I saw these beautiful maiitake mushrooms at the Berkeley Farmer's Market last Saturday and I had to have them. At $7 per pound, why shouldn't I? They were so beautiful, looking more like white sea anenome than mushrooms. This recipe is my own and the recipe I use to prepare pretty much any kind of mushrooms I have on hand. My Dad, probably unknowingly, gave me my love for mushrooms. He always bought white mushrooms whenever he cooked a steak dinner for us. He would slice them up and throw them in the hot pan the steaks were cooked in and they would absorb the flavors of the bits of steak in the pan and it would have just enough oil to help moisten the mushroom slices. They tasted delicious every single time. I remember when I was still a young girl, I used to steal one button mushroom while he was cooking and I would run into the powder room and fill the sink with hot water and throw the mushroom in there. I'd watch it float and bob in the sink. I remember having to wait for the mushroom to get soft enough for me to "know" that it was "cooked". And yes, my mother has knocked on the powder room door to ask what I was doing in there. I laugh at myself now at my early attempts at cooking and there I am trying to cook a little button mushroom in a sink filled with hot water. *shaking my head* I'm still a huge fan of steak and sauteed mushrooms, but I've grown up, thankfully, to learn to cook everything on the stove top. My recipe is completely vegetarian. If you don't like butter, I would use coconut oil. Use 1 tablespoon of coconut oil and let it melt completely before adding the garlic.
1 pound fresh organic Maiitake Mushroom
½ pound fresh brown beech mushrooms (other mushrooms work well with Maiitake too, so use oyster, shiitake, button, whatever you like. If you’re lucky enough to get morels, use them!)
1 garlic clove, smashed and minced finely
3 tablespoons, unsalted butter (don’t kid yourself…USE BUTTER…a good substitute is coconut oil)
3 tablespoons High Quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil. (I used McEvoy Ranch Extra Virgin Olive Oil 20th Anniversary Batch)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon fresh porcini powder * see note at the bottom
6-8 fresh chives, with buds if possible, buds reserved and the stalks minced
In a medium sauté pan over medium-high heat, melt the butter until almost browned.
Add the garlic and cook until soft.
Add the brown beech mushrooms and cook for about 5 minutes until soft.
Add the Maiitake mushrooms. Gently break up the mushroom if you bought a large cluster. The various sizes you break is what helps make the dish beautiful to present.
Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle the olive oil around the mushrooms.
Gently stir and fold the mushrooms in the sauté pan then sprinkle the porcini powder throughout then stir and fold some more. Season with salt and pepper.
Remove mushrooms to a serving dish and sprinkle with the herbs and decorate with the chive buds. I love to serve this as a light meal or tapas dish to share for 2 to 3 people. Serve with warmed French baguette with butter.
Note: Porcini powder can be made with dried porcini mushrooms in a coffee grinder. I use my coffee grinder specifically to grind spices, nuts, and dried mushrooms. Remove the stalks of the mushrooms and throw them away. They are too tough and will not grind. Grind two caps at a time, if the caps are large. Grind to a fine powder. The powder can be used to infuse an umami flavor to sauces and enhance mushroom dishes like this one. Keep in an airtight jar in a cool dark cupboard.