Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The Professor's Burnt Mushrooms

{I simply cannot get a good picture of sauteed mushrooms - all they do is reflect a sheen that does not in any way make them appear appealing.}

After handing over The Best Friend's scrum-diddly-umptious apple crisp recipe the other day, I thought I might as well go ahead and unveil The Professor's dish of choice when he gets to cook something. Anytime I come home with mushrooms, his eyes light up; the hope that I will let him blackify and crispify them in a skillet of butter and wine will never die in his heart.

Surpsingly, these mushrooms don't just taste like charred fungus of an unidentifiable sort. They're almost finger food by the time you're done cooking them.

Alas, this is one of the few things that he tells me I don't know how to cook. Any time I try, I get the same answer: "They're good, but they could have been burned a little more".

File this under: "The Professor, Cute Idiosyncracies".

Burnt Mushrooms, a la El Profesor

  • 2 pounds button mushrooms, washed and sliced
  • 1 stick of butter (yes, you read that right)
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp ground mustard
  • 1/3 - 1/2 cup red wine (that's a complete guess, as I've never tried to measure - or even pay attention to - how much wine he uses)
Put the stick of butter in a large skillet, and turn the heat on medium. When the butter is half melted, add the mushrooms and stir to coat them in butter. They will soak it all up like a sponge, and I have more than a suspicion that The Professor throws some more butter in at some point.

Sprinkle the garlic powder and mustared over the mushrooms and stir to incorporate.

Turn the heat up to medium high and cook mushrooms in butter for about 10-15 minutes, until they've released their water and then are starting to dry out and blacken.

Pour in the wine, and indulge yourself in the steam bath that follows. Stir the mushrooms constantly for a few minutes, using the wine to deglaze the pan.

Turn the heat back to just under medium and keep cooking until all the wine has been soaked up/evaporated. Then cook some more. And when you think you're done, turn the heat down to low and cook for a few more minutes. You don't want the mushrooms to be completely dried and crispy, but you want the edges to definitely be black.

This is an acquired taste, so I won't feel bad if you don't rush out to burn up two pounds of mushrooms. We won't tell The Professor, though, ok?

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