Note: You can make this with ordinary white button or cremini mushrooms, but it's fun to try less familiar varieties. The larger mushrooms may need to be sliced. In today's recipe we've used a mix of shiitake, cremini, beech and oyster. From Beth Dooley.
• 2 lb. mixed cultivated fresh mushrooms (cremini, shiitake, oyster, etc.)
• 3 tbsp. unsalted butter, more as needed
• 1/4 c. finely chopped shallot
• 2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
• 2 small cloves garlic, minced
• 1/4 c. dry white wine or splash of white or red vinegar
• 1/2 c. chicken or vegetable stock
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
With a damp paper towel, wipe the mushrooms clean or quickly dunk in water and pat dry.
Heat a wide skillet over medium-high heat and add the butter, swirling the pan. When the butter begins to foam, toss in the shallots and mushrooms and cook, stirring, until the mushrooms have released their juices and are lightly browned, about 8 to 10 minutes.
Add the thyme and garlic and stir to coat. Season well with the salt and pepper and continue to sauté for one more minute. Then add the wine or vinegar and the stock and continue cooking until the liquid has reduced by half, about 5 to 8 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasonings.
Serve over polenta, on toast or toss with pasta.
Dried vs. fresh mushrooms: If you don't have fresh mushrooms, dried mushrooms work well in this recipe, too. Allow 3 ounces of dried mushrooms for 1 pound of fresh mushrooms. Place the dried mushrooms in a bowl and add enough hot water to cover by 3 inches and soak for 30 minutes. Drain and reserve the soaking liquid to use as stock. Pat the mushrooms dry and proceed with the recipe.