Mushrooms with Caramelized Shallots and Fresh Thyme

November 16, 2015


Author Notes: This recipe rewards patience and attention to detail. If you are willing to put in the extra effort by picking fresh thyme and slowly caramelizing shallots, you will be rewarded with tantalizingly flavorful mushrooms. The other key to this dish is cooking the mushrooms in batches using an extremely hot pan. If you overcrowd the pan with mushrooms or don’t get your pan hot enough, your mushrooms will taste steamed instead of seared. You know you're doing it correctly when you find yourself running to temporarily take the batteries out of your smoke alarm. Seriously.Josh Cohen

Serves: 6-8
Prep time: 20 min
Cook time: 1 hrs 20 min

Ingredients

  • 4 pounds of your favorite varieties of mushrooms (I prefer some combination of crimini, royal trumpet, maitake, and oyster mushrooms)
  • 1 grapeseed oil
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 pinch freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 pound shallots, cleaned and sliced thin
  • 1 splash olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
In This Recipe

Directions

  1. Set a large skillet over medium heat. Add enough olive oil to thinly coat the surface of the skillet. Add the shallots, and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring regularly, until the shallots soften and begin to turn translucent. Turn the heat down to low, and continue stirring occasionally, until the shallots are soft, sweet, and caramelized. This may take 30 to 45 minutes.
  2. If your mushrooms are gritty or dirty, use a damp rag or paper towel to gently wipe them clean. Cut the mushrooms into large bite-size pieces. Some mushroom varieties can be torn with your hands rather than cut with a knife. For example, I like to break maitake mushrooms into large chunks and tear oyster mushrooms into slivers. These hand-torn pieces should approximate the original shape of the mushroom.
  3. While the shallots are cooking, set a large skillet over high heat. Add enough grapeseed oil to thinly coat the surface of the skillet. When the oil begins to smoke, add enough mushrooms to fill the skillet in a single even layer. Let the mushrooms sear, undisturbed, until the bottoms of the mushrooms begin to caramelize. Toss the mushrooms in the skillet and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are browned and beginning to crisp around the edges. Transfer the hot mushrooms to a mixing bowl, and using a fine microplane, grate half a clove of garlic over the mushrooms. Toss the mushrooms with the microplaned garlic, and season with salt. Repeat this step with subsequent batches of mushrooms until all the mushrooms have been cooked.
  4. Combine the mushrooms with the caramelized shallots. Add the thyme, cayenne, and vinegar. Taste, and adjust the seasoning as necessary. This dish can be served hot or at room temperature. To reheat the mushrooms, transfer them to a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper and cook at in the oven at 350° F for approximately 5 minutes.

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Reviews (10) Questions (0)

10 Reviews

pottsy.1990 April 1, 2018
Made these as a side to the Food52 kale & quinoa crustless quiche for brunch and they were great. I might up the red wine vinegar a bit next time and think parsley would be good if you don’t have thyme. The smoke alarm did go off several times but the brown edges and seared flavour were worth the noise!
 
Mindy November 26, 2017
I followed this recipe exactly and was rewarded with my new favorite side dish of all time. I'll be making this again and again, especially in the autumn and winter months. Thank you.
 
Penny C. April 6, 2016
Would this recipe work with dried mushrooms? Some of my favorite mushrooms are difficult to find fresh.
 
Author Comment
Josh C. April 6, 2016
Hi Penny,<br /><br />This recipe would not be useful for dried mushrooms, sorry
 
Frederique M. March 9, 2016
YUM! Will definately try these!
 
Alicia P. March 5, 2016
Absolutely delicious!!! Spouseand I ate some of these with risotto, & have enough left over for lunch with some pasta tomorrow.
 
Jamie February 29, 2016
4 pounds is a lot of mushrooms - how many batches did it take (how much time) to sear them without overcrowding the pan?
 
Author Comment
Josh C. February 29, 2016
Hi Jamie, <br /><br />You're right that 4 pounds is a lot of mushrooms. This recipe was originally published to feed a large group (6-8 people), so feel free to cut the recipe in half if you are serving less people. In terms of how many batches, that depends on the size of the skillet that you are using, and the type of mushrooms that you are cooking. I suggest cooking the mushrooms in a single even layer in your skillet, and doing as many batches as necessary. Don't give in to temptation and overcrowd the pan. Each batch should take approximately 3-5 minutes. In between batches, you can wipe your skillet clean with a rag so that small leftover mushroom pieces do not burn in subsequent batches.
 
nsf February 26, 2016
Are you supposed to cut up the mushrooms for this recipe or leave them whole?
 
Author Comment
Josh C. February 28, 2016
Hi nfs,<br /><br />Thanks for the comment. I added a step in the recipe, clarifying how the mushrooms should be cleaned and cut.