Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Bok Choy with Pickled Mushrooms

Bok Choy and Pickled Mushrooms

All right, friends. This is it. The last day of NaBloPoMo. AND I FREAKING DID IT. I admit there were some filler posts (sorry, but my nephew is really cute and so are dolphins) but we learned things this month, didn't we? One: leftover shellfish doesn't always stink. Two: Fermentation is our friend. Three: Texas loves Texas. So what did you think? Do you prefer the recipes-only format or do you like the regular check in, even if there's no recipe?

I do have a recipe for you today, actually. I wanted something (else) green to go next to last night's fish, and I had originally planned to saute some bok choy with fresh shiitake mushrooms. When I got to the grocery store, however, all that was left on the mushroom shelf was a dozen packages of pre-sliced portabellas and one sad little box of oyster mushrooms. Le sigh. But as I pondered on mushrooms I realized I had shiitakes at home in the fridge - pickled!

Bok Choy with Pickled Mushrooms
serves 3-4 as a side dish

Sorry for the recipe-in-a-recipe, but I promise once you make these pickles you'll find all sorts of places to use them. On a cheese plate? Yes. In a salad? Yes. Soup? Yes. Noodles? Yes. With sauteed bok choy? Heck yes. 

1 bunch young bok choy (mine was three heads too big to call "baby" but too small to be fully grown)
2 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/3 - 1/2 cup soy-pickled shiitakes

Separate the leaves of bok choy and wash carefully (there's usually a lot of dirt right at the base of the leaf), then dry. Slice the leaves, separating the stemmy pieces from the leafy pieces. Thinly slice (or finely chop, if you'd rather) the garlic.

Heat a large skillet (I used nonstick) over medium heat and add the oil. Add the garlic and bok choy stems to the pan, season with a pinch of salt and toss to coat in oil. Cook over medium heat until the stems are almost tender (3-5 minutes depending on how big you cut them and how mature your bok choy is).

When the stems are not quite done, add the leaves. They will wilt quickly, just keep them moving in the pan. When the leaves are wilted, add the mushrooms, and heat for just a bit longer until the mushrooms are heated through. Taste and add more salt if needed.

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