Tuesday, July 31, 2007
Roasted Enoki Mushrooms Izakaya Style
Whew! I am back from all my travels and am finally back in my own kitchen. I miss the beach and the excitement of travel, but it's good to be home. I need to hit the gym, cook at home for a while and catch up on some serious laundry.
I ate well on the road; almost grossly rich food in Savannah at Paula Deen's restaurant The Lady and Sons, and a classically elegant supper of local-caught flounder eaten by candlelight during a thunderstorm while overlooking a park at the historic Olde Pink House.
Las Vegas brought excellent off-the-strip Thai food at Lotus of Siam, followed the next night by a meal at Michael Mina's STRIPSTEAK that was as expensive as my mortgage payment, only I was fortunate enough to not be paying for that meal. Thanks Becky!
Imagine black-truffle dusted duck-fat fried French fries, foie gras "sliders", A5 Japanese Kobe beef steak that was seriously the price of a low-end car payment, Shafer Hillside Select Cabernet, jalapeno creamed corn, truffled mac n cheese and freshly fried mini doughnuts and beignets with dipping sauces, along with many more items I am leaving out. OH MY GOD!! Here is a photo of me and chef Ben Jenkins and me & the girls with who might be considered the greatest thug in the kingdom of rap, Suge Knight. It's Vegas after all...we also saw Magic Johnson and Adrian Grenier of Entourage and Devil Wears Prada.
Laguna Beach and Newport Beach brought respite from Vegas with sleepy mornings, a brown-bag lunch at the beach and early dinners before a glass of wine and early bedtimes.
Sushi ruled the day, any that's how I stumbled on the inspiration for this recipe. My favorite sushi bar frequented by locals is San Shi Go (345) in Laguna Beach. Sushi chef Yoshi not only served me an amazing omakase-style sublime sushi experience, but when I finished I asked where else I should eat while in Orange County and he steered me to sister restaurant Oki Doki, an Asian fusion place known for Izakaya style food.
So...what is Izakaya? I was thrilled to discover it's a Japanese style of restaurant/bar/pub not unlike a tapas bar (Spain) in that it's small plates meant for sharing while enjoying drinks with friends and/or colleagues.
My really sweet and (so earning brownie points) boyfriend Brian flew in to surprise me on Thursday and stayed for the weekend, so Friday night found us at Oki Doki where everything was absolutely delicious, but the mushrooms roasted in foil stuck in my head. Here is my version - this is amazingly simple and really good.
Roasted Enoki Mushrooms Izakaya Style:
(serves 1, can be increased as needed)
1 small bunch enoki mushrooms
1 tbs sake
1 tbs ponzu sauce (ponzu shoyu (with soy sauce added) is best here, not plain ponzu)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp to 1/2 tbs butter (use what you want)
Preheat oven to 400. Make a small pouch in a piece of foil, add mushrooms and then seasonings (except butter). Toss mushrooms until coated, top with butter, then close foil packet. Roast for about 15 minutes. Serve immediately!