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Baked mushrooms accompany a steak

Fresh mushrooms have become more widely and plentifully available, and can be found year round in the market. Mushrooms vary, in size and color, but they all have the same texture and flavor. Big mushrooms are particularly good for stuffing, while medium and smaller mushrooms are better for slicing and make fine accompaniments for dips.

Look for firm, smooth mushrooms with the veil -- the membrane between the cap and the stem -- still attached to the mushroom cap. Don't be alarmed if the mushroom cap has darkened through exposure to the air, it is natural. They are just as good for cooking, but will not store as long. Mushrooms will keep for up to a week in the refrigerator.

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This recipe for baked mushrooms would be good with a juicy broiled steak. Baked Mushrooms 1 pound fresh mushrooms 1 1/2 cups thinly sliced celery 3 tablespoons minced onions 2 tablespoons chopped parsley 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/16 teaspoon ground black pepper 2 tablespoons water 2 tablespoons butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Rinse, pat dry and halve mushrooms, making about 5 1/2 cups. In a 1-quart casserole place mushrooms, celery, onion, parsley, Italian seasoning, salt and black pepper. Toss to coat mushrooms with seasonings. Pour water and butter over mushrooms mixture. Cover and bake until vegetables are tender, 40 to 45 minutes. For 6.

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