I was taking a walk the other day, and on the trunk of a partially dead weeping willow tree was this fantastic profusion of mushroom caps. Being a mushroom lover, I stopped dead in my tracks and went to examine this beauty. After much consideration (and a boatload of research), I had pretty well convinced myself they were oyster mushrooms. So I went back and harvested them the next day. And I cooked them. No, I am not crazy. They turned out fantastic, and I didn't die or start seeing things that don't exist, so bonus points for that. I recommend you purchase yours in the regular grocery store, just to be safe.
Oyster Mushrooms Sautéed with Garlic Butter
From Garlic Delight blog
12 ounces oyster mushrooms, any oyster mushrooms work or use a mixture
8 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided use
½ teaspoon kosher salt, to taste
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
If the mushrooms aren't already split apart, separate them into individual "petals" (the fruiting body, including the cap and stipe). You can leave the small oyster mushrooms and cook them as is. If you're cooking King Oyster mushrooms, cut the caps off. Then slice the stipe into flat cylinders about ½-inch thick.
Heat the frying pan over medium heat. Add 4 tablespoons of butter. When the butter looks like it's half melted (meaning most of the butter is liquid but there is still some soft solid chunks), turn the heat down to low.
Add the chopped garlic into the butter. Stir to combine. Add the chopped mushrooms to the garlic and butter. Stir the mushrooms so they are coated in the garlic butter.
Leave the mushrooms to sauté in the garlic butter. The oyster mushrooms should begin to soften. If you're using pink oyster mushrooms, they should begin turning gold. Keep the heat low such that you see the garlic and mushrooms sizzle around the edges but they are not turning brown quickly. If the garlic is turning brown within 2 to 3 minutes, turn the heat down to avoid burning the garlic.
Add the salt and pepper. Stir to combine. After adding the salt, the mushrooms should wilt further and release any liquid they may be holding. The mushrooms should be cooked through by now. They are ready to serve. Optionally, you can caramelize them further if you're not in a hurry and want to add extra flavor.
If you want to caramelize the mushrooms, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter as the mushrooms have likely soaked up all the previously added fat. Spread the mushrooms into one layer with even spacing between them. Avoid stirring them too much as you want to give them adequate contact time with the hot pan to caramelize.
Allow the mushrooms to cook until they are browned on the edges. The butter should have also developed a golden brown color and a nutty aroma. Flip the mushrooms once to caramelize both sides. Once the mushrooms are brown to your satisfaction, turn the heat off and allow the mushrooms to cook in the residual heat while you prepare to serve them.
Serve the sautéed oyster mushrooms as a side dish or a topping. Enjoy!
Makes 4 servings