Am I the only person who looks at food magazines at the gym? My local iron crushing spot graciously displays an entire rack full of magazines that I viciously comb through every day to find a new one that I have yet to browse through (I am continually looking for some inspiration to get me through my time on the treadmill). I open up the pages and find the recipes that awaken my creativity and then set the jogging number to 4.8 (yeah yeah yeah, so I’m a slow runner–don’t judge!) and then I let my mind wonder and dream about well, food.
Last month, as I embarked upon the above-mentioned routine, there was a magazine that had this beautiful spread on a Clam Bake. I remember just staring at this page in awe because I marveled at the thought of creating my own gluten-free vegan “seafood” bake. I had to do it. I’m all about setting out to prove that you can do anything with food regardless of your restrictions. So that is what is going on over here for the next two weeks: Fork & Beans’ First Annual Gluten-Free Vegan “Seafood” Bake! The first thing that sparked into my head to make was King Oyster Mushroom “Scallops.” I’ve been day-dreaming about making these for over a year (I know, I’m slow to action at times) when I saw a similar recipe on the menu at a local restaurant.
Having not personally tried it, I was skeptical. I mean, they are just mushroom stems. Big whoop. There is no way that they will taste similar to the real thing, right? Oh, I was so wrong in my judgments. But come on, I took a small bite from the raw mushroom stem at first and it was gross. Took a second bite from the soaked stem (surely if I soaked it in hot bath it would soften up). Nope. But my mouth hit the floor when I took the first bite after I cooked them in the skillet with the broth and wine. I bow in your general direction King Oyster Mushrooms. Your talent and ability to taste like scallops should be enough to enlist you onto Star Search.
In terms of the initial preparation of the mushroom stems (I needed soaking consultation) I was guided by two recipes from two awesome bloggers: Kathy from Lunch Box Bunch‘s King Oyster Vegan Mushroom Scallops and Cucumber and Erin from Olives For Dinner‘s Vegan Bacon Wrapped Scallops*
- Stems of 4 king oyster mushrooms, rinsed and cut into 1 - 1½" sections (I got about 4 pieces from each stem)
- 1 c. vegetable broth
- ¼ c. white wine
- 1 Tbsp. vegan butter
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 shallot, minced
- 4 oz. uncooked gluten-free pasta (approx. 2 c. cooked), cook according to package
- 1 c. vegetable broth
- ¼ c. white wine
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- ½ c. fresh tomatoes, cut into small cubes or 2 Tbsp. sun-dried tomatoes, drained from the oil and chopped
- ¼ c. fresh parsley, finely chopped
- 1 Tbsp. red pepper flakes
- In hot water, soak the mushroom stems for 1-2 hours. Drain completely.
- On medium-high, place the mushroom stems into a skillet. Add the broth and white wine to the skillet, getting the liquid to a simmering boil. Allow the mushroom stems to absorb the liquid completely (might take about 12-15 minutes) Please note that they will shrink in size a little once cooked.
- Toss in 1 Tbsp. vegan butter, garlic, and shallot and nicely brown the stems on each side, making sure you don't burn the garlic and shallot. Remove from heat and place the "scallops" on a plate. Keep the garlic and shallots in the pan for the pasta.
- Add the vegetable broth, wine, and minced garlic in your skillet used for the mushrooms and allow to simmer over medium heat until half of the liquid is absorbed.
- Mix in the tomatoes, parsley and pepper flakes into the skillet. Simmer for another minute and then add the cooked and drained pasta. Allow the liquid to almost completely absorb (you want the bottom of the pan to be lightly coated with liquid).
- Divide the pasta into two 1 c. servings (I know, the correct serving size is ½ c. but who doesn't love more pasta?!) and divide the "scallops" equally on top. Garnish with more fresh parsley.
For the king oyster mushrooms, I found mine fresh at Whole Foods. They came in a pack of four are unfortunately more of a specialty mushroom, making them harder to find. Keep in mind that these mushrooms really are the only mushroom stem recommended for this recipe due to its size, shape, and texture.