Every once in a while, my husband and I will grab an old book from the re-sale shop and take it home with us. On one such occasion, we came across a wonderful recipe book by Kay Shaw Nelson called, The Magic of Mushroom Cookery. 250 International Recipes for Marvelous Meals. The book is loaded with information (more than I ever even cared to know) about identification of mushroom types, storage, selecting purchasing mushrooms and, of course, recipes.
Purchasing mushrooms: It’s important to choose dry and firm mushrooms without spots. The caps should be plump and of good shape with smooth skins. Buy mushrooms with mature or open caps only if they will be used shortly thereafter. Slight discolorations do not affect the flavor but indicate age. Another indication of age is the color of the gills, which start to darken as soon as the mushroom opens and begins to mature. Dark, wrinkled mushrooms should not be bought. Good fresh mushrooms can be refrigerated; place on a shallow rack or tray, cover with moistened paper towling and store so air will circulate around them. They will keep a week or so. If they are frozen, unwashed, in sealed containers, they can be stored for as long as a month. Mushrooms sauteed until half done and frozen in containers will last for several months. Mushrooms should never be peeled.
Cleaning Mushrooms: To clean mushrooms it is usually only necessary to remove any dirt smudges by wiping quickly with a damp cloth or paper towel. If it is necessary to wash them, rinse quickly under a stream of cold water and wipe dry at once. Mushrooms should never be soaked in water, for they behave much like sponges and quickly absorb the liquid which is then suddenly released when they are heated.
Mushroom Burger Recipe
2 pounds lean ground beef
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 medium onion, chopped
1 ½ cups chopped mushrooms, fresh or canned
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons steak sauce
¼ cup ketchup
Salt, pepper to taste
16 medium, fresh mushroom caps
Combine all the ingredients except the mushroom caps and mix well. Shape into 8 large hamburger patties. Grill to the desired degree of doneness, turning one or two times. Garnish each hamburger with two raw mushroom caps on a toothpick. Serves 8.