Fresh mushrooms are truly a cook’s best friend. Whether you need just a little something to dress things up or add a whole new dimension of flavor, your answer is mushrooms!
Basic Preparation: There is no need to peel mushrooms. The only trimming they may need is the stem end, if it’s dry, or the tough stem portion of Shiitakes or the root of the Portabella. All other mushroom stems may be prepared along with the caps. Mushrooms can be sliced thick or thin, cut in quarters, coarsely or finely chopped using a sharp knife. For slicing or chopping large quantities, use a food processor with the slicing or wing blade attachment. If a recipe calls for just caps, twist stems loose or separate them from the caps with the tip of a knife.
Sautéing: The most popular way to cook mushrooms. For each eight ounces of mushrooms, melt one tablespoon butter or heat one tablespoon of oil in a large skillet. Add mushrooms. Cook and stir until golden and the released juices have evaporated, about five minutes. Don’t overcrowd the skillet or the mushrooms will steam rather than brown.
Microwaving: Mushrooms cook extremely well in the microwave. Simply clean and cook as follows: Put eight ounces thickly sliced mushrooms in a microwavable bowl (no oil or butter needed); cover and cook on HIGH (100% power) for two to three minutes stirring once.
Roasting: Place mushrooms in a shallow baking pan, Toss with a little oil and roast in a 450 F oven, stirring occasionally until brown, about 20 minutes. Use about one tablespoon of oil for each eight ounces of mushrooms.
Grilling or Broiling: Preferred for larger capped mushrooms such as Portabellas and Shiitakes. Lightly brush caps and stems with oil to keep them moist, and season with salt and pepper. Grill or broil 4 to 6 inches from heat source for 4 to 6 minutes on each side, brushing again once or twice.
Seasoning: Mushrooms are very similar to meats and other vegetables. Virtually any and all seasonings go well with mushrooms. If serving as a side dish, use seasonings compatible with the main dish.
These are some easy methods for cooking mushrooms. Get to your local store and grab your favorite variety and fire up the grill...it's summer!