4 Bites: Mushroom magic
Warren Elwin uses fresh and dried mushrooms to bring umami appeal to soup, noodles, tapenade and pies.
- Cover 50g dried mixed mushrooms with 1 cup boiling water and a splash of rice wine vinegar and leave to soften. Strain liquor into a saucepan with 2-3 cups chicken stock, a large piece of peeled ginger cut into matchsticks, 1 star anise and a piece of cinnamon and bring to a simmer.
- Add soaked mushrooms, 350g chopped fresh mushrooms and 2-3 Tbsp miso paste and simmer until mushrooms are soft. Season with pepper and lemon juice and garnish with spring onion.
- Whisk together 50ml rice wine vinegar with 1 clove crushed garlic, 1 Tbsp grated ginger, 1 Tbsp mirin, 2 tsp soy sauce, 1 tsp sesame oil, ½ tsp fish sauce, the zest and juice of a lime and a dash or two of sriracha sauce (to taste).
- Finely slice 300g mixed fresh mushrooms, toss with the sauce and leave to marinate for at least an hour.
- Toss 150g cooked soba or green tea noodles with a little sesame oil, then add the mushrooms, a handful finely chopped spring onion, radish and sugar snaps and some coriander and mint leaves. Season with salt and pepper and garnish with thin strips of nori.
- Gently fry ½ finely chopped onion, 2 cloves crushed garlic, 1 Tbsp chopped thyme and 400g finely chopped mixed mushrooms in 50g butter for 5-7 minutes until soft. Add ½ cup port (or madeira or gin) and cook to reduce into a paste. Cool.
- Blitz mushroom mix with 50g pitted kalamata olives, 50g walnuts, 1 Tbsp capers, a large handful chopped parsley, the zest and juice 1 lemon, 3 white anchovies and a big glug of olive oil to form a chunky tapenade. Season with salt and pepper. Chill to serve as a dip or spread. It goes well with goat’s cheese.
- Gently fry 1 finely chopped onion, 1 finely chopped yellow capsicum, 1 Tbsp chopped thyme (or tarragon), 2 cloves crushed garlic, a large knob of grated ginger and 3 bay leaves (or kaffir lime leaves) in a big splash of olive oil until soft.
- Add 250g chopped eggplant and 500g mixed mushrooms and fry gently to soften. Add 2 cups hot chicken stock, 2 Tbsp gochujang (Korean chilli bean paste) or doenjang (plain bean paste), 2 tsp mixed spice and the zest and juice of a lemon and simmer 15-20 minutes to educe. Dissolve 2 Tbsp potato starch in a little water, then add enough to thicken stew. Season and stir through some chopped chives or parsley, then cool and chill.
- Cut sheets of puff (or shortcrust) pastry into smaller squares, add spoonfuls of stew, egg wash the edges and fold in the corners, then twist into small pies. Egg wash the outside, sprinkle with sea salt flakes and poppy seeds and bake at 200C until golden and crispy.