Best tips for Portobello prep?

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Portobello mushrooms should be wiped with a damp cloth instead of rinsed, and any soft or wrinkled ones should be discarded. They absorb oil during cooking, so use only a thin layer, and removing the black scales on the back can decrease the intensity of their flavor.

Portobello mushrooms, which are simply large Crimi mushrooms, can make a fantastic addition to a variety of recipes, as well as stand on their own as a side dish or even as an appetizer. Some of the best tips for preparing them are to scrape off any wrinkled or soft mushrooms and wipe them with a damp cloth rather than running them under cold water. Avoid adding too much oil during the cooking process, as mushrooms tend to absorb it, and removing the black scales on the back can make them more palatable to those who prefer less flavorful mushrooms.

Before you start working with mushrooms, make sure that they are all fresh. It’s relatively easy to tell when it comes to portobellos: If it’s firm, smooth, and smells like clean dirt, it’s at its peak. Throw out any that don’t meet these criteria, including any that are floppy, significantly wrinkled, or smell bad.

One of the biggest mistakes people make when cooking with any type of mushroom is running them under cold water to clean them. This causes most, including portobellos, to stiffen, inhibiting the browning process during cooking. Instead, wipe the mushroom with a damp paper towel or a clean, wet cloth to remove any visible dirt. That way, you’ll get the best flavor and texture in whatever dish you’re using them for.

Portobello mushrooms can fool you during the cooking process, seemingly soaking up every last bit of oil in the pan and potentially making you think even more oil needs to be added. Although portobellos tend to absorb a good deal of oil during the cooking process, they also release a lot as they continue to brown. By adding more oil, it’s possible that the final dish becomes overly greasy, and they typically don’t need more than what you add in the first place to cook properly. Instead, lightly spray the pan with cooking spray to prevent sticking if it dries out after initially adding oil or butter, and add only a thin layer to any Portobellos you plan to roast or grill.

The black scales on the back of these mushrooms are responsible for much of their rich, earthy flavor. Unlike porcini mushrooms, which typically get most of their flavor from the seasonings and other ingredients they’re cooked with, portobello mushrooms have a unique flavor all their own; while this is preferred by many people, for some it can be overwhelming. Removing the scales, which can be done by scraping them off with the edge of a spoon, can decrease some of the mushroom’s intensity, making it safer to serve to fussy children or at gatherings where not everyone may enjoy strong-flavored mushrooms. Even if you love the natural flavor of portobellos, removing the scales can also be a good idea for recipes where you don’t want the flavor to overpower that of other ingredients, such as when the mushroom is used in place of bread.

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