Mushrooms

How To Slice Mushrooms

 

How To Slice Mushrooms

Although this technique may look simple, slicing mushrooms is an advanced knife skill because it requires complete mastery over your guide hand technique.

When slicing mushrooms, always use the tip of your chef’s knife. This is where a well-balanced knife comes into play. A knife with good balance will allow you to move the tip of your knife up and down in a rapid, fluid motion.

I also like to change my grip to a modified two-finger grip with my index finger resting on top of the blade. Many people characterize this grip as poor technique, but I find that when used correctly, your blade follows the motion of your finger, giving you greater accuracy.

For the motion, move your wrist up and down, and remember to stay relaxed. If you tense your wrist, not only will it start to cramp, but it will also slow down your chopping speed. Your guide hand is there to guide your blade, as you rapidly move it up and down.

As long as your keep your knife grip relaxed and originate the blade movement from your wrist, you will astonish all your family and friends with the speed at which you can slice mushrooms.
This post is part of our ongoing Culinary Knife Skills Video Series, which teaches you a wide array of knife skills used in professional kitchens. For more information, you can also view our How To Cook Video Index.

How To Clean And Slice A Portobello Mushroom | Video

 

How To Clean And Slice A Portobello Mushroom

How to clean a portobello mushroom step one
The portobello mushroom is a fully-grown Crimino mushroom which is an un-blanched version of the white button mushroom, commonly found in supermarkets. Although blanching usually refers to par cooking, in the agricultural industry it refers to growing produce in the absences of light, not allowing it to produce any color.

Because it’s an older version of a mushroom, the cap is spread out the “gills” are fully exposed. This leads to the mushroom slightly drying out, which in turn concentrates its flavors and gives it a sought after meaty texture.

To properly prep, start by removing the stem. This can be done by simply holding the cap in one hand and the stem in the other; give the stem a firm twist and it will come right off. The stem is removed because it is quite fibrous; however, this does not mean it should be thrown out. It’s a great addition to stock and when diced or finely sliced, adds a nice element to long simmered soups and stews.
How to clean a portobello mushroom step two
Next, remove the black gills on the underside of the mushroom cap by scraping with the edge of a spoon. The gills are generally removed because their dark color will leach into your dish and unlike the cap itself, has a very mushy and un-appealing texture.
How to clean a portobello mushroom step three
An optional step, if you want to your portobello cap to lay flatter so you can slice more uniformly, is to remove the outer edge that once helped to hold onto its gills.
How to clean a portobello mushroom step four
Once the outer rim is removed the portobello can be julienned and diced for sautés, ravioli fillings or accompaniments to pastas.
How to clean a portobello mushroom step five
Although the above technique finishes with the slicing of the portobello cap, I usually prefer applications that allow me to keep the cap whole, which offers more drama and visual appeal. You’ll often find portobello caps whole, brushed with olive oil and grilled for portobello sandwiches.

One of my favorite dishes ever done with a whole portobello cap was by my good friend Brian Motola. He first stuffed the cap with a mixture of goat cheese and herbs. Next he coated the whole thing with flour, egg and panko breadcrumbs. He then fried it to a crispy golden brown, sliced it into wedges, and served it over a pool of spicy marinara and a drizzle of good olive oil. Simple and excellent.

 

This post is part of our ongoing Culinary Knife Skills Video Series, which teaches you a wide array of knife skills used in professional kitchens. For more information, you can also view our How To Cook Video Index.

Sous Vide (Crispy Skin) Chicken Breast with Spring Vegetables

This video demonstrates how we prepare and cook our sous vide chicken breast that we're currently serving with sauted spring vegetables and a reduced shallot jus.

The chicken breast is first brined for 24 hours in a 5% brine and then rinsed. Next, the chicken breast is vacuum packed individually and cooked sous vide in 60ºC/140ºF water bath for 4 hours. On "the pickup," the chicken breast is cut out of the sous vide package and the skin is pressed into rice flour and then pan fried in chicken fat.

What makes this sous vide chicken breast great, is normally, chicken is cooked to an internal temperature of 165ºF, which makes it safe to eat but will also dry out the meat. But salmonella and other food born illness can also be killed at 140ºF if held at that temperature for the proper amount of time.

To pasteurize the chicken breast at this temperature, you'll need to wait until the breast reaches an internal temperature of 140ºF and then hold it there for 20 minutes. The breast can also be pasteurize at a "medium rare" internal temp of 136ºF if held there for 30 minutes. Although with an internal temp of 136ºF, the breast meat is still slightly pink which will most likely get the chicken sent back in a restaurant. At an internal temp of 140ºF, the breast is white all the way through but still extremely moist and tender.

The 4 hour cooking time in the circulating bath will ensure that the breast has spent a prolonged period of time at pasteurization temperature, making the breast safe to consume.

Related Techniques

 

This post is part of our ongoing Completed Dish Video Series, which shows you how to combine multiple techniques into a restaurant quality dish. For more information, you can also view our How To Cook Video Index.