Teriyaki Mushrooms

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Oh, man, it’s been forever, right? I’ve been super dooper busy, what with the PhD I’m doing (maybe you didn’t know) and family staying and just this week an old uni friend came up from Melbourne. Yay: friends! The other thing that’s been taking up my time is crochet! Sarah taught me a couple of weeks ago and I am hooked (LOL – good one). So, I’ve been eating pretty simply when at home and not really photographing anything.

But! I do have these mushrooms up my sleeve… Which is an interesting tactile sensation for all involved.

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This is another simple one. But, I’ve realised that’s probably OK. In fact it’s great. I’m still regularly making the pumpkin porridge I posted over a month ago, because it’s simple and nutritious, which I daresay predisposes it to actually being made by you guys too. So, here we are: teriyaki mushrooms. Something to pile on a good steak or maybe sauté with other veggies, tofu and some rice for a vegetarian dinner. Personally though, it doesn’t get any better than mushrooms on toast. And these ones go down a treat on a hardy dark rye with a generous smear of avocado.

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I got these swiss brown mushrooms at the Eveleigh Farmers Market one Saturday with Sarah and Mum. The ‘shroom salesman was very chatty, showing us pictures of the mushrooms being grown and also one of his wife, “The Mushroom Queen of Woy Woy”. We also picked up some goat’s curd, a few phenomenal Billy Kwong pork buns, bunches of kale, purple carrots and beetroot and a huge slab of beef rump (which served as the innuendo portion of the trip). We hung out and ate amazing market purchases all weekend, but when my family finally cleared out, the fridge was still chock full of food. I didn’t want to waste these mushrooms on something where they would only be an accompaniment, so mushrooms on toast it was!

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Taking garlic mushrooms and giving them a Japanese twist is probably the least stupid idea I’ve ever had concerning mushrooms. Garlic and ginger are pretty sensible additions during these cooler seasons (good for colds ‘n’ shit) and, quite frankly, are too delicious not to put all over your mushrooms. Which you would then be an idiot not to put all over your everything, er, toast. Hop to it.

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Ingredients:
2-3 large swiss brown mushrooms
two cloves of garlic
tsp of grated ginger
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp sushi seasoning (or 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar and a pinch of sugar)

Directions:
Saute mushrooms, garlic and ginger for ten minutes on medium heat until softened on the outside. Add liquid ingredients and let reduce for five minutes. Serve on some really freaking rustic toast.

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Beetroot fritters with haloumi and avacado

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Last week I spent an extended weekend at my mum’s place. Where the streets are wide enough for two cars to drive at once. Where the nearest good coffee shop is a town away. And where at night, instead of a sporadic parade of sozzled hipsters shouting bullshit into the smog-smudged city sky, you can hear the sleepy static of the ocean.

On my last morning there we took a walk along the beach and up the headland, where new developments are springing forth like monstrous, angular mushrooms between $10,000 outsourced palm trees. Despite the designer mansions and half-finished holiday homes monopolising the landscape, it’s still a welcome escape from the city. Newtown, I like you plenty, but you are cramped and noisy and the windows of your terraces tend not to have fly-screens.

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We ate these fritters after our morning walk, with good plunger coffee. I know, I know: more beetroot, more haloumi. But they were there when I arrived. And who am I kidding? Who cares? This is breakfast food with colours. All of them. Well, magenta and green and cream-yellow rusted with golden brown. But that’s an impressive palette for breakfast in my books – my books being filled hand-scrawled lists of the stupidest things I’ve ever had to google (for work or fiction) and sketches of horses’ faces.

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Ingredients:

about 3 small/2 large beetroot, grated
1 cup plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cumin
2tsp ground coriander
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
oil for frying
100g haloumi
1 avocado
juice of 1/4 of a lime
1 tbsp Spanish onion
pinch salt

Directions:

Grate beetroots into a bowl. Add flour, baking powder and spices and stir it all around until the dry things cover the beets. Stir in eggs, then add milk. Heat some oil in a pan. Spoon about 1.5 tbsp of beetroot mixture into pan per fritter. Cook in batches until done, adding oil when needed and flipping each fritter when the bottom side is slightly browned. In between fritters, mash avocado and combine with lime juice, onion and salt. When fritters are done cook haloumi in slices until each side is lightly golden. Stack haloumi on top of fritters and add a dollop of salsa on top. Eat immediately, with a giant coffee.