They have all told me I have set a new bar for parties.  I can’t wait until I have the second annual Lobster Boys party again!           Jacquie Lauth, Grosse Pointe, Michigan”

The Lobster Boys master menu always includes:

*Mussels steamed in beer & herbs (with lemon garlic cream dipping sauce) 

*Spicy Monster Shrimp 

*Seafood Chowda/crusty French bread

*Table side prepared Caesar Salad

* Live Maine Lobstas

*Corn, redskin potatoes.  

After twenty plus years of donations, the Lobster Boys have raised between $80 – $90 K for local charities. Today, the Lobster Boys hire out mostly for private corporate parties, wedding receptions, and even Tiger Baseball players.  The Lobster Boys have been featured in many newspaper and magazine articles,  TV cooking shows and most recently a full page spread in the Detroit Free Press.  Now the Lobster Boys are willing to share one of their signature recipes…….SPICY   SHRIMP SAUTE’

Bill King with a platter of Monster Spicy Shrimp
Bill King with a platter of Monster Spicy Shrimp

Spicy Shrimp Saute’

                        12 jumbo shrimp (16 -20s, shell on)                                                   

2-3 TBS Tiger Sauce  

2 TBS Crystal Hot sauce          

3 TBS fresh lemon juice

3 TBS minced fresh garlic

¼  cup chopped green onions

¼  cup chopped parsley

3 TBS olive oil

2 TBS butter

3 TBS olive oil          

Instructions

1. In a large pan or wok, heat olive oil to very hot, add butter

2.  Add shrimp and toss rapidly

3. Add garlic and toss

3.  Add Tiger sauce &Crystalsauce

2. Add lemon juice, toss & thicken sauce

4. Stir in green onions

6. Turn onto platter, garnish with parsley

“They bring everything they need to cook with them. Basically, It’s worry free, and the soups are just outstanding”   “The more you have them, the more you look forward to them”    Janice and Lyle Acton, Amber Manufacturing, Frazer, MI

 CONTACT THE LOBSTER BOYS at 313-881-6699 or cascomgrp@aol.com

About the Author  Part time chef  Doug Cordier, is a food writer, TV cook, Certified Ergonomic Consultant and business man. Doug is the owner of Cascom Group Travel and has been teaching corporate and Italian cooking classes for twenty years, plus leading culinary tours to their villa in Tuscany.  For more foodie thoughts and recipes, try  www.cookingwithcordier.com 

 

FUNGI!   Shaggy Mane Mushrooms

 

FUNGI…….the call that Italians love to sound when they find mushrooms growing in the wild.  

On my way to a board meeting last evening at dusk, I spied a small patch of Shaggy Manes or coprinus comatus  growing along the side of the road on Lake St. Clair, inMichigan.  Early the next morning, I snuck back to the same spot hoping no one else had seen them.  Sure enough, there they were, standing up in the dew of the new day…….lots of them.  I harvested about fifteen mushrooms, cutting them off with my Swiss Army knife….carefully leaving at least half of them to re-spore for the next season.  Like most mushrooms, Shaggys, Lawyer’s Wigs or Inkys do not pop up every year. 

Shaggy Manes coprinus comatus
Shappy Manes……just emerging

Through out history, mushrooms have been viewed as being mysterious.  Mushrooms have a large underground root system called the mycelium, the mushroom part is the fruiting body which emerges only when certain conditions occur.  Thus many mushrooms “appear” overnight like magic.  The fruiting bodies contain spores.  These spores spring forth from gills located usually under the cap. Hopefully, these spores will start new mushrooms, and the beat goes on.

When you hear the words WILD MUSHROOMS most people want to run away. Stories of people dying after eating wild mushrooms are certainly true but usually very rare. 

The reason why I love Shaggy Manes is because they are almost foolproof to indentify. The bell shaped cylindrical cap is about four inches high, covered with tan scales, looking much like a British lawyer’s wig.  Shaggy Manes can be found through out the northernUnited States, usually in the fall.  They occur in clusters, or sometimes in “fairy rings”.  Once they emerge, they grow very fast.  You have to harvest them quickly because as soon as they emerge, within hours, they start to spore.  Shaggy Mane mushrooms are also called Inkys for this reason. Literally, Shaggy Manes will become a black mass of inky goo in just hours.  This process is called “deliquesce”  Shaggy Mane ink was actually used for writing during George Washington’s day.  

Shaggys turning into Inkys
Shaggys turning into Inkys…through “deliquesce”

Now the best part. The reason why all mushroom hunters get excited about stalking these elusive delicacies.  You get to eat them!  What a treat.The flavor of shaggy manes is very delicate.  All you have to do is lightly sauté them in a little butter and enjoy.  

Shaggys sauted in butter.......the best!

Shaggys sauted in butter……the best!

About the Author  Part time chef  Doug Cordier, is a food writer, TV cook, Certified Ergonomic Consultant and business man. Doug is the owner of Cascom Group Travel and has been teaching corporate and Italian cooking classes for twenty years. For more foodie thoughts and recipes, try www.askthecooks.com