Fearless Foodie:

Mushroom Forager Makes it to Metro Pulse

2242-cover-whitey-hitchcock_t300.jpgLots of mushroomy goodness in this week's Metro Pulse, including my very own profile of local mushroom forager Harry "Whitey" Hitchcock. In his honor, here's the recipe for Puffballs Parmesan, too:

Photo of the inside of puffballs from Hitchcock's blog: TheFungiForager.com


Puffball Parmesan
Arleen Raines Bessette -
Edible Wild Mushrooms of North America by Fischer & Besstte

Preheat oven to 350o F.

2 tablespoons minced onion
½ cup chopped green pepper
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 16-ounce can Italian tomatoes
1 3-ounce can tomato paste
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon fresh basil
2 cups grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup dry bread crumbs, seasoned with ½ teaspoon savory
4 tablespoons butter
6, ½-inch slices Giant Puffball or other large puffball
1 egg, slightly beaten with 1 tablespoon milk
6 slices mozzarella cheese

Sauté onion, pepper and garlic in 1 tablespoon olive oil until tender. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, salt, sugar, and basil. Bring to boil; reduce heat and simmer gently 15 to 20 minutes. (Combine 1 cup Parmesan cheese with seasoned bread crumbs. Melt butter with remaining olive oil in large skillet. Dip puffball slices in beaten egg and milk. Dredge in bread crumb mixture, covering all sides. Fry in butter and oil mixture over medium heat until golden on both sides. Drain on paper towel). Place browned puffball slices in single layer in oiled baking dish. Cover with mozzarella cheese slices, then with tomato sauce. Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese. Bake at 350o F until cheese is melted and all is well heated.

  Serves 4 to 6.


  • I have tried this with commercial sauce and it doesn't work near as well. This is delicious.
  • I use the fresh balls of mozzarella and slice it myself.
  • The fried slices, as noted in parentheses freeze quite well
  • I fry two pans of puffballs and then change the oil/butter to keep from burning. Use medium heat to fry

Whitey Hitchcock

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About This Blog

Rose Kennedy covers the Knoxville foodie scene with small discoveries, new openings, rumors, and tastings.