Thursday, August 12, 2010

Sauteed Button Mushrooms

I am so ready for the leaves to start falling. ENOUGH of this Oklahoma summer, I say. I'm sweaty and I'm grumpy. I'm also out of bug spray so I can't even walk outside without getting eaten alive. Grrr...

Now, Autumn. That's a nice season... it makes me want things with earthy flavors and anything containing apples and raisins and cinnamon and rum in no particular order. It makes me anxiously anticipate cozy layers of fleece, scarves, and smartwool socks... I'm getting carried away again. I was a bit too excited yesterday about the upcoming season and bought a new jacket on Zappos. Too bad  it's still over a hundred flippin degrees here. Ugh.

Mushrooms taste like Fall to me. The fact that mushrooms are available year round in Oklahoma is great because, though I can't snuggle in my new jacket, I can at least savor the flavor of the season.  I never cared for mushrooms until I lived in Miam-uh and got introduced to JM Farms, a major supplier of mushrooms throughout the midwest located just a few miles northeast of my work. You'd think having first hand experience at the SMELL that goes along with mushroom growing would have turned me off but I was intrigued with the little things and they kept giving me free samples at our city business fairs. I'm a sucker for free samples. Unless you're giving out free green beans and then I'll tell you what you can do with them.

Here's a great recipe for sauteed button mushrooms. It's extremely simple and accessible year round in these parts. In the summer, you'll be grateful for a quick side that does't take forever to make over a hot stove. Whatever time of year, you'll love the freshness of it all.  You get highlights of meaty mushrooms without the butter pool which tends to accompany dishes of this kind.
Sauteed Button Mushrooms (Adapted from a recipe by Michael Chiarello)
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 pounds whole small button mushrooms, wiped clean
3 tablespoons butter
Gray sea salt or Kosher Salt
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, chopped
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 cup white wine
1 tablespoon chopped parsley leaves

1.In a large skillet, heat the oil over high heat. Add the mushrooms. Do not move the mushrooms until they have caramelized on the bottom. If you toss them too soon or put them in too small of a pan, they will release their liquid and begin to steam. Steam is the enemy of browning and all that delicious carmelization. When the bottoms are caramelized, toss them and continue to cook for about 5 minutes.

2.Add the butter. Cook and toss for 5 minutes, until beautiful =) ( that means browned, of course.)

3.Season with salt and add the garlic. Saute another 2 minutes, and add the thyme, lemon juice, and white wine. Cook to evaporate the liquid.

4.Toss in the parsley and serve immediately.