by April Reinhardt
(last updated October 10, 2012)
Although you will find fresh mushrooms in the produce and vegetable section of your grocery store, mushrooms are not vegetables. They are used in conjunction with other vegetables, as well as eaten alone. The chances of eating a poisonous mushroom purchased from a grocery store are very rare, since all mushrooms labeled for consumption are grown and cultivated on mushroom farms. Fresh mushrooms can be quite expensive, while canned, cooked mushrooms are a little less expensive. If you plan on adding mushrooms to a stew, you can save money by purchasing the cooked, canned variety. If you plan on using fresh mushrooms for cooking, follow these guidelines for preparing them:
Save the stems and, if they are hard, peel away the outer skin and then you can use the stems as well as the mushrooms caps. Likewise, if the remainder of the mushroom is hard, peel away the outer skin and then use the entire mushroom.
Once you've cleaned your mushrooms, slice, chop, or dice them and cook according to your recipe's directions. In our house, we love cooked mushrooms. I simply clean and quarter them, place them into a small saucepan with one stick of oleo, and then allow them to simmer until soft brown, yet still a little firm. Mushrooms are delicious and nutty cooked that way.
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