Recipe: Snap Pea and Shiitake Stir Fry

Serves 4

4 to 6 oz. fresh shiitake mushrooms
or
1 oz. dried shiitake mushrooms
1 cup short or medium grain white or brown rice
pinch of salt
1 cup garlic scapes or scallions, cut into 1″ lengths
2 cups fresh snap peas
2 to 3 Tbsp canola or peanut oil
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1/4 tsp fish sauce
1/4 tsp tamari or soy sauce or to taste

If using dried mushrooms, soak in warm water to cover for an hour, then pat dry
with a towel. Save liquid for soup stock or other recipe.

Bring 4 cups of water to boil in cook pot and add rice and pinch salt. Reduce to
simmer until rice is tender.

Wash snap peas and remove stems. Wash and trim garlic scapes or scallions and
cut into 1-inch lengths. If using scallions only use the first few inches of the stalk.
Slice or chop mushroom caps. Save stems in the freezer for stock or broth.

Heat 1 Tbsp canola or peanut oil on medium-low heat in wok or sauté pan. When
hot, sauté mushrooms until soft, about 5 minutes. Set aside. Heat remaining
canola or peanut oil on medium-high heat. When hot, add snap peas and garlic
scapes or scallions, and toss frequently until slightly browned. Add mushrooms,
sesame oil, fish sauce, and tamari or soy sauce; then cook for another two or three
minutes.

Place vegetables on drained rice and serve immediately.

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Recipe: Grilled Steak with Mushroom Sauce

It might have been a bit too windy and rainy for those of us in the Twin Cities to grill last weekend, so we’ll try again this weekend with another grilling recipe. If it’s too rainy again, you can always throw your steaks under the broiler until they’re cooked the way you like them.  And, if you made polenta last week and still have some left, this is a great recipe to add polenta too.  In our opinion, practically every recipe could use some grilled polenta!

Grilled Steak with Mushroom Sauce

Serves 4

Mushroom Sauce
4 or 5 oz. fresh shiitake or oyster mushrooms, chopped
or
1 oz. dried shiitake mushrooms
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup spring onion
1/2 cup water, stock or mushroom water from re-hydrating dried mushrooms
1/2 to 1 tsp soy sauce
1/2 to 1 tsp fresh savory or thyme
1/8 tsp pepper
4 tsp cornstarch dissolved in 1/4 cup water

If using dried mushrooms, soak in warm water to cover for an hour, then pat dry with a towel. Save liquid.
Saute onion in olive oil over medium heat until slightly browned, 2 to 3 minutes.
Remove caps from mushrooms and chop. Add mushrooms and water, stock or  mushroom water to onions and simmer for 15 minutes. Then add seasonings and bring to boil.
Finally stir in dissolved cornstarch, heating occasionally until thickened, about 2 minutes.
Add salt if needed.

For Steaks
3 to 4 oz. buffalo steak per serving
or
3 to 4 oz. beef steak per serving
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt and pepper

Rinse steaks and pat dry. Rub steaks with oil, salt and pepper, and let rest for 1 hour at room temperature. Prepare grill for steaks. Place steaks on hot grill for two and a half minutes on each side. You can also sear on cast iron skillet at medium-high heat.
Remove steaks to platter and cover until ready to serve.
Serve steaks with drizzle of mushroom sauce. If you like, lay steak on grilled polenta cake and top with sauteed shiitake mushrooms.
Mushroom Sauce adapted from “Simply in Season.” Steak preparation adapted from Wild Idea Buffalo Company website

Recipes: Grilled Shiitake and Asparagus

We have a lovely patch of asparagus on the farm. We haven’t weeded or mowed in that area so searching for asparagus amongst the weeds is a bit like looking for morels – the asparagus blends in and hides! There is still asparagus around, so you should be able to find some in the store or at a farmers market for this tasty grilled recipe. The recipe suggests grilled polenta as an optional addition. You won’t believe how tasty grilled polenta is, so I recommend giving it a try!

Grilled Shiitake and Asparagus

Serves 2 to 4
4 to 6 oz. shiitake mushrooms, stemmed
8 oz. asparagus
2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 to 2 tsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. rice vinegar
1-1/2 tsp. chopped tarragon
Salt and freshly ground pepper
grilled polenta
chive blossoms

Making polenta is pretty easy, though a bit time consuming. There are lots of recipes out there for it. The New York Times has a pretty good one; follow the instructions for firm polenta.  You’ll want to make the polenta, let it cool and solidify, then cut into squares and brush with olive oil. (Since the polenta keeps for several days, you only need to cut as many pieces as you need.)

Light a grill. In a small bowl, mix the 2 teaspoons of olive oil with the soy sauce, lemon juice, vinegar and tarragon and season with salt and pepper.

Brush the shiitake with 2 tsp of the soy vinaigrette; season with salt and pepper. Grill the mushrooms over moderate heat, turning once, until just tender, or about 6 minutes.  You can grill the polenta at the same time.

Transfer the shiitake to a bowl; cut any large shiitake into quarters. Add 1 tbsp of the soy vinaigrette and toss to coat.

Bring a large skillet of salted water to a boil. Fill a large bowl with ice water. Add the asparagus to the skillet and cook until crisp-tender, or about 3 minutes. Transfer to the ice water to cool. Drain and pat dry with paper towels. Arrange the asparagus on a platter. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Spoon the shiitake over the asparagus, drizzle any remaining vinaigrette on top and serve right away. You can serve on the grilled polenta and top with chive blossoms.