Pan-Tended Mushrooms with Captain Mike’s
The way I like to cook mushrooms requires patience. Mushrooms need personal space and mushrooms don’t like to be rushed.
If you overcrowd your pan in an attempt to speed the process, your mushrooms will steam, becoming rubbery and wet. If you try to rush the mushrooms by turning up the heat, they will burn.
I like to carefully tend my mushrooms in the pan ensuring a delicious result.
These are great with pasta, with rice, with French bread and butter, on burgers, with baked potatoes, on top of a spinach salad, or just on their own.
Select mushrooms that are fresh and dry. This week the supermarket portobello mushrooms were buy one get one free and looked great, and we were lucky to find some beautiful special mushrooms at our favorite local gourmet market. You can use what’s fresh and available to you. The amounts here are not important, it’s all about the technique.
- Clean mushrooms – avoid soaking mushrooms in water. I did a quick rinse for the portobellos and used a dry paper towel to lightly brush the minimal dirt from the oyster mushroom clusters.
- Slice mushrooms
- The portobellos get sliced about 1/8 in thick.
Oyster mushroom cluster
- Cut off hard fibrous end of stem cluster.
- Free the individual mushrooms from each other and slice any large ones lengthwise.
King oyster mushroom cluster
- Trim tough end of stem. Slice thick part of stem into ¼ in thick rounds. (These will remind you of scallops when cooked.) Slice the tops as you did the portobellos, about 1/8 in thick.
Here are the prepared mushrooms
- Heat non-stick pan on low and add olive oil to just coat bottom of pan.
If you are using fresh garlic, smash your clove with flat blade of knife to remove “paper” peel and crush it. Add smashed garlic to pan. This must be done on low heat. The idea is to release to flavors and aromas of the garlic, only softening it, not browning it. Once garlic smell permeates kitchen and garlic is soft, remove from pan and save on the side.
- Cook mushrooms. I did the king oysters first, followed by the portobellos in multiple batches, and finally oyster mushrooms last. Again, this is about technique. Pay attention to your mushrooms. They must be tended.
Increase heat to medium or medium-high (it is going to depend on your stove and pan). Once oil is hot, add a small amount of mushrooms to pan, allowing for “personal space” between mushrooms. Oil should lightly sizzle, but do not cook them too fast.
Do not move mushrooms until they start to sweat. When you see droplets of water appear on the surface of the mushrooms, flip each one individually. Immediately sprinkle the cooked side with Captain Mike’s Seasoning. Wait for the other side to cook and remove from pan.
Left to right: (1) King oysters added to pan with personal space, (2) Flipped mushrooms sprinkled with Captain Mike’s Original Seasoning, (3) Removed from pan, (4) Portobellos added to pan, (5) The mushrooms are “sweating” which means they are ready to flip, (6) Flipped and seasoned portobellos
One way to save some time:
When mushrooms have been flipped and seasoned, but aren’t fully cooked, move them to the edges of the pan. This creates space in the center for a new batch of mushrooms. By the time you get a few drops of oil added and the new layer of mushrooms placed, the outer mushrooms should be about ready to come out of the pan.
The photo below shows the almost ready mushrooms around the edges and the new batch in the center.
Repeat this process of “place, wait, sweat, flip, season with Captain Mike’s, wait, remove” until all portobellos are done. You will have to add a few drops of olive oil here and there as you add new mushrooms to the pan.
Example of finished portobellos below:
The oyster mushrooms cook quickly and don’t really present two distinct sides. I placed them in the pan and once they started to sweat, sprinkled with Captain Mike’s and stirred them around until they looked done.
Reintroduce garlic if desired. If you used and reserved garlic, finely mince and mash it and add back to pan with portobellos and heat through.
- Eat Mushrooms