I'm struggling with two simple foods which really should be easy to prepare.
The first is mushrooms. I just can't seem to get them right; they're either too watery, too spongy, or just tasteless. Right now I saute sliced mushrooms with a pinch of salt in some butter. I'm not over-the-top with the butter, but I'm not stingy, either. Usually I saute some chopped garlic in the butter first. I saute over med-high heat, but the mushrooms never seem to go all golden and caramelized. I've also tried splashing them with white wine, which gives them flavour, but not mushroomy flavour.
Does anyone have a technique/trick to share? Am I trying to get rid of their natural liquid, or seal it in?
And secondly, with dried beans: I try both overnight soaking, followed by simmering, and a quick boil, two hour rest, then simmering.I do not add anything to the water - no salt, tomatoes, nothing but water. But my beans always are a tiny bit too hard, slightly floury in the middle. I can't cook them more though, because the skins are starting to come off at that stage. What am I doing wrong?
Thanks in advance for any help!