Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Shimeji Mushrooms and Ginkgo Nut Parcel


I chose to make this Shimeji Mushrooms and Ginkgo Nut Parcel from the Japanese Light cookbook just because it looked like fun. I love mushrooms and the recipe includes photographs of wrapping up the little tin foil parcels. I haven't made anything like that in a while. The only problem was, I had no idea what shimeji mushrooms were. Long story short, they are also known as beech mushrooms. I found them in a package in the refrigerator section of the Asian market.

I wasn't all that impressed with these. It is a simple recipe with pure and simple flavors. Everything tasted fresh and healthy. I just wanted . . . something. Maybe more garlic or some soy sauce. After I ate half of my parcel I mixed them in with the Steamed Eggplant with Spicy Miso Dressing so that they could have some of the dressing on them. Maybe they would have been better if I ate them with a stronger flavored main dish.

Shimeji Mushrooms and Ginkgo Nut Parcel

2 packets shimeji mushrooms
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed with the side of a knife
12 ginkgo nuts* (sold ready to use in vacuum packs or cans in Asian markets)
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 thick slices lime

4 (12-inch) squares of aluminum foil

*if using the canned variety, rinse off the brine

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cut the base off of the mushrooms and separate them (or if desired, keep them in little clumps). Heat a skillet over a moderate heat and add the garlic to the olive oil to flavor. Remove the garlic when it turns golden. Increase the heat and quickly saute the mushrooms and ginkgo nuts; season with the salt.

Divide the mushrooms into four equal portions and transfer each portion into the center of an aluminum foil sheet. Add a lime slice to each one and gather up the corners to make parcels. Make the parcels as roomy as possible so as not to crowd the ingredients. Put them on a baking sheet and bake them for 5 minutes. Serve unopened and let your guests enjoy the fragrance as they open them at the table.


1 comment:

tigerfish said...

I love ginkgo nuts! Other than using in desserts, they can be used in stir-frys too!