This Hungarian treat (“gomba fej rantva”) that appeared often in restaurants and home entertainment in the last century can be updated with creative mayo dips.
small button or cremini mushrooms (about 325-425 grams)
seasoned breadcrumbs (about 1 cup)
1 cup of vegetable oil
Ensure that the mushrooms are clean. Cut (and discard) a thin slice off the base. Dip each mushroom into the beaten egg. Then coat in seasoned breadcrumbs. "Deep fry" in about ¾” of fairly hot oil - first on one side and then briefly flipped to the other side. The mushroom is edible raw, so you are frying these only to get a nice colour. Additional salt can be sprinkled on them as they come out of the frying oil.
Breadcrumbs should be as fresh as possible - make at home or purchase from your local bakery. Some bakeries sell seasoned breadcrumbs, but you can make your own with your favourite flavour profile. For 1 cup of breadcrumbs add any/all of the following: 1/4 tsp dried thyme (or 1/2 tsp fresh, chopped), 1/4 tsp dried, crushed rosemary (or 1/2 tsp fresh, chopped fine), 1/2 tsp dried basil and/or oregano, 1 tsp dried parsley, 1 tsp garlic powder, a pinch of nutmeg, sage, and salt to taste - and also consider sprinkling salt on freshly fried mushrooms. Depending upon your mayo dip plans, add a touch of heat to the breadcrumbs with a pinch of cayenne. Although this is Hungarian, best not to add paprika to the breadcrumbs, since it burns when in contact with high heat.
For optimum control I tend to cook only 4-5 at a time and place them on paper towels as they are removed from the oil.
A spider or slotted spoon is great for quick removal from the oil
These are best when made/served fresh.
Serve with mayo dip(s). In Hungary that might be mayo mixed with some creamed horseradish – but one can get creative - and offer guests a small selection. Mayo Dips are all the rage at trend-setting Brooklyn's Smorgasburg. Mayo blended with avocado or guacamole, sriracha, curry, mango, caramelized onion - you are limited only by your imagination and taste buds. Enjoy!
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With a nod to Joseph Campbell’s advice to “follow your bliss”, Diane has combined her passion for technology, the bliss of cooking, eating and sharing love through food – into a blog focusing on new and old recipes, plus many other resources for new / experienced cooks and food enthusiasts. She is based in the GTHA (Greater Toronto / Hamilton Area) and Niagara Peninsula.
Thank you to all of the bloggers who took part in our “Appetizer Spotlight” contest! The winning recipe will be announced on September 14th and will be featured at the Mushrooms Canada table at FBC2015 in October. See you there!