Cooking Mushrooms

chanterelles with vegetables and herbs

 

As important to our health as cooking mushrooms is, who can resist the unmistakable rich, delectable and distinct aroma of roasting chanterelles or porcini slowly browning over a flame? Not I.

How fortunate that there are so many ways to cook mushrooms and that cooking them yields such delicious results. It's through cooking mushrooms that they break down, becoming more digestable and making their considerable nutrients available.

Cooking mushrooms also renders some natural toxins, irritants, allergens and even creatures in raw edible mushrooms harmless to us.

Sautéing Mushrooms

Step 1

Tear or cut cleaned mushrooms into medium sized pieces.

medium sized chanterelle pieces
Step 2

Heat a thin layer of oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat and add the mushrooms when the oil is hot.

adding cleaned mushrooms to hot oil to saute
Step 3

Continue to cook the mushrooms as they release their liquid. The excess liquid will cook off and concentrate the flavor of the mushrooms.

cooking sauteing mushrooms as they release liquid
Step 4

The mushrooms are finished when they are dry and starting to caramelize.

mushrooms finishing cooking

Roasting Mushrooms

Step 1

Toss cleaned mushrooms in a large bowl with melted butter or olive oil, salt, pepper, chopped garlic and fresh thyme leaves. Place in a single layer on a baking sheet.

tossing cleaned hen-of-the-woods mushrooms with olive oil and seasonings for roasting
Step 2

Roast the mushrooms in a hot oven (425ºF), checking with some frequency, until golden brown and crisped.

roasted hen-of-the-woods mushrooms

Grilling Mushrooms

Step 1

Brush Mushrooms on both sides with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. If you're cooking morels, place them in a grill basket so they can be tossed as they cook.

brush mushroom slices with olive oil
Step 2

Grill over a medium fire until the mushrooms are well-marked and golden brown on one side, then turn and continue grilling them until tender and cooked through with a touch of crispiness.

a grilled mushroom

Butter Poaching Mushrooms

Step 1

Bring 4 Tablespoons of water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Whisk in 16 tablespoons of butter, 1 Tablespoon at a time, forming an emulsion.

butter emulsion
Step 2

Simmer ½ pound cleaned mushrooms in the emulsion until tender, about 15 - 20 minutes. Small whole mushrooms are ideal, or chunks if larger.

simmer the mushrooms in the butter emulsion