I am thrilled this has commenced once again. Last week when I mentioned to a client one of the cookbooks I am writing is vegetarian she said she and her family have gone vegan for the past year. She finds the same exhilarating creativity in food that I do during these stints. Even when they call ahead to restaurants for vegan meals often the chefs are excited to get creative with the fresh food they have to work with to accomodate their lifestyle.
Today's delicious: Brown rice coconut congee with oyster mushrooms and garlic chives
3/4 c. brown basmati rice
4 c. water
1/2 c. canned coconut milk
1 tsp kosher salt
2 garlic cloves, smashed
1 inch knob ginger
Bring all ingredients together in a medium saucepan and bring to boil over med-high heat. Immediately lower it to the lowest temp and let it go for 90 minutes. Uncover and raise heat to medium to cook off some of the excess liquid for 20-30 minutes while you prepare the mushrooms. Taste to see if it needs more salt. this is the time to add it. It should have a very subtle creamy nutty taste almost like butter.
Caramelised mushroom and onion topping
1/3 c. thinly sliced and quartered red onion
1 tbsp oilve oil
2 cups assorted mushrooms (I used half crimini and half young and sliced king oysters), wiped clean with a soft towel if needed. DO NOT WASH IN WATER.
2 Tbsp snipped garlic chives
1 Tbsp Bragg's liquid aminos (this ups the umami ante)
In a large fairly shallow heavy skillet heat the oil over medium heat and add onions. Let them soften and brown while you prepare the mushrooms. Add the mushrooms to the pan and let sweat til some of the moisture releases (you may opt to cover it for a few minutes of the pan seems dry). Stir once and add liquid aminos and chives. Allow mushrooms to get some color by not stirring them too often, every 2 minutes or so. The whole process may take the entire 20 minutes the congee is thickening.
put about 1 cup of hot congee in a bowl, top with a few raw spinach leaves then warm mushrooms. Garnish with more garlic chives if desired. Enjoy while hot.