Thursday, June 10, 2010

50 mile meal - take 3

It's so awesome that there's not one but TWO mushroom sellers at the Yorkmont Farmer's Market. The guy I refer to as "The Mushroom Dude" usually has shitakes, but lo-and-behold, last week I spotted a table full of huge, gorgeous Oyster 'shrooms. I bought a wad.

And, it sat in the fridge for a while as I pondered what to do with a pound of ghostly, foresty fungus.

And then it struck me. Po' boys!

Fried Oyster (mushroom) Po' Boys

The reason this works as a 50 mile meal is that Cajun fried oysters are typically made with a mixture of corn meal and corn flour, both of which are locally available. In this case, I used some of the grits I featured in last week's 50 mile meal, and using a mortar and pestle, ground about a cup of grits into a flour-like texture. Not as much work as you'd think.

You'll need:

1 pound of fresh oyster mushrooms, cleaned, and cut into 2-3 pieces (depending on the size of the 'shroom - you want bite-sized morsels)
1 cup grits or corn meal
1 cup corn flour
1 cup water or soymilk
(non-local caveat - this works with both a water bath, and a soymilk/egg replacer wash, although with the water bath you're going to lose more corn meal to your frying oil)
Vegetable oil for frying

2 rolls - bolillos, hoagie rolls, or french bread work best (Las Delicias strikes again! Bolillos are traditionally made without eggs, but any locally made, vegan roll will do)
4 leaves lettuce, romaine works best
1 large pickle, sliced thin (homemade FTW!!)
1 large tomato, sliced thin (mmm, Cherokee tomatoes, I love you)

4 tablespoons or so of "Po Boy Sauce" - I used a locally-produced Hot Dog "relish" bought from the Bradford Store, but here's a quick recipe so you can make your own:

4 tablespoons mayo or nayonnaise
1 tablespoon sweet relish
1 tablespoon mustard
1 - 2 tsp hot sauce (a la Franks)

Mix your corn flour and meal in one bowl and put your water (or soymilk) in another.

Heat your veggie oil in a large pot or wok until it's hot, but not smoking, about 365f. You're going to fry your mushrooms in three batches, so as not to overflow your fryer (which is super dangerous, as I'm sure you know. Oil fires are no joke). Grab a handful of chopped shrooms, toss them in the water or soymilk, squeeze them out gently, and toss them in your corn flour mix. Press to adhere the flour to the mushrooms. Grab them again and dust the pile off a bit, then gently lay them in the hot oil. Using a slotted spoon, turn them now and again, until they crisp up and turn a golden brown (about 2 minutes), then remove them to a paper towel covered plate or pizza pan and drain them. Repeat with batch two and three.

Cut a slit in your roll, not all the way through, and remove some of the bread to make room for your delicious mushrooms. Spread a tablespoon of sauce (or more) on each side of the bread. Lay two lettuce leaves on the bottom, then your sliced tomato, then sliced pickles, then shove as many fried "oysters" as you can into the sammich, until it's all but bursting. If you'd like a less messy eating experience, let the sub sit a minute, then slice in half.

We ate ours with (also vegan and local) seitan gumbo, which was an awesome, if filling, meal. Stay tuned, I'll be putting that recipe up soon!

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