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Posts Tagged ‘Vinegar’

Relatives are gathering for Chinese New Year this evening. My contribution is braised mushrooms in balsamic vinegar (I’ve posted about it before). Costco run. Portobello, white button, and Hamakua mushrooms (not sure of the variety).

Portobello and White Button Mushrooms

Hamakua Mushrooms

For some reason, the Hamakua mushrooms remind me of the Disney movie Fantasia.

Reduce balsamic vinegar, Japanese rice vinegar, and white wine vinegar with ginger and dried chili peppers.  Sauté mushrooms, add reduced vinegar, any alcohol (used Korean soju this time), sugar, and salt to taste. Braise until tender.

Braised Mushrooms

Key is to let the mushrooms rest, settle, and mellow out for a day or two.

Good with steaks, roast pork, and chicken.

Happy Year of the Dragon! Health, Happiness, and Prosperity!

Enjoy.

The Mouse

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Saw these at the market the other day.

Pickling Cucumbers

The sign said they were pickling cucumbers. I bought a bag. They were cheaper than regular cucumbers, plus they were kind of cute (in a vegetable sort of way). Each cucumber was no more than six inches long.

The skin felt thicker and harder than Japanese cucumbers. Just to be safe, I peeled them (didn’t want The Cat to be spitting out the skins).

Mixed them with wakame seaweed, sugar, salt, and a drop of rice vinegar.

Cucumber Salad

The seeds were smaller and easier to eat (digest) than the regular cucumber. The pickling cucumbers were also not as watery as the regular cucumbers. A new experience.

Enjoy.

The Mouse

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I first deconstructed this dish when Portobello mushrooms and Balsamic vinegar were the rage (kind of tells you how long I’ve been making this). I tasted something similar at a restaurant (it was one of their signature dishes).

After tinkering a bit, I came up with my own version. I once made it for a potluck that Aunty M was hosting. She usually makes everyone make plates to take home (she doesn’t want so much leftovers). When I went to claim the mushrooms, I found out she squirreled it away (didn’t get any to take home, sigh).

Going to a potluck with friends this weekend. Instead of just Portobello mushrooms, I use a variety (whatever looks good and reasonable at the time).

Mushrooms

Clockwise from top left rehydrated Shiitake, fresh Shiitake, white, and Portobello mushrooms.

I tried this dish with canned mushrooms once, bleh.

I think the restaurant only used Balsamic vinegar. I use a variety, just to give the dish a unique taste. This time around, I’m using three different vinegar (and Shao Xing wine).

The Pantry

From left, Kaoliang vinegar ( from Taiwan), Shao Xing wine, Balsamic vinegar (the cheap stuff), and Chinkiang vinegar (from Zhen Jiang city, China). At other times, I’ve also used apple cider vinegar, and Japanese rice vinegar.

I also add some dried citrus peel to the mix.

Citrus Peels

I usually have dried orange peel on hand, this time I had Yuzu, orange, and lemon.

I start off by reducing the vinegar with sugar, a slice of ginger, a sprinkle of chili powder, and a touch of salt. Two parts Balsamic to one part each of the other two (total a little over one cup). Dissolved about four tablespoons of sugar and a touch of salt. Reduced to about three-fourth of a cup. I find that if I don’t make the reduction, the sauce at the end is to watery (the mushrooms release lots of liquid during the cooking process). After the vinegar is taken off the heat, add less than a quarter teaspoon (total), of the citrus peels (if you add them while cooking, they tend to turn bitter (my opinion).

Sauté mushroom in a bit of oil (I used peanut oil, I’ve also used olive oil, when available). Add the vinegar reduction when the mushrooms start to brown. Stir and braise for ten to fifteen minutes (when the mushrooms look cooked).

Let cool and refrigerate for at least one day. The vinegar mellows out and the sauce becomes rich and “mushroomy”, less of a pickled taste.

Balsamic Braised Mushrooms

This dish goes well with steak or chicken, on rice or with warm crusty bread. Drool. As a bonus, it’s totally vegetarian.

I’ve even used the leftover sauce to dress pasta salad (it’s not pretty, but very tasty).

I’ve always made this dish on the fly (first time actually writing the recipe down). The Cat said this is my first “signature dish”. :-)

I’m sending it over to Deb at Kahakai Kitchen for her Souper Sunday feature (you could call it a stew).

Enjoy.

The Mouse

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