Saturday, August 15, 2009
Mushroom Quiche That's the Shiitake (so to speak)
At this time of year, I often find myself in the predicament of having a refrigerator that looks like Mother Nature has finally taken leave of her senses, unleashing her plenteous bounty in what might almost be seen as a menacing fashion.
Of course, it's not really all her fault; the fact is that between farmer's markets, the generosity of gardening friends (the only thing we raise chez nous is mint; want some? No, seriously, anyone?) and the beautiful summer produce available in any supermarket, I sometimes get a little excited, and wind up surrounded by enough fruit and vegetables to feed a small village. Some things (squash, beans, leafy greens) will keep in the fridge for a bit, but others, like fresh shiitake mushrooms, really need to be cooked ASAP. And so it was that on a Sunday night when nobody was very hungry but there wasn't much going on, I headed into the kitchen and made these quiches. The "custard" is loosely adapted from Isa's formula in Vegan Brunch, and the whole enterprise took very little time or effort, tasted wonderful, and made a nice lunch the next day; in short, highly recommended. NB you could sub pretty much whatever veggies you like for the mushrooms: sauteed broccoli or asparagus, roasted peppers, caramelized onions, etc., or any combination of these would work beautifully. Now to figure out what to do with all the other stuff...!
Shiitake Mushroom Quiches (makes two)
~ 1 tbsp. olive oil
~ 2 tbsp. minced garlic
~ 8 cups thinly sliced shiitake (or other) mushroom caps
~ 1 tsp. each: salt, basil, tarragon
~ Fresh black pepper
~ Preheat the oven to 375 degrees fahrenheit.
~ In a large skillet or wok, heat the oil, then saute the garlic about 2 minutes.
~ Add the mushrooms and seasonings, stir to combine, and continue cooking 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has cooked off and they smell all 'shroomy.
~ Remove from heat and set aside.
~ 1/2 cup raw cashews
~ 1/2 cup pine nuts
~ 1 lb. extra firm tofu, drained and crumbled
~ 1 lb. firm silken tofu
~ 1 tsp. salt
~ 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
~ Paprika and dried parsley for garnish
~ In a food processor, process the cashews and pine nuts into fine crumbs.
~ Add the smooth tofu (by spoonfuls), then the firm tofu, the salt and nutmeg. Process until smooth, adding up to a cup of the cooked mushrooms.
~ In a large mixing bowl, combine the mixture from the food processor and the remaining cooked mushrooms. Stir thoroughly and divide equally between two prepared 9" pie crusts, homemade or store bought (I used frozen).
~ Smooth the tops with a rubber spatula, then sprinkle with a little paprika and dried parsley.
~ Cover with foil and bake for 40 minutes at 375 degrees
~ Remove the foil and bake another 15-20 minutes, checking occasionally to make sure the crust doesn't burn.
~ Remove from oven and cool for about 20 minute before slicing (although it must be said that tofu quiches slice much more nicely than the egg variety, and much sooner, too).