Mushrooms are one of my favorite things to eat on this planet. There are so many different types, and they all have such distinct flavors; some are earthy and heavy on the umami flavor, some literally just taste like dirt, and some of them are simply magical with no real need to worry about the flavor at all (if you know, you know).
Naturally, I was more than thrilled to find out that Well MuddaFungus – a local company – is growing one of my favorite types of mushroom – Oyster Mushrooms. You can check them out here I’d literally been stalking them on instagram for a while waiting like a child on the night before Christmas to get my hands on some of their products. Then, one day out of the blue, they hit us up and sent us a super fun fungi care package of yellow, pink and white oyster mushrooms for our cooking pleasure.
I came up with 3 recipes that showcase the versatility of mushrooms and how they can be a culinary disruptor in the best possible way. I’ve got one very simple and delicious breakfast recipe, a little lunch/brunch something-something and a dinner recipe that all utilize the mushrooms as a substitute for a traditional ingredient. Without babbling on too much more, tie your aprons and let’s steps into the kitchen and kick off with the breakfast recipe Mushrooms ‘n’ Grits. This one is for the vegans.
- 2 ½ cups of oyster mushrooms
- 3 tablespoons of olive oil
- ½ large red onion (I prefer them sliced, but the choice is yours)
- 2 cloves of garlic
- ½ cup – 1 cup of cherry tomatoes
- 5 Mini sweet/bell peppers (or one regular sized one diced)
- 1 serrano chili (Lady fingers, bird pepper or goat pepper are all fine too)
- ½ teaspoon of salt (divided)
- 1 teaspoon of butter
- 1 ½ cups of vegetable stock
- 1 ½ cups Yella (yellow) grits
- 2 ½ cups of water
- 1 can of cooking tomatoes (diced is best, but again, this is a matter of preference)
- Large frying pan
- Medium pot
- Cutting board
- Your favorite knife
Other Essential Items
- 3 Mimosas
Forethought: I want you to keep the term “rough chop” in your mind as you slice up all of your vegetables, you want the pieces to be somewhat chunky so they can take a fair amount of cooking without losing volume and most importantly flavor.
1. Chop your onions, sweet peppers, garlic, hot peppers and tomatoes up. Like I said, rough chop is good. Ya want them chunky like they came from Andros.
2. Use your hands and tear the oyster mushrooms. I don’t know the reason why tearing them is better than slicing them, but trust me – this is the best way.
3. Drink the first mimosa.
4. Get your frying pan hot and toss the olive oil in there. Swirl it around until it just about starts to smoke then go ahead and toss the garlic and onions in first. Cook them down for about 2 minutes or until the onions start to soften but don’t let them burn or get mushy. The key is to stir consistently, not constantly.
5. Once you’ve achieved that, toss the sweet peppers, hot peppers and mushrooms in at the same time. You’re going to slosh these around in the frying pan and again, stir consistently not constantly. A little stir here, then rest. Then another, then rest. When you can smell (or if you have sensitive sinuses like me, feel) the capsicum from the pepper, reduce the heat to medium high and simmer for 2 ½ minutes.
6. Pour the 2 ½ cups of water into the pot and bring to a boil, once boiling pour in the grits, add ¼ teaspoon of salt and bring back to a boil, then reduce to low and let the grits do what grits does. Nothing much to do there for the next 8 minutes.
7. Drink the second mimosa.
8. Add the canned tomatoes and the vegetable stock to your mushrooms and bring the temperature back up to a rigorous boil before adding any additional seasoning just to ensure that it all meshes nicely and you don’t end up with chunks of things floating around in your food. You can pop a bay leaf or two in here if you want. Give it all a good stir, and then reduce the heat to simmer and cover for 5-7 minutes.
9. Go back to the pot with the grits, by now you should be able to take a fork (not a damn spoon) and whip it through for a nice smooth consistency. If it is too thick, add more water, if it is too thin you can leave it on low heat for a little longer OR add a handful of shredded cheese to it and stir to thicken it up some more.
10. Drink the third mimosa
11. Grab a plate, and spoon out a little grits, and some mushrooms on top and boom! Mushrooms ‘n’ grits. So simple, and so delicious.
Will be dropping the other two recipes as we go, in the meantime, have a good old Bahamian vegan breakfast and thank me later. Also, there is no hard and fast rule that you may only have three mimosas, so feel free to indulge or over indulge at your leisure and pleasure!
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