poached shiitake mushrooms in olive oil with roasted garlic, sage, and peppercorn

Slowly, ever so slowly, roasting the garlic in olive oil until they reach a lightly golden hue before adding in the sage leaves, whole peppercorn, and shiitake will give you an earthy condiment (is that what this is?) that is a pleasure to toss with veggie dishes for an umami pop.

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Ingredients:

  • olive oil
  • whole garlic cloves, peeled
  • whole black peppercorn
  • sage leaves
  • shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  • salt

In a small saucepan, pour in olive oil until the garlic cloves are just submerged and allow to slowly roast over low heat. When the garlic cloves are lightly golden, add in the whole black peppercorns, sage leaves, and shiitake mushrooms. Allow the shiitake mushrooms to poach in the olive oil mixture, stirring occasionally, until they are cooked through.

 

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bacon-wrapped enoki mushrooms

The strong bacon-y (seriously can’t think of another adjective right now…) flavor of the bacon is complemented by the mild sweetness of the enoki mushrooms in this crowd-pleasing (unless your guests are vegans) appetizer!

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Ingredients:

  • Enoki mushrooms, washed and stemmed
  • Bacon slices, halved
  • Soy sauce, for drizzling

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Separate the enoki mushrooms into small bundles and tightly wrap each bundle, starting at the base, with half a bacon slice. Lay each bundle on a baking sheet, leaving an inch between each one. Drizzle the tips of the enoki mushrooms with soy sauce and transfer to the oven. Bake until the bacon is crispy, 15 to 20 minutes.

 

 

chocolate flavored overnight oats

Good morning everyone! Now that the last major storm of Winter (fingers crossed) is over in NYC, I’m feeling super excited for Spring and the weather warming up – even if it does include a good amount of rain and worms coming out of the ground. Mornings for me just FEEL so much better waking up to hints of the sun’s rays beginning to light up the sky as opposed to dreary gray hues or darkness. Anyway, feeling a tad bit of sweet tooth last night, I put together this chocolate flavored overnight oats mix into the fridge for breakfast this morning. As far as toppings go, your pantry is your oyster 😛

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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 2 tablespoons chocolate powder
  • 1/4 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup milk (can substitute milk alternatives such as soy, almond, etc.)
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

Mix all of the ingredients thoroughly together in a bowl and let sit covered in a refrigerator for at least 2 hours or overnight. When ready to eat, feel free to add any extra toppings! I topped mine off with some coined bananas and raw almonds.

savory chive crepes filled w/ ham & gruyere

Woke up to some serious crepe cravings yesterday, but we only had all-purpose flour in the house… that didn’t stop me though! Traditionally crepe batter is made with buckwheat flour, but how off the mark can using AP flour be? It turns out, somewhat off the mark. Following the recipe posted below, the end result will still be delicious, but the batter, and therefore the crepe, will end up being on the thick side. If you give it a go, feel free to alter the ratio of milk to flour and let me know if that lightens up the density of the crepe! Also feel free to share any fun stories that occur – I actually had to change my shirt during the process after I flipped a crepe onto myself instead of into the pan XD.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 cup AP flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons chives, finely sliced
  • butter (for the pan)
  • ham, sliced
  • gruyere

Procedure:

Pulse the milk, flour, eggs, butter, salt, and chives in a blender until well mixed. Transfer the batter into bowl and cover with plastic wrap, doing your best to ensure the that the plastic wrap is in contact with the top layer of batter to prevent it from drying out. Refrigerate the batter for about 1 hour to allow the gluten in the flour to relax.

When the batter is ready, butter the bottom of a large heated pan and pour in about 1/4 cup of batter. Swirl the batter around the pan so that it spreads out into a large circle. Cook until you are able to lift the crepe up to see if the bottom is lightly golden. When it is, get ready for the hardest but most fun part of the recipe: flip the crepe, with great morale, and cook through until it is golden.

I filled my crepes with ham and gruyere, but you use any other savory fillings you’d prefer such as mushroom duxelle, eggs, tomatoes, etc.

bok choy & shiitake duo

Inspired by Jeong Kwan in the first episode of Chef’s Table Season 3, I tried my hand at cooking shiitake mushrooms that taste better than meat using the two ingredients she suggests: soy sauce and sesame oil. The end result was definitely good, but better than meat? Unfortunately I cannot make that claim. Maybe I should have fried the mushrooms a bit before poaching? Next time. For now though, this recipe will give you shiitake mushrooms that are delicious and certainly better than some meat dishes out there! I paired the shiitake with a head of bok choy to lighten up the plate from the earthy flavors of the mushrooms. I hope you enjoy the duo!

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Ingredients:

  • bok choy
  • shiitake mushrooms (optional, decorative cuts on top – can also just make an “X” cut)
  • salt
  • soy sauce
  • sesame oil

Directions:

  1. Get a small pot of lightly salted water boiling for the bok choy. When it comes to a boil, turn down the heat until it is just simmering and add in the bok choy. Let the bok choy simmer until it reaches your desired texture before removing from the water.
  2. In a large enough pan, lay the shiitake mushrooms top side down in sesame oil over medium-low heat. After about a minute, add in the soy sauce. You want the ratio to be about 1:5 of sesame oil to soy sauce. When the top changes to a darker color, flip each of the shiitake, turn up the heat a bit, and cook until done.
  3. Remove the shiitake from the pan and reduce the soy sauce & sesame oil mixture until the sauce thickens.
  4. Plate any way you desire being sure to include some of the sauce with the mushrooms!

spam musubi

One of my favorite ways to eat spam is in spam musubi; a Hawaiian dish which is basically a block of gorgeously fried spam pressed on or in between rice and then wrapped with a strip of seaweed. No, I do not know what spam is – and I do not want to know because this treat is wayyy too delicious to give up! Feel free to add additional ingredients to customize your musubi. As you can see in the picture below, I’ve added some eggs into the mix, along with a sprinkling of Bubu Arare (Rice Crackers) for crunch and a line of Kewpie Mayonnaise because I can, because I wanted to, but mainly because it just takes the musubi to a whole another level!

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Ingredients:

  • sushi rice
  • spam
  • seaweed
  • scrambled egg (optional)
  • bubu arare (optional)
  • kewpie mayo (optional)

Directions:

  1. First you make a batch of sushi rice following this sushi rice recipe.
  2. While the rice is cooking up, remove the block of spam from the container (this might require a ton of banging) and then cut them into 1/4 inch slabs. Fry these slices of spam in a flat stovetop pan until they are seared and crispy on both sides.
  3. When both the spam and the rice are ready, scoop enough rice to cover half of the seaweed (or all of it!) and place the spam on top of the rice. Layer on any additional optional toppings you desire.
  4. To finish, roll the spam in a similar fashion as you would following these sushi rolling tips and seal with rice. Easy and yummy!

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roasted brussel sprouts

Roasting in the oven is one of my favorite ways of cooking brussel sprouts! The prep time is only a matter of minutes and the end result is an oh-so-satisfying nutty and crunchy bite. My advice to you on this dish is SEASON AGGRESSIVELY. Salt makes all the difference.

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