True story: I used to hate mushrooms. Just looking at them gave me the shudders.
My hatred turned into a hesitant like, then love, a few years ago. J and I were at an Italian restaurant, and J, being a Mushroom Lover, ordered stuffed mushrooms baked in a pesto cream sauce. They arrived at the table, the steam redolent of basil, Parmesan and Italian sausage. My mouth watered a little bit, and as I have a policy of trying foods I hate once a year, I decided this cheesy concoction was my best bet.
So I tried one. I hesitantly moved it onto my appetizer plate. Cut into it with my steak knife. Dipped the slice in the cream sauce, and haltingly (this sounds dramatic, but I kid you not—I really hated mushrooms!) moved the fork towards my mouth.
Then? Well. Earthy, herby, creamy bliss. I started to like them then—on a trial basis—but my affection has grown steadily ever since.
Now, mushrooms remind me of autumn. They pair well with traditional autumn seasonings like sage and thyme. They’re even nicely symbolic of the dark season, since they grow without light. Since it actually feels like autumn here (I’m continually amazed!) I picked up a huge box of Baby Bellas at Costco and have been enjoying them for days.
Here’s my favorite easy mushroom recipe, which is less of a recipe and more of a…method? Enjoy.
Creamy Sauteed Mushrooms, a la Meagan
(This is a very elastic recipe–do with the amounts what you like)
2 tbsp butter
8 oz. (ish) Baby Bellas, de-stemmed and sliced
1 clove garlic, smashed and minced
Generous sprinkle sea salt, thyme (fresh is best, but dried is fine). Fresh parsley is a nice finishing touch if you have it.
Splash of red wine, dry white wine, or cognac
~1 tbsp Whole grain or dijon mustard
2-4 tbsp Heavy cream
1. Melt butter in pan.
2. Add sliced mushrooms, toss in butter. Add salt and herbs.
3. Add a couple of tablespoons of wine. Be aware that mushrooms expel water as they heat, so don’t add too much liquid or it’ll get soupy. Let it cook for a few minutes.
4. Finish it off. First, stir in the mustard. Then add 2-4 tbsp. of cream to thicken the sauce. Cook for another minute or so before taking off the heat.
Note: this recipe is AWESOME when made as a topping for steak. Simply pan-sear a steak then continue this recipe in the pan with the steak drippings.
Note 2: I tried taking pictures buuuuuut….the lighting in the apartment kitchen is terrible. Plus, the mushrooms were so good that I only got two horrible photos before they were gone. Rest assured, they’re delicious.)
Note 3: The Kitchn’s What Are Cremini Mushrooms blew my mind.