Visits to our state capitol of Jackson, Mississippi, were very limited growing up. As a child, we drove up every year or so to pick up my cousins, The McAlums, when they came home to visit. As a teenager, we came to Jackson for the Egg Bowl, the annual rivalry game between the Ole Miss Rebels and the Mississippi State Bulldogs. It was always held on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. We also came up a couple of times a year for Honor Society convention and Student Council Convention. Those late visits included a stay at the Holiday Inn on I-55 Frontage Road and visits to Bennigan’s, a first of the Bar and Grill chains that started popping up in the 1980s. Fried Mushrooms and a Monte Christo Sandwich was a must for every Bennigan’s visit. I remember it like it was yesterday.
Recently, I was trying to come up with a new appetizer for Friday Night Porch Party and a memory of Bennigan’s Fried Mushrooms came to me. I recreated these little gems, and everything was good in the world that night. They are so easy and such a special treat.
1/2 cup flour
1 1/2 cup dry Italian bread crumbs
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup milk
1 egg, beaten
1 pound mushrooms, cleaned and cut into bite size pieces if too large
Preheat frying oil to 350 degrees. Combine flour, bread crumbs, and salt and set aside. Combine the milk and egg before pouring over the bowl of mushrooms. Working in batches, batter the mushrooms in the dry mixture then place them on a platter until time to fry. Fry the mushrooms in the oil for 3-4 minutes, and the mushrooms are golden brown. Remove mushrooms to drain and cool before serving with a side of garlic ranch for dipping. Anne Scott prefers them served with a side of Comeback dressing.