Sauteed mushrooms with cream is the perfect topping or side to any number of things
Every once in a while our parents venture away from their tried and true Greek recipes to introduce something new into the mix. There was their study into homemade egg rolls and vegetable fried rice – both delicious and both recipes we absolutely have to share one day. They went through a phase when they made broccoli “like the French do“, that is, covered in cheese and baked. We’re not sure where they got that idea (probably a soap opera), but it was delicious, and short-lived. Our mother decided that her usual method of preparing broccoli, with olive oil and lemon, was far superior to broccoli au gratin. We tend to agree. And then, there was their discovery of stuffed mushrooms.
For a while any large family gathering which required a spread of meze and half a lamb also included stuffed mushrooms. It’s unclear where our parents got the inspiration for this appetizer, but it was definitely not the horio. Our mother tells the very unfortunate story of an entire family from her village who died as a result of eating poisonous mushrooms that they had mistakenly foraged. She was a young girl at the time and the incident resulted in mushrooms being banned from the family diet.
Once in Canada our parents saw the easy and inexpensive availability of safe mushrooms in the grocery store and they began to use them regularly in their cooking. Mushrooms topped their pizza, made it into vegetable fried rice and egg rolls, and once in a while they were used in place of meat when our mom made pastitsio. At one point when we were still rather young, our parents realized that you could stuff mushroom caps with a variety of fillings and bake them until delicious. Like the broccoli au gratin (and those egg rolls and vegetable fried rice) it’s unclear where this inspiration came from, but come it did. They stuffed mushrooms with ground lamb, with crumbled feta, with spinach. You name it, they used it. And then, it was over. No one got sick. No one declared stuffed mushrooms vile. Our parents just stopped making them, and now we’re left thinking that we should remind them of how great they were.
All that to say, this is not a recipe for stuffed mushrooms but we were reminded of that particular meze in preparing this recipe. The mushrooms we used here were gorgeous and large button mushrooms, the perfect size to stuff. And also, the perfect size to slice, saute and enjoy in a number of ways, like in our recipe for sauteed mushrooms with cream.
What are mushrooms?
Mushrooms are fungi and they belong to a kingdom separate from animals and plants – they are their own thing. They differ from plants and animals in a number of ways, including in the way that they obtain their nutrients. Fungi excrete enzymes that digest their food source externally and a network of microscopic rooting threads (called mycelium) absorbs the digested nutrients.
There are over 10,000 known varieties of mushroom and although they obviously vary quite a bit in their appearance they are generally distinguished by a stem, a fleshy rounded cap and a series of gills underneath the cap. You can read more about mushrooms in this very informative article.
Are mushrooms healthy?
Mushrooms contain several vitamins and minerals and are a low calorie food which is high in fiber, protein and antioxidants. They are a good source of selenium, copper, magnesium and thiamin. Some say that mushrooms also help ward off illnesses such as Alzheimer’s, heart disease, cancer and diabetes. We’re not sure how valid those claims are but we figure they can’t hurt!
The best way to clean mushrooms.
The best way to clean mushrooms is to wipe them clean with a damp paper towel or cloth. This ensures that your mushrooms don’t soak up to much water (which would happen if you soaked them or cleaned them with running water).
What variety of mushrooms should be used to make sauteed mushrooms with cream.
We used large brown button mushrooms for this recipe but you can use any variety of button mushroom, thinly sliced Portobello mushrooms, or shitake mushrooms. You can also use a combination of your favourite type of mushroom.
How to serve sauteed mushrooms with cream.
Sauteed mushrooms with cream is a wonderful accompaniment to pair with proteins such as chicken, beef or pork. You can also toss them with egg noodles for a simple meal that is as satisfying as it is delicious!
Looking for more great ways to use mushrooms? Check out these recipes:
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Sauteed mushrooms with cream
- 1 Frying pan
- 680 grams mushrooms 1.5 pounds
- 1 tbsp (15 mL) olive oil
- 30 grams butter unsalted, see Recipe Note
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
- ½ tsp peppercorns
- ¼ cup (60 mL) Marsala wine
- ¼ cup (60 mL) 35% cooking cream
- salt and pepper to taste
- Prepare your mushrooms by removing the stem (discard the stems) and wiping the caps with a wet paper towel to clean them. Slice your mushroom caps thinly.680 grams mushrooms
- In a large skillet combine the olive oil, butter, rosemary sprigs and peppercorns and heat until the butter has melted. Add in the sliced mushrooms. Don't worry if it seems that there are too many mushrooms to fit in the pan, they will shrink as they cook.1 tbsp (15 mL) olive oil, 30 grams butter, 2 sprigs fresh rosemary, ½ tsp peppercorns
- Cook mushrooms over medium heat stirring occasionally and carefully until all of the liquid released from the mushrooms has evaporated and they begin to caramelize. This should take approximately 7 minutes.
- Pour the Marsala wine into the pan and stir to coat the mushrooms. Cook until the wine has evaporated, stirring occasionally, about 3 - 5 minutes.¼ cup (60 mL) Marsala wine
- Add the cream, stir to combine and immediately remove from the heat. Season with salt and pepper.¼ cup (60 mL) 35% cooking cream, salt and pepper to taste
- Serve your sauteed mushrooms with cream on top of chicken, beef or pork or toss with egg noodle pasta.