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Cleaning Portobello Mushrooms

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
Last night I watched Dinner: Impossible and the chef gave instructions for cleaning Portobellos. Apart from ridding the 'shrooms of the gills, he wanted the crowns peeled to show the white of the 'shroom under the skin, saying that he wanted a "cleaner" taste (iirc). I'd never seen that done before. Is this a usual practice? Does it result in a cleaner, or different, taste than an unpeeled Portobello? Any suggestions on how to do implement this technique efficiently? Are there specific situations where this is a preferred treatment of the 'shrooms? When might it not be appropriate?

Thanks for any comments ...

Shel
post #2 of 23
I saw that, too, Shel.

My impression was that he wanted them white because he was using them in a salad. Otherwise only the stems and gills would have been discarded.

I've never found an easier way than how he instructed the lunch ladies. After scraping out the gills, just reach under the edge, then pinch and pull. the skin will come off in strips.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #3 of 23
I'm so glad someone is showing people to clean out the gills of portobellas. I have stopped ordering them in any restaurant because this is never done. The result is a slimey, gritty mushroom infused with the flavor of dirt.
Peeling the tops seems like a bit of overkill and might discourage the home cook from attempting to use these flavorful, meaty mushrooms.

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post #4 of 23
I agree with Foodnfoto: peeling is overkill. I am back from camping and experimented cooking on an open fire alot. I brought some huge portobellos to flame broil then sprinkle with some butter, black pepper and garlic powder (the only thing I had on hand). They were tasty but the gills were slimy... live and learn (I will take the gills off next time). Luc H.
I eat science everyday, do you?
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I eat science everyday, do you?
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post #5 of 23

Mushroom Peeling

Mushroom Peeling is one of those things that finer restaurants will do with almost all of their mushrooms - even creminis and white buttons. It is done the same way for all of those, and is indeed overkill.

Which of course begs the question about just how "impossible" are the meals that guy is making if he is taking the time to peel mushrooms?...

Anyway, the point about the gills is right - they must be cleaned out. There is another element they impart on a dish, and that is color. They will dye eveything they are mixed with black if you don't take them out. Some people think it is too much work to remove the gills, but that is a load of crap - and unlike peeling the tops, it is well worth the effort.
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post #6 of 23
Thread Starter 
If, as some have said, peeling improves the appearance and provides for a "cleaner" taste and nicer texture, and, if as you've said, it's "one of those things that finer restaurants will do," why is it overkill? If the objective is to put out the best product for your customers or guests, it would seem to me that there are times when the extra steps may be warranted.

Shel
post #7 of 23
If I am doing a dish with a cream sauce, I usually peel the mushrooms - it only takes a minute, and the tops are 'clean' and blemish free, which makes the resulting dish look 'cleaner'. I suspect it's just a personal preference, though.

I don't bother to peel them if I'm sauteeing, for instance, or adding to a dark sauce.
post #8 of 23
It all comes down to the level of attention to detail you want to use when presenting your dish. For a restaurant that is of the "fine dining" calibre, I wouldn't expect to see anything less. Those blemishes that are removed are basically remnants of the organic matter that the mushrooms forms from. And allbeit an earthy taste, there are some dishes that don't lend well to it. So yes imhpo it does lend to a cleaner fresher tasting mushroom when peeled.

As far as the gills go on a portobello, even the most casual of places should clean them. If I wanted to taste a hand full of dirt, I'd go to my back yard and have at it. Nothing ruins the flavor of that particular mushroom more than leaving the gills intact. Again JMHPO.
post #9 of 23
a teaspoon works best for scraping out the gills.
first time I've seen a P in imh(P)o, had to stop and figure out your a food professional thus P.....nice addition.

like peeling tomatoes or fileting tomatoes.....or brunoise veg......
I don't peel portobellos but then I don't use them for higher end menus.....most of those have wild shrooms.
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #10 of 23
I was looking forward to Shroom's comment here.

(... I don't peel portobellos but then I don't use them for higher end menus.....most of those have wild shrooms.....) obvious comment coming from the Queen of Shrooms (not to confuse her with the girl smurf).

Wink at you ShroomGirl.

Luc H
I eat science everyday, do you?
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I eat science everyday, do you?
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post #11 of 23

Re:

I like that show. The chef he was cooking with on that episode, took things a little too personal, ( I really liked seeing him on the grill sweating big time.) I love me some mushrooms.
post #12 of 23
Not the first time that the home-chef has demonstrated his/her resentment of Irvine's presence though lack of cooperation.

Just part of the challange, I guess.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #13 of 23
nope I'm not blue and my perferred cooking style is rustic.......comfy, clean clear flavors.....peeling portabellos=fussy fine dining......mostly enjoyable to consume but not to cook IMHPO.....and I'm so glad some of you out there get a thrill out of tall white hatness, we benefit in many ways. Give me morels, chanterelles, boletes, blk trumpets, hen & chicken of the woods and I'm a very happy girl.
cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #14 of 23
I'm not quite sure what portobello mushrooms are, they came in vogue in the states long after i left. But i always thought they were the kind of cultivated mushrooms that are brownish color, as opposed to white.
Here there are 2 primary cultivated mushrooms, champignon is what they sometimes call them, the white and the brown.
However, what i always knew is to buy them when the gills are still closed in. If you can see the gills, they are too old.
It never occurred to me to clean out the gills because i never bought mushrooms where you could see the gills.
As for the skin, why on earth would you like to take away the flavor of the mushroom??? Then buy the white ones, which have little flavor to begin with!
Good cuisine should be mainly concerned with flavor. The color should be integral to the dish, I mean, you don;t try to bleach black truffles do you? It would be ridiculous. The black has to be used to enhance the dish. That's my feeling, anyway.
"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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post #15 of 23

no one tells me how to clean the gills easily

post #16 of 23

WHAT IS THE EASIEST WAY TO CLEAN OUT THE GILLS OF A PORTABELO MUSHROOMK

post #17 of 23

Actually, Flossysep, somebody did. See Shroomgirl's post about teaspoons.

 

Anyway, the easiest way is to either break or cut out the stem. Then take a teaspoon and use the tip to scrape away the gills, being sure to get up under where the cap overhangs the base.

 

While you do want to discard the gills, the stems should be saved. If nothing else, use them to make a mushroom stock.

They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #18 of 23

THANKS FOR THE TEASPOON TIP/// LAST NITE I ACTUALLY CLEANED 5 OF THOSE PUPPIES AND THEN SAUTED THEM IN GRAPESEED OIL.  OH MY; THEY WERE SO GOOD. I AM A LOUSY COOK BUT EVEN MY 55 YR OLD DAUGHTER SAID THEY WERE GREAT.  BUT CLEANING THE GILLS OUT WERE TEDIOUS. I AM 87 AND I WAS STANDING AT THE COUNTER FOR ABOUT AN HOUR TRYING TO GET ALL THE GILLS OUT. I'D LIKE TO FIND A STORE THAT SELLS THEM ALREADY CLEANED.

post #19 of 23

Glad I could help, Flossy.

 

Friend Wife, for various reasons, can't stand for long periods. So she does a lot of the cleaning and prep work sitting down. That would never work for me, but she's comfortable doing it that way.

 

You might consider the same.

 

An hour for five seems excessive. Even with my insipient arthritis it only takes about a minute each. But be of good cheer, the first time is always the hardest, and the more of them you clean the faster and easier it will get.

 

I've never seen cleaned ones for sale. I suspect the labor costs would put the shrooms out of reach


Edited by KYHeirloomer - 12/17/11 at 6:36am
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #20 of 23

THANKS KY. I'LL TRY USIN A CHAIR NEXT TIME.  IT'S COL D HERE TODAY IN SO. CAL. SO I MADE A PRETTY GTOOD VEGETABLE SOUP  GOOD WAY TO CLEAN OUT THE FRIDGE

 

MERRY CHRISTMAS TO EVERYONE

post #21 of 23

The only time I ever peel the crowns is if I am marinating them and thats the only time and only portabellos.. Now I honestly cant tell it makes any difference in the marinated mushroom but its how I was trained so I do it out of habit and respect for the C.E.C.s I apprenticed under.. Once in a while Ill peel criminis is im doing a nice garnish for a steak dish as well.. But regular mushrooms in pastas or pizzas i dont even wash them.. i want all that earthy flavor i can get... only time i wash mushrooms is for salads.. then I just brush the tops with a damp foodservice cloth..

post #22 of 23

In the classical cuisine days of A. Escoffier mushroom peelings were used in many of his dishes. Most of these were obtained from peeling as well as turning mushrooms for garnish.

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #23 of 23

Mushroom trimmings---peels, stems, bits & pieces---are ideal for making mushroom stock. I save them in freezer bags until needed, then make a large quantity of it and can it in 1/2-pint jars.

They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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