Mushrooms have got to be one of my favourite ingredients on this planet. I love them cooked in tons of foamy butter and finished with lots of fresh garlic. The smell is almost better than actually eating them. But some people have trouble cooking them properly and that is a shame. Here’s 3 tips to help you cook better mushrooms.
1. Don’t be Afraid of the Fire
They need high heat. The simple fact is that mushrooms need to be properly browned to be tasty. This browning process, also called the Maillard reaction gives the mushrooms a deeper, sweeter and more delicious flavour and that is exactly what you want when eating mushrooms. High heat is paramount to achieving beautiful, golden mushrooms and to prevent them from steaming.
2. Don’t Overcrowd the Pan
If the pan is overcrowded and too many mushrooms are cooking at the same time you will start to steam them instead of fry them. The key is to fry in batches so that all the mushrooms brown nicely.
3. Lots and Lots of butter
Butter is really the secret ingredient here. The trick is to almost brown the butter before you add the mushrooms, that way you know it’s hot enough.
What Type of Shrooms?
In this recipe I’m using the Dutch kastanjes or chestnut mushrooms in english. They have a beautiful flavour and are not too expensive. Any mushroom cooked in butter and garlic is going to taste great.
More on Mushrooms
Did you know that funghi are actually more closely related to humans than plants? And the largest living organism, Armillaria Ostoyae, is actually a mushroom that exists in Oregon, US and is over 9651753m2!
If you would like to know more about mushrooms, I highly recommend this book: Mushrooms Demystified by David Arora.
Cast Iron Skillet – Cast iron is great for searing mushrooms because of its even heat distribution.
Microplane – A great tool for a quick garlic purée.
- Heavy bottomed pan (cast iron or french iron preferably)
- 400 g chestnut mushrooms kastanjes in Dutch
- 100 g butter
- 1 clove garlic peeled
- ½ bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1 whole lemon
- salt to taste
- Rasp the garlic with the microplane into a small bowl. Zest the lemon into the same bowl and set aside.
- Clean the mushrooms with a damp paper towel or brush to get rid of any dirt. Cut the mushrooms into quarters.
- Get a big heavy bottomed pan hot. Add half of the butter and wait until the butter gets foamy. You want the butter to be foamy and just about to turn brown. Add half of the mushrooms and continue to cook over medium-high heat. Turn them so they are all lying on a cut side.
- Don't shake the pan at this stage too much and just let them brown and cook. Once they are brown, flip them to the brown the other cut side. Continue cooking until nicely browned on all sides.
- Once the mushrooms are nicely coloured remove them from the pan and place them in another bowl. Continue cooking the other mushrooms with more butter just like before.
- When all the mushrooms are ready, add the other cooked mushrooms and toss together in the pan. Season the mushrooms with salt. Add the parsley, lemon zest, garlic and a squeeze of lemon juice and turn off the heat.
- Serve on a big plate to share.
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