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Fried mushrooms-there’s no better compliment to nearly every main dish, in my opinion. I found this gem of a recipe recently in a very old cookbook compilation and in making it, realized I’ve been frying mushrooms incorrectly for 18+ years!

This method was first published in “English Housewifry” (sexy title) by Elizabeth Moxon, published in 1764. (Scroll down to the bottom for the verbatim title page description of the book-it’s really flowery and awesome)! Elizabeth says you have to boil the mushrooms before frying them (did everyone know that except me?) Turns out, that was the key to making the best fried mushrooms ever.

Here’s how the instructions appear in Elizabeth’s cookbook:
Take the largest and freshest flaps you can get, skin them and take out the gills, boil them in a little salt and water, then wipe them dry with a cloth; take the eggs and beat them very well, the wheat-flour, and a little pepper and salt, then dip in your mushrooms and fry them in butter. They are proper to lie about stew’d mushrooms or any made dish.

• 1 pound mushrooms
• 2 eggs
• ½ cup flour
• Salt, pepper, spices to taste
• 4 tablespoons butter


First, slice the mushrooms.

Place them in saucepan about half full of water, already boiling with a little salt added to the mix. Boil for five minutes. Drain and pat dry.

In a bowl, beat the eggs. In a second bowl, mix the flour and whatever spices you want to give it flavor-I used a dash of salt, a teaspoon of pepper, and about 2 teaspoons of my favorite Penzey’s Fox Point.

Meanwhile, heat the butter in a saucepan, set at just below medium. When the butter is melted and sizzling, use a fork to stab about five of the mushrooms in a row. Dip them in the eggs and then the flour and slide them into the pan of butter.

Saute’ the mushrooms for about five minutes until the coating is just brown. Serve!

The mushrooms tasted like butter-so good! I hope you enjoy!

PS. Here’s the title page description of Elizabeth’s cookbook:
Exemplified In above Four Hundred and Fifty Receipts, Giving Directions in most Parts of Cookery; And how to prepare various Sorts of Soops, Cakes, Made-Dishes, Creams, Pastes, Jellies, Pickles, Made-Wines, &c.With Cuts for the orderly placing the Dishes and Courses; also Bills of Fare for every Month in the Year; and an alphabetical Index to the Whole. A Book necessary for Mistresses of Families, higher and lower Women Servants, and confined to Things Useful, Substantial and Splendid, and calculated for the Preservation of Health, and upon the Measures of Frugality , being the Result of thirty Years Practice and Experience .By Elizabeth Moxon. With An Appendix containing,Upwards of Sixty Receipts, of the most valuable Kind, communicated to the Publisher by several Gentlewomen in the Neighbourhood, distinguished by their extraordinary Skill in Housewifry.

Brevity was not her strong suite, apparently.