A couple of years ago, mushrooms were on my “wouldn’t eat” list. Since then, something changed and my taste-buds grew up, and I now eat mushrooms a few times a week. I also, as it happens, now like aubergines (eggplants), goats cheese, olives, courgettes – loads of food I would have turned my nose up not long ago. It’s strange how our likes and dislikes can develop! The only thing I still can’t stand is peppers, strangely enough – there is no way I’ll let one past my lips.
Is there any food you still won’t eat?
Whilst I eat mushrooms lots, I can still be a bit fussy about them. There is nothing worse, in my humble opinion, than slimy, wet, flavourless mushrooms. Think of it like this – they are tasty little sponges that can soak up any flavour your present them with – why would you leave them naked and flavourless?! This, personally, is the only way that I’ll cook mushrooms – and it really is delicious!
This isn’t so much recipe as a suggestion – try this method of doing mushrooms and see what you think. I’ve even made these for people who don’t enjoy fungi in any form, and they’ve munched away happily! Today we bought some reduced oyster mushrooms from the supermarket and used those (hence adding wine to the mix), but chestnut mushrooms are the most obvious choice.
Butter (and a little oil) for frying – I like smoked rapeseed oil
Fresh black pepper
Truffle salt (plain salt is fine!)
A little Madeira (or other extra flavour that can tie the mushrooms in with the other food on your plate)
How to cook mushrooms
It’s really simple. Chop the mushrooms roughly, and add to melted butter and oil in a non stick frying pan. Add all the other ingredients, and fry over a medium heat, stirring regularly. The key is in the cooking – you want this to soak up all the butter and flavours, and to start turning gold, sticky and crispy. Keep going – don’t burn it, but don’t be afraid of caramelising and getting those delicious. crispy bits that burst with flavour. That’s what we’re aiming for, after all!