Mushrooms of one kind or another are always on my shopping list and sautéeing them is almost always on my Prep Day list. With sautéed mushrooms in the fridge I am halfway to a mushroom-spinach omelet or a grilled cheese and mushroom sandwich—two dinner-in-a-pinch ideas no one is ever disappointed to see.
Makes about 2 cups
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, olive oil or a mix of the two
1 pound button or cremini mushrooms, wiped clean (see Note) and sliced fairly thick
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives or parsley
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Heat 2 tablespoons of the butter/oil in a large (12-inch or so) skillet, over medium-high heat until the butter (if you’re using it) begins to bubble or the oil thins out enough to slide easily across the pan
Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms have given off their liquid and that liquid is evaporated (this can take up to 10 minutes). You’ll know when they’re almost there when they start to “squeak.”
Stir in the chives or parsley and garlic and cook until the mushrooms are lightly browned, 3 to 4 minutes, stirring well. Season to taste with salt and pepper and take the pan off the heat. When the mushrooms are cool(ish) scrape them into a storage container where they will keep in the fridge for 4 to 5 days.
Just about any mushroom or mix of mushrooms will do. Follow two general guidelines: Slice firmer mushrooms (Portobello, e.g.) thinner than suggested in the recipe and cook them over lower heat. Leave tender mushrooms (oysters, hen-of-the woods) in bigger chunks. If using a mix, start off with the firmer mushrooms and add tender varieties a few minutes into cooking. It might be necessary for a little of the mushroom liquid to cook off after you add each new type of mushroom before they begin to brown in the oil.
Note: It’s not a good idea to wash mushrooms because they will soak up a lot of water that they never quite get rid of through cooking. Wiping them with a damp paper towel is the way to go. I started prepping mushrooms this way about a year ago and still feel clever every time I do it: If you are buying the kind of mushrooms that come in perforated plastic trays, turn the mushrooms out onto the cutting board. Rinse out the plastic container under cold water—there’s usually a lot of who-knows-what in the bottom. Use a paper towel to dry out the container. You now have the damp paper towel you need to clean the mushrooms and a little tray to put them in when you’re done cutting them up. It’s the little things…