Appetizers

Shiitake Chips

Shiitake boost the immune system. I roast 2 or 3 fresh shiitake mushrooms almost every night in a black iron skillet and serve them as a side dish or an appetizer with my dinner.

Tips for working with mushrooms

  • Buy all mushrooms 2-4 days in advance and let them air dry in the frig on a plate without a cover.
  • Always wash your hands and the cutting board after handling the shiitake and make sure they are cooked through before eating.
  • You want to be able to see parts of the bottom of the pan otherwise the pan is too crowded and the shiitake will not brown or crisp.

Shiitake Chips © Karen Lee 2016

Shiitake Chips © Karen Lee 2016

Ingredients

  • 12 shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 ½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil.
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • black pepper, a few turns of the mill
  • a sprig of thyme or rosemary (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Wash shiitake.
  3. I like to wash all vegetables and fruits by submerging and lifting them in a bowl of water to which a dash of white vinegar has been added. This helps the cleaning process.
  4. Dry the shiitake with a paper towel.
  5. Place them in a black iron skillet stems up.
  6. Do now crowd lest they will not crisp.
  7. Drizzle with olive oil.
  8. Season with salt and pepper.
  9. Toss in a sprig of thyme or rosemary if you have it.
  10. Roast the shiitake for 15 to 20 minutes or until a little crisp and brown.

Notes

Serve like lollipops. The stems are too tough to eat.

http://karenleecooking.com/2016/04/04/shiitake-chips/

 

Spring Vegetarian Delicacy

Fava Beans, one of the treasured parts of spring have arrived. We made these in class recently and they were a big hit. I wanted to share the recipe with you. You can serve them as an appetizer, or a side dish; hot, or room temperature.

Braised Fava Beans

Braised Fava Beans

Ingredients

  • 3 ½ pounds of fava beans (once shelled, blanched and skins slipped off will yield 1 cup and 2 tablespoons)
  • 1 cup leeks (white and light green parts only), split, washed and diced
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 5 turns of freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup (or more) of chicken stock, warmed
  • ½ tsp. chopped fresh thyme or marjoram
  • ½ tsp. chopped fresh rosemary
  • 2 tbsp. chiffonade of fresh basil
  • 1 tbsp. fresh parsley
  • 1 tbsp. finely diced scallions (split lengthwise then sliced into 1/8 inch semi-circles) or snipped chives
  • 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil for sautéing
  • 2 tsp. of extra virgin olive oil for finishing

Instructions

  1. After shelling the fava beans, blanch half of them in 2 cups of rapidly boiling water for 1 minute. Remove with a slotted spoon then repeat with the other half. Slip off the skins. Set aside.
  2. In a 10-inch stainless steel skillet, sauté the leeks for 3 minutes in 2 tbsp. of olive oil over medium low heat or until they have softened. Add the salt and pepper. Add the fava beans to the sauté pan and turn over in the oil for 2 minutes. Add the stock a few tbsp. at a time, using up to ½ cup, as necessary, until the fava beans are cooked through. Total time will be between 7 to 10 minutes, but begin to taste for doneness after the first 5 minutes. Be careful not to stir the beans too often or they will begin to break. Remove from the heat. Add the herbs – the thyme, rosemary, half the basil and half the parsley to the pan.
  3. Place the fava beans on a serving plate. Drizzle the beans with 2 tsp. of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Finally, sprinkle the beans with the diced scallions and the rest of the basil chiffonade and parsley.
  4. The dish can be made a few hours ahead and can be served either hot at room temperature.
http://karenleecooking.com/2013/04/13/spring-vegetarian-delicacy/

VARIATIONS

As an alternative to the fava beans, the dish can be made with any fresh bean, such as cranberry or lima beans, or with any dried beans, such as chick peas or black beans, which will need to be soaked and cooked in advance.

Eat Shiitake

 

Shiitake Mushrooms have been given credit for boosting the immune system.

Next time you eat dinner at home

Roast 4 shitake

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Rinse mushrooms and dry

Leave on stems

Small to medium iron skillet

Do not over crowd

Drizzle 4 teaspoons of extra virgin olive oil over the shiitake, stems up and the caps flat to the skillet

Season with salt and pepper

Add a sprig of fresh thyme or rosemary or skip it

Roast about 8 to 10 minutes or until brown and crispy.

The stems are too tough to eat but use them as a handle.

 

 

 

“Last Taste of Summer”

We recently prepared in class this Black Bean and Corn Salad.  Julie Inglis, one of my regular students, commented, “This is delicious. . . . our last taste of summer”.

Black Bean and Corn Salad is great to serve as a side dish, as a first course, for lunch or as an hors d’oeuvres in Belgian endive leaves.  I place the corn salad and the black bean salad along side of each other so the black beans do not bleed into the corn.

You can still buy corn from open air and farmers markets.  During colder months I buy corn from produce stores and some supermarkets.  Always ask: “Was the corn delivered today?” and if the produce person said yes then I buy it. The sugar in corn turns to starch overnight so when you return home, steam or boil it right away to preserve all the sugar and that sweet wonderful appealing taste of corn.

Black Bean and Corn Salad  and Tomato Salad

© Karen Lee 2012

1 cup black beans, washed, drained, covered with water by 7 inches, soaked for 8 hours, drained and simmered covered in 2 cups of water and one bay leaf for 1 hour or until soft. When the beans have cooked through, you should have no more than 2 tablespoons of water in bottom of pan. Add 1 teaspoon of salt to the black beans at the end of the cooking. Allow to cool. This step can be done three days in advance.

4-8 ears of corn (buy and cook same day).  Steam or boil for 4 minutes. Shocking is not necessary.  After cooling, shave off corn kernels.

1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half or quarters if they are large

½ cup snipped chives or ¼ cup scallions cut into 1/8- inch rounds

1/3 cup red onion, diced, then soaked in ice water for 15 minutes, drained

2 tablespoons chopped parsley

2 tablespoons chopped cilantro (opt.)

2 tablespoons chopped dill

Dressing:

1 ½ tablespoons rice vinegar

1 ½ tablespoons aged sherry vinegar

3 tablespoons olive oil

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

½ teaspoon ground cumin

 

Place the tomatoes and corn in one bowl and toss gently with dressing.

Dress the black beans separately.

Scatter arugula or water cress or mesculin on a serving platter or individual plates.

Add herbs and scallions to the black beans and toss.

Place the corn mixture and the black beans side by side over the greens.