Sort-of Southern Barbecue & Cole Slaw – It’s almost close enough!

In the last post, I said I was going to make a Southern style barbecue with a mushroom, and I did.  Here’s what happened:

I laid out my ingredients:

For the cole slaw:

  • Cabbage
  • Onion (that’s how I like my cole slaw)
  • Pepper
  • Olive oil
  • Apple cider vinegar

For the “pulled mushroom barbecue”:

  • A maitake mushroom
  • Eastern North Carolina barbecue sauce (ACV, black pepper, red pepper flakes, hot pepper sauce)

Then I sat in front of the TV and pulled strands of maitake mushroom forever. (Honestly, there must be an easier way!)  At last, I pulled the last strand, and put the mushroom bits in a large plastic bag to marinate with some barbecue sauce.  Set that aside.

I cut half of the head of cabbage and half of the onion, and put them in the food processor (I like my cole slaw in little bits – so much easier and neater to chew!)

Then I mixed up the cabbage with black pepper and just enough oil and vinegar to dampen it but not drown it.

By this time, I was wavering between starving and bereft of appetite for having worked so hard on that maitake.  I decided I was starving, so I ate a delicious bowl of cole slaw.

Then I decided that the maitake really did not need to be so very marinated, and I took some out of the bag, put it in a bowl, put some cole slaw on top, and…… well, it was tasty and filling, and different from my usual fare, and sort of almost like barbecue.  Good enough at that point in time. (in the lead-up to this momentous project, I always known that I would probably need a couple of tries to get it right, but this definitely was better than no barbecue. I mean, it was good enough that I am looking forward to eating the rest of it just as soon as I finish this post.)


POTLUCK: My Dishes Were Hits! (I felt like a star! thank you thank you)

POST #886
So, I went to the potluck last night. As I last reported, I had planned to take mushrooms there.

After I made the mushrooms, I began worrying that there might be some finicky folks there who didn’t want to eat mushrooms, so I put them in the refrigerator, and made up a simple seaweed salad, using a Japanese seaweed mix, carrot shavings, chopped onions, sesame oil, a dash or two of Tabasco, and some apple cider vinegar. That made, I put it in the refrigerator to marinate some. At that point, I became overcome with the idea that nothing but nothing would do but to take the cashew/kale cheese, so I set a cup of cashews to soak and dashed off to the market to pick up a bunch of kale. Yesterday morning, I got up at 5am, and, even before my morning ablutions, I made up the cashew/kale cheese. Then, I decided to take everything to the potluck.

Good thing I did take everything, because it was all a hit. There I was feeling proud as a peacock (as close to a star as I have ever felt)  as people came up to me and asked about how I had made things. (It could have just been that mine was the only real *food* there – most people just brought fruit and dropped it on the table. True, one  young man brought an interesting apple sauce, a Russian guy did make a fabulous apple tart, and his Russian girlfriend made a grim “zucchini pasta dish” that tasted like “earnest health food made by beginner vegetarians”: Please note: Even 30 years ago, before all these designer raw food dishes you find in raw restaurants and recipe books, my dishes were flavorful. Oh! And the woman who’d said that she would bring a kale salad, which was the reason I had not made my famously fabulous marinated kale, picked up a box of chopped kale salad at Whole Foods)

I came away worrying a lot about the raw future of these people, if they don’t even know how to make nice delicious *food* food that will appeal to even non-raw people. (Raw food does not have to taste like you are on a special diet, and it doesn’t even have to taste like a salad!)

RAW FOOD MEET-UP ON SUNDAY – finally decided on marinated mushrooms

POST #885
I’m going to a meet-up raw food potluck on Sunday evening (if you haven’t tried meetup.com, you should! It’s a great way to find other people who are interested in what you are interested in!)

Anyway,when I heard this meet-up potluck was in my neighborhood (sort of — it may end up being a half-hour walk from home), I just had to sign up. Then I had to figure out what to make. Even though my marinated kale is out of this world, I decided not to do it, because kale seems to be everyone’s fall-back. I make crackers (I think I have enough sunflower seeds, and I just got 2lbs of flax seed) and a dip, but I’m feeling broke right about now, and I could be eating those crackers, and, anyway, that does not really sound like a dinner food. So, I’ve decided to make the Korean mushrooms again.
I decided to go to Fairway, where they have a large selection of mushrooms and you can buy them by the pound (as opposed to Costco, where you have to buy a huge box). When I went to Fairway, I saw they had whole baby bellas in a box, but then I noticed that the baby bellas look just like the criminis, and I recalled an article that I’d read that said that they are the same mushrooms, so I got the criminis, because they were cheaper by the pound.
I found sesame oil in the oil section, and then, shortly afterwards, I found more sesame oil, cheaper, but I did not choose that one because, although it said it was sesame oil, it did not list the ingredients (sesame oil), so I wasn’t sure I could trust it for such an important dish as mushrooms for a meetup potluck.
I didn’t buy carrots at Fairway, so I walked a way down Broadway and got some organic carrots at Trader Joe’s (they did not have any kind of sesame oil!)

Now, I’m good to go. I want to make theses mushrooms ahead of time so they can marinate well, and, also, so, if I eat too many of them, I can go make some more fo the potluck!

Of course, me being me, I’d really like to make something that everyone would ooh and aah over.


POST #870
Woo hoo!! My room-mate kept bringing home this mushroom dish that I could see and taste was raw. I saw the price on the pot and decided that I could make a “reliable” (as in, I know exactly what is in there– duh! I read the ingredients!) version. Last night, I took some of the “baby ‘bellas’” I had in the refrigerator, and sliced them up thinly, put them in a bowl, sprinkled them VERY lightly with salt (ha! You’re seeing that I actually can use salt when forced to!), and added some sesame oil and sesame seeds.
I tried the mushrooms last night, right after I’d made them, and believed they tasted good. I put them in the refrigerator. Believing that my Japanese room-mate has a different “taste”, I fed the mushrooms to her tonight, and she said that they taste much better than the store-bought ones. I was happy.

Okay, I’ll share with you exactly what I did (the measurements are approximate)

  • 6 large baby bella mushrooms
  • 2 T sesame oil
  • 1 t sesame seeds (or more, to taste)
  • 1/8 C carrot (sliced paper thin)
  • Sprinkle of sea salt
  • Remove the stems of the mushrooms (save them for something else – chopped into salad, blended into soup, or shredded for another mushroom recipe)
  • Slice the mushrooms thinly- @1/8” (I used the wider width on my adjustable mandolin, but when I came too close to the ends, I sliced the mushroom ends by hand with a very sharp knife)
  • Place sliced mushrooms in a large bowl.
  • Lightly sprinkle on sea salt, and toss, to mix.
  • Add sesame oil and sesame seeds and toss to thoroughly mix (you can see when the mushrooms are coated with the oil.
  • Wait.

I did not make my experiment with the carrot, but they were in the Korean version I was copying – they will likely add a sweet note to the dish)

I tasted these about 30 mins after I made them and they were good.
After they had been in the refrigerator for 1 day, I gave them to the room-mate. She said they were better than the “Korean-style” ones from the Japanese market. (That is all I needed to hear)