So yesterday I taught a nice girl about mushrooms.  I didn’t realize that people know so little mushrooms.  I’m not even talking about all the different kinds.  But when cooking mushrooms they go against a lot of rules for cooking.

Purchasing – Make sure that they are not wet or bruised.

Cleaning – If it is a portobello use a spoon scrap the gills out.  All others brush off the dirt with a paper towel.  Do not rinse in water.  Mushrooms are like sponges and will absorb the water and make cooking a lot harder.

Once cut get a saute pan hot, smoking hot, and add oil, you’ll need about double the amount of oil you would use for cooking anything else.  Remember mushrooms are sponges and they suck up some of that oil.  Add the mushrooms to the pan allowing them enough space to cook so that they don’t steam.  You want them to get a nice hard sear creating a caramel brown color.  Once in the pan resist the temptation to move them around.  Let them sit for about 2 minutes.  Turn one over and look for that nice caramel color.  If they are ready flip them all.  Then sprinkle with salt.  You wait on salting mushrooms until you’ve created the sear.  This is one of the major differences between mushrooms and other veggies.  If you add the salt first it will start pulling out the moisture and you will end up with soggy mushrooms instead of something truly delicious with texture. 

If you’re making a lot of mushrooms be sure to cook in several  batches.  It’s worth the wait.