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Dec 2, 2010 04:56 AM

Mushrooms for a mushroom hater?

I've always hated mushrooms - that nasty slimy texture that rubs off your teeth in a most unpleasant way. And those horrible frilly ones - YUK!!

But I've never minded the *taste* of mushrooms, and people keep telling me that not all shrooms are like the disgusting ones that have made me hate them so much. So what variety of fungus would you recommend for someone like me, who's had bad experiences in the past but would kind of like to give mushrooms a second chance?

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  1. Black trumpets or chanterelles, fried in butter, finished with cognac and a bit of heavy cream. My wife is a mushroom hater, too, but enjoys this. They are not as "spongy" as portabellos, buttons, etc. Have not had Matsutakes yet, but I hear they are unbelievable.

    1 Reply
    1. re: nsenada

      Yum, I used to pick both in Finland. I used sour cream on top of peasant bread toast.

    2. My only advice would be to stay away from portabellas, unless they are sliced into something. I am not a mushroom expert, but in the past five years, I have lost my aversion to them and now crave them.

      1 Reply
      1. re: jhopp217

        If the OP likes the meaty taste of portabellas, I suggest he/she try crimini mushrooms. These are nothing more than small portabella mushrooms. The smaller size results in a firmer texture without the huge gill structure.

        My other hint, is that the OP saute the mushrooms in clarified butter or oil (or combination) at a slightly lower temperature than typical. At some point, the mushrooms will begin to give off lots of moisture. Keep sauteeing the mushrooms and eventually the liquid will boil off. You'll get lovely concentrated dice with great mushroomy flavor. I usually do this with crimini, but I've used other wild mushroom varieties. (This is essentialy a duxelle-technique without the shallots and other embellishments typical of true duxelle recipes.)

        Note: dice the mushroom pieces larger than the size you want to end up with. There will be considerable shrinkage during the cooking process.

      2. My mushroom-despising former roommate loved morels. Enoki mushrooms are also pretty inoffensive, if the fleshy texture of other mushrooms bothers you.

        1. As a confirmed mushroom loather, might I suggest this affliction is incurable.

          1 Reply
          1. re: beevod

            It is. I was never a big mushroom fan and everyone always tried pushing portabellas on me and it made me hate them even more. I inadvertently ordered chicken marasala one night, forgetting it was covered with mushrooms. The sauce was delicious and I decided to try the mmushroom. It was like a marsala sponge. Ever since, I like mushrooms! Still not a huge fan of portabellas, but a friend grilled them and served them with marinated peppers and mozzarella....bets I've had!

          2. Well, I'm with you on the texture thing. I don't like the texture of coconut but I do like the taste. So I don't eat things with grated coconut, but if it's hidden in a dish, I will eat it.

            That said, maybe it's not the type of mushroom but rather the preparation. Lots of mushrooms have that sort of spongy texture if they are sauteed improperly, but if they are dry sauteed or roasted or chopped up in a dish, they lose that textural problem. Try a mushroom risotto where the mushrooms are chopped up. You get great mushroom flavor, but because the mushrooms are chopped and sauteed and then added to the risotto, you don't get the unfortunate texture. You can use a whole variety of mushrooms, whatever looks good in the store. The main thing is to give mushrooms dry heat, and then they don't get slimy.