Monday, March 8, 2010

Marinated Mushrooms

Once upon a time I wanted to make marinated mushrooms for a party, but I couldn't find a recipe that was quite what I was looking for. And so, I made one up. The end.

Mushrooms in general are really great, we won't discriminate (I know AA would totally agree with me on this one- you know who you are, and NO, for the rest of you I do not refer to Alcoholics Anonymous here).

However, for this recipe we'll go with something simple. Plain old white button mushrooms found at any grocery store are a great canvas to work with- they're like little sponges to soak up flavor. Not that they don't have a flavor of their own, but their flavor is mild and fairly easy to compliment- the possibilities could be practically endless. Let's not get too crazy with that statement though. There are some things one would not want combined with our friend the mushroom. I was actually about to say "chocolate" but (believe it or not- you MAY think me crazy... or totally revolting...) I recently bought a chocolate bar with mushroom in it. I was very curious. I have not tried it yet though. Another thing you may find strange is bacon and chocolate- BUT you can find bacon chocolate, and it's actually quite good.
Anyway, we were talking mushrooms here... um... nothing is coming to mind at this point. All I'm coming up with are savory examples. I'll have to think about this.

These mushrooms are great as part of an antipasto/hors d'oeuvre/tapas selection.

Some tips:

It's best if you can use a pot with a large surface area as you will have MANY mushrooms and they'll cook more evenly this way.

The original recipe called for 2-3 sprigs of fresh rosemary. However, it's *still* winter and most things do not grow so well outdoors in the winter in Missouri. I didn't want to go to the store, and ended up using 3 sprigs very dried out rosemary and 3 sprigs of good looking thyme. Feel free to substitute whatever sounds good or what is available.

The original recipe also called for 5 t salt (total... and I'm not sure why I had it written as so much- did I really use 5 t salt?). I cut it a bit- 2 t added with mushrooms and 1 t added with wine this time. Just a change from the original, andI think the salt content was just fine with the smaller amount.

Marinated Mushrooms

3 lbs. button mushrooms washed and trimmed at end of stalk
9 cloves garlic, minced
olive oil
kosher salt
1 bottle dry white wine
1/2 T red pepper flakes (depending on how hot you like it)
10 black peppercorns
2-3 sprigs fresh rosemary
3 bay leaves

Pour about 1 cup olive oil into large saucepan/soup pot (the one I used was 12 or more inches in diameter). Heat oil over medium heat until it shimmers and add garlic. Saute a few minutes, but do not let garlic brown. Add mushrooms and sprinkle with 2 t salt. Toss mushroom in garlicky oil and cook over medium (low) heat about 20 minutes. Stir frequently, but gently- be careful not to break up mushrooms. The mushrooms will give up some liquid and reduce quite a bit.
Pour wine into pot and add rosemary, bay, red pepper, peppercorns, and 1 t salt. Simmer about 40 minutes, stirring occasionally. Turn off heat and let cool in wine about an hour. Pour through colander over bowl to separate wine mixture from mushrooms. Discard bay, rosemary, and peppercorns.

Place mushrooms in container with lid. Add strained wine mixture to completely submerge mushrooms, top it off with a layer of olive oil if you wish and cover tightly with lid. Place in fridge for a few days and stir/shake once a day. I like to sprinkle the mushrooms with a little extra red pepper before refrigerating.

Makes about 3-4 cups mushrooms.

The olive oil in the marinade as well as the olive oil you might add will solidify in the refrigerator. Just break it up a bit when stirring mushrooms. You may serve room temperature or slightly warmed. Cold mushrooms would not be my recommendation for this one because I personally prefer olive oil as a liquid. So, warm slightly in a saucepan and either let cool or eat warm.

Mushrooms should last about 10 days in the refrigerator.

Leftover marinade/oil mixture is great for dipping bread when mushrooms are gone!

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