Do I need to clean mushrooms from the skins before cooking?
Champignons are considered to be the most popular mushrooms in cooking. They are part of many soups, pies, main dishes, salads, sauces and even souffles.
This popularity is due to the beneficial properties of this product, its all-season availability and safety, since most of the champignons are grown in artificially created conditions. Below you will find out if you need to clean the mushrooms before cooking.
In cooking, there are such controversial points regarding the preparation of certain dishes or the preparation of certain products, in which not only experienced housewives, but also eminent chefs cannot come to a common opinion. These moments include the preparation of mushrooms before cooking.
Someone advises soaking them for two hours in water, changing it at least twice, while others advise you only to brush the rubbish from the caps and shorten the legs slightly. As in any dispute, the truth is somewhere in the middle.
Since even mushrooms grown in “sterile home” conditions survive transportation to the store, and from it to the hostess’s kitchen, they must be cleaned.
The process of properly cleaning these popular mushrooms involves several steps:
- Cleaning from dust and litter. Whether store or forest trophies of quiet hunting, they can be stained with earth, pieces of mycelium, small blades of grass and other things. You can get rid of all this by simply wiping each specimen with a brush, a damp cloth, or a foam washcloth;
- Cutting the legs. On each mushroom it is necessary to update the place of the cut of the leg. And here the rule is valid, the more time passed from the moment of gathering to the beginning of preparation, the shorter the leg should remain. At the same stage it is necessary to cut off all the darkened and tainted places;
- Cleaning hats. This is the most controversial point in all the preparations for cooking. Most cooks are inclined to believe that on large mushrooms the peel on caps is rather dense and does not soften well in the process of preparation, therefore it is better to remove it. To determine which cap should be removed, and with which not, it is not necessary to measure their diameter. To do this, simply try to move the skin with your finger. If it is easily behind, then it should be removed.
With the seeming simplicity, preparation and cleaning of champignons is a rather laborious process. But experienced mushroom pickers have come up with enough ways to speed up and simplify their work.
On large caps, with the edge of a knife (or other sharp object suitable for this purpose), pry the pelt and move it towards the center, moving in a circle, removing the entire skin with stripes. Stiffening the skin you need to carefully monitor so as not to cut off too much of the fruit body.
Quickly to cope with the cleaning is also possible with the help of a square piece with sides of 10 cm of coarse sandpaper. It will easily remove the skin, almost without touching the cap itself. But this method has a small drawback — the paper will often have to be washed in water so that it does not clog.
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Even the most thorough cleaning can not cope with all the pollution as washing. But champignons quickly absorb moisture, so this process must also be approached deliberately.
Mushrooms cannot be soaked for a long time (an exception can be made only for forest champignons), since they, like a sponge, are fed with water and will lose their delicious mushroom flavor. Rinse properly cleaned mushrooms under running water and immediately put on a towel that will absorb all the excess moisture from them.
Fully prepared for further cooking mushrooms must be sorted by size. So small and medium-sized specimens are ideal for pickling, and those that are larger can be used for stewing or frying. Big mushrooms must be cut into pieces. So they will not only get ready faster, but will also be able to better reveal their mushroom flavor.
On the legs of large champignons there is often a skirt, which is absolutely edible and harmless, so there is no need to cut it, if it does not hurt the aesthetic ideas about the type of the finished dish.
You can get rid of the microorganisms on the forest champignons and easily remove the skin of them with your hands by scalding them with boiling water.
Also, in order to disinfect this product and get rid of possible toxins in the water for washing, you can add a little vinegar or lemon juice (100 ml per 10 liters of water).