I've recently come around to mushrooms. I would say within the last three years or so, I let those little fungi join my kitchen. Why? Because they're fun guys! *groan*
Seriously though: mushrooms. Let's talk about it. They're flavorful, plentiful and relatively inexpensive, and chock full of good stuff. At my house, we have at least two dinners a week with no meat proteins, so having hearty veggie dishes on the table is key. I usually serve vegetables at least two ways- a fresh salad in addition to something cooked. These tasty morsels are welcome at any meal in my house. I could eat them three times a day. I made them yesterday and ate all of them, by myself, for lunch. And you know what? I don't feel bad about it.
They key is to follow the recipe exactly. I started with a recipe from a Cook's Illustrated cookbook- which is absolutely fabulous by the way- and altered it very slightly. If you are going to serve more than 2-3, double the size of the skillet. Otherwise the mushrooms won't have the space they need to optimize deliciousness.
Take the time to brown the butter. Don't be afraid of adding the garlic at the very end- it is not overpowering, I promise.
Here's how it's done:
Clean your mushrooms well. Twist off the stems and chop the tops. Dice up some onion, some thyme, and a clove of garlic.
If you've never cooked with fresh thyme, its a woody herb with delicate little leaves. Run your fingers against the stems, pulling the leaves off as you go. The stems are very tough and fibrous- discard those.
In a 10" skillet or saucepan, melt two tablespoons of butter until it browns. Then toss in the onion.
Cook for about three minutes over medium heat, until the onion is soft and translucent.
Add the mushrooms and give them a quick stir. Salt them, then cover the pan tightly and cook for about ten minutes, allowing the mushrooms to release their liquid.
Add the remaining 1 T of butter, stirring as it melts. Now..step away from the pan! You want them to get really nice and crusty. If you stand there stirring them, they won't caramelize.
Once they're getting a nice deep brown- this should take about ten minutes- add the garlic and thyme. Stir it well and cook for about 30 seconds-1 minute, until the garlic is nice and fragrant.
Finally, add the white wine and stir, allowing the liquid to deglaze the pan. You'll end up with deep brown mushrooms that are incredibly flavorful and toothsome without being spongy. Absolutely delicious!!
They are super tasty right out of the pan, but also work beautifully as leftovers….mushrooms swiss quiche, anyone?!
Here's the recipe: