Don't throw them away! Instead chop them
finely by hand or in a food processor, then saute them in butter until
their liquid evaporates. Freeze the mixture to have instant mushroom
flavor on hand. Toss them into rice, or toss with chopped fresh herbs and
minced garlic to use as a stuffing for chicken, omelet, or ravioli.
To make mushroom paste, grind leftover
cooked mushrooms in a food processor or blender, adding enough broth or
form a loose paste. Freeze in ice cube trays. When the cubes are frozen,
pop them out and store in a zipper-lock freezer bag. Use the cubes to add
mushroom flavor to pan sauces, soups, gravies, stuffing, cooked grains, or
In order to avoid the dark stain of
portobello mushrooms, scrape the dark gills from the underside of each
mushroom cap before cooking. The gills tend to bleed a dark juice that
stains other foods that are cooked with portobello mushrooms. To
ensure mushrooms are cooked evenly especially those thick firm stems, slit
them in half three-fourth of the way up to the cap. That way, the heat can
penetrate through the stems at the same rate as the more tender caps.
As to brown the white button mushrooms,
drain off the juices partway through cooking and set aside in a bowl to
add to the recipe later for flavoring. And to avoid dark, off-colored
cooked mushrooms, do not cook them in an aluminum pan.
Salvaging dry, overcooked mushrooms is not
hard. Just simmer them in some stock or canned broth, water, wine or cream
for a few minutes. Or just eat them as is - their flavor will still be
wonderfully concentrated. When cooking, you can help white mushrooms
retain their color. Wipe them with a paper towel moistened with fresh
lemon juice, spritz them with lemon water from a spray bottle, or lightly
coat them with a vinaigrette, if appropriate. This trick works well when
you want fresh white mushrooms to retain their color in a salad.
Tips : To quickly clean a large amount of
Place the mushrooms in a large bowl. Spray
with cold water, loosening as much dirt as possible until the bowl is
half-filled with water. Vigorously swish the mushrooms back and forth for
no more than 30 seconds, until most of the dirt loosens from the mushrooms
and falls to the bottom of the bowl. Quickly lift out the mushrooms with
your hands and transfer them to paper towels to absorb any excess
moisture. Slice and use immediately.
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