October 01, 2008

instructions for mushrooms

Open the box and spread them out on some trays, a table, oven racks,
whatever. Just don't leave them mashed up in the box.

DO NOT WASH THEM. They are sponges, essentially. Just brush/blow them
off. An old toothbrush or paintbrush works well. Sorry for any slugs,
sticks, bugs, or spiders. It goes with the territory. Cut away anything
you don't like the looks of. This makes quite a mess, by the way. I do it
over the sink.

I cut them into bite size pieces lengthwise, the small ones I leave
whole. You can also chop them for recipes or gravy. The first night, I
usually make them in a pan with butter gravy. Here are the steps.

In a medium saucepan or frypan, heat maybe half a stick of butter over
med/low heat. Let the water bubble off. Add about an equal amount of flour
and keep stirred until golden brown (the color of the raw mushrooms is a
good guide). You want a light roux, so not too much flour.

At the same time, heat the largest frypan you have over high heat.
Add a little olive oil when hot, then the mushrooms. A mountain is ok, they
cook way down. It will be a little freaky at first, some squeaking,
sticking, etc. Soon, they will release their water and the pan will quiet
down. Soon, they may even be swimming. At this point of high water, dump
off all the liquid you can into a bowl. Continue frying the mushrooms until
they are soft and dark. You can even continue until they start to brown.
This is pretty much to taste, I don't worry too much about overcooking
them. You may have to add more oil or butter, or adjust the heat at some

Once the roux is golden, add the mushroom juice and simmer until the
desired thickness. If needed, you can stretch it with stock or water or
whatever. Salt well, and add a little fresh pepper. Serve when the
mushrooms are finished.

I have used them to stuff chickens, put them in scrambled eggs, on home
made pizza, in ravioli, on the bbq, and in many soups and stews. You can
also dry them. I have a feeling they won't have a very long life span.

Posted by foodnerd at October 1, 2008 01:42 PM

I side with Alton Brown on this, wash the mushrooms in water. They will probably get cleaner and be less damaged. Plus it is easier and any water absorbed is negligible.

Posted by: scatterlined at October 5, 2008 01:11 PM
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