Mushrooms have a high water content and must be cooked over high heat long enough to remove the excess moisture. I add a splash of water to the skillet to prevent them from burning before they can release their natural, flavorful juices. Undercooking mushrooms is a common mistake for both home cooks and chefs. I like to cook mushrooms until they are dark and crispy. They become sponge-like, soaking up the rich flavors of butter and herbs added in the cooking process.–Jeff Crump and Bettina Schormann
LC To Stir or Not to Stir Note
Here’s something you may not have thought to try–adding a splash of water to mushrooms in a skillet when you sauté ‘em. And adding the aromatics AFTER the cooking is done, not a moment before. The recipe also, in a moment of seeming craziness, stipulates that you not stir the mushrooms. Not at all. The water works magic, the aromatics get the edge taken off their rawness by residual heat, and as for not stirring, well, that depends on the type of mushroom and the flame beneath the skillet containing said mushrooms. Do as you wish. Sturdy shiitakes could probably withstand not stirring, but more tender ‘shrooms, like chanterelles, tend to need a little toss. But why not live on the edge? Follow your whim. Watch ‘em carefully and if, toward the end of cooking, you think they need a stir to cook them evenly, so be it. And if you care to toss in the garlic and shallot just a smidge sooner, we’ll look the other way.
Pan-Roasted Mushrooms Recipe
Hands-On Time: 25 minutes | Total Time: 35 minutes | Serves 4
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 8 cups sliced wild mushrooms, such as chanterelle, shiitake, oyster, trumpet, or morel, preferably just a single variety and not a mix
- 2 tablespoons water
- 3 to 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small chunks
- 2 tablespoons minced shallots
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- Salt and freshly cracked black pepper
- 1. To make the pan roasted mushrooms, heat your largest skillet, preferably cast-iron, over medium-high heat. Add the oil and wait for 30 seconds. Add the mushrooms and water and cook, without stirring or, okay, stirring just once or twice, until the mushrooms are crisp at the edges and golden, about 8 minutes or maybe even 12 minutes, depending on the type of mushroom.
- 2. Remove the skillet from the heat, stir in the butter, shallots, thyme, chives, and garlic, and toss just until the butter melts. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
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Pan-Roasted Mushrooms Recipe © 2009 Jeff Crump and Bettina Schormann. Photo © 2009 Edward Pond. All rights reserved.