Growing Shitake & Oyster mushrooms

It's been about a month since we received our packages of shitake and oyster mushrooms.  So far the oyster mushrooms have been producing about a half a pound every other week.  Sadly, the shitake has produced ....nada. That's right. Zip. Zero. NOTHING.
Oddly enough in the past I have found Shitakes to be the EASIEST to grow but once again I am learning that now that I've moved to a different locale, I have to learn new ways to grow plants that I was once an expert at.
In the beginning, when we first received our package I think our mistake was not to shock the shitake block in the fridge and then submerge in water.  We just set them up hurriedly and told them verbally "Okay, time to grow guys" Ha ha. Yeah, like that has ever worked for ANY plant!
Since then we shocked our shitake block once, submerged once and still NADA.
Okay. Back to square one.
Tomorrow we will be doing a repeat of everything we have already done and on top of that scouring our guide to growing Shitakes.  We really miss nice fresh shitakes!  It would be great to have some fresh ones in our stir fries.
Today I purchased some Tempeh (for those who do not know what this is clink on this link) at Wegmans and I could only imagine how some onion, shitake mushrooms, ginger, and maybe some ichiban eggplants would taste over rice.  (Oh and by the way, later on this winter I will practice making tempeh!)

So while our Shitakes progress has really been horribly our Oyster mushrooms have really been producing well.  I didn't take a photo this week but two weeks ago we got a nice sized cluster that we used in stir fry.

This week we used our cluster in a wonderfully, elegant sounding dish.  Chicken Breasts with Oyster Mushrooms in Champagne.  We served the chicken breasts on top of a nice hearty risotto, along with some Parmesan broccoli.

If you're interested, here's the recipe

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
salt & pepper
flour
2 tbsp butter
3 tbsp olive oil
1 lb oyster mushrooms, sliced
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup champagne
Parsley


Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Pound the chicken breasts between 2 pieces of waxed paper until slightly flattened.  Salt and pepper the chicken breasts.  Roll them in the flour.
Heat the butter and oil in a large pan or skillet and saute chicken over low heat for about 5 minutes until browned on both sides.  Add the chopped mushrooms and cover your pan for about 10 to 15 minutes to let the mushrooms sweat a bit.  Now remove the the chicken and mushrooms to a covered casserole dish.
In the meanwhile, pour cream into pan and simmer for about 5 minutes.  Add champagne to the cream, mix thoroughly.  Pour the champagne cream sauce over the chicken and mushrooms in the casserole dish and place  back in the oven for another 30 minutes.  Use parsley as a garnish.

Talk about yummy, creamy and filling!  We loved this on Friday night.  Hubby was in heaven with this.  He had the absolutely brilliant idea to pair this with some risotto that we made with a bit of white wine, homemade vegetable broth, and cream which went beautifully with the chicken.  The fresh broccoli from Brad's Produce with melted Parmesan just made it all even better!
What a yummy meal!

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