Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Portobello Satay with braised collard greens and hazelnut crusted potato cakes

Agricus Bisporus - The portobello mushroom is a variety of agricus that is allowed to mature beyond the button stage before harvesting and are simply an overgrown crimini, the brown version of the button mushroom.  Often thought less potent than the exotic varieties they are as much if not more so. These meaty mushrooms are among my favorite foods and I cook them often, on their own and almost always add them in one form or another to recipes.

Vancouver BC is the birth place of eating local, home of the 100-mile diet and is also home to 13 certified organic mushroom growers.  A British Columbian eats more mushrooms per capita than anyone else in Canada averaging 3 kilos per person.  BC produces 35% of Canada's mushrooms and the availability year round of the portobello put this food on the top of my list.

Asia Pacific Farms is the largest producer of organic mushrooms in Canada is located in nearby Aldergrove.
I am investigating growing my own as an important part of a permaculture design in my yard.  Fungi cycle nutrients that nourish new life in the soil.  Recognizing this essential function would be an inventive way to integrate mushrooms into my fledgling front yard edible garden.                 
Misty Mountain Mushrooms David Lee Kwen is a man I've come across on a few occasions during the pine mushroom season and he is extremely knowledgeable about our indigenous species.  What I've gleaned over the years about the wild mushhrooms I'll leave for further posts as they come into season.

Portobello mushrooms are prized for their anti-cancer properties although the phyto-chemicals and antioxidants have yet to be fully understood, but we do know enough to say they are a nutritional powerhouse compared to other kinds of produce, a cup of cooked mushrooms does contain a milligram of copper, a trace mineral that may play a role in guarding against osteoporosis.  Adding a portobello mushroom to your plate for an extra bit of bone-friendly copper is a smart idea. If that's not enough to recommend them here is a short list of benefits aside from the local and sustainable:  only plant food to contain high levels of vitamin D, rich in niacin, and trace amounts of B6 and B12, (vegans take note) and excellent levels of selenium, good levels of potassium and zinc. All in all an excellent meat alternative or booster for any diet.

Here is a dish I made at the Tree Planting Reunion in August 2008 for the vegans and vegetarians. Some of the meat eaters thought it was steak.  The menu for the weekend started with a BBQ on Friday night.  Here is the recipe.

Portobello Satay
1 T olive oil
4 large portobello

1/4 c organic tamari
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 T lime juice, fresh squeezed
2 T organic dark brown sugar
1 T smooth organic peanut butter
2 - 3 t spice mix
spice mix
1 t cumin seed
1 t coriander seed
1 t allspice berry
1 t ground ginger
1/2 t cayenne

1) Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium heat.  Add the portobello caps and cook until softened, turning once.  About 5 minutes.  set aside.
2) In a small cast iron skillet dry roast the cumin, coriander, and the allspice seeds.  Cool and grind in spice grinder or mortar and pestle adding the ground ginger and cayenne.  M ix well.
3) In a food processor combine the tamari, minced garlic, peanut butter, lime juice, brown sugar, and spice mix and process until smooth.  Transfer to a shallow dish.
4) Cut the portobello into 1/4" thick slices and add to the marinade.  Cover and leave for 1/2 hour at room temperature.
5) Preheat the oven to 425 F.  Remove the mushrooms from marinade reserving marinade.  Thread onto soaked bamboo skewers. Place on a lightly oiled baking sheet and bake until browned 6-8 minutes, turning once and brushing with marinade.  Serve hot.

I use the broiler or the BBQ depending on the occasion.  This time I used the broiler and served over a bed of collards braised and hazelnut crusted potato cakes and garlic chips.

go be delicious


lostpastremembered said...

I love the mushroom lesson, great recipe and post... and it's healthy too!!! Those hazelnut potato cakes look too delicious for words!

powderate said...

Deana, the potato cakes were made with 1/2 the filling from a batch of perogy and particularly good with ground hazelnut breading.

One of the bottles was a Whiskey with His Majesty on the label meaning it was old enough and so smooth.

Any Absinthe epiphany?

Catalina said...

Oooo this sounds so yummy! I love mushrooms!
I wonder if this would work with my frozen puffball mushrooms? It will be a few months until I can forage some fresh mushrooms (obviously not portbellos - LOL!).

powderate said...

Catalina, I'm sure the marinade would give them a good kick and then under the broiler to bring out the flavor and sugars. I read about your freezing puffballs and am happy to know they freeze okay.

Hoping to find some wild morels this spring...

Ed Schenk said...

Great vegetarian dish. I get hungry just from looking at the picture.

Banu said...

hazelnut crusted potato cakes? come I always love the ones you don't post recipes for? Well, I hope I don't screw these up the way I did the cinnamon rolls! Ha ha. Nah, it's not baking, I'm safe. YUM! And thank you.

Ed Schenk said...

Just a quick note to let you know I am passing on the Sunshine Blog award to you. For more information please visit Detroit Eats.

lostpastremembered said...

Lee Ann> I gave you an award... enjoy!

Sharlene T. said...

Oh, wow! What a great mushroom lesson! Love your photos and your posts. Thank you for letting me know you exist! I think you're a younger version of me -- the world is out there, enjoy it! Glad to see you got the award.