Tag Archive | oyster mushrooms

Polenta, Pomodoro & Oyster Mushrooms

Mushroom Polenta

I love polenta, but don’t make it often because all semblance of self-control seems to go out the door as I inevitably always end up overheating. It’s not so much the serving that makes it onto my plate (I won’t lie, it’s bigger than it should be), but more so what I tend to eat while I’m plating and then when I’m storing leftovers.

What can I say? It’s Italian comfort food at its best! I have such fond memories of watching my mom make this classic dish. Its golden colour, beyond creaminess, and extremely satisfying. In our household, it served as a bed for no other than our homemade tomato sauce, what I call liquid gold. Anything else would have been sacrileges.

What you are getting in this week’s recipe is actually two classic dishes
: polenta and pomodoro and pomodoro and oyster mushrooms. What a treat!

Though I make this dish as I was taught in the traditional way, with olive oil, parmigiano, and fresh herbs, I’ve changed it up this time to boost the protein content. Beware, though delicious, my mother would not approve. I kept the olive oil for richness, but instead of the parmigiano, I used nutritional yeast, added hemp seeds for protein, and chives instead of fresh herbs, as the pomodoro is amply aromatized with fresh rosemary, a very nice complement to the oyster mushrooms as well as the pomodoro. My mom was quick to tell me that basil would have, of course, worked better, but I disagree. Fresh basil is classic with pomodoro, but rosemary works better with oyster mushrooms. I’ve convinced her to give it a try.

As for the oyster mushrooms, normally they are sautéed in some olive oil and then the processed tomato wedges get added. It’s delicious, but the mushrooms tend to water down the pomodoro for a more liquidy consistency. I opted to cook both separately and added the mushrooms to the pomodoro at the very end after they were both fully cooked.

Truly, this is one of my favourite dishes and by far my preferred way to serve polenta. It’s creamy. It’s sweet. It’s chewy. So satisfying on so many levels.

Serves 4

Ingredients:

 Mushrooms:
 Olive oil  ½ cup
 Mushrooms, oyster  3 lbs (48 oz)
 Salt
 Black pepper
 Parsley, fresh, chopped
 Pomodoro:
 Tomato wedges  64 oz
 Olive oil  ½ cup + 2 tbsp (or 10 tbsp)
 Salt  1 tsp
 Black pepper
 Garlic, crushed, whole  3 cloves
 Rosemary, fresh  2 sprigs
 Polenta:
 Cornmeal  1 cup
 Water  4 cups
 Salt  ½ tsp
 Black pepper
 Olive oil  3 tbsp
 Hemp seeds  4 tbsp
 Nutritional yeast  1 tbsp
 Chives, fresh, chopped  10 grams (1/4 bunch)

1. To prepare the mushrooms, in a large pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add mushrooms, salt, and black pepper and cook until liquid is evaporated and the mushrooms start to caramelize, approximately 30 – 45 minutes. Remove from heat and garnish with parsley.

2. To make the pomodoro, process tomato wedges through a food mill or in a blender. In a medium pot, combine pureed tomatoes and olive oil and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Add salt, black pepper, rosemary, and garlic. Cook for 45-60 minutes, or until thickened. The pomodoro should reduce by more than half.

3. For the polenta, in a medium pot, add salt, black pepper, olive oil and water and bring to a boil. Add cornmeal and nutritional yeast. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes, using a whisk to stir constantly. Remove from heat and stir in chives and hemp seeds. 4. To assemble, divide polenta onto 4 plates. Top with pomodoro and mushrooms. Garnish with more parsley.

Breakfast Sandwich

DSCN2575

DSCN2673

DSCN2638

I don’t let a weekend go by without doing something special for breakfast on at least one of the two days. However, from time to time, mustering up the energy, even on the weekends, is difficult. This is my go-to breakfast for when I’m feeling a little tired from my week, but still want something weekend worthy because it’s quick and delicious. It’s the perfect example of how you don’t have to slave over the stove for hours to enjoy something delicious.

We treat ourselves to our favourite breakfast place, Stone Face Dolly’s, once a month. It is the only place I will order a breakfast sandwich, the vegetarian bobby mac. They seem to get it right, simple but full of flavour.

This breakfast sandwich is my attempt to recreate the bobby mac at home. They serve theirs on a homemade slice of molasses toast. It’s good, but I think it is better on the Art-is-In buttermilk multiseed bread. It’s buttery and sweet and a perfect complement to the sandwich contents.

If you haven’t as yet experienced Art-is-In bread, you absolutely must. It’s the best bread in the city. These people take their bread seriously, so much so that you can taste their love of everything bread in every bite. They offer a wide variety; you’ll delight in trying them all. Be warned. Once you’ve tried it, there’s no turning back.

The only other change I make is the substitution of the mushroom patty with caramelized oyster mushrooms. If I started making mushroom patties, it would definitely not be a quick breakfast. Besides, I actually think the sandwich tastes better with the oyster mushrooms. Grilled oyster mushrooms also work beautifully though the combination is less sweet and slightly smokey. Try it both ways for a slight variation.

The sandwich is bite after bite of deliciousness!! Buttery, sweet bread, caramelized sweet oyster mushrooms, sweet ripe tomatoes, and somewhere in there is nestled a fried egg, only slightly runny adding creaminess and substance. I have said this before, I normally don’t enjoy eggs for breakfast, but this is the exception. I serve it with a big side of whatever fruit is in season.

We spent the weekend in a quaint cottage on Big Rideau Lake. We were looking for some much needed rest and relaxation. Made this sandwich for breakfast on Sunday. It took little effort, allowed us to ease into our morning, take in the view, and delight in deliciousness. Definitely food that travels well.

Serves 1

Ingredients:

Bread, slices, buttermilk multiseed, toasted 2
Mayonnaise 2-3 tsp
Cheddar, slice 1
Oyster mushrooms 3 oz
Egg, fried 1
Olive oil
Salt
black pepper
Tomato, sliced, small 1

1. In a small pan, heat 2-3 tbsp of olive oil. Add oyster mushrooms and cook until caramelized. Remove from pan.

2. Toast bread slices.

3. In the same pan you cooked the mushrooms, add egg. Season with salt and black pepper. Cook as you like it, runny or hard.

4. To assemble, spread mayonnaise on one piece of toast. Add cheddar slice. Follow with caramelized oyster mushrooms. Top with fried egg. Add tomato slices – season tomato slices with salt and black pepper. Top with remaining toast slice.

5. Cut in half. Serve with side fruit.