An ingredient I like to always keep handy in the pantry but have never seen in grocery stores is powdered mushrooms. Mushroom powder is a great addition to gravies, soups, burgers, vegetarian nut loaves, patties, so many dishes.
Dried mushrooms can be readily found in oriental grocery stores but less frequently in the regular supermarkets. Dried mushrooms must be reconstituted by soaking before use in cooking, but not so with mushroom powder. If you are able to get hold of dried mushrooms it is simply a matter of grinding them in a coffee grinder or food processor and storing the powder in an air tight glass jar.
It was time to replenish my supply of powdered mushrooms. This time I used baby portobello mushrooms.
I used the ancient food dehydrator I inherited to dry the mushrooms plus a few jalapeños from the garden. The thinner the mushrooms are sliced the quicker they will dry out but the more space will be required in the dehydrator. Mine were thickly sliced to occupy less space.
Newer food dehydrators are equipped with fans to circulate the air and keep an even temperature throughout, so it is simply a matter of loading the trays and forgetting about it until the food is dried. My primitive model requires that the trays be rotated at regular intervals so they each take their turn at the bottom closest to the heating element. Every half hour or so the trays are moved down one notch and the bottom tray is moved to the top. Since I am at home anyway this is not a big deal for me.
I managed to fit all the mushrooms on three trays so I thinly sliced some jalapeños from the garden to go on the fourth tray.
The powdered jalapeños and mushroom powder will have their place with the rest of my spices and herbs.