This section is from the book "Studies of American Fungi: Mushrooms, Edible, Poisonous, Etc.", by George Francis Atkinson. Also available from Amazon: Studies of American Fungi: Mushrooms, Edible, Poisonous, Etc..
The wild or uncultivated Agaricus campestris, which is usually picked in open fields, will cook in less time than those grown in caves and sold in our markets during the winter and spring. Cut the stems close to the gills; these may be put aside and used for flavoring sauces or soups. Wash the mushrooms carefully, keeping the gills down; throw them into a colander until drained.
To each pound, allow two ounces of butter. Put the butter into a saucepan, and when melted, not brown, throw in the mushrooms either whole or cut into slices; sprinkle over a teaspoonful of salt; cover the saucepan closely to keep in the flavor, and cook very slowly for twenty minutes, or until they are tender. Moisten a rounding tablespoonful of flour in a little cold milk; when perfectly smooth, add sufficient milk to make one gill; stir this into the mushrooms, add a salt-spoon of white pepper, stir carefully until boiling, and serve at once. This makes a fairly thick sauce. Less flour is required when they are to be served as a sauce over chicken, steak, or made dishes.
* The recipes for Agaricus are intended for the several species of this genus (Psalliota).
Cut the stems close to the gills; wash the mushrooms and dry them with a soft piece of cheesecloth; put them on the broiler gills up. Put a piece of butter, the size of a marrowfat pea, in the center of each; sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Put the broiler over the fire skin side down; in this way, the butter will melt and sort of baste the mushrooms. Have ready squares of neatly toasted bread; and, as soon as the mushrooms are hot on the skin side, turn them quickly and broil about two minutes on the gill side. Five minutes will be sufficient for the entire cooking. Dish on toast and serve at once.
Cut the stem close to the gills; wash and dry as directed for broiling. Put them into a pan, and pour over a very little melted butter, having gill sides up; dust with salt and pepper, run into a hot oven for twenty minutes. While these are panning, toast sufficient bread to hold them nicely; put it onto a hot platter, and just as the mushrooms are done, cover the bread with hot milk, being careful not to have too much or the bread will be pasty and soft. Dish the mushrooms on the toast, putting the skin side up, pour over the juices from the pan, and serve at once.
These are exceedingly good served on buttered toast without the milk, and will always take the place of broiled mushrooms.
Wash, dry the mushrooms, and cut them into slices. To each pound allow two ounces of butter. Put the butter in the chafing dish, when hot put in the mushrooms, sprinkle over a teaspoonful of salt, cover the dish, and cook slowly for five minutes, stirring the mushrooms frequently; then add one gill of milk. Cover the dish again, cook for three minutes longer, add the beaten yolks of two eggs, a dash of pepper, and serve at once. These must not be boiled after the eggs are added; but the yolk of egg is by far the most convenient form of thickening when mushrooms are cooked in the chafing dish.
Under the Glass Cover or "Bell" with Cream. - With a small biscuit cutter, cut rounds from slices of bread; they should be about two and a half inches in diameter, and about a half inch in thickness. Cut the stems close to the gills from fresh mushrooms; wash and wipe the mushrooms. Put a tablespoonful of butter in a saucepan; when hot, throw in the mushrooms, skin side down; cook just a moment, and sprinkle them with salt and pepper. Arrange the rounds of bread, which have been slightly toasted, in the bottom of your "bell" dish; heap the mushrooms on these; put a little piece of butter in the center; cover over the bell, which is either of glass, china, or silver; stand them in a baking pan, and then in the oven for twenty minutes. While these are cooking, mix a tablespoonful of butter and one of flour in a saucepan, add a half pint of milk, or you may add a gill of milk and a gill of chicken stock; stir until boiling, add a half teaspoonful of salt and a dash of pepper. When the mushrooms have been in the oven the allotted time, bring them out; lift the cover, pour over quickly a little of this sauce, cover again, and send them at once to the table.
Wash and dry the mushrooms; arrange them at once on the "bell plate." The usual plates will hold six good sized ones. Dust with pepper and salt; put in the center of the pile a teaspoonful of butter; pour over six tablespoonfuls of cream or milk; cover with the bell; stand the dish in a baking pan, and then in a hot oven for twenty minutes.
These are arranged for individual bells. Where one large bell is used, the mushrooms must be dished on toast before they are served. The object in covering with the bell is to retain every particle of the flavor. The bell is then lifted at the table, that the eater may get full aroma and flavor from the mushroom.
Wash carefully a half pound of mushrooms; chop them fine, put them into a saucepan with a tablespoonful of butter, and if you have it, a cup of chicken stock; if not, a cup of water. Cover the vessel and cook slowly for thirty minutes. In a double boiler, put one pint of milk. Rub together one tablespoonful of butter and two tablespoonfuls of flour; add it to the milk; stir and cook until thick; add the mushrooms, and press the whole through a sieve; season to taste with salt and pepper only.
This will be made precisely the same as in the preceding recipe, save that one quart of milk will be used instead of a pint with the same amount of thickening, and the mushrooms will not be pressed through a sieve.