Friday, March 2, 2012

Porcini Mushrom Cutlets with Pickled Sea Beans & Lemongrass Sauce

Sea beans are totally awesome vegetables that you can't find anywhere! But since I work in a restaurant, we can get them year round through a wholesaler. Other than that I have never seen them in stores, and I have only heard them listed on menus. When I saw them at work I was excited to finally try them. (New vegetables really excite me, maybe even too much.) 
Sea beans are rooted in water, but grow out into the fresh air. Because of this they have a very briny quality. Raw, they have the texture of snap peas and taste like salt. They really just taste like thin little poles of salt. Not appetizing you say? Very much so! When you cook them down, they lose just the right amount of that salty flavor and become delightful crunchy bits. You can prepare them any way you want, I chose to pickle them which rendered delicious results. If you can't find sea beans, substitute them for fresh green beans in this recipe.

Hearty mushroom cutlets served with pickled sea beans, lemongrass-cilantro sauce and roasted shiitake mushrooms.

Porcini Mushroom Cutlets
makes 4
1 medium russet potato, peeled, small dice
1 oz dried porcini mushrooms
1 tsp salt
1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp dried tarragon
4 tbl extra virgin olive oil, divided
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/4 cup vital wheat gluten

Cook the potato in salted boiling water until tender. Drain and mash completely.
Soak the dried mushrooms in 1 cup of boiling water for 10 minutes until soft. Drain, reserving the broth, and mince finely.
Combine the mashed potato, mushrooms, salt, thyme, pepper, tarragon, 2 tbl olive oil and 2 tbl reserved broth. Add the breadcrumbs and wheat gluten and knead the mixture for 2-3 minutes.
Form into 4 cutlets and saute in olive oil until golden brown on both sides.

Pickled Sea Beans
1/4 lb sea beans
1 garlic clove, smashed
1/2 red chile
1/2 bay leaf
pinch of mustard seeds
pinch of coriander seeds
1/3 cup water
2 tbl rice wine vinegar
3/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp organic cane sugar

Combine the sea beans, garlic, red chile, bay leaf, mustard and coriander seeds in a bowl or jar.
Combine the water, vinegar, salt and sugar in a small pot. Bring to a boil then pour over the sea beans. Let cool then cover and refrigerate. Let sit for at least 2 hours before serving. They last up to a week.

Lemongrass Sauce
1/4 cup lime juice
1/4 cup cilantro 
2 tbl tamari
2 tbl olive oil
1 tbl agave nectar
1 tbl sliced lemongrass, white part only
1 garlic clove

Combine all of the ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth.

Roasted Mushrooms
2 cups sliced shiitake mushroom
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 425.
Toss the mushrooms with oil, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Roast on a baking sheet for 15 minutes until crispy.

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