Many types of mushrooms are available at the grocery year round, but some varieties reach their peak during the fall. During the months of autumn you’ll find some of the best deals on exotic mushrooms that may be too expensive for everyday use. Mushrooms are culinary stars on their own, but they also add succulent flavor and texture to any dish they are added to. This fall enjoy them in appetizers, side dishes, crockpot meals and even as a light main course.
A common mistake when preparing mushrooms is not cooking them long enough. Just a few extra minutes of medium-high heat will give mushrooms a meatier and deeper flavor. Be sure not to skimp on the cooking time when preparing this delicious topping for grilled bread:
- 2 cups mushrooms – any variety or mixture, chopped
- 1 shallot, minced
- 1 large clove garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon fresh chives, minced
- Salt and pepper to taste
Place the butter, oil and mushrooms in a heated pan. Add ¼ teaspoon salt and sauté on medium-high heat for 10 minutes stirring occasionally. Add shallot and garlic, sauté and stir for an additional 5 minutes being careful not to burn the garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Spread the mixture over lightly grilled slices of French baguette and sprinkle with fresh chives.
Mushroom White Pizza
For a dish to serve as an appetizer or with salad as a light dinner, make this simple gourmet “cheat” with store bought ingredients. Sauté sliced mushrooms of any variety in olive oil for approximately 15 minutes. Add additional ingredients such as sweet onion or garlic to taste. Spread bottled Alfredo sauce on a packaged pizza crust and top with the mushroom mixture and a generous handful of shredded mozzarella cheese. Bake in a 425-degree oven for approximately 10 minutes or until the crust is crisp and the cheese is melted.
Mushroom and Chicken Casserole
There are many versions of chicken-noodle casserole and most rely on canned mushroom soup for their creamy texture. This recipe for homemade creamy mushroom sauce will add a new level of flavor to a tired recipe:
- 1 cup finely chopped mushrooms
- ½ tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- ½ tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
- 1 ½ cups milk
- Salt and pepper to taste
Sauté the mushrooms in the oil and butter with a pinch of salt. Cook on medium-high heat for approximately 15 minutes. Sprinkle the flour directly over the mushrooms and cook for approximately 3 minutes, stirring constantly to prevent the flour from burning or lumping. Add the milk. Stir constantly until the mixture reaches a boil. Allow to bubble for one minute and remove from heat. Season with salt and pepper.
Add 1 cup of chopped, sautéed mushrooms to a basic risotto recipe for a unique signature mushroom dish. Serve as a starter or a main dish with bread and green salad. Mushroom risotto is elegant enough to accompany a holiday meal and easy enough to make any time.
Buying produce in season is always the best way to find great deals and serve the most delicious foods. This fall try experimenting with different types of mushrooms to liven up standard dishes. And remember not to soak mushrooms in water to clean them. Mushrooms absorb water, which can make them soggy and dilute their intense, earthy flavors.