I love love mushrooms. I am a mushroom lover in the family. Kid are not big fans. Sadly, albeit my numerous experiments and attempts to fancy up kid-friendly mushroom dishes a.k.a disguise mushrooms to the point that that the kids won’t notice, my efforts have not paid off so far—the kids still frown upon anything mushroom. Things are a bit different with M. though. He wasn’t a big fan either. Until I converted him. With the help of sautéed mushrooms. But make no mistake—this is not your usual kind of sautéed mushrooms. This recipe, my friends, will convert even a hard-core mushroom hater as it is absolutely beyond delicious and unusual. In fact, so far this is the best recipe for sautéed mushrooms I have ever tried! It comes from one of my favorite chefs, Michael Chiarello.
So what is so unusual about this recipe? First, it is that when mushrooms are tossed into the heated pan with oil, they do not release their juice and do not become soggy as I’ve seen in many recipes. The trick? You layer the mushrooms in a single layer in the pan and do not stir until one side is caramelized! In this case, the juices are trapped inside and the mushrooms do not steam. You can go ahead and toss them once the caramelization is complete. No worries, no juice or minimal juice will be released.
Then you toss the mushrooms with garlic, thyme, lemon juice, wine, and parsley, oh my! The delectable flavors will blend and the inviting aroma will ooze. A hard-core mushroom hater, if you have one in the family (maybe not kids yet) will run into the kitchen saying, “Something smells good!” Bingo. He or she is officially a mushroom lover. Enjoy!
Adapted from “Casual Cooking” by Michael Chiarello
Serves 2-3, depending on a serving portion
Note: Although the dish tastes great with the addition of dry white wine as the original recipe calls for, I once ran out of it and used marsala cooking wine instead, but added a little more lemon juice, to compensate for the sweetness of the marsala. The mushrooms tasted great, too!
3 tablespoons olive oil
10 ounces (300 g) fresh white mushrooms or button-mushrooms (slice the big ones into thick slices and keep the small ones whole)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, plus more for the garnish
Heat a large skillet over high heat. Add the olive oil. When the oil is hot, sprinkle the mushrooms in a single layer. Do not stir! Let them sizzle until they have caramelized on the bottom, about 2 minutes. If you toss them too soon, they will release their liquid and begin to steam. When the bottoms are caramelized, toss the mushrooms and continue to cook over high heat for about 5 minutes. If necessary, drain the mushrooms in a sieve and discard the excess oil. Otherwise, keep the mushrooms in the skillet.
If drained, returned the mushrooms to the skillet and add the butter. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are beautifully browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and add the garlic. Saute until the garlic is lightly browned, about 2 minutes.
Add the thyme and lemon juice and cook until the liquid evaporates. Add the wine, reduce the heat slightly, and simmer until the mushrooms are glazed with the sauce. Add the parsley, transfer to a warmed bowl and serve immediately.