These sauteed mushrooms are part of my Thanksgiving menu. I used to make a chanterelle mushroom stuffing from a great recipe Alice Waters published in the NY Times in 1999, then one year I had hen of the woods mushrooms at Hearth in the East Village. They were a revelation. It was a few weeks before Thanksgiving and I became fixated on making these mushrooms, which meant changing (and thereby re-inventing) the turkey stuffing to avoid a mushroom-heavy menu. I don't really want to admit that these simple mushrooms are the star of the somewhat elaborate Thanksgiving meal - but I think they are.
That first year I couldn't find a sufficient amount of hen of the woods, so I added king trumpet mushrooms. They became part of this dish, and of the Thanksgiving tradition. —nettleandquince
King trumpet (or king oyster) mushrooms (Pleurotus eryngii)
Hen of the woods (or maitake) mushrooms (Grifola frondosa)
Carefully wipe dirt from king trumpet mushrooms, if necessary.
Cut off stub and thinly slice mushrooms lengthwise (the result are beautiful cross sections).
In a large skillet, heat enough olive oil to cover the surface. Thinly slice garlic, cook in olive oil until just golden, remove immediately and set aside.
Add the mushrooms - just enough so they don't overlap in the pan, working in batches as necessary - season with sea salt, freshly ground black pepper, and sprinkle with thyme. Sautée until the mushrooms become golden-brown on one side, turn them over, and cook another minute or two until soft but with a bit of bite.
To serve, sprinkle with a little more thyme and the pieces of crispy garlic.