Sauteing mushrooms works well with all kinds of fungus, but it’s best with the more common kinds you can find in supermarkets: white buttons,oysters, cremini, portobello, or fresh shiitake.
Chanterelles, lobster and other more exotic mushrooms work well this way, but their subtle flavors are sometimes even better served with other methods; cooked more lightly, for instance, in an egregious quantity of butter.
- Mushrooms, halved if small, quartered if larger, in sixths if really big
- Oil of your choice
- Garlic, minced fine, optional, to taste
- Shallots, diced, optional, to taste
- Onions, sliced, optional, to taste, cooked separately
- Fresh herbs, chopped, to taste (I like parsley, thyme, chives or tarragon)
- Salt and pepper, to taste.
For a typical sauteed mushroom recipe, all you’ll need is a base of onions, mushrooms, and some slice red peppers. Usually the onions are allowed to cook until barely translucent, then simply add your mushrooms, and the peppers when the mushrooms are almost done.
However, spices and herbs are compatible with sauteed mushrooms. For example, you can add 1/2 teaspoon oregano, basil or chili powder; 1/4 teaspoon of thyme, dill, Italian seasoning, curry powder; or a good pinch of garlic or onion powder to 8 oz. of mushrooms if you are really after the flavor.
How to Saute Mushrooms
- Slice, quarter, or mince your mushrooms – the same method works for any type of cut.
- Heat a few teaspoons of oil in a pan set over medium heat; just enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan. When the oil is hot, add the mushrooms and stir them so the pieces are evenly coated with oil. You should hear the mushrooms sizzling.
- Continue cooking the mushrooms, stirring them every few minutes to make sure they don’t burn. After a few minutes, you’ll notice a sheen of moisture over the surface of the mushrooms and in the bottom of the pan. This is the liquid being expelled from the mushrooms. Add a pinch of salt if they don’t seem to be releasing the liquid.
- The whole process should take roughly 10 minutes for 10 ounces of mushrooms. It is important to taste the mushrooms throughout the cooking process so you can see how the flavor changes.
- When cooking mushrooms in combination with other vegetables, you have two options; One way is to cook the mushrooms separately and then re-add them at the end.The other way is to cook the mushrooms along with other vegetables that have long cooking times or that can hold up to long cooking.
You can also perform something called a dry saute. This is the process of sauteing the ingredients without any oil. Simply add your mushrooms to the heated skillet and cook until brown.
Mostly, dry sauteing is done for people who prefer a more “roasted” flavor without any oil. Since mushrooms already give off a lot of liquid while cooking ,some feel that a sauteed mushroom recipe with oil is still too wet. Others also will just rather have a meal with a lower fat content.
But dry sauteing, is a great way to store wild mushrooms as well. After dry sauteing, you can put them in the freezer where they’ll keep for a while. Sauteed mushrooms can be used in a variety of ways. It can make a great addition to your dish either as a snack, side dish or even over steaks:
- with cooked green vegetables
- with chicken noodle or tuna and rice casseroles
- over fish
- in macaroni and cheese
- in spaghetti sauces
- in canned soups
- as a topping over frozen main dish entrees
- in scrambled eggs or omelet’s
- as a topping for baked potatoes
- over hamburgers, steak or chicken
- in chili