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April 24, 2012: Hobbit Tendencies

April 24, 2012

I swear sometimes I’m part Hobbit. In addition to loving the quiet life, reading and writing in my little house, partaking of the (rare) pipefull of “‘Ole Toby” I also love gardens and food. Luckily, I don’t exactly live for food, like hobbits do, so I have avoided the extended waistline and the hairy toes (thankfully) are a missing hobbit-trait, but their particular craving for mushrooms, I most definitely have!

Tonight I made two mushroom dishes. Both were superlative, but I will confine myself to just this recipe: “Bamboo Shoot and Mushroom Salad.” To be an authentic Japanese dish, the mushrooms should be shiitake mushrooms, but I love Portobello the best. Peel the skin off two large Portobello mushrooms. [Turn the mushroom upside-down, grab the edge of the cap and pull. A strip of the skin will pull off the top of the mushroom. Continue all around the cap until all the skin is removed. Put the skin in a plastic bag and into the freezer. The mushroom skins are great in veggie stocks.] Slice the mushrooms in 1/2″ slices. Remove the root and green part to four scallions and slice 1/4.”  Quarter three bamboo shoots (I used canned shoots. If you have fresh shoots you should blanch and drain first.) Fry mushrooms and bamboo shoots in 2 Tblsp. sesame oil and a grind of black pepper, until brown. At the end of cooking, add 1 Tblsp. lemon juice. Remove and cool. On a bed of Romaine Lettuce, place the mushrooms and bamboo. Top with scallion. Add a dressing of:  1 Tblsp. each of shoyu and mirin and 1/2 Tblsp. rice vinegar.

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