Hold the Fat While Cooking the Mushrooms to Brown Them Better.
Not everyone agrees on the “best” way to cook mushrooms, but I think everyone understands that a good mushroom is a concentrated, well-browned version of its fresh self. It may inspire you to bathe the mushrooms in butter – milk proteins are pretty pretty brown after all – but the real secret of perfectly toasted mushrooms is to eliminate the fat entirely, at least until the mushrooms are done.
Wet mushrooms are caused by moisture, which makes your hands twist and clump together during washing. Fortunately, you can wash the mushrooms – they don’t absorb enough water during a quick rinse to feel the difference. Overfilling the pan can prevent the moisture from evaporating quickly, causing the mushrooms to be steamed rather than fried, but the mushrooms also become smaller when cooking due to moisture loss. Keep them in one layer and you should be fine, especially if you resist the urge to add butter or butter when you put the mushrooms in the pan.
First, the oil contains at least 15% water by volume, and adding it to a saucepan will increase the total moisture content in that saucepan, which we are trying to avoid. But even pure fats can create a kind of oil slick on top of the moisture coming out of the mushrooms, delaying its evaporation.
Direct dry contact with the pan allows the moisture to boil off quickly, browning the mushrooms and creating a concentrated aroma mass at the bottom of the pan. After the mushrooms are browned and soft to your liking, you can remove the frosting from all those little browned chunks with wine and then add your fat to add some richness to the dish.
Technically, I like to keep the temperature low. The higher the temperature, the faster your mushrooms will brown (or potentially burn), and you can end up with moist and firm mushrooms on the inside but dark brown on the outside. I also like to maximize their flat surface by slicing the mushrooms, although ripping has its merits .
Wash the mushrooms, chop them, salt (to remove moisture), then place them in a single layer in a saucepan over medium to medium-low heat. Let them cook until they are browned on one side, then turn over and give the other side a little love. Remove the frosting from the bottom of the toasted pieces with a little wine or brandy, add a little oil and let it all turn into a savory, tasty sauce for the skillet.