DH did some work for someone today and in addition to his usual pay they gave him an entire flat of mushrooms. Just your ordinary garden-variety mushrooms that you buy every day in the grocery store. Only fresh, because this guy grows them. Now what do I do?? He is sauteing a bunch as I write (He has a great recipe for Indian-style shrooms....) but that only goes so far. Any other ideas??? And while we're out it, how do I store these babies??? There are WAY too many to put in the fridge.....Can I freeze them??
Help!!! My previous experience with mushrooms consists of putting a few in a sauce or a recipe or a salad...I have never seen so many of the darn things in my life!!!
Michael Chiarello's absolutely amazing button mushrooms, you must follow the recipe exactly. http://whatscookingamerica.net/Appeti... And though it may be hot, how about a nice mushroom soup? You could also stuff the larger mushrooms with cheese and other goodies. Or, you could simply deep fry them all, nothing better than fried mushrooms with ranch.
1/2 pound mushrooms
1 medium onion
1 pound butter
1/2 teaspoon thyme
salt and pepper
Duxcelles are a basic ingredient that are used in such as stuffing for roast chicken, filling for raviolli or a base for sauces.
Place mushrooms and onions in a food processor and puree. Melt the butter on a skillet and add the puree, thyme, salt and pepper.
Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is completely dried out. Let cool before stuffing the caps. (makes 1/2 cup)
There are lots of recipes for making Duxcelles. Use a search engine to find them on the net. I have tried freezing cooked mushrooms but find that freezing makes them "rubbery".
My new favorite thing to do with mushrooms is to roast them. Slice them thickly, around 1/4", roast on a lightly greased baking sheet at 350 until they are almost dry and smell wonderful. Let cool and store in 'fridge and toss into gravy or sauce or into some sauteed onions to use on steak, etc. They reduce quite a bit this way, so you can use up a lot of them.
I've been making Duxelles for the past 10 years and I can't think of a better way of using a large amount of mushrooms. I use this recipe by James Beard:
"Chop 3 pounds of mushrooms very fine (I use a food processor) and cook very slowly with 1/2 to 3/4 pound of butter (I use unsalted). Add salt and, if you wish, a little chopped shallot. Let it cook, uncovered, until it is black. It will take at least 3 hours of slow cooking - the slowest - to finish this delectable sauce. Stir from time to time."
I then freeze it in an ice cube tray (2 Tbs. per cube), wrap in Saran, and put in a zip-loc freezer bag. Excellent for sauces, omelets, and (softened) painted on a pizza skin for a not-so-white pizza (no tomato).
I know what Lisbet means about rubberiness, but I've not found that with frozen duxelles, and you can use it in ways the traditional prep wasn't - tossing a bit into scrambled eggs, or into soups, or just whatever, rather than primarily being used as a stuffing-type component. And it certainly reduces storage space requirements. :) Another thing to do, if only as a last resort, is slice them thinly and dry them. Some sort of mandoline-type slicer is almost a prerequisite unless you keep your knives very sharp and have good knife skills, or unless you prefer them more thickly sliced.
I know nothing about pickling/marinating mushrooms, but that's a tried and true central/eastern European method of preserving shrooms, too...
The nice thing about making a big batch of duxelles and freezing it in 1/2 cup portions is that you have virtually instant mushroom soup, pasta sauce, lasagna filling, risotto base, strudel/filo filling.
You can puree them as the recipe says, or you can just slice them thinly, also in the food processor.
Freezing raw naked mushrooms is not a good idea, as other posters have said. When defrosted they will be nasty and unappetizing. Cook them first.
Personally, I love to make mushroom tarts.
You can make a tart shell and just sort of scoop in the mushrooms with maybe some onions and herbs, then you make a custard of some sort to hold it all together. I primarily use the recipy out of the Tartine cookbook but I'm sure you could find others on the internet.
Also just sauteing some in a bit of a sauce and poured over a protein is excellent, but I also like the idea of stuffing chicken or cornish hens with 'shrooms.
Really, you cant go wrong.
re: Chef Casper
Thanks for all the suggestions!! I ended up doing something completely different, of course. My college-aged son has been showing up at the house at all hours hungry, and I've been trying to think of economical and filling ways to feed him. (He got very insulted yesterday when I called him Ron Weasly...because he eats constantly...).
So I took the mushrooms and chopped them fine....and then cooked them down with butter, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper almost like the duxelles recipes several of you were kind enough to share. Its amazing how a huge flat of mushrooms can suddenly become a single recipe when cooked down like that. I added some ripe tomatoes, chopped, a bunch of basil from my plant, and a pepper from another plant (its kind of a mild jalapeno....gives a little bite). Cooked up a big pot of penne, and tossed the mushroom sauce and the penne with some frozen peas and a few tablespoons of ricotta cheese. Topped with fresh shaved parmesan and baked it until bubbly. This made two big casseroles worth...and between Weasly and DH one is almost already gone!