Cooking Mushrooms

Whenever I buy mushrooms, Erik always says, “Maybe you should get a few more. You know what happens.” He is alluding to the fact that every time I roast mushrooms, we end up with only about half the finished product we should because I have no will power not to snack on those golden pieces.

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Process

  • Slice or simply pull apart (depending on variety) the mushrooms.
  • In a large, heavy bottomed pan, heat a glug of oil.
  • When the oil is hot (test by adding a drop of water and when it spits, the pan is ready) add the mushrooms.
  • Season with salt and pepper (and any other spices you want)
  • Allow the mushrooms to fry until golden brown
  • Stir/flip the mushrooms to cook the other side
  • When both sides are golden add a knob of butter and allow to melt toss with the mushrooms
  • Remove the mushrooms to a papertowel-lined plate to drain any excess oil
  • Allow to cool in a single layer to keep the outside crispy

Things to know

  • Julia Child has famously (due to the movie Julie and Julia) said to never “crowd” the mushrooms or they will only steam and never brown. I have not found this to be an issue, just cook them longer and with a bit more fat. The water will eventually evaporate. But like any other roasting, the more space you allow between the ingredients the faster and more evenly this will happen.
  • The frillier the gills of the mushrooms the crispier the edges. Button mushrooms are smooth all over and will be silkier than the ribbed oyster mushrooms.
  • If processing a lot of mushrooms in one go, you can also oven roast mushrooms allowing them to stew in their own juices and then evaporate off that liquid. It will take longer and generally doesn’t produce as crispy and delicately browned a final result.

Hallmarks of Success

  • Deep, golden crusty mushrooms that are buttery and salty

Trouble Shooting

  • If the mushrooms are soggy, cook them longer
  • If they go soft after cooking, spread out on a sheet tray and re-crisp in the oven