Friday, March 11, 2011

More fun with mushrooms and onions

Because you can never have too much!

Unlike yesterday's more traditional recipe, this is more of a hodgepodge of ideas and flavors I've encountered over time. A lot of it sounds weird in that Cincinnati chili kind of way, but if you like the ingredients separately you will like them together (guaranteed or your money back). It's surprisingly delicious, if I do say so myself.

I like these recipes as well because they don't really involve any overly artificial ingredients-- not that I have any ground to stand on here, but is it really in the spirit of the fast to eat expensive vegan imitation meat all the time (asking as someone who's done that many times herself)? Insert misappropriation of 2 Corinthians 3:6 here, etc.

And so without further ado I present: 
LENTEN TRIUMVIRATE PASTA 
The 'triumvirate' refers to what, to me, are fasting staples: onions, mushrooms, and nuts (contra my usual staples: coffee, cigarettes, and booze). Figured a "Trinity" joke would also not be in the spirit of the fast...

THE "MEAT" (inspired by this)

1 onion, chopped
approx 8-10 oz mushrooms, sliced (again, I just used white mushrooms but any will do)
1 tablespoon garlic paste (would probably be better to use cloves, but I have none)
approx 2 tablespoons oil
approx two handfuls of dry roasted peanuts, smashed up a bit (I usually put them in a Ziploc bag and smash them with a jar-- fun and easy! Note: a) I have small hands and b) really like peanuts-- use your judgment.)
3 teaspoons red wine vinegar
3 teaspoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons sugar

1. In a bowl, mix together the vinegar, soy sauce, and sugar until the sugar dissolves. Set aside.
2. Warm the oil in a skillet/wok/whatever over medium-high heat.
3. Throw in the onions and the garlic and swirl around for a minute or two.
4. Add in the mushrooms. Cook over medium heat til they soften and wilt- five minutes or so?
5. Add soy sauce mixture and peanuts, cook til liquid evaporates.

I'm not even sure why I bother eating things that aren't mushrooms and onions.
THE SAUCE (very slightly modified recipe taken from here)

1/4 cup smooth peanut butter (I never eat peanut butter so I just used what was in my parents' pantry, but opt for a saltier one over a sweeter one if you can)
2 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons soy sauce (their recipe says two tablespoons-- I thought it needed more soy sauce to balance out the sweetness, but taste as you go and figure out what you like)

Just mix it all together in a bowl. It will eventually achieve an even consistency, I promise. If too sweet, add a bit of salt.


ASSEMBLY

I think this would all go much better with rice noodles, but I don't have any so I just boiled up some thin spaghetti. Mix the peanut butter sauce into the spaghetti thoroughly- you really want to coat the noodles. Then mix in your mushroom-onion-peanut mixture. Add some crumbled peanuts on top if you like. Should serve about two, I think.


I was really surprised by how good this is, even with the pasta-- the texture of the noodles goes well with the weight of the sauce. Enjoy!

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