I absolutely love mushrooms. They are so versatile and have so much flavour that they can transform a dish in an instant. There are endless possibilities for mushrooms but I have to admit that my favourite way is to saute them until golden on the edges, bursting with juiciness and full of that delicious mushroom flavour. Add to them some butter and garlic and you have a delicious meal in itself.
The key to such perfectly cooked mushrooms is (as I only found out a year or so ago!) to not over-crowd them in the frying pan. Keep them in a single layer and cook over a fairly hot heat and you will end up with mushrooms as they should be, not soft, limp overcooked mushrooms that have lost all of their moisture and flavour.
450g mushrooms of your choice – try and use a variety
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
Maldon salt & freshly ground black pepper
Squeeze of lemon juice
Clean any mushrooms that have dirt on them with a piece of kitchen paper, gently wiping away the dirt. Don't wash them with water because mushrooms are like sponges and will just absorb the water. Once cleaned slice or tear up your mushrooms anyway you fancy and set aside.
Heat a good drizzle of oil in a large frying pan along with a knob of butter then once sizzling and melted add some mushrooms making sure they aren't crowded and are in a single layer. I know it might sound like a pain but it really is best to cook the mushrooms in batches. Toss well so they are coated in the buttery oil then cook over a medium high heat keeping an eye on them until they are golden then turn them over and cook on the other side. Remove from the pan and set aside in a bowl and keep warm. Add a little more oil and butter to the pan and repeat until you've cooked all of the mushrooms.
Just as the last batch are finishing to cook lower the heat then add another knob of butter and drizzle of oil and add the crushed garlic. Stir in the sizzling butter for about 30 seconds then add all of the mushrooms back to the pan. Season with salt and pepper then stir well. Just as you are about to serve squeeze over some lemon juice which will just make the whole dish sing! Taste to check the seasoning and adjust if necessary before using as needed or simply tucking in with some crusty bread and a fork.
Once you have mastered the perfect sauteed mushrooms there are so many things you can do with them. Here are some of my favourite ways to enjoy them....
- As a topping on golden crostini that has been rubbed with a little garlic. For an extra special touch add a dollop of garlicky aioli and you have the most perfect Mushroom Bruschetta.
- Tossed through some hot fresh pasta and finished with some freshly grated Parmesan, torn basil and an extra squeeze of lemon juice for a simple but really special meal.
- Add a good splash of white wine to the mushrooms once they are sauteed then reduce slightly. Finish with a few tablespoons of cream, reduce a little more then sprinkle with parsley and you have the perfect creamy mushroom sauce, perfect for serving with a juicy steak.
- Used as a topping for homemade pizza with some buffalo mozzarella, a little extra garlic and if you like some fresh or dried chilli....definitely a winning combination and one of my favourites!