Mushrooms & Leeks

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Heat in a wok or large skillet over high heat :

2 tbs light oil such as sunflower, vegetable or shallot oil

When the oil is quite hot, add :

6 oz leeks, cut into 1/2″ slices

Stir-fry for about a minute, until leeks begin to soften. Add :

.5 oz garlic, minced

Stir-fry for thirty seconds, then add :

1 oz scallions, chopped

Stir-fry for thirty seconds, then add :

1-2 chiles, finely chopped

Stir-fry for thirty seconds, then add :

A splash of shao xing cooking wine or sherry

Stir the aromatics and cook for thirty seconds, then add :

1 lb. button mushrooms, cut lengthwise into 2, 3 or 4 pieces (as illustrated below)

Toss mushrooms and aromatics as best as possible for one minute, then add :

2 tbs shao xing wine or sherry

2 tbs stock of any kind

A few dashes of Maggi or Golden Mountain seasoning (or Worcestershire for non-vegetarians)

Continue to cook over high heat, covering for about two minutes, then uncovering again.

This will generate a lot of liquid and start to soften the mushrooms. Now you want to braise them, stirring frequently and keeping the cover off. By the time the liquids have been cooked away, the mushrooms should be close to tender. Take care not to overcook them, you want some texture in this dish. If too much liquid has escaped, add more stock or a mix of stock and shao xing or sherry. Keep stirring.

When all the liquid is absorbed and the mushrooms are tender but not soft, turn into a serving dish.

Garnish with :

Ground sumac and/or clove, freshly ground if possible.

Serve either hot or at room temperature. This is an excellent addition to a tapas or meze platter, or served as a side dish to accompany a more traditional main course. The end result can also be chopped once cooked into more of a tapenade, perhaps with a dash of added olive oil, accompanied with bread or fresh raw vegetables.

Naturally, wild mushrooms can be substituted for the cultivated ones. I would think a similar textured-mushroom like a blewit or field mushroom would be most adequate.

Mushroom cutting technique below. I know, right, so advanced. But if you make nice thick slices like this, they will retain a good texture even after being subjected to a braising like the above.

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