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What's your preferred medium to saute mushrooms - oil, butter...broth, wine?

I love mushrooms and they are quite delicious, easy to make with some butter, olive oil, aromatics and a hot pan but I was discussing mushrooms with a friend tonight and mentioned that his mother never used oil or butter, not for health reasons particular but because she loved the result. Of course, he had no more details. Do you ever use this method and if so any tips? I imagine get the liquid hot, add mushrooms and let it go until evaporated?

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  1. I learned here to cook mushrooms with nothing at all; let them throw off their liquids and then brown naturally. One of the best cooking tips I ever was given.

    7 Replies
    1. re: coll

      I use this with criminis all the time. Does it work for others as well? I have some maitake I plan to use this week but have never made them but I imagine the mushroom biology is similar enough that I could just throw them in a hot pan as well. I actually preferred this method before I thought I learned how to do it properly with butter as it does bring out that meaty flavor. In fact, since I switched my technique I have had less of the beefy flavor that I love from mushrooms so I should learn not to fix what's not broken :)

      1. re: fldhkybnva

        I usually use the plain white mushrooms when I do this. I add a dash of something like sherry after they start to brown, if I want to flavor them.

      2. re: coll

        Coll, I learned that tip here and use it frequently! I make crustless mini quiches for breakfast and always add mushrooms cooked with this method.

        1. re: meatn3

          So much better to me than butter or broth, you actually taste the mushrooms!

          1. re: coll

            So you don't add any liquid even at the end right?

            1. re: fldhkybnva

              Not normally. They are perfect as is.

        2. re: coll

          Exactly what I do, coll. I might finish with some butter mixed with olive oil to increase the smoking temp just before serving so I can swirl the cooked mushroom in a bit of garlic and thyme, but plain with a little sea salt is good too.

        3. I use butter because I really, really, really like butter. But the mom's and coll's method does give you those almost steakhouse kind of mushrooms. Really good with scrambled eggs, too.

          1. Technically you "sautee" foods in some sort of oil.

            You can poach or otherwise cook mushrooms in broth or wine. But you can't sautee with those things.

            I generally use olive oil.

            1. All three. I've been known to use bacon drippings, too.

              1. My latest method is dry in a saute pan,as previously mentioned.After they brown ,then I may add some olive oil and herbs if they arent going into a stew/braise.

                1 Reply
                1. re: shikken

                  Simple enough, you just cook until the liquid evaporates and they have little brown spots? I have been known to overcook a mushroom or two in the past I think as sometimes they are well-browned and beefy and othertimes seem to shrivel into oblivion.

                2. Personally, I prefer butter and red wine.

                    1. Depends on the mushroom, but chanterelles are great with bacon fat (and extra bacon).

                      1. I'm not a fan of mushrooms but I do make them for my husband. He likes them both "toasted" in the pan with no oil until their liquid cooks off, and sautéed in olive oil and butter with sherry and herbs. With nice steaks, he likes the plain method. With cheaper cuts of meat, he likes the herby-winey kind. I've been known to fry up a couple cube steaks and serve them with champignons sautes au beurre, lol. It's the kind of high-low cooking combo that never fails to amuse me.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: charlesbois

                          Like a glass of champagne with your McDonald's french fries? :-)

                        2. Any good saute methods or combinations for maitake mushrooms?

                          1. I like to saute in butter. Sometimes I'll add a dash of whatever wine we are drinking that night as it makes a nice pairing. I also love Marsala wine with them. I'll cook mushrooms any time I can, any way I can. Thursday is my soup day so I am making GingerShelly's cream of mushroom soup!

                            1. For button mushrooms, butter, salt, pepper and a little chopped green onion.

                              Cooked slowly over medium heat so the mushrooms brown nicely.