Can you believe it's Monday already? And how HOT it was this weekend? Hope you survived. I know the AC was turned on over here. This weekend really seemed to whiz by. Mr. S. didn't have the kidlets this weekend so we got some stuff done around his casa and around my cottage. On Saturday, we planted some of these cute Japanese boxwood bushes in front of my cottage, they're called, "Green Beauty." Aren't they gorgeous? I love how the green color just pops against the black bark.
Later that day we attended a birthday party for our friend Brian up in El Dorado Hills that his awesome wife Heather threw. It had a casino theme (she went all out and rented tables and hired dealers), it was a lot of fun. I love theme parties, especially if there's no costumes involved. (If you know me, then you know my intense dislike for having to dress up in costumes.) Sunday was all about BBQing- juicy burgers and fresh veggies. Today though, I thought I'd make another batch of these pickled shiitakes from David Chang's Momofuku cookbook. I made some several weeks ago but quickly scarfed all three jars down. If you like salty stuff over sweet, like I do then you'll positively adore these. Also, you don't have to wait to eat these, they're ready for munching immediately.
Pickled Shiitakes (adapted from Momofuku by David Chang & Peter Meehan)
(makes about a quarts worth)
4 loosely packed cups of dried shiitakes
1 cup sugar
1 cup usukuchi*
1 cup sherry vinegar
Two 3-inch knobs of fresh ginger peeled
1. Soak the dried shiitakes in boiling water for about 15-20 minutes. Take the shiitakes out and set them aside. Put the leftover liquid through a fine-mesh strainer to remove any debris. Reserve 2 cups for the recipe. You can discard the rest or save it for other recipes (I like to use it as a base in recipes such as mushroom risotto).
2. Remove and discard the stems from the shiitakes. Slice the caps into strips.
3. In a pot, combine the steeping liquid, the sugar, the usukuchi, sherry vinegar, ginger and the sliced shittake caps. Place the pot on the stove over medium heat and bring to a nice simmer, for 30 minutes. Stir occassionally.
4. At 30 minutes, turn the heat off and allow the mixture to cool. Discard the ginger and pack the shiitakes (really get them in there) into the jars. Top off with the liquid (just enough to make sure the mushrooms are covered).
5. Keep refrigerated. Will be good for 1 month.
* Oto's Market on Freeport sells usukuchi.