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How to fry mushrooms

Late one night, in the declining years of the seventies, after watching a midnight episode of Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman, a tiny, bearded gnome of a chef, I believe from the west coast, appeared on my television screen, giggling, joyously hopping up and down and exonerating in a high pitched voice, that what he was about to demonstrate, would not only, change how I forever looked at the common mushroom, it would also change my life.

Being unsure if this truly was a cooking show or possibly some imagined, reverberating, continuance of Mary Hartman, I watched, as the tiny chef carefully snapped the stems from the caps of plain white mushrooms.
"It is very important that, no part of the stem remain within the cap, nor that the cap itself, is damaged or cracked during the removal process. Any poorly disembowelled caps should be discarded to the side with the now dislodged stems.", he warned.
"For the novice, long narrow stems are more easily, removed and should be considered preferential, when selecting your mushrooms, if you purchase them in bulk.", he continued.
As an aside and as an expert mushroom de-stemmer with over thirty years experience, with practice, speed and the right angling of the mushroom even the shortest and chubbiest of thumbs can cleanly snap the shortest and chubbiest of stems.
"It does not matter the size of the mushroom cap, other than the larger the cap, the greater the growth of gills that will release the nirvana-like nectar that we are trying to create, transcending the mushroom from a tasteless fungal growth that is added to salads or pizzas as bulk, into a delectable, mouthwatering, vial for its precious bodily fluids.", he giggled.
For which I assumed he was Hindu and like myself, a fan of Peter Sellers movies.

As a second aside, although size does not matter, in this case, caps of a similar or consistent size are best, as the cooking time varies greatly between large and small caps and the point here is to eat the mushrooms as soon as they are ready.

"In reality, when the aroma of a perfectly transcended mushroom cap hits your nasal passages, you cannot stop yourself from drinking its sweet nectar and devouring it's now deliciously, meaty receptacle. So have all of them ready at the same time." in his words.
"Place the mushroom caps upside down in a heated frying pan containing a light, preferably unseasoned, cooking oil with a setting of medium to slightly medium/high."
"At this time, one could then slice and dice the discarded stems and if ruined during the de-stemming, any discarded caps and carefully place them in between the cooking mushrooms, being careful not to drop them into the mushroom cap itself, which could then interfere with the release of fluids".

"Standing back, you will, after a minute or so, start to see a honey-yellow daub start to form at the base of the cap which will grow into a bubble and eventually form an clear amber pool of liquid, right to the brim of the cap, at which time the transcendence and cooking time is complete".

Taking over at this time, remove the frying pan from the heat and lets prepare for the most difficult process of the task, which as a reminder, is How to fry mushrooms.
"With the precision and steadiness of hand that is more often associated with a pediatric-neurosurgeon, remove each now filled mushroom cap, one at a time, from the frying pan, placing them onto a plate, without spilling any of the amber, nectar."
Unfortunately there will be a small crust formation on the bottom of the upside mushroom, which will stick to the now cooling frying pan and you typically cannot use a spatula to remove the mushrooms and expect the meet the desired no spills rule.

For best results I would suggest the use of a tablespoon to transport the mushroom and a fork to coax the mushroom on and then off the spoon.


They are ready to sip and eat. I hope that you enjoy.


You will note in the shaky gif above, that there is a reddish spot in each of the sizzling or the transcending, mushrooms. Do not expect this, I was drinking scotch that night and decided to recklessly add a drop of Tai chilly sauce. Luckily it neither added to nor reduced from the delectable, mouthwatering, vial with its precious bodily fluids.

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