Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Mushrooms, garlic, lime

Button and crimini mushrooms are popular toppings and typical sides at burger joints and American steakhouses. All the other varietiesshitake, brown beech, oyster, maitake, enoke, morel, chanterelle, king trumpetare staples in Asian and European cooking. These exotics are a little pricier and have earned a gourmet rep and respect among foodies. When mushrooms are cooked, they explode with a distinctively shroomy, flavorful, smoky, woody, pungent umami flavor. And I am in love with the texture, uniquely abalonechewy, dense, juicy and meaty. (They are not very interesting raw.)
Go to any Asian market to find the best varieties and deals on "exotic" mushrooms. I like Tay-do and Hong Phat markets on Redwood Rd in West Valley (Salt Lake). This recipe is another version of one of my typical mushroom dishes (click here for that yummy mushroom dish I brought to Ayla's).

Oyster Mushrooms in Garlic and Lime
  • oyster mushrooms
  • 10 smashed whole garlic cloves
  • olive oil to coat the pan
  • 1 lime wedge
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds 
  • 1 chopped scallion
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • a dash of ponzu (optional)
Do it..
  1. Heat a pan on high, add oil.
  2. Add mushrooms and garlic to the hot pan.
  3. Allow everything to sear and brown, stirring once.
  4. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Transfer to a dish and garnish with toasted sesame seeds, scallion and lime. 
  6. Serve immediately. Add ponzu if needed.
This should take less than 15 minutes. Throw leftovers into next-day omeletes and ramen ;)
I prefer smashed whole garlic cloves over minced any day. Here are 10 peeled and smashed whole garlic cloves.
Heat a large skillet on high and coat the pan with oil. Add the mushrooms and smashed garlic cloves.
Keep the heat on High and allow the mushrooms and garlic to sear by not moving them to much. The mushrooms will shrink a bit. If oil is popping, whip out that splatter screen!
Add sea salt and fresh pepper to taste. Add a dash of ponzu (citrus and soy) if you are in the mood.
Transfer to a dish and sprinkle toasted sesame seeds, chopped scallion and a lime wedge.
Crisp seared garlic cloves are incrediblesweet and pungent.
I had strawberries left over from crepes earlier, so I threw some in. Colorful, sweet and crazy. Strawberries go fantastic with garlic.

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