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From Duff To Dinner

A Gourmet's Guide to Mushroom Cookery
Edited by Marjorie Young and Vince Viverito

119 pages, Seasonal Feasts, Los Gatos, CA.; $12.95
ISNB 1-890880-02-7
Reviewed by Ann Conlan

From the pages of Epicurean

I had to look up "Duff" in the dictionary. It means "decaying leaves and branches covering a forest floor," which is where you find wild mushrooms. Most of us were first exposed to wild mushrooms in restaurants. Confronted with a basket of wild mushrooms in our own kitchens, we're likely to be puzzled and wary. What does one do with them? This little book takes its recipes from nine professional chefs from Central California (Monterey Peninsula, Santa Cruz and San Jose).

The book is divided into Appetizers, Soups and Salads, The Main Course, Side Dishes, and Baked Goods and Desserts. Mushrooms used in these recipes include Boletes, Candy Caps, Chanterelles, Cremini, Enoki, Matsutakes, Morels, Oysters, Porcini, Portobellos, Puff Balls and Shiitakes, many of which are available in grocery stores these days.

A few of the recipes are perhaps more suited to professional cooks, but most are easy to follow for the home cook, such as Crab Stuffed Morels, Portobello Mushrooms Mediterranean Style, Cream of Morel Soup, and Wild Mushroom Lasagna.

While I wish there were some photographs to whet my appetite, this is a good, basic introduction to cooking with wild mushrooms.

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