Tag Archives: mushrooms

Asian tostada

Asian tostada

After having the idea of using hummus instead of refried beans to make a tostada, producing my Greek tostada, the floodgates opened as I then thought up all sorts of other tostada variants using every type of bean I could think of. This is my next creation, using edamame atop the tortillas. Naturally, this led me to develop an Asian-themed tostada.

When I first had the idea of using edamame, I wasn’t sure in what form I wanted to include it on the tostada. I considered leaving the beans whole or mashing them with a fork or potato masher. As I often do when I am looking for inspiration, I went online and started looking at recipes including edamame. I found a number of recipes for edamame dip. (Interestingly, they all want you to serve it with pita chips.) They all took pretty much the same approach, with variations on quantities and flavoring. But all involved processing the edamame in a food processor with olive oil and some type of citrus juice. So I went from there. Then there’s the questions of how thoroughly you want to process the edamame. I chose to do it enough so that all the beans were chopped up but leaving some texture to the resulting dip/spread. Obviously one can do more or less to taste.

I chose to do a soy-ginger vinaigrette, which I have made for the Asian salad, among others. When I made these and wanted fresh ginger for other recipes, I have used Gourmet Garden ginger paste that comes in a plastic tube, which I have found works well, is very convenient, and can keep in the refrigerator for a significant length of time. Sadly, my market no longer seems to carry the tubes of ginger, though they carry many other types. Then I noticed next to that a small container of lightly dried ginger from the same company. They claimed this would be refreshed in liquid. The ginger flavor it gave to the vinaigrette was fine, but I wasn’t especially impressed with the texture. I think the next time I need fresh ginger, if I can’t find the paste in a tube, I’ll have to get over my laziness, buy a piece of ginger, and grate it.

Asian tostada

1 cup cooked and shelled edamame
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons lime juice
i small clove garlic, pressed
fresh ground pepper

1 piece of boneless chicken breast in small bite-sized pieces
2 tablespoons chicken broth
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon corn starch
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
vegetable oil

2 corn tortillas
vegetable oil

baby spinach, chopped
mushrooms
3–4 scallions, sliced, including lots of the green portions

3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
2 teaspoons ginger
1 small clove garlic, minced or pressed (not all of a large clove)

Earlier in the day combine the edamame, olive oil, garlic, and about 1 tablespoon of the lime juice in a food processor and process until it gets to your desired texture, maybe 30 seconds. or so. Add more lime juice and process a bit more to get desired flavor and consistency. I made mine so it retained some texture and wasn’t completely smooth, but it’s your choice. Refrigerate. Remove from refrigerator a half hour to an hour before making the salad so it is not icy cold and is closer to room temperature.

Heat the oil and cook the chicken until nicely browned and cooked through. Combine the chicken broth, soy sauce, corn starch, ginger, and pepper and add to the chicken. Cook several minutes until the sauce starts to bubble and turns dark and shiny.

Heat a thin layer of oil in a pan. When the oil is hot, put in a tortilla, cook for about 30 seconds on each side until it starts to crisp up. You want it a little crispy but not as hard as a tortilla chip. Repeat with the second tortilla.

Put the tortillas side-by-side on a plate. Spread on a thin layer of the edamame mixture. Put the spinach, mushrooms, and scallions on the edamame, reserving much of the green parts of the scallions. Whisk or shake in a small jar the oil, vinegar, ginger, and garlic. Spoon the vinaigrette over the salad. Put the chicken pieces scattered on the salad and top with the remaining green parts of the scallions.

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Mushroom truffle salad

Mushroom truffle salad

This was directly inspired by my mushroom truffle frittata. I am essentially substituting the lettuce for the eggs and adding chicken to make it a main course salad. I am using plain chicken breast, at room temperature, putting it off to the side, and topping with the vinaigrette along with the lettuce. The goal is for the hot mushrooms to be the star of the salad, with the chicken playing a supporting role.

Mushroom truffle salad

1–1/4 cup shitake mushrooms (caps), sliced
1–1/4 cup crimini mushrooms (caps), sliced
vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon truffle oil

cooked chicken breast, sliced, at room temperature
baby romaine lettuce
1/4 cup goat cheese, crumbled or in small pieces, depending on consistency

3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon truffle oil

Cook the mushrooms in oil over medium heat at least 10 minutes until nicely browned.

While the mushrooms are cooking, arrange the lettuce on the plate with the chicken off to the side. Whisk or shake in a jar the oil, vinegar, and truffle oil, adding the truffle oil to taste. Pour over the lettuce and the chicken.

When the mushrooms are browned, add the truffle oil and cook one more minute. Put the mushrooms on the salad and add the goat cheese.

Teriyaki chicken salad

Teriyaki chicken salad

I always like pineapple with teriyaki chicken, so that was my starting point for this salad. I used boneless, skinless chicken thighs for their fuller flavor, but you could certainly use a piece of chicken breast instead. For the dressing, a vinaigrette with teriyaki sauce was an obvious choice. I included honey, as I felt that the sweetness would work well with the rest of the salad.

Teriyaki chicken salad

1 or 2 boneless skinless chicken thighs, depending on size and appetite
teriyaki sauce

baby spinach
mushrooms, sliced
scallions, sliced, including plenty of the green part

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons teriyaki sauce
1 teaspoon ginger
1 small clove garlic, minced or pressed, or 1/2 of a large clove
fresh ground pepper

Marinate chicken thighs in teriyaki sauce in a plastic bag for an hour or two.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place chicken thighs on a rack in a baking pan. Brush on bit more of the teriyaki sauce. Bake for 10 minutes. Turn on broiler and place the chicken under broiler for about 3 minutes to further brown to tops and finish cooking. Watch closely to not burn. Check that the thighs are cooked through by slicing in or reading a temperature of 160 to 165 on an instant-read thermometer. The thermometer is likely to be practical only for thicker thighs, inserted from the side into the middle. If not cooked through, you can just leave them in the oven for a few more minutes.

You want to let the chicken rest for a few minutes before slicing, so there is no need to start the final assembly of the salad before you take the chicken out.

Put mushrooms and scallions on the spinach, reserving some of the green parts. Whisk or shake in a jar the oil, vinegar, honey, teriyaki sauce, ginger, garlic, and fresh ground pepper. Pour over the salad. Slice the chicken thighs and place in the middle of the salad. Top the chicken with the remaining green parts of the scallions. Put chunks of pineapple on the salad.

Mushroom truffle frittata

Mushroom truffle frittata

This is a frittata for someone who really likes mushrooms!

I used crimini and shitake mushrooms for this frittata, as these are readily available, but you could certainly use other kinds. I think using two different types adds to the complexity of the flavor. I definitely think this frittata calls for something more interesting than the white button mushrooms. By the way, the quantity of mushrooms may look like way to much for the frittata when you first put them into the pan, but remember that mushrooms cook down a great deal.

For me, 1/8 teaspoon of truffle oil (I used black truffle oil) is just enough to add to the flavor of the mushrooms. You may want more or less, so taste and smell the mushrooms as you add the oil. A note on truffle oil: Most (all?) truffle oil gets its flavor not from truffles but from the chemical that is the primary flavor component of truffles. It may or may not also have some real truffle included as well. When you think about it, given the extremely high price of truffles, there is no way real truffles could be used to get that much truffle flavor into a bottle of oil that could sell for under $15. Extreme disputes have arisen as to whether it is appropriate to use such artificially-flavored truffle oil in fine cuisine. Some chefs bitterly oppose its use. On the other hand, Thomas Keller’s French Laundry cookbook has numerous recipes that call for truffle oil.

In these blog posts I frequently describe the inspiration for a frittata or salad. When I first made this frittata, I wasn’t (consciously) thinking of any specific dish or recipe. This just seemed like something that would work and taste good. But as I was writing this post, I recalled what was surely the source for this. Some years ago, we had this absolutely awesome mushroom soup in a restaurant in Monterey, California. My daughter, an excellent chef, recreated the soup. The primary ingredients were mushrooms, cream, goat cheese, and truffle oil.

If you want to have a glass of wine with your frittata, this is very earthy, so I would suggest a red wine.

Mushroom truffle frittata

1 heaping cup crimini mushrooms, sliced
1 heaping cup shitake mushrooms, caps, sliced and cut into pieces
1/3 cup/1 ounce goat cheese, shredded or crumbled
1/8 teaspoon truffle oil
olive oil

3 eggs
olive oil

Cook mushrooms over medium to medium-low heat for 10 to 12 minutes, until the moisture is gone and they start to nicely brown. You may want to turn up the heat towards the end to help them brown. Several minutes before the mushrooms are done, add the truffle oil so it can be cooked through all of the mushrooms. Remove from the pan.

Put the eggs into a good-sized mixing bowl and beat just to mix them up. Add a bit of oil to the pan if needed and let it get hot. Add a small amount of the eggs to the pan to set the bottom of the frittata to prevent sticking. Turn the heat down to medium low. Mix the mushrooms and goat cheese into the eggs and pour the mixture into the pan. Cook this for about 5 minutes to set the bottom and sides.

Preheat the broiler. When the 5 minutes cooking on the stove are up, place the pan under the broiler, about 6 to 7 inches below. Cook until the top is set and just starts to brown. This is about 1–1/2 to 2 minutes for me, but watch closely.

Remove from the broiler, loosen up the sides with a spatula if necessary, and slide the frittata out onto the serving plate.

Coq au vin salad

Coq au vin salad

Coq au vin is a classic of French cuisine that I love. It was the first Julia Child recipe I ever made, following the instructions in The French Chef cookbook based on the original black-and-white television show that began in the early 1960s.

While I enjoy making the more elaborate preparation described in the cookbooks, I also developed a simpler, quicker version using boneless chicken breasts that I cooked for our regular weeknight family meals. This salad is based on this “quick” coq au vin.

Coq au vin salad

1 chicken breast
1 or 1–1/2 strips of bacon
1/2 cup red wine
1/2 cup beef broth
1/2 cup pearl onions, thawed if using frozen
1 teaspoon tomato paste
1/2 bay leaf
1/8 teaspoon thyme
fresh ground pepper
1 to 1–1/4 cup sliced mushrooms

romaine
tomatoes (I used min-heirloom tomatoes, which accounts for the various colors)

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons of the coq au vin liquid

Cut the bacon crosswise into 1/4-inch pieces. Cook until crisp. Remove from pan.

Put the chicken breast into the pan with the bacon fat. Over fairly high heat, brown each side. Turn down the heat and add the wine, beef broth, bacon, onions, tomato paste, bay leaf, thyme, and some fresh ground pepper. Stir together, cover, and simmer on low heat for about 25 minutes.

Add the mushrooms. (You may have to put the chicken breast on top so all the mushrooms can be immersed in the liquid. Cook for 3 or 4 minutes until the mushrooms are just cooked.

Arrange the lettuce and tomatoes on the plate. Remove the chicken breast from the pan and cut into bite-sized pieces. Using a slotted spoon, take the onions, mushrooms, and bacon pieces from the pan and distribute over the salad. Put the chicken pieces back in the pan so they are covered with more of the sauce and then place in the middle of the salad.

Whisk, or shake in a small jar the oil, vinegar, and liquid from cooking the coq au vin. Spoon the dressing over the salad.

Mushroom and spinach frittata

Mushroom and spinach frittata

Sometimes a simple frittata with a few basic ingredients just hits the spot.

Mushroom and spinach frittata

1–1/4 cup sliced mushrooms
1–1/2 tightly packed cups spinach
1 small clove garlic, minced
fresh ground pepper
olive oil

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese plus a little more for the top

3 eggs
olive oil

Heat a small amount of olive oil in a pan. Add the mushrooms. Cook over medium heat for several minutes until the mushrooms are cooked and soft, adding the garlic for the last minute or so. Then start adding the spinach a handful at a time, stirring and turning over until the spinach is just wilted. Continue until all the spinach has been added and is wilted. Add some fresh ground pepper. If there is excess liquid in the pan, turn up the heat and cook for a minute or so to boil this off. (Sometimes I have the extra liquid and sometimes not. I wonder if this depends on the mushrooms?) Remove the mushroom and spinach mixture from the pan.

Put the eggs into a good-sized mixing bowl and beat just to mix them up. Add a bit of oil to the pan if needed and let it get hot. Add a small amount of egg mixture to the pan to set the bottom of the frittata to prevent sticking. Turn the heat down to medium low. Mix the mushrooms, spinach, and Parmesan into the eggs and pour the mixture into the pan. Cook this for about 5 minutes to set the bottom and sides.

Preheat the broiler. When the 5 minutes cooking on the stove are up sprinkle a bit more of the Parmesan on the top. Place the pan under the broiler, about 6 to 7 inches below. Cook until the top is set and just starts to brown. This is about 1–1/2 to 2 minutes for me, but watch closely.

Remove from the broiler, loosen up the sides with a spatula if necessary, and slide the frittata out onto the serving plate.

Asian salad

Asian salad

This is an example of a salad adapted directly from a frittata. My idea for the salad started with some of the ingredients from the Asian frittata. I substituted bamboo shoots for the bean sprouts as I felt the crunchiness of the bamboo shoots would work better for a salad. For the same reason, I cooked the snow peas for only 1 minute to keep them nice and crisp. Putting these and the scallions on a bed of baby spinach gave a nice start to the salad.

A frittata has the eggs, which makes any frittata a main course meal. For a main course salad, I want an additional source of protein such as meat or seafood. For this salad, I went with chicken and mushrooms, in a very simple soy-based sauce.

A ginger vinaigrette was my choice for the dressing. I used the fresh ginger paste you can buy in a tube in the produce section. It adds texture and I think it gives a better taste than the ground ginger. It’s convenient and keeps for quite a while. Of course, you could also grate fresh ginger.

Asian salad

1 chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
2 tablespoons chicken broth
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon corn starch
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon block pepper
vegetable oil

baby spinach
snow peas
bamboo shoots
4 scallions, sliced, including lots of the green portions

3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
2 teaspoons ginger paste
1 small clove garlic, minced or pressed (not all of a large clove)

Put the snow peas in boiling water. Cook for 1 minute. Drain and rinse with cold water.

Saute the mushroom over medium heat for several minutes in oil until they start to get soft. Remove from pan and add the chicken breast pieces. Cook until lightly browned and cooked through. Add the mushrooms back in with the chicken. Mix the chicken broth, soy sauce, corn starch, ginger, and pepper and add to the chicken and mushrooms. Cook several minutes until the sauce starts to bubble and turns dark and shiny.

Arrange the spinach, snow peas, bamboo shoots, and scallions on the plate, reserving some of the green parts of the scallions. Whisk or shake in a small jar the oil, vinegar, ginger, and garlic. Spoon the vinaigrette over the salad. Put the chicken and mushrooms in the middle and top with the remaining green parts of the scallions.