Just yesterday, Steve and I had the pleasure of coming upon a patch of Bolete Mushrooms while walking in the woods not too far from our house. Since I've been on a big mushroom omelet kick lately, there was no question what I was going to do with our basket of goodies!
One of the signs of an edible mushroom, though by no means a rule of thumb, is little nibbles taken by woodland creatures. Toxic mushrooms will appear spotless...though beautiful! These boletes were sampled by many little teeth.
Boletes can be identified by several things. They have no gills. The undersides of the caps are made up of tiny tubes, which you can see when you break a cap in half (as shown in the photo below). The sturdy flesh of the Nearly Smooth-stemmed Boletes (boletus sublabripes) that we found is lemon yellow and the caps are a beautiful cinnamon color. The stems aren't super smooth or waxy, but have little hairy looking scales all over them. Boletes grow on the ground in deciduous and pine forests, and occur in the same place each year in late summer or early fall.
When cooked, the boletes have a texture I find similar to briefly sauteed summer squash (which I included in my omelet recipe today). The flavor is excellent and kind of bright, actually. The raw mushrooms had a bit of a lemony flavor. When you taste boletes, they should not be chalky or bitter at all. (Many boletes are known as the best of the woodland edibles but some boletes are not for eating. I'm still a novice mushroom hunter so I will continue to have an expert approve our finds even if it is a bolete.)
I am not, on the other hand, a novice omelet maker! I can whip one up in minutes and it's always firm yet tender on the outside and creamy and delicious on the inside. I actually learned how to make a perfect omelet on the Oprah Winfrey show when I was young and I never looked back!
Mushroom Omelet in Minutes
makes 4 omelets
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons oil
1 cup young summer squash and/or zucchini, sliced about 1/4 inch thick
1 small banana pepper or any sweet pepper, seeded and sliced
3 cups sliced mushrooms, any kind
1 large clove garlic, minced
5 large eggs
5 tablespoons water
4 tablespoons softened cream cheese
Salt and pepper
Fresh dill (optional)
Preheat a large skillet with butter and oil over medium high heat. Saute squash with a pinch of salt for one minute without flipping so one side of the veggies is lightly browned. Add banana pepper, mushrooms and garlic to the pan and stir. Cook for several minutes, stirring a couple times, then turn off the heat. Meanwhile, whisk up your eggs with water and preheat an 8 inch non-stick skillet or omelet pan over medium high heat. The pan should be good and hot before you cook the eggs.
This next part happens very quickly. Be ready with a spatula and don't plan to leave the stove until each omelet is cooked and on a plate.
Place one pat (about a half tablespoon) of butter into the hot omelet pan and swirl it around the bottom and sides of the pan. Pour one quarter of the liquid eggs into the pan and tip the pan gently to bring the egg up onto the sides a bit. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and pepper while you leave it rest for about 15 seconds for the egg to set up on the bottom. Using the corner of a spatula, slide one section of egg into the center of the pan. Tip the pan so the liquid egg spills into the empty space you've just created. Push another part of the omelet into the center and spill into that space. Do this once more and maybe a fourth time if it seems you have enough liquid. I usually get three slides to the center in one omelet.
Quickly, place four or five little dollops of cream cheese onto one half of your omelet (about one tablespoon per omelet). Place one quarter of your mushroom filling over the cream cheese, fold the omelet over and quickly slide it or flip it onto your plate. Any wet egg will finish cooking in the heat of the omelet. Don't try to cook it until it's all dry, or you'll get a rubbery dry omelet.
Do this three more times and you've made 4 omelets, each likely better than the one before. Soon you'll be an expert!
Garnish with fresh dill. And enjoy!