Champinones Al Ajillo - Spanish Garlic Mushrooms
Champinones al Ajillo, or Spanish Garlic mushrooms, are a tasty recipe that can be made in just under twenty minutes. They are an excellent example of tapas, the array of delicious appetizers served in bars all over Spain. Tapas are usually exceptionally flavorful bites and are served hot or cold. The more sophisticated restaurants pair tapas with alcoholic beverages that compliment the food. These garlic mushrooms would be served with a dark beer or a red wine.
It’s good to pick the biggest mushrooms you can find and quarter them into semi-uniform pieces. The closer all the pieces are in size, the more evenly they will cook. If you let mushrooms cook too long they will get rubbery, so keep an eye on them. The saffron we used in this recipe is optional, but if you do choose to use it we suggest adding it while the mushrooms are still in the pan but after it has been removed from the heat. We say chile flakes are technically optional, but we think they may be the best part of the whole dish. We used Morita Chile Flakes and the spiciness lingered for just a few moments, but it didn’t overpower the flavors. Instead, the heat from the chile flakes complimented the garlic quite nicely.
These mushrooms can be served alone as a tapas dish, but they're even better with a good piece of crusty bread. There is a lot of leftover juices after the mushrooms have been cooked and the bread is excellent for sopping it up and enjoying that spicy, savory flavor for just a little while longer.
- Cut mushrooms into quarters, mince the garlic and chop the celery.
- In a saute pan over medium heat, heat olive oil. Add mushrooms and saute for a few minutes. Add remaining ingredients except parsley and saffron, and cook for 5 minutes, stirring often.
- Remove pan from heat, stir in parsley and saffron.
- Serve hot with crusty bread.