Many people ask us how to cook the mushrooms we grow.
So...today, we thought we'd share a few things we have learned when it comes to sautéing mushrooms.
Sautéing sounds simple, right?
Usually, when we sauté, we first heat up some olive oil or butter, add onions and maybe some peppers, and then after those are soft, we add mushrooms, and voila...we're done. When you cook them this way, they're not terrible, right? They blend into a trio of deliciousness that tops a steak or a sausage or a fajita very well.
But have you noticed that sometimes, when mushrooms are cooked this way, they are kind of mushy or soggy, and whatever happened to the unique flavor that specialty mushrooms should have? The mushrooms just seem like a part of the crowd. They don't stand out and they don't shine as they should.
Well...you tend to lose the unique flavor profile of the mushrooms when you blend them with the strong flavors of onions and peppers. Remember that mushrooms are sponges. They soak in the onion and pepper flavor with intensity, not realizing what they are also giving up. Their own unique, yummy flavor.
It's kind of like trying to choose the right friends in Middle School...
Or maybe...you sauté mushrooms on their own using olive oil and/or butter (at the beginning of the process) and they still get mushy or soggy AND they taste bland or boring?
Well...we are here to share with you that the first rule about sautéing mushrooms is that they go in the pan alone (and we are going to talk about it).
Yup. We've been doing it wrong for years.
Wait. I know what you are thinking. Won't the mushrooms stick to the pan and get ruined or burn?
Nope. There is a lot of moisture in the mushrooms and it needs to be cooked off FIRST before adding the oil or butter. And yes, the butter or oil (fat) can enhance the flavors of a mushroom, but it is better to add it in at the end of the sauté process, not the beginning.
We also recommend a pinch of salt.
We found that it takes roughly 6-8 minutes in a cast iron pan and 7-10 minutes in a wok for mushrooms to saute (heat on medium-high).
And don't get impatient in the process. Wait before adding the butter. Seriously. You're going to think of all the reasons why it won't work...but it will...we promise.
The mushrooms will lightly brown. That is OK! Stir them occasionally (but not too much).
We have found that Shiitake have more moisture than the other varieties that we grow. If you are cooking with a medley of mushrooms...maybe slice them a little thinner than the rest or add them first.
And if you will want onions and peppers, we would recommend sautéing them in their own pan and help the mushrooms not to fall in with the wrong crowd.