how to wash cremini (or white button) mushrooms
Note: My apologies to the purists who do not agree with washing mushrooms. While I wish I could either brush the dirt off of each individual mushroom with a special mushroom brush the remove their outer layer with a small pairing knife, I fear I would go twitchy or, worse, insane, in the process. Washing them quickly, as I do here, prevents the mushrooms from absorbing water (or at least, the amount they absorb is negligible) and it keeps me sane, which I think my girls really appreciate.
Besides, I grew up watching my mother mind-numbingly clean mushrooms using BOTH methods. She would first clean each mushroom by removing the outer skin with a small paring knife and then she would gently brush each inside with a special tiny brush for what seemed like more time than I would ever want to spend doing just about anything…except for maybe lounging on a hammock by the ocean in Fiji. And for all of that, we’d still get that occasional ‘crunch’ from some grain of dirt that even all of her attention, and believe me when I say she was super anal retentive about the process, didn’t get rid of.
For said obvious reasons, I wash mine.
And here is how I do it.
So…if you’re up for it, quickly drop them in a bowl of cold water that has a few tablespoons of distilled vinegar in it.
Quickly remove them from the bowl and give them a quick rinse.
Place them on a kitchen towel to blot, preferably with the caps facing down…unlike the little pesky mushroom below who so wanted to be an individual.
With a paper towel, gently pat them on the top to absorb any water. Allow them to rest and dry on the kitchen towel for at least 10 minutes, preferably longer. Quarter or slice them, as needed.