Seared Mushrooms and a Mushroom Melt
Seared mushrooms are accompanied by a bit of onion and white wine then tossed with scallions for added vibrancy before being combined with a variety of cheeses and turned into the ultimate grilled cheese sandwich. Make these exceptional seared mushrooms even if you're not a grilled cheese lover. You can keep them handy to put on steaks or burgers or wrapped in omelets or topping scrambled eggs or just plain on a fork. Adapted from Kevin at Closet Cooking
For the Seared Mushrooms:
- 1 1/2 pounds assorted mushrooms sliced (baby portabellas, chanterelles, button mushrooms, etc...)
- 1 tablespoon or more neutral oil such as canola, peanut, vegetable, etc...
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 of a small yellow onion diced very small
- 1 clove of garlic peeled and minced
- splash of white wine or stock
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 3 green onions green part only, thinly sliced
For the Mushroom Melt:
- 3/4 cup of seared mushrooms
- 1/2 cup grated assorted nice melting cheeses I used a mix of Kerrygold Blarney Castle, fontina and extra sharp Cheddar
- 2 slices hearty bread like rye or pumpernickel
- 1 tablespoon butter
To Make the Seared Mushrooms:
Place a heavy-bottomed skillet over medium high heat. When the pan is hot, add the oil and heat through until shimmery. Add the mushrooms (you can divide into batches to avoid overcrowding the pan if necessary) and a pinch of salt and use a spoon to distribute the mushrooms evenly in the pan. After you do that, don't stir the mushrooms for at least 1 minute (unless they start to smell or sound like they're cooking too quickly.) The goal is to develop a nicely browned surface on the mushrooms.
If you have to cook the mushrooms in batches, just move the previously cooked batch to the perimeter of the pan and add a little more oil before putting in the next batch of mushrooms with a pinch of salt.
When the mushrooms are flecked with brown, toss in the onion and garlic, stir and cook just until fragrant (about 1 minute or less), then add the white wine or stock to the hot pan and scrape up any brown bits that are stuck to the pan. Add the butter and cook, stirring, just until melted. Remove from the heat, taste for salt, then add pepper and any additional salt to taste.
Eat hot or store leftover mushrooms in individual portion sizes in the freezer for up to a month.
To Make the Mushroom Melt:
Toss the seared mushrooms and grated cheese together in a small bowl. Set aside.
Melt half of the butter in a heavy-bottomed skillet or griddle over medium heat. Place one piece of the bread on top of the melted butter, pile the mushroom cheese mixture on the bread, then place the remaining piece of bread on top. Let the sandwich cook and toast until the bottom piece of bread is golden brown. Lift the sandwich with a spatula and toss the remaining butter into the pan. Put your hand on top of the sandwich and carefully flip it over before lowering it to the pan (taking care not to burn your fingers!)
Toast for 1 minute, add a splash of water to the pan and cover for another minute to melt the cheese completely. Remove the lid and continue toasting the sandwich until the bottom is a deep golden brown. Transfer the finished sandwich to a cutting board to slice before plating and eating.