Sunday, February 19, 2017

How To Saute Mushrooms Perfectly - Every Time!

The way I see it, mushrooms tend to be one of those 50/50 foods. You guys know what I mean... the kind of food that never gets a middle ground response.

When it comes to this often pungent, earthy fungi people either really, really love them, or they really, really hate them. I can't think of anyone I know who reacts to mushrooms with a "meh..." or shrugs their shoulders in a show of indifference. As a matter of fact, I've seen a whole lotta interesting facial expressions when mushrooms have cropped up in conversations.

Try it out for yourself sometime. Just take a minute to look at everybody's face, the next time you and a group of your friends are deciding what toppings to get on the pizzas you're about to order. In my experience, the reactions are second only to the ones I've seen when the hubbers mentions those "hairy" little fish - ya know... anchovies. Yuck!

If you, or one or more of your loved ones, is a mushroom lover (and I assume that's the case, since you're here reading this) then you know that mushrooms go really well with steak. The big steakhouses know this, because they usually offer them as one of the a la carte dishes you can get alongside your NY Strip, Rib Eye or Porterhouse. I've never really thought to ask why, but Filet Mignon often has a sauteed mushroom cap perched regally on top, when it comes out to the table. For the recipe for the Grilled Churrasco Skirt Steak with Chimichurri just click right HERE!

BTW, I've even included a nifty little video 📹 in this post and this time, it isn't one that I chose from the internet. Nope. This time it's little old me showing and telling you how to do it! Now, I really have to clarify that 1) I'm not gonna be discovered by the Food Network for this little video and 2) I'm not planning to do a video for every recipe I post, nor am I planning to start a cooking channel. I might do the occasional video here and there, depending on how I'm feeling at the time. (in other words, I'll cross that bridge when I come to it. LOL) The video is at the end of this post.

🍄So... Let's get this recipe started, shall we?🍄

Perfectly Sauteed Mushrooms
2 - 4 Servings (can be doubled)
  • 8oz Button or Crimini Mushrooms
  • 1 Tbls Olive Oil
  • 1 Tbls Butter
  • Kosher Salt
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • Garlic Powder, Onion Powder or Favorite Seasoning Blend
First, just a few important tips about using/storing mushrooms:
  1. Try not to buy your mushrooms more than a day (or 2 at most) before you plan to cook them. They tend to degrade and mold very quickly, especially during the Summer or in warmer climates.
  2. Keep them in a ventilated container if you don't plan to use them right away. Since mushrooms contain a lot of their own natural moisture, condensation can be an issue (they'll sweat) in an enclosed plastic bag or in one of those cello wrapped cartons. (like the one in the photo above) I usually poke a few slits in the plastic wrap with the tip of a sharp paring knife, if I'm planning to keep them for a day or two.
  3. There are a couple of schools of thought on this, but I never put uncooked mushrooms in the refrigerator. I find that it tends to make them rubbery.

Mushrooms grow in soil, so there will usually be some of that soil on your mushrooms when you buy the. Never soak mushrooms in water. Some people will run them under cold water to rinse them off, but I don't like to expose them to even that much added moisture.

I just take a clean, slightly damp paper towel and brush off any excess debris. If there's a tiny bit thats left behind, I don't worry about it. As my sainted mother always said: "You've gotta eat a peck of dirt before ya die." I have absolutely no idea where that saying originated, but I've heard it my whole life & besides... if mama said it, it must be true, right? 👵

Trim just 1/16th of an inch off the ends of the stem with a sharp pearing knife. Unless the stems are extremely tough or "woody", I see no reason to cut the entire things off. They cook up just as tender and flavorful as the caps do, plus they increase the overall yield. More mushrooms is a good thing in my book!

Slice the mushrooms, or cut them into halves or quarters, depending on the size and texture that you're looking for. Of course you want them to be appealing to look at on your plate, but you also want them to cook evenly.

You'll probably notice that the mushrooms in the included video are sliced, but that the photos I'm using show them cut into larger pieces. This is because the filming of the video was a spur of the moment kind of thing one night and the photos were taken during the preparation of another recipe.

99% of the time, I use a combination of light olive oil and butter. I rarely ever use extra virgin olive oil for shallow frying or sauteing because "EVOO" can be too heavy in flavor and that just undermines the simplicity of certain foods. To me, there are just some foods that should remain as close to their original flavor as possible.

I always use salt & pepper and sometimes, that's all that I want. Other times, I'll use onion powder, garlic powder, or my favorite seasoning blend in the world... It's called Garlicious Grind and I use the Tuscan blend. If you've been around for a while, I know you've seen me use this seasoning in many recipes. It just seems to work really well in savory dishes of all kinds. It's perfect for meats and poultry of all kinds and it adds depth to just about anything Italian.  I kid you not... this stuff is seriously addictive! **See note below for further information.

Once your mushrooms are ready, place a non-stick pan over medium heat for just a minute to warm up the surface slightly.

Pour approximately a tablespoon of light olive oil, or a combination of oil and butter into the pan. Swirl it around a bit to just barely coat the bottom.

Put the mushrooms in the pan and immediately toss them around so that the oil/butter coats all of the mushrooms as much as possible. Keep in  mind that mushrooms can be a little persnickety when it comes to absorbtion. They're like little sponges and some pieces will just naturally soak up more than others. If this happens (and it most likely will) you can just add a bit more oil and/or butter, as you need to, just to get them coated.

**If you're interested in this seasoning blend, they do have a website where you can purchase their products, that I'll link here ➔ Northeast Corner Herb Farm. They offer a couple of different herb blends, dip mixes, some gorgeous culinary grade organic herb braids, gift baskets and they even have a special little treat for your furmeow family members... Chester's Choice Catnip! My cats have always gone nuts over it - and trust me - we've had some pretty finicky cats in our family, so that's saying something! 

(I am not affiliated with NE Corner Herb Farm and do not receive compensation in any form, for using their products or for mentioning them in my blog posts - I just happen to love what they sell and I try to buy local products as much as I possibly can!)

If you'd like the recipe for the Grilled Skirt Steak that we served these with, just click HERE.



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