Dipped Oyster Mushrooms
Chef Mark Fontana   ~     Creekside Grill
Makanda, Illinois USA                 (618) 351-4653
TIP: Oyster Mushrooms (Pleurotus spp) can be found almost year-around in Illinois. Mushroom hunters find them growing on wood from early spring until winter. Summer varieties are often bone white and grow as individual, gilled caps on wood. Chilly-weather varieties tend to grow in clusters and might feature tan to dark-brown gilled caps. There are many species of fungi that grow on wood, including some deadly poisonous mushrooms.
And there are actually a few different species of mushrooms we commonly call Oyster Mushrooms. They’re easily cultivated, and you can even buy grow-your-own kits for different varieties. But it’s hard to beat what’s wild and free.
We’re big fans of the way simple
ingredients can be used to create great food. When it comes to wild mushrooms, simple is perfect. Throw them in a skillet. Sprinkle a few basics. Enjoy. 
Most mushroom hunters already know this. In fact, in rural Illinois, breaded mushrooms fried to crispy perfection are the mushroom-hunter’s gold standard. Add an easy-to-make dipping sauce to those crispy snacks, and everybody crowds the table, grabbing. 
Now is the time of year when there’s always plenty of wild mushrooms available for everyone. In the damp, chilly twilight of autumn just before winter, Oyster Mushrooms can grow in great abundance. It’s the major attraction for late-autumn foraging in Illinois. You might fill a basket completely in December, if it’s not snowing. But you do have to look. THE RECIPE
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