Thursday, October 8, 2009

Chanterelles, Shitakes, and Buttons! Oh My!

The mystery mushroom grab bags at Monterey Market are full of win. For around $1.50 a pound, I get a grab bag of prepackaged mushrooms that are a little past their prime. When these bags consist of mainly boring button mushrooms, I don't bother buying them, but sometimes they are full of chanterelles, shitakes, candy caps, or whatever else was looking a like it needed a quick ride out that day.

Since these mushrooms aren't lookers, I take them home, rinse them off (I can hear the collective gasp of fungi fanatics because they should be wiped clean), and roughly chop them. Into the hot pan they go, with a knob of butter and a sprinkle of salt. If I'm feeling fancy, I'll make duxelles with the mushroom melange, but I rarely am feeling fancy.

Once their mushroomy goodness is concentrated, meaning that no more liquid is coming from them and they are cooked through with a little caramelized action on the outside, the mixture is cooled down and put into the refrigerator. I take it out for my morning omelets, lunchtime pasta, or anywhere else that a little mushroom decadence can make a difference. They get dressed up with garlic and sometimes shallots, depending on the final dish. If you're an average person who will not consume 3 pounds of mushrooms a week, you can also freeze the finished product. It reheats well, so I've been told.

1 comment:

  1. Gads, I adore mushrooms, even the boring old buttons. I eat them in almost everything!



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