Secret Ingredient

Oyster Mushrooms

Rating: NNNNN


Not too long ago, the only mushrooms found on grocery shelves were the bland, white button variety. But as tastes grew, so did the diversity of ‘shrooms: meaty portobello, smoky shiitake and the sweet, earthy oyster. Delicately flavoured and velvety textured, oyster mushrooms range in colour from soft beige to pale grey and have firm, dry caps with fluted, graceful gills.However, the stems are often tough and are usually discarded. Oyster mushrooms add subtlety to meat and fish dishes and are particularly suited to stews. They’re also great with veggies, especially steamed or stir-fried with green beans, artichoke hearts or asparagus. If refrigerated in a paper bag, they’ll stay fresh for up to five days. Oyster mushrooms are especially wonderful when paired with onions or cashews. Here’s a recipe for an omelette that combines all three. Whisk 8 eggs and 1/4 cup of water together in a large bowl. In a frying pan, sauté 1/2 pound of fresh oyster mushrooms in canola oil over medium heat for a minute. Add half a small onion, chopped, 2 cloves of crushed and chopped garlic and 2 tablespoons of tamari or soy sauce to the pan, cook for another minute, then add 1/2 cup of chopped cashews. Coat a skillet with a thin layer of canola oil or butter and heat over medium heat. Add egg mixture and cook undisturbed for a minute. Next, layer a cup of grated cheddar cheese over the eggs and add the mushroom mix. Fold the omelette and cook for another 2 minutes. Serves two alongside a green salad and crusty bread.

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