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Sunday, November 30, 2014

Smažené žampióny: Czech Fried Mushrooms

A great savory Czech appetizer or even main course are mushrooms. A commonly served mushroom dish is Smazene zampiony or fried mushrooms. These tasty little  nuggets pair nicely with a cold pilsner or even a glass of wine. As much as I enjoy tasting deep fried foods, I am not a big fan of the deep frying process in the kitchen given the potential mess involved. Also, if I am going to break out the deep fryer or iron skillet for frying, I will usually have several deep fried items in mind to make the effort worth the clean up. For example, if I deep fry mushrooms, I will also consider coating and frying up some zucchini, cauliflower, and even cheese. (Please check out my other post on Czech fried cheese). When deep frying appetizers or even chicken, I prefer to cook with my fry daddy kept in the garage. I will set up a portable table and fry away in my garage which keeps the odor of the oil out of the home. Fried mushrooms are a hit in my home and these go nicely with a sauce accompaniment such as tartar or ranch dressing. This recipe is a slightly different recipe than other Czech recipes found in different cook books. Two notable differences with my technique is that I prefer to keep the mushroom stems attached and I also prefer to substitute pilsner in my batter instead of water. These are a great snack that require very little effort in preparation, but more work involved in the clean up stage. If whole white  button mushrooms are not available, feel free to experiment with similar mushrooms such as cremini.

Czech Fried Mushrooms (2-3 appetizer servings)

8 ounces - Fresh whole button mushrooms
2 cups breadcrumbs
1 cup pilsner beer (or water)
1 cup flour
1 egg
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon thyme
Peanut or Canola Oil

1.    Clean  (wipe) mushrooms.
2.    Whisk beer and egg together in bowl; work in flour until batter smooth
3.    In a second bowl, combine breadcrumbs and salt/pepper/thyme seasoning.
4.    In a skillet or heavy pan, add at least half inch of cooking oil (peanut or canola) and heat to 375 degrees.
5.    Place mushrooms in egg mixture, then roll in bread crumbs.
6.    Place coated mushroom in fryer. Fry until golden brown on both sides.
7.    Remove and place on paper towel lined plate to cool slightly.

8.    Serve with dipping sauce of choice.

3 comments:

Kim Love said...

These are one of my favorite apetizers. They are good with seafood sauce as well.

Kim Love said...

These are one of my favorite apetizers. They are good with seafood sauce as well.

Kim Love said...

These are one of my favorite apetizers. They are good with seafood sauce as well.