Best way to Cook Mushrooms

By on March 16th, 2016

Mushrooms are delicious cooked in a variety of different ways but the danger is that, because they are so delicate, it is very easy to spoil them in the process. We must be very careful how we firstly prepare them for cooking, in the method by which we choose to cook them and also in the length of time for which we cook them in order to eat them at their very best. This article is designed to hopefully serve as a guide to each of these processes.

There are a great many varieties of mushrooms available for us to buy or even grow ourselves at home very easily.

The most common by far in Western culture and cooking is the “Agaricus Bosporus.” This is the mushroom which most of us think of when we think of mushrooms. It is actually cultivated at four different stages of its growth, giving many of us perhaps the impression that on each occasion we are purchasing a different variety of mushroom. Picked in the early stages of their growth, they are known as button mushrooms, later as closed cup mushrooms, later still as open cup mushrooms and ultimately as large flat mushrooms, at which stage they can be as much as four or five inches in diameter.

The golden rule when intending eating or cooking with any type of mushroom is that we never wash it. Mushrooms have the physical properties of sponges and will quickly soak up the water in which they are washed, spoiling their texture and impairing their flavour. Instead, purchase a small mushroom cleaning brush or wipe them carefully with some dry kitchen towel.

If the mushrooms are particularly dirty, this towel may be slightly dampened.

It is perfectly possible to eat mushrooms raw, of course, either as part of a salad or on their own. I like them particularly sprinkled with a little malt vinegar and salt and eaten as they are. If cooking with them, however, there are three ways in which I regularly do so.

Mushroom sauce is delicious poured over poached chicken.

Finely chop about six to eight small button mushrooms and one clove of garlic. Add a mere teaspoonful of sunflower oil to a non-stick saucepan, bring it up to a medium heat and saute the mushrooms and garlic in it for about a minute.

Add one cup of cheap white wine, bring it up to a simmer and reduce by half. Add half a cup of full or double cream and bring back up to a simmer then serve immediately.

Closed or open cup mushrooms are superb in a Chinese style stir fry with such as chicken or beef and onion. Remember not to overcook the mushrooms, however. In this preparation, they should be halved down through the centre, stalk and all, and the last ingredient to be added to the wok.

The large flat mushrooms, I like to cook under a hot grill. Remove any remaining stalk and very importantly, place the mushrooms open side up on a rack under the grill for the first part of the cooking process. This is because escaping water will gather in the cup but will be drained away when we turn them over.

Cook the mushrooms for up to two minutes each side, depending upon their size, and serve perhaps as part of a breakfast with sausage, bacon and egg.

These are but a few suggestions for quickly cooking with mushrooms and I hope very much that you find them appealing and will try them out for yourself.

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