Saturday, September 22, 2012

Smoky Roasted Oyster Mushrooms

titleDo you believe in signs?  That the universe speaks to us in certain ways and we must make sure that we take the time to stop and listen?  That when we listen to what is truly in our hearts and take action, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant, the energies-that-be will show us tokens of reassurance that we are indeed doing the right thing and provide us with enigmatic helping hands?

Part of me staunchly believes it, without doubt or hesitation, stars in my eyes and a song in my heart.  Part of me is scared to believe it, clinging to that safe harbor, unwilling to rock any boats for fear of losing precious cargo.  And part of me is a boring old frumpy realist, punching in my card, clacking at my keyboard, and not believing it at all, repeating my worn-thin mantra of “you gotta do what you gotta do”.

Which part will triumph?  At this point, I honestly don’t know.  But I am looking at things in different ways.  I am finding more opportunities to simply ‘be open’.  I’m enticing myself to go down paths I have been too timid to try before.  And if it doesn't lead anywhere, that's fine too, I would have been enriched simply by the journey.

In the end, some things are not always what they seem – that mysterious and slightly scary path may be the best road you ever chose, and that safe harbor may not be as safe as you thought.

And someone thought these mushrooms were bacon! 

Smoky Roasted Mushrooms
  • 200-230 grams oyster mushrooms
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 scant teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 scant teaspoon pimenton de La Vera, dulce (or any smoked paprika)
  • Sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
  • Optional: a couple of dashes cayenne pepper if you want it spicy
- Place the mushrooms, olive oil, cumin, pimenton/paprika, salt, and pepper (and cayenne if using) in a bowl.  Mix with your hands, tossing and turning gently, until all the mushrooms are evenly coated with oil and spices.  Adjust seasoning if needed.
- Lay the mushrooms out flat in one layer on a parchment lined baking sheet (as if you are making granola).  You want them to roast properly, not stew in their own juices, so take care to make sure they are all in one layer and not on top of each other.
- Place the mushrooms in a pre-heated 350F oven and roast for about 45 minutes to 1 hour.  Check at the halfway mark to see how it’s going.  If some mushrooms look like they are getting a bit to burnished on one side, flip them over.  You want the mushrooms to be bronze with toasty edges.  Once they have reached this state, remove from the oven and serve.  You can serve this warm or at room temperature.

When I posted this photo, a friend actually thought it was bacon at first.  Make no mistake, in my book that is high praise.  But just to set the record straight, they are mushrooms, not bacon.  That being said, you could easily use this in many preparations where you would normally use bacon bits: in salads, to top soups, on top of a sour cream laced baked potato, endless possibilities here.  I originally made these as part of my condiments for a batch of this curry.  I’ve also had them piled high on melted white cheese covered toast.

As the mushrooms roast the meatier parts become soft and juicy while the thinner outer edges become crisp.  I could eat these like chips, seriously!  You can serve this as is, as part of an appetizer spread, or, as suggested above, as an absolutely delicious condiment/side dish.  You can also mix it through cooked rice, couscous, or quinoa, crown with a fried egg, and call it a full meal.  I’ve used cumin and pimenton de La Vera here because I love this combination of flavors but you can certainly replace with any other herb or spice that you prefer.

I procured these lovely mushrooms from the Ministry of Mushrooms, which I've mentioned before.  I really believe in supporting our local artisans...especially when they are as passionate about their produce as these fellows.

Whether it is something as simple as mushrooms that look like bacon (but can actually be used like both) or something more complicated as, say, the rest of your life, just remember that things aren’t always what they seem.  And that can go both ways.  So keep your eyes open for the good (it’s there I promise you!), but at the same time do not be blind to the not-so-good that is sometimes cloaked in sheep’s clothing.

So onwards with eyes wide open friends!


Laura said...

I want someone to make these for me! Yum!

Real Girl said...

That looks sooo good, Jo! I have always felt slightly guilty about sticking with buttons and,portobellos instead of patronizing the local stuff. Just never really sure what to do w/ oysters. Until now!

Oh, and I'm a BIG believer in signs, being still so you can hear (and trust!) the wisdom of your heart, and Desiderata--"Whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should." Stay fabulous!

Zane and Van said...

These look so yummy! Never thought about roasting oyster mushrooms. Thanks for the inspiration!

Ling said...

OH THIS IS GOLD. And yes I always read the signs... :)

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

A great idea! They look so scrumptious.



Indian Chief said...

Looks great and delicious, good job guys, keep it up and thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe.

The Mommist said...

Oooh! looks good! I can't wait to try this recipe. I'm love mushrooms! :)

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ChichaJo said...

Hi Laura! Try it, it's really easy! :)

Hi Jo! This recipe actually works best with oysters because their thin edges get crispy, something you won't really get with button or portobellos :) Thanks for the wise words!!

Hi Zane and Van! I really am enjoying them this way! You can vary the flavors you use and just keep an eye on them so they don't scorch! :)

Hi Ling! Hope you can try it! And will be keeping my eyes open ;)

Thanks Rosa!

Thanks as well Indian Chief!

Hi Mommist! Hope you like it :)

Jen Laceda | Tartine and Apron Strings said...

This looks sooo delicious! In my book, bacon is tops as well! Mushrooms come in close, though. Mushrooms that look like bacon? A dream come true! I can just taste its smokiness now...Good post, Joey!

Midge said...

If I hadn't seen the title of this post, I would have totally sworn these were bacon scraps!

Vshaw said...

Wow! Wow!! I am so mesmerized by this recipe. I do not like mushrooms at all, will not touch them, but after seeing this recipe, I will definitely try these.

Junglefrog said...

I love all mushrooms and having them this way sounds wonderful... I do believe in signs, even though I sometimes ignore them. Afterwards I always wonder why I didn't trust my instinct or the signs more!

ChichaJo said...

Hi Jen! Thanks! I love them this different from how mushrooms are usually prepared! And it really does make a very good bacon substitute in my opinion...not that I would ever substitute bacon!!

Hi Midge! Haha! See! :)

Hi Vshaw! Hope you do try it out!

Hi Simone! I should listen to my instincts more often as well! :)

Dexie said...

I thought those were bacon too even after reading the title. I had to scroll up and and down quite a few time to make sure, Haha.

Pille said...

Shockingly, I've got no dulce pimentón left in the house - only the piccante version. Need to remedy this soon. While we do have excellent wild mushrooms over here, the season is soon over (night frosts and snow are on the way!), and then we must settle for cultivated ones (like oyster mushrooms).
Also, my huge apologies for being so absent, dear ChichaJo. If you keep an eye on my blog in early November for any special announcements, you'll see why ;)

Justin said...

You had me at bacon....even if it really isn't bacon. haha Great recipe! By the way, I use the lemon slogan on my site, but instead of stcking them in my San Pellegrino, I just grill 'em.

ChichaJo said...

Hi Dexie! Heehee :) They are a good substitute...especially using a nice smokey paprika :)

Hi Pille! I love having pimenton in the of my favorite spices to cook with :) Excited to find out what you have in store for November! Will be checking! :)

Hi Justin! I love bacon too! :)

Peter said...

Something my vegetarian sister-in-law and I (carnivore) can enjoy!

ChichaJo said...

Hi Peter! More definitely! This is for everyone :)

kaoko said...

Must. Try. This. <3 <3 <3

Angela said...

I love your post! You totally need to be putting some of your stuff on

i got there to check out cool food pics and they link me to recipes or food bloggers. Anywho, great site!

Sun World said...

This looks good! I'm gonna have to try this! :D

Anonymous said...

thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

Can I substitute cumin powder for the seeds?

ChichaJo said...

Hi Anon, I used cumin powder here :)