while i was counting out a fistful of coins at the market the other day to see if i had enough to buy a dollar's worth of prunes, the mushroom lady shouted out from her tent 'I TAKE CREDIT CARDS!' sold. —fo
2 handfuls of wild mushrooms
a cup of quinoa, soaked overnight
a cup of black eyed peas, soaked overnight
a bundle of dandelion greens
your choice of herbs, a few sprigs of whatever you decide
First order of business, get your black-eyed peas going. In enough water to cover, bring to a boil, skimming the foam that arises, then reduce the fire to low, and simmer. Thank goodness it's a quick cooking legume. They should take about 20 minutes or so. (When tender, drain and set aside).
Slice your mushrooms into lovely bite-size pieces. And now that you're into this project knee-deep, you're probably facing a fungal horror show with your porcini. A word on these lovelies: they usually come with teeny white worms. Flick the squirmy things into the trash, what you see anyway. The one's that you will inevitably miss... think of them as extra protein. I'm sorry friends, this is the price you pay for eating some of the most expensive mushrooms around. Oh, by the way, I'm using porcini, chanterelle, oyster and cinnamon enoki.
Speaking of diamonds of the woods, or, mushrooms. You never want to wash them. Unless you've got a stash of black trumpet or morel which can be caked with dirt and pine needles. In which case, give 'em a dunk or two, but quickly. They should never sit in water, because mushrooms are like sponges, and a sodden fungus is a gross one. So, don't rinse. Instead, brush them clean with one of a mushroom brush.
Dice your shallot. Chop your garlic. Tear the leaves from the stems of your herbs. I'm using thyme, marjoram and sage.
Sauté the mushrooms and shallot in olive oil using your favorite cast iron pan; do this until the mushrooms are browned. Add the garlic, sauté for another minute. Be sure to season all this with salt.
Drain and rinse the quinoa, then add it to the pan with two cups of water and another pinch of salt. Pop a lid atop, and steam till the grains are tender. Should take about 15 minutes or so.
When the quinoa is tender, gingerly fluff with a fork and sprinkle with your herbs. Avoid vigorous stirring. Aggression makes this grain gluey.
Add your dandies, a fatty handful or three, which you've given a rough chop, with a pinch of salt. Fluff them into the quinoa. They should wilt in less than a minute.
Add your black-eyed peas with a pinch of salt.
And drizzle with a little olive oil. Fluff all of this with a fork. Taste. Adjust seasoning as needed. Et voila! Quinoa with wild mushrooms and dandelion greens!
I write. I cook. I want A&M's job! Just kidding. No, I'm not. I used to be a professional chef, and while I no longer want to be in a professional kitchen, I could never stop cooking. How cliche that I write and cook, nonetheless, the two marry quite happily and blogging fulfills both of those passions for me with an immediacy that I crave. I would love some day to do it full-time.
I have two blogs at the moment, and I'm developing a third.
Have a look: