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Friday, October 11, 2013

LOBSTER MUSHROOM & CORN CHOWDER WITH WHITE BEAN "CREAM"

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Lobster Mushroom & Corn Chowder

Lobster Mushrooms
We picked some more lobster mushrooms on our walk this morning (got some chanterelles yesterday!), so I decided to make a creamy chowder with some of them.  I wanted the chowder to be creamy but low in fat, so I decided to make a "cream" with cooked white beans, instead of using tofu or cashews.  It worked beautifully and was perfect for sunny, but chilly, October day.

I know that lobster mushrooms are not available to everyone (especially for free!), so you could substitute oyster mushrooms for them if they are easier for you to find.

Printable Recipe

BRYANNA’S LOBSTER MUSHROOM AND CORN CHOWDER WITH WHITE BEAN "CREAM"
(PS: Substitute oyster mushrooms for lobster mushrooms if they are more easily obtainable)


Serves 4-6  Low-fat, GF and can be Soy-free

1 large onion, chopped
3 cups water
2 tablespoons dulse flakes
1 tablespoon low-salt vegan “chicken” broth powder
4 medium yellow potatoes (about 1 lb.), peeled and cut in 1/2” dice
1 1/2 cups chopped sautéed lobster mushrooms (see PS above)
1 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed in hot water and drained
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
1 tablespoon vegan bacon chips
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
White Bean "Cream":
1 cup rinsed and drained cooked or canned white beans
1 cup plain non-dairy milk of choice
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
Finishing:
freshly-ground black pepper to taste
1 teaspoon dark sesame oil
smoked paprika

Sautéed lobster mushroom pieces-- chop them smaller after cooking
In a medium non-stick skillet, steam-fry (see Cooking Tip below) the onions over medium-high heat for about 5-7 minutes, adding a squirt of water as needed, until softened. (OR, what I do-- place the onions in a covered microwave-safe casserole or dish and cook on 100% power in the microwave oven for 5 minutes.)

While they cook, bring the water, dulse flakes and broth powder to a boil in a 4-quart pot. Simmer at medium heat for about  5 minutes. Strain off the dulse flakes through as fine a strainer as you have and discard the dulse.  Strain the liquid once again through a finetea strainer into a 1 quart measuring pitcher. Add water if necessary to make 2 1/2 cups. Pour the broth back into the pot (which you have rinsed out).

Add all the ingredients to the pot, EXCEPT the White Bean "Cream" ingredients and the pepper, sesame oil and paprika. Simmer the mixture, covered, for about 10 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender.


Meanwhile, process the White Bean "Cream" ingredients in a blender or with a hand/immersion blender, until VERY smooth. When the potatoes are tender, remove the bay leaf, stir in the White Bean "Cream",  add pepper to taste, and the sesame oil, and heat gently. Taste for salt. Sprinkle each serving with smoked paprika.

Cooking Tips
HOW TO STEAM-FRY
You will often see the term "steam-fry" in my recipes. Here is a description of what it is and how to do it.

METHOD OF STEAM-FRYING:
"Steam-fry" simply means sautéing without fat. To do this, use a heavy skillet  (use non-stick, hard-anodized aluminum [aluminum does not leak into food when it is hard-anodized], or cast iron), or a well-seasoned spun-steel wok or stir-fry pan, sprayed lightly with oil from a pump sprayer, or with cooking spray, if needed.
(See my update on nonstick skillets and alternatives at this post, updated April 2012.)

Heat the pan over high heat, add the chopped onions or other vegetables, and one or two tablespoons of liquid (water, low-sodium vegetarian broth, or wine), depending on the amount of vegetables. Do not crowd the pan, or your vegetables will "stew". Cook over high heat until the liquid starts to evaporate, stirring with a spatula or wooden spoon. Keep stirring until the vegetables are done to your liking, adding JUST ENOUGH liquid to keep the vegetables from sticking to the bottom of the pan. (I use a squirt bottle.)

You can brown onions perfectly by this method. As soon as the natural sugar in the onions starts to brown on the bottom and edges of the pan, add a little liquid and scrape up the brown bits, mixing them into the liquids and around into the cooking onions. Keep doing this until the onions are soft and brown, being careful not to scorch them.

TO "STEAM-FRY" IN THE MICROWAVE, use a glass dish, such as a round 10" Pyrex casserole dish or pie plate. Spray with oil from a pump sprayer or cooking spray. Add the chopped onions, garlic, carrots, celery, or whatever vegetables you want to sautè. Cover the dish with a glass lid or microwavable plate, and microwave 5 minutes, or however long it takes to soften them. This method is convenient because you don't have to watch the vegetables- you can be preparing the rest of the recipe while they cook. Just add the softened vegetables to the recipe.

Enjoy!


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