Posted by: Kate | May 16, 2008

Happy Mushrooms

In an effort to focus on that which lightens my mood, not to mention that which I have some semblance of control over, I thought I’d share a recipe. Just one, to start, though I have a few more on-deck that may eventually make an appearance.

These suckers are absolutely delightful. Even if you don’t particularly like mushrooms, they’re worth a try… the texture is entirely different than any other fungi I’ve prepared.

10-16 ounces fresh mushrooms of your choice, cut into slightly-larger-than-bite-sized pieces (we’ve used steak-cut, button mushrooms, crimini, baby portabello, regular old salad ‘shrooms – everything works – and for once, size really doesn’t matter, as long as they’re fairly uniform)
2-3 TBSP olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 TBSP lemon juice
1 c. wine or beer (literally can be anything, we’ve used white wine, red, stout beer, Pete’s Wicked Strawberry Blonde, pilsner, ale…)
Seasonings/herbs of choices (garlic salt, thyme, rosemary, basil, minced onion – just one or two, to taste)

In a large frying pan or skillet, heat the oil over med-high heat. When it is thin and hot, place the mushrooms in an even layer in the pan (don’t worry if they seem crowded in there, they will shrink). Then, and this is the hard part, DON’T TOUCH THEM. Leave them completely alone in the hot oil for about 5 minutes, until you can start seeing them turn a bit brown and soft about halfway up the sides. You can safely grab the edge of one and peek – the underside should turn a dark mahogany color.

Once they’re nicely browned on the bottom, toss once with salt and pepper so that the uncooked sides are now on the bottom, and then DON’T TOUCH THEM AGAIN for another 5 minutes or so. You can add more oil when tossing if needed, but you don’t want much – it should all soak up.

When all the oil is gone (or it’s obvious that no more will soak in), then squirt them with lemon juice, pour in alcohol, and season liberally depending on your taste. Stir them around a little, then let cook until all the liquid is gone.

Serve with steak, chicken, Cheerios… OK, maybe not Cheerios. But they’re really good. They’re going to be strong-flavored, so I serve them on the side and let people serve themselves, and often will have gravy available separately as well.

Let me know if you try them, I’d love to hear of other alcohol/herb combinations that work well. My favorite so far is red wine and rosemary. Willem likes beer and garlic.


  1. Oooohhhh that sounds yummy. If Willem digs the whole garlic/beer thing, you absolutely must try beer can chicken. I like to marinate the whole bird with salt, pepper, some liquid smoke and many cloves of garlic for about 3 hours then pop the top off a beer can, pour off (read: drink) about 1/3 of the contents and toss the garlic cloves in. Shove the garlickinated beer can in the cavity of the bird (aren’t you proud of me for not telling you to shove the can up the chicken’s ass??) and stand it upright on a medium hot grill, mopping occasionally with a beer/liquid smoke herby galicky mixture of your choice until the thigh meat registers at 160 F and the skin is brown and crispy. Oh. Mah. Gawd. Becky. I bet it would go great with those ‘shrooms, some fresh corn on the cob and of course more beer.

  2. “Willem likes beer and garlic.”

    Now, there’s a sentence that has never appeared in a personal ad.

  3. I don’t eat mushrooms 9(that variety). I think I might be allergic to them. I had some shitakes years ago and broke out in hives. The Evil Twin and son would love them, though.

  4. Those sound really good! I love mushrooms, could eat them all day long. I’ll try them and let you know how it goes!

  5. We have these all the time since you introduced us and they are so yummy!! We prefer beer or white wine (The red I tried was too strong and overpowered the mushrooms…) For a bit of a different twist, try some amaretto – I literally licked the plate!!! Would go well with ice cream! ;-D

  6. Holy Shitaakes, Kate! I forgot to tell you that the marinade for the chicken also includes a couple of cans of beer, then enough water to cover the bird – or enough beer to cover the bird – whatever ;o)

  7. Ahh mushrooms . . meat for vegetarians! White wine and green peppercorns for me!

  8. We have made these several times as well (I hate mushrooms) But I can choke a couple of these down, for the kids’ sake. Everyone else seems to LOVE THEM!! They are strong flavored – we use all fresh grown ingredients whoch I think makes them stronger especially the lemon juice. Kate, you have to share the cookie recipe with cake mix – that one was a huge hit here-our pediatrician loved it ad here entire staff.

  9. This sounds wonderful, thanks for sharing.

  10. yum

  11. Can’t wait to try this! My husband HATES mushrooms but I hate chicken and cook him that, so he’ll have to deal.

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