Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Understanding Spices: What Does Marjoram Taste Like? Mushroom Saute' Recipe

My mom and I love these mushrooms. I usually make a double batch. They are simple and delicious. If you haven't been much of a mushroom fan in the past, these will win you over to Team Mushroom!

Here are some simple tips to keep in mind for mushrooms. If you have not been following these tips in the past, that might explain why they haven't been your favorite before!
  1. Do not run mushrooms under water. If you feel the need to clean your mushrooms, just wipe them off with a slightly damp rag or paper towel. The variety I use for this recipe rarely needs to be cleaned beyond what the store has already done for you. Water makes them rubbery.
  2. Do not salt your mushrooms until the very end of their cooking process! Salting them at the beginning makes them release their moisture too early which leaves you with rubbery mushrooms.
  3. When your mushrooms are in the pan, don't move them too much. Leave them alone! After you have cooked mushrooms a few times, your ears will hear a definite change in sound during their cooking process. You want the moisture to be cooked out of them and for them to caramelized. For them to be caramelized they need to keep constant contact with the pan. If they are steamed (not in contact with the pan), they run the risk of being rubbery.
On the spice side of this post, marjoram is such a lovely, subtle herb. It is actually oregano's cousin, and you already know how much I love oregano. If you like the taste of oregano but feel it is a bit too intense for you, marjoram is probably going to be your new best friend. This recipe highlights this particular herb, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Here is the recipe card for this one, but I totally do not follow it exactly anymore - as you will certainly see below! I hope you enjoy!

This is what you want the mushrooms to look like. They need to be as white as possible. Mushrooms tend to spoil quickly, so the sooner you cook them after purchasing, the better.
Step One: Melt the butter in a large pan. You want a pan large enough to let all of the mushrooms have contact with the pan.

Step Two: While the butter melts, chop up an onion. Yellow onions are my favorite for this recipe because they tend to be a bit sweeter than white onions. Any ol' onion will do, though.
Step Three: When the butter has melted, add the mushrooms to the pan, and spread them out so that as many of them have contact with the pan as possible.
Step Four: Top the mushrooms with the onions. Do not stir!
Step Five: Sprinkle marjoram and pepper on top. Again, do not stir! Just leave the mushrooms to sit and sizzle for a bit.
Step Six: After 3-5 minutes, flip over one of the mushrooms, and make sure that it is nice and brown. The brown means that it is caramelizing. This is a very good thing.
Step Seven: Stir the mushrooms, and try to make all of the uncooked sides of the mushrooms come into contact with the pan this time. Cook about two more minutes.

Keep cooking until all of the mushrooms are nice and brown on both sides.

Step Eight: Now, you may salt the mushrooms. Stir well. Cook about 30 seconds.


Mushroom Saute'
1 8oz. package sliced fresh mushrooms
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 t. marjoram
1/8 t. pepper
1/4 t. salt
In a large skillet over med-high heat, melt butter. Add mushrooms in a single layer. Top with onions, marjoram, and pepper. Leave mushrooms alone for 3-5 minutes. When brown and caramelized, flip them over. Continue cooking until the mushrooms are nice and brown on both sides before salting. After adding salt, cook about 30 seconds more. Enjoy!
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