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Jun 7, 2007 05:13 PM

Extra mushrooms - what to do?

I have about three pounds of button mushrooms. I'm leaving Monday for a week long business trip. Can I freeze them? Before or after cooking? Is there some meal I can use them in, then freeze that meal? Am I out of luck?

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  1. I'd freeze them after cooking them. A soup would freeze very well or you could do a mushroom, chicken and rice dish that would also freeze nicely.

    1. Make duxelle. You can use it in many ways and I don't see why it wouldn't freeze.

      4 Replies
      1. re: scubadoo97

        I second the duxelle rec. In fact, one cookbook I read -- I think one of Julia's -- recommended just that and freezing when you had too many mushrooms to keep for a quick flavor boost in sauces.

        1. re: weezycom

          Maybe I've been doing it wrong, but I've never been happy with the texture of mushrooms in cooked and frozen dishes--so although I confess to never having made duxelles, that does sound like the route I'd take another time.

          1. re: cmkdvs

            I rather agree, but texture is not a problem with duxelles because they're chopped into bits and cooked til there's little-to-no texture left. You have just concentrated mushroom flavor.

            1. re: PhoebeB

              Sorry if I wasn't clear, that's what I was picturing (that it would do away with the texture problem).

      2. It's perfectly OK to freeze them raw if you're going to make duxelles, which I heartily third.

        When you get back, chop them semi-coarsely (I do it in a wood chopping bowl w/a hand-chopper; the processor is too messy) and add some chopped shallots or scallions or onions, and a handful of reconstituted/chopped dried wild mushrooms, if you can, for depth of flavor.

        Heat some olive oil/oil & butter/just butter, pref. clarified, in a big skillet, dump in the mushroom/onion mixture and cook,stirring, until it releases its liquid, then turn up the heat a bit and reduce it, stirring frequently, until it's the consistency of a tapenade. Salt, grind in some pepper if you like, add some chopped parsley and a maybe a splash of sherry, cool and freeze flat in 1 qt. freezer bags (burping out as much air as you can) so you can just bang a frozen bag on the counter and break off whatever you need for an omelette/soup/braised dish.

        Three lbs. is exactly the amt. I do up in a batch. Duxelles are on the very short list of the best and most versatile flavor-enhancers you can have on hand.

        There's no thin line to walk in how finely you chop it up or how much you reduce it. Suit yourself depending on what you most like to use it in.

        2 Replies
        1. re: PhoebeB

          Thanks everyone, looks like duxelles are the way to go.
          Phoebe B, thank you for the instructions on how to make, because that was going to be my next question!

          1. re: PhoebeB

            Another nice thing about duxelles is that you mix it with chicken broth and have instant mushroom soup.