Sautéed mushrooms may seem like a fairly pedestrian recipe for a blog post but, the truth is, I have been served so many poor renditions of this simple side dish that I thought I might share my basic technique for producing a pretty delicious result. The general theme can easily be ‘riffed’ on the inclusion of various herbs or other additions but, for this post, I will keep things fairly straightforward. Tonight, this particular effort will go as a topping for some lovely strip-steaks I bought for supper…
- 1 package plain Button Mushrooms, small to medium size;
- 2 tbsp. Olive Oil (or vegetable Oil);
- 3 tbsp. Butter;
- 1 tsp. Salt;
- Ground Black Pepper (I like lots);
- 1 tbsp. Lemon Juice;
- 1 tbsp. White Wine (or Sherry);
- 1 tbsp. Minced Garlic (optional);
I generally add garlic to this dish but I am also serving greens cooked with garlic with the steak as well, so, tonight, I am omitting the garlic in the mushrooms. I will be using white wine, but sherry is also a great addition and I use it fairly frequently too.
Here you can see the general size of the mushrooms I like to use. Some people remove the stems entirely but I like to keep them and just trim away the dried, nasty bits at the very end. The smaller ones can be sliced in half lengthwise, while the larger ones should be cut in thirds or even quarters. The amount I have used may look like quite a bit for two people but, in fact, the mushrooms will reduce considerably during cooking.
Heat a frying pan over medium heat and then add your oil and 2 tablespoons of the butter. Add the mushrooms, sprinkle with the salt and then toss so that they are all coated with the oil and butter.
You now want to cover the pan and let the mushrooms cook for about 3 or 4 minutes. You will find that the mushrooms have thrown throw off a good bit of liquid and you now want to cook uncovered, stirring often, until the liquid has evaporated. At this point, you should add the garlic, if using, and then sprinkle liberally with freshly ground black pepper. Continue to sauté until the pieces are getting nicely golden brown at the edges but still have a little plumpness.
Now add the lemon juice, white wine (or sherry) and the last tablespoon of butter, and cook a few minutes longer until the fluid has been absorbed.
Finally, you may wish to garnish with a little fresh parsley, chopped scallion, or (as I have done here) some chives. As I mentioned, you can play around with this dish quite a bit and herbs like thyme or sage can be added at the same time as the garlic and pepper, with a little drizzle of truffle oil near the end being pretty good too. You can serve immediately, if you like, but the mushrooms keep well in a moderate oven while steaks or other main parts of the meal get cooked. If you do this, however, it is preferable to wait to add garnishes like parsley or chives until just before service.
Anyway, I served my mushrooms over pan-fried strip-steaks done to medium rare along with snow-peas flash-fried with onion and garlic, and baked potatoes. As you can see, the mushrooms on top of this steak, representing half the batch, have really reduced in volume. Although I would have preferred to have had some fresh parsley to add during cooking and as a garnish, the chives were quite nice and the result was as delicious as always…