He advises how to prepare a squirrel: you will lick your fingers

Even 25 percent were purchased by buyers this year. more compared to last year, data from shopping network Maxima shows. And the doctor of biomedical science explains why the mushroom should be included in the diet and how to process it properly so as not to lose its beneficial properties.

Fresh harvest – not only in the forest

Ernesta Dapkienė, Director of the Communication and Image Department of the Maxima trade chain, said that not all residents have the time and opportunity to pick mushrooms themselves, so fresh mushroom harvest is always welcome in the store.

“Our network has loyal partners who, as soon as the first squirrels start to grow, they quickly send them to us, and send them to the buyers.

Interest in this forest species fluctuates slightly from year to year. It is determined by the price and success of the season.

For example, last year the harvest of squirrels was not large due to the drought, but the trade remained more active than in previous years. We sell from the end of June to the end of October and sell more than 1400 kg of squirrels in total”, said E. Dapkienė.

This year, according to him, it is still difficult to predict the results of mushroom sales, but by observing the general statistics of fresh mushroom sales, increased interest has been noted. A 200-gram package of squirrel costs EUR 4.99, according to the press release.

Frozen mushrooms have also regained popularity this year, including frozen Lithuanian porcini mushrooms. At that time, the sales of prepackaged and dried mushrooms decreased slightly from the end of January to the end of June.

Squirrels are not without praise

Jurgita Motiejūnaitė, botanist and doctor of biomedical sciences, head of the Laboratory of Mycology of the Botanical Institute of the Center for Natural Research, warns that mushrooms are nutritious, even if they are low in calories.

“Mushrooms are almost fat-free, cholesterol-free, rich in various minerals and vitamins and active substances, including antioxidants, as well as powerful ones such as ergothionein, for example. The amount of active substances and vitamins generally depends on the way the mushrooms are grown or grown,” said the mycologist .

Speaking about squirrels, which are loved by many, J. Motiejūnaitė said that they are most appreciated for their taste and practical considerations.

“Squirrels hardly eat worms and it is difficult to confuse them with poisonous mushrooms. Their nutritional properties are generally similar to those of other mushrooms. They contain carotenoids, vitamin B2 (riboflavin) and vitamin D, a lot of copper and iron, and compounds with antioxidant properties,” the expert said. beneficial.

Squirrel (photo by Pexels)

He also added that porcini mushrooms can be prepared in various ways, but unlike other mushrooms, they do not need to be boiled before cooking. If the recipe requires cooking, the process does not take long, according to J. Motiejūnaitė, because squirrels that have been boiled for a long time lose their taste.

“Washing mushrooms is also useful because it removes the substrate and soil residues. The most important thing is not to keep it raw for a long time, especially in heat and humidity, because the decomposition process can start.

This rule also applies to squirrels. First of all, due to the fact that the nutritional properties are gradually decreasing over time, the amount of vitamins and active substances decreases. It is better to freeze mushrooms that are not eaten before boiling them,” said the mycologist.

If it has happened that you do not want to eat mushrooms “here and now”, specialists recommend marinating, drying, freezing and even try pickling. Actually, for this you need to have a cold room or a spacious refrigerator to store pickled squirrels.

Squirrels preserved in different ways show different flavors, and are used in different dishes in cooking.

Maximos experts invite you to try three different recipes, where squirrels express themselves in different flavors.

Creamy squirrel and chicken soup

You will need: 400 g of squirrel, 1 large onion, 1 carrot, 0.5 kg of chicken thigh meat, 500 g of potatoes, 2 tablespoons of butter, 1 liter of chicken broth, 1 tsp. sh. dried thyme, a pinch of salt, crushed black pepper, 500 g of potatoes, 2 bay leaves, 2-3 tablespoons of tomato paste, 125 g of cream / melted cheese, 250 ml of heavy cream.

We produce: melt butter in a pot, add finely chopped onion and carrot, cook until soft. Cut the squirrel that has been cleaned and washed and fried next to the onion and carrot. Cover the vegetables and mushrooms with a lid for a few minutes to steam the ingredients.

When the juice has been released, pour the thigh meat into the pot, season with salt, pepper and thyme. Next, chop the potatoes into cubes and pour into the pot. Pour the chicken stock over everything, add the bay leaves and mix well. Cover the pot with a lid and cook for 8-15 minutes until the potatoes are soft.

When the potatoes are cooked, add the tomato paste, cream cheese, and cream to the pot. Heat, stirring, until the cheese melts and the soup returns to a boil. Remove the bay leaves and remove the pot from the heat.

Now let the soup stand in a closed pot for half an hour or more, until the flavor “settles” and all the notes are revealed. Sprinkle the soup with thyme or other herbs before serving. Delicious!

Marinated squirrel “Preparing for winter”

You will need: 0.5 kg of squirrel, 1 liter of water, 2 teaspoons of salt, 1 teaspoon of sugar, 2 teaspoons of vinegar, 4 teaspoons of medium. the size of cloves of garlic, some bay leaves.

We produce: clean the squirrel thoroughly, rinse with water. Cut the larger mushrooms in half. Put everything in a pot, pour water and boil. If foam appears, skim it off.

Now cook the marinade from all the listed ingredients except the vinegar. Add the mushrooms to the marinade, heat until boiling and cook for 5 minutes. Pour the vinegar, let it boil again and turn off the flame after a few minutes.

Put the mushrooms in a heated jar, cover tightly, close the lid and store with a towel until the container cools. In winter, use mushrooms prepared in this way to flavor mixed dishes, soups and other dishes. Delicious!


Pickled squirrel

You will need: 1 kg squirrel, 1-2 onions, 5 bay leaves, 50 g salt, half a teaspoon of sugar, black pepper, allspice.

We produce: clean the squirrel thoroughly, shorten the stalks and rinse with water. Boil for a few minutes in salted water and drain well through a colander. Now peel the onion and cut into slices.

Mix salt with sugar. Put the mushrooms in the prepared heated pan, cover with the first layer, then sprinkle with salt and sugar, and every second layer with onions or spices.

When the ingredients are ready, cover the pot with a plate and place a stone or other heavy object on top. After a few days, take the container with the mushrooms to a cold room.

Mushrooms must be constantly covered with liquid. If not, add more brine. It is good to taste with boiled or fried potatoes, at least a month after tanning. Bon appetit!

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