Introduction: Finnish Fried Mushrooms (aka Mashed Mushrooms)
Paistetut Sienut- literally "fried mushrooms" is a traditional Finnish recipe. It's ideal for people who like mushrooms, and pretty good even if you don't yet know that you like mushrooms. It's vegetarian (or fungitarian?) but it uses milk and butter, so it is not vegan.
I first learned about this dish a few weeks ago from an old cookbook given to me by my aunt. I really dig Scandinavian culture and so I leapt at the chance to try some traditional recipes from the book.
I thought it was quite delicious. It doesn't look like it would be particularly appetizing, but looks can often be deceiving. It tastes exactly how you would expect fried mushrooms to taste (i.e. amazing), but better, and it has the texture reminiscent of mashed potatoes. For this reason, I have opted to re-name this recipe Mashed Mushrooms.
Step 1: Get What You Need
You're going to need a pretty big pan for this. Alternately you could scale down the recipe. The proportions below are meant for four servings.
- 1 pound of mushrooms
- 3 tablespoons of butter
- 1 medium onion
- 3-4 tablespoons of dried breadcrumbs (the kind you would use to bread chicken)
- 1 cup of milk
- salt and pepper
Step 2: Prepping the Ingredients
Take the mushrooms. Slice them up. You can either slice them into small mushroom chunks (as I did), or you can slice them longwise (just make sure to cut them very thinly)
Now take that onion and chop it up in to fine chunks. (Pro Tip: If you cry when chopping onions, it helps to take a small piece of onion and put it in your mouth. This doesn't seem to work for everyone, but it helps me a great deal, and you don't really have anything to lose by trying it.
Put a cup of milk in a pot and begin to heat it up. It will be needed shortly.
Step 3: Frying the Vegetables
Put the butter in the pan and let it melt. Throw in your mushrooms (all of them if you can, but if not all of them fit, they might do so later, since the mushrooms seem to shrink as they get cooked. You might decide that you can fit more in later, during other steps.)
Stir constantly until the mushrooms are beginning to turn a golden brown. Now toss in your onions and keeps stirring. Pour in your milk. Throw in your breadcrumbs. Cook until the milk begins to evaporate. If you find that you have too much milk, you can always throw in more crumbs to absorb them. You can't really have too many breadcrumbs mixed in.
Heat thoroughly, but slowly. You don't want it to get burned, but the heat will help the milk evaporate and leave behind... the parts of milk that are more solid? Frankly, I'm not sure what the milk leaves behind when it evaporates, but it tasted good, so that's fine with me.
Step 4: Time for Good Eatin's
That's pretty much it. Season it to your taste and enjoy.
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