Let’s talk mushrooms for a moment, especially since mushrooms are at the heart of this dish. Did you know that white button mushrooms and Cremini mushrooms are actually the same species of mushroom? Yeah, me either.
As it turns out, all button mushrooms were actually brown until 1926, when a mushroom farmer in Pennsylvania found a cluster of white buttons growing in his mushroom beds. He figured out a way to reproduce the white cluster and began selling a new variety of Button Mushroom that sold for less than the Cremini.
The next question is what about flavor? Are the cheaper White Mushrooms the same when it comes to taste and texture and earthy goodness of Mushrooms. According to research, the loss of color did result in a loss of flavor. When sautéed, the darker mushroom developed a deeper, more complex flavor than the white mushrooms. Okay, but what about raw? While the differences were less pronounced in raw mushrooms, there remained a difference in both texture and flavor. If you are looking for a bolder mushroom flavor, go for the browns.
Now that you know the facts regarding button mushrooms, I say go for the gusto. These mushrooms can be served as a start to a delicious meal or along side a number of dishes such as chicken. They can even be the final touches to a grilled steak. It’s up to you. All I know is that anything slow-cooked means deep flavors and lots of free time to concentrate on other aspect of a meal.
Italian Slow-Cooked Mushrooms
1 lb medium fresh Cremini Mushrooms
1 large Onion, sliced
1/2 cup Butter, melted
1 envelope Dry Italian Salad Dressing Mix
In a 3-qt. slow cooker, layer mushrooms and onion. Combine butter and salad dressing mix; pour over vegetables. Cover and cook on low for 4-5 hours or until vegetables are tender. Serve with a slotted spoon.