Hypomyces Lactifluorum: Characterized by a reddish orange color resembling the outer shell of a cooked lobster, the Lobster Mushroom is actually a transformation caused by a parasitic ascomycete fungus that grows on the outside of genera Lactarius and Lactifluus fungi, such as Russula Brevipes and Lactifluus Piperatus, or more commonly: Milk-Caps and Brittlegills. They have a firm, dense texture and a taste that's slightly reminiscent of seafood.
Lobster mushrooms are widely foraged but they are sometimes found in grocery stores. I was lucky enough to find some recently at my local produce market while they were in season. These babies only need a few minutes in a hot pan, making an extremely quick snappetizer!
* This basic preparation technique can be used for most mushrooms, and feel free to omit the garlic and chili flake if you're a purist.
|Lobster Mushrooms||:||1-2Caps, Sliced|
|Garlic Powder||:||¼Tsp, to taste|
|Rock Salt||:||Fresh Ground, to taste|
|Choice Chili Flake||:||Tiny Pinch, Optional|
Non-Stick Skillet- Heat on high until HOT, add mushrooms and sear with salt, garlic powder and chili flake..
Sauté- mushrooms for 1-2 minutes on high, stirring ofter.
Add Butter- and reduce heat to medium. Sauté for 1 minute more or so until just before the desired doneness is achieved.
Turn Heat Off- and allow the mushrooms to rest in the residual heat of the pan before serving. They should be still firm but cooked through, and the garlic powder and salt should have made a nice crust on the outer edges.