Hello, have you missed me? It has been a while. Honestly, I am not planning to blog that much – which is frankly obvious, but thought I would share this quick little number. Nothing fancy – no fancy photography here, just a quick snap by the window before dinner. Perhaps one day I will break out the fancy setup again, but right now it is just about the shrooms.
My wife went vegan a few years ago, so I have been cooking a lot of varied vegetable dishes over the last few years – and this one has been on rotation for us recently. We are lucky here in the pacific northwest to get a great variety of mushrooms, especially at farmers markets. Lobster mushrooms are relatively new to me – they have the color of a lobster, and some say a slightly shellfishy taste. Honestly, I just like them as a mild dense mushroom that you can do a lot with. Another bonus is that they generally run cheaper than your normal chanterelles or porcini.
As far as the recipes goes, this is a simple one. It does benefit from marinading overnight in the fridge and eating the next day, but frankly I can never be bothered with all that fuss – I tend to just cook and eat it straight like any sane person would. If you were doing some dinner party though, feel free to cook it the night before and let it sit.
A note on the bay in the recipe – I call for fresh bay laurel. This can actually be a little hard to find, since most supermarkets tend to stock Californian Bay. Like the name suggests (:)), this little devil is rather brash, loud, and with little subtlety. You can spot Californian Bay by looking at the leaves – they are long and thin. Bay Laurel on the other hand is pretty delicate and more complex, and has a much wider leaf.
Lobster Mushroom Escabeche
1lb of lobster mushrooms – cleaned, and cut in to slices
1/2 onion, very thinly sliced
1/3 cup of olive oil
2 cloves of garlic – pealed and sliced roughly
2 bay laurel leaves (fresh) – torn in to a few pieces
10 black peppercorns
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons of sherry vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
Butter, or shortening for cooking the mushrooms – about 3 tablespoons at a guess
Start by putting onion in a bowl, and pour over the vinegars. Let this sit whilst you prepare the rest of the dish. Now put the olive oil, bay and peppercorns in a small saucepan and warming over a low heat. You want the oil to get infused with the other ingredients, but don’t overheat it or the oil will go nasty and the garlic bitter. Heat for 5 minutes or so, then set aside to cool.
In a large heavy frying pan (cast iron or carbon steel is great here) heat the butter or shortening over a high heat. Toss in the mushroom slices. If you don’t have a large pan, cook these suckers in batches. Don’t overcrowd the pan with mushrooms or they go limp and soggy. Cook these mushrooms on a high heat, flipping occasionally until nice and brown all over. Possibly 5 minutes, maybe more depending on your range.
Put the mushrooms in a large bowl, pour over the vinegar and onions. Now pour over the oil with the herbs and garlic. Mix it up a bit. You can let this sit overnight if you wish in the fridge, or eat it right away.
A note on mushrooms -
Lobster mushrooms can be hard to find. Farmers markets are a good bet, and often MUCH cheaper than the grocery store. If you cannot find them, then any relatively firm mushroom will work – porcini or even little button mushrooms.