Monday, January 11, 2021

Lion's Mane "Crab" Cakes


I love it when I discover something new ... and I certainly didn't know before that lion's mane mushrooms taste, and cook up, just like crab! Who knew? I love that I can add this in to my meatless rotation, and it's so tasty that my meatlovers in the family don't even miss their actual meat! These take a little bit of time. It helps to dry out the mushrooms in the oven, as they tend to be more moist than crab. However, the results are well worth the time! Now, I've never seen these mushrooms in my supermarket, but I did find them at the farmer's market. Here in Sacramento, Dragon Gourmet Mushrooms attends several of our local markets, and the lion's mane have been available each time I've visited. They offer a recipe for "crab" cakes at their booth, which was the inspiration for this recipe. Thanks for another inspiring visit at the farmer's market! 

Ingredients: 

8 ounces lion's mane mushrooms
1 tsp olive oil
2 green onions, white and green parts cut into 1/4 inch lengths
1 clove garlic, minced
1 stalk celery, cut in half lengthwise, then cut into 1/4 inch lengths
2 Tbs. mayonnaise
1/2 tsp soy sauce
1 egg
1 Tbs Italian parsley, minced
1/2 tsp dried basil (or 1 Tbs fresh)
1/2 tsp salt
several grinds pepper
1/2 cup panko, bread crumbs, or gluten free panko
1 tsp to 1 Tbs lemon juice
1 tsp olive oil

Sauce: 

1 Tbs. mayonnaise
1 Tbs. Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp paprika
1 Tbs. lemon juice
1/4 tsp pepper
dash Sriracha or hot sauce

Directions: 

Preheat the oven to 350F. Slice the lion's mane mushroom into 1/2 inch thick slices. Lightly spray a baking pan with spray on olive oil and arrange the mushrooms in a single layer on the pan. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, until the mushrooms are beginning to dry out and have some light brown spots on them. Remove from oven and let cool for a few minutes. Prepare the rest of the ingredients for the crab cakes while the mushrooms are in the oven. Add the olive oil to a nonstick pan on the stove top and heat over medium heat. Add the green onion, garlic and celery and cook for about 2 minutes, just until they get soft and lose some of their snap. Remove from heat and let cool. Mix the mayo, soy sauce, egg, parsley, basil, salt and pepper in a bowl. Add the cooled vegetables and mushrooms to the bowl and mix. Add the panko or bread crumbs and mix. Add enough lemon juice so that the mixture is soft enough to form cakes, but still hold together. Form into 4 regular size patties, with one small patty for testing. Heat the final teaspoon of olive oil in the skillet. Add the test patty to the pan, and make sure it has enough moisture to stay together. Add more lemon juice to the mixture if the patty falls apart during cooking. Cook the remaining patties. Cook the patties for about 2 minutes per side. Make the sauce while the patties are cooking by mixing all the sauce ingredients together. To serve, place a patty or two for each serving and some sauce alongside. 

Serves 2 as a main course or 4 as a side dish


Stealthy Cooking Tip: Lions' mane mushrooms have been much lauded for their health benefits for thousands of years. They're high in antioxidants, and have been touted as helping lower inflammation and improving mental functioning. They probably won't become part of your daily diet, but however often you eat them, I think you'll agree, they're delicious! 

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Bolognese Sauce

Bolognese sauce is typically a meat sauce that's served over wide noodles. I took the liberty to make this vegetarian version starting with some ideas from the Purple Carrot. Their web site has vegetarian recipes that are innovative, and I've been having some fun with them. Here's my version of Bolognese sauce, and as you can tell from the photos, I served mine over spaghetti noodles - after all, during Covid, I take whatever noodles I can find!

Ingredients: 

1 tsp olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 Anaheim chili, seeded, deveined, and chopped
1/4 cup cauliflower florets
1/2 cup mushrooms, chopped
3/4 cup Mediterranean tofu (Hodo brand)
2 Tbs. tomato paste
1 Tbs. fresh rosemary
2 Tbs. fresh parsley
1 can diced tomatoes
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
2 Tbs. Parmesan cheese (or vegan Parmesan)

cooked spaghetti or other noodles

Directions: 

Use a food processor to pulse the onion, garlic, chili pepper until they are nearly minced and the cauliflower is about the size of rice grains. Heat the olive oil in a non stick skillet. Add the onion, garlic, pepper, and cauliflower and cook for several minutes. Add the mushrooms. Put the tofu in the food processor and pulse several times until it is a size similar to the other vegetables. Add the tofu to the skillet. Add the tomato paste and herbs and cook for about 1 minute more, until the herbs are fragrant. Put the tomatoes in the food processor and pulse so that they are broken up into small pieces. Add the tomatoes to the skillet, along with the cayenne pepper. Cook the noodles according to package directions. To serve, mound some of the noodles on a plate, and top with some of the sauce, and Parmesan. 


Serves 4

Stealthy Cooking Tip: My favorite gluten free noodles are made by Tinkyada Joy company, and it's been very difficult to find any type in any of my regular stores. I just ordered 12 boxes from Amazon today ... and hopefully won't run out again for a very long time!