Steamed Hericium Mushrooms with Drawn Butter and Fried Herbs
8 ounces of butter might seem like a lot, but it's necessary
Course: Appetizer, Snack
Keyword: Drawn butter, Hericium, Steamed
2sticks8oz salted butter (or substitute ghee and skip the clarifying process altogether)
Fresh squeezed lemon juiceto taste
Small handful of low-moisture herbs that will crisp when frying sageoregano, or parsley are great here, (especially sage and parsley)
Finishing saltlike Maldon or Falksalt for serving (optional)
Anytime in advance clarify the butter (In restaurants I heat a pot of butter, generally a 50lb block just until it melts, then I let it sit overnight to separate). Heat the butter in a small pan like a butter warmer or even just melt it in a measuring cup like a pyrex very gently in the microwave.
Let the butter sit until you can see the separation of the solids and fat, then carefully ladle or pour out the fat. The solids can be added to brown butter, discarded, mixed with coffee in the blender, or whatever-they're a byproduct. See alternate option for clarified brown butter below.
Whack the clove of garlic with the back of a knife, a rock, (I use a flat, round piece of olive wood) or the meaty part of your palm. Warm the butter with the garlic just until it sizzles a bit, then cool. Discard the garlic.
To serve, clean the mushrooms and break into morsel sizes pieces about the size of a walnut half. Steam the mushrooms until cooked and hot throughout. Meanwhile, just before serving, heat the butter with the herbs until the herbs start to fry, moniter the heat so that they frizzle and crisp, but do not burn.
To plate, divide the steamed mushrooms into small piles between 4 shallow, warmed soup saucers or bowls, spooning some of the butter and fried herbs over each serving. Serve immediatley with seed-less lemon wedges and flaky salt on the side.
Alternate Method with Browned butter If the thought of discarding butter solids seems wasteful, you can always do this with browned butter. Warm the butter gently, until the solids start to brown and the butter smells like nuts. Scrape the bottom of the pan gently with a spoon to loosen the browned bits, you'll want those in the finished product to add flavor and perfume the butter. If you want to use the brown butter method, whole fried sage leaves are a great garnish.Alternate Method with Whole Fried Leaves of Herbs Like I mentioned above, whole fried herbs would be a great garnish too, and they can be prepared in advance, as much as up to a few hours (some cooks will leave them out for days). whole leaves of Italian parsley and sage are the best for this, just cook them gently in the butter until crisp, then remove and drain on paper towels and store in a container until needed. The herbs can also be shallow-fried in a pan.