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    « Removing Garlic Odor | Main | Testing Your Metal »

    Jun 15, 2005

    Comments

    An over 8 year old conversation going here. Thanks for posting this. It was a relief to read it as the question is on the back burner of my mind going on decades. Until I read Jayashree's question - isnt it best to rinse than soak given pesticide residue? Or maybe they're so absorbent that the toxic has already soaked in.

    I'm not a very sophisticated cook so I only ever use white button or Crimini mushrooms. I wash them quickly in a large bowl of water then pour them into a strainer to get rid of the water and finish by "drying" them in a salad spinner. The spinner works amazingly well to remove any water left behind.

    What if mild insecticides have been sprayed on the mushrooms? Isn't it safer to wash them. And the button mushrooms look so dirty, even the packaged ones. The dirt doesnt come off with mild rinsing. so what do you do?

    We picked elkhorm mushrooms on our farm in Missouri today & could someone tell me how you should clean & cook elkhorn mushrooms??
    Thank-you in advance!!

    Thanks!! I'm so tired of wiping the little buggers!

    Is it necessary to remove the gills in mushrooms while cooking?

    Crystal,
    I live in SW Oregon and pick 100s of lbs of chanterelles each year - Both Harold McGee and your sous chef are correct - there is absolutely no way you could use most chanterelles fresh from the woods w/o washing them clean. And in my experience, they do not soak up additional water from doing so. Chanterelles should undergo a "dry saute" to cook, during which they will release a good deal of water, and then as that water is evaporated, the flavors will concentrate, and the chanterelle dries out and softens. At this point, you can add butter to the pan and finish the cooking, or use them in any way you wish.

    My sous chef forced me to wash chantrelles today. I almost cried when my nice saute turned into soup. In complete denial he told me that It was the heat of my pan and not the washing that was to blame. Then quoted a famous celebrity chefs exparament.
    When working in a restaurant I dont have an hour to lay out my mushrooms to dry after a rinse and though some mushrooms seem to have no problem with a quick rinse from personal experience dont wash your chantrelles.

    I usually find the gills on button mushrooms to be closed, so I'm not surprised by McGee's experiment if those were the mushrooms he used. Try doing that on $25 per pound chanterelles and you'll never wash your mushrooms again! Many mushrooms, especially those considered choice, are like sponges. I'll rinse the button mushrooms but never oyster or chanterelles.

    ----------------

    For an alternate take on cleaning mushrooms, check out "Cleaning Mushrooms" by William Rubel, Author and Cook at
    http://www.williamrubel.com/Mushrooms/cleaning.html

    Dave
    KitchenSavvy

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