Mushrooms and maple are a match made in heaven. But you probably know that firsthand if you've ever chowed down on glazed mushroom skewers or snacked on sweetly spiced portobello jerky. While it's no surprise that maple syrup can give fungi a flavorful boost, often the liquid is used in the same tried-and-true ways. Rather than get stuck in a culinary rut, we have a solution — use maple as a marinade.
The ideal mix of sweet and savory, the reason why these ingredients work so well together is thanks to their opposing qualities. Since maple syrup is characterized by its caramelized flavors, it's the perfect ingredient to juxtapose meaty mushrooms. However, maple also offers subtle umami thanks to its nutty warmth, which can also work to highlight and complement woodsy-tasting fungi.
Aside from pleasing tastebuds, maple-infused mushrooms have a few other draws, such as their versatility. Any grade of maple syrup can be used, much like any mushroom variety. Where lighter liquids will have slightly buttery notes that make them a fit for mild button mushrooms or honeyed beeches, darker and more toffee-forward syrups will pair better with gamey maitakes or earthy king oysters. Likewise, the simplicity of the recipe is another benefit as the marination process is only a matter of whisking and waiting.
How To Make Maple-Marinated Mushrooms
Depending on the variety used, certain mushrooms can be left raw. For those that require cooking, give fungi a quick boil and blanch. Additionally, while you can leave the fungi whole, slicing or quartering them allows the mushrooms to fully absorb the marinade. Thankfully, crafting the marinade isn't complicated.
All you need to do is whisk together some olive oil with a few tablespoons of vinegar or lemon juice, and a healthy glug of maple syrup until everything is well combined. At this point, you can add minced garlic, sliced shallots, chili flakes, or herbs like thyme leaves for increased depth. Once you're happy with the flavor, pour the liquid over the top of the mushrooms and let them rest. When the mushrooms have developed a sweet tang, they're ready to be enjoyed.
Packing enough flavor to be savored on their own, juicy maple-marinated mushrooms are a great addition to tame all things savory. Beyond charcuterie boards and antipasto platters, they can be layered on top of steak filets and grilled burgers. Likewise, their acidic tang also gives them an edge to cut through the richness of an extravagant pizza, toasted crostini, or grilled cheese sandwich. Not to mention that maple-marinated mushrooms can also be the star of stir-fries and pasta dishes. With so many suitable pairings, these mushrooms might be the start of a long-lasting love for maple marinades.
Read the original article on Tasting Table.