Mushroom Magic in the Kitchen
TAMING OF THE SHROOM
by Johnny Acton & Nick Sandler
Watercress and Shiitake Salad with Tofu
is fresh, invigorating, and, according to Nick’s Chinese wife, good for
longevity and good for the skin. It
is definitely good for the stomach.
1 tablespoon soy sauce
Two 4-ounce cakes of fresh tofu, cut into thick slices
Vegetable oil for shallow-frying, seasoned with 2 tablespoons sesame oil
9 ounces fresh Shiitake caps, thinly sliced (about 2.5-3 cups)
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1 teaspoon finely chopped red chile
1 teaspoon finely chopped ginger
1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
1 sprig of fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon fish sauce
A bunch of watercress, washed and cut into manageable pieces
the watercress dressing
1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons soy sauce
Juice of 1 lime
Splash a little soy sauce on the tofu and shallow-fry in the vegetable and sesame oils mixed together. Cook until slightly golden on each side.
Stir-fry the mushrooms in 2 tablespoons sesame oil along with the chile, ginger, and garlic, the cilantro and the fish sauce, until the mushrooms have released their juices and these have reduced by half.
Mix together the ingredients for the dressing and toss with the watercress in a large bowl.
Place the mushrooms and the tofu on
top of the watercress, either as individual portions or in a large bowl
Char-grilled Field Mushroom, Avocado, and Chicken Salad
you purchase “Field Mushrooms” in the supermarket, they are likely to
be specimens of Agaricus bisporus that have been allowed to mature to the
point where their caps are fully opened.
This salad, which shows them off to excellent effect, is best
4 large open-capped Field Mushrooms, seasoned with a little paprika, salt and pepper, and brushed with olive oil
2 chicken breasts, sliced thickly and seasoned with lemon juice, salt, black pepper, and l clove garlic, finely chopped.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 red onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup rich, home made chicken stock
1 large ripe avocado, peeled and pitted, sliced thinly and dribbled with lemon juice to keep it green
12 cherry tomatoes, sliced
A sprig of tarragon, finely chopped
Juice of half a lemon
Grill the mushrooms on both sides until nicely browned, and set aside. (The barbecue would work well; otherwise, use a griddle pan.)
Fry the chicken in the olive oil in a hot pan until it starts to color. Add the onion and continue to fry for 5 minutes until it is soft.
Pour in the chicken stock and reduce by half.
Dump the contents of the pan into a large bowl and throw in the avocado, cherry tomatoes, tarragon, and lemon juice.
Place a mushroom cap on a warmed plate and arrange a portion of the salad mixture on top. Serve immediately. [NICK & PIC TO CHECK]
Mushroom. Copyright © 2001 by
Johnny Action & Nick Sandler. Excerpted by arrangement with The Lyons
Press, an imprint of The Globe-Pequot Press. $29.95. Available in local
bookstores or call 800-962-0973 or click here.