”This time Alice waited patiently until it chose to speak again. In a minute or two the Caterpillar took the hookah out of its mouth and yawned once or twice, and shook itself. Then it got down off the mushroom, and crawled away in the grass, merely remarking as it went, `One side will make you grow taller, and the other side will make you grow shorter.’
`One side of WHAT? The other side of WHAT?’ thought Alice to herself.
`Of the mushroom,’ said the Caterpillar, just as if she had asked it aloud; and in another moment it was out of sight.”
Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, from Lenny’s Alice in Wonderland Site
In honor of the release of the new Alice in Wonderland movie, the Tea Spot Chef, Karen Harbour, has created a new mushroom recipe for the Mad Hatter tea party. Unlike the mushroom that the caterpillar sat on smoking his hooka, these mushrooms will not make you get any taller or shorter. Of course, if you eat too much of anything you might grow wider.
Karen suggests any combination of shiitake, chanterelles, Portobello, brown cremini, or, garden-variety white, in proportions to your taste. She describes the dish by saying, “A slight smokiness achieved by using a wok as a smoker makes this mélange of mushrooms the perfect topping for whole-wheat pasta or thick Japanese ramen noodles. Make sure your exhaust fan in the kitchen is in good working condition since this cooking method can produce some smoke.”
The tea used in this recipe is The Tea Spot’s Bolder Breakfast tea. Bolder Breakfast tea is a blend of high estate grown black teas from Sri Lanka, China, and India. To this combination of strong black teas, The Tea Spot has added pu-erh. This creates a strong black tea for drinking or cooking with.
Tea Smoked Mushrooms
1/2 cup dry rice
1/2 cup brown sugar,
1/2 cup Bolder Breakfast tea leaves
2 tablespoons crushed black peppercorns
1 tablespoon whole coriander seeds
4 slices fresh ginger root
4 cinnamon sticks
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon whole cloves
One half pound (8 oz) assorted mushrooms, washed and dried
4 large cloves of garlic, finely chopped
Olive oil to coat mushrooms
Reduced sodium soy sauce to taste;
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Freshly chopped chives or thinly sliced scallion greens.
Line wok with foil and place the smoking mixture (rice, sugar, tea, peppercorns, coriander, ginger root, cinnamon, bay leaf and cloves) in a mound in the center of the foil in the wok. Quarter or halve mushrooms, depending on their size, to bite–size pieces and place in a bowl. Toss lightly to coat with the garlic, olive oil and soy sauce. Grind a good dose of black pepper over them and mix lightly to distribute the pepper evenly. Set a wire rack in the wok and place a tight fitting lid on top of the wok. Heat wok over a high flame until wisps of smoke appear when you briefly lift the lid. Reduce the flame to medium. Quickly place the mushrooms on the rack in the wok and replace cover. Smoke about 5 minutes (less if you prefer a less smoky taste). Remove mushrooms and place into a bowl to let stand at room temperature. Adjust seasoning as needed with salt and pepper to taste. Top cooked whole wheat pasta or ramen noodles with the mushrooms and sprinkle the dish with chopped chives or thinly sliced scallion greens. Serve immediately. Yields 4 Servings.
Recommended teas to drink : Lapsang Souchong or Pu-erh
You can find more of Karen Harbour’s recipes at Steep it Loose
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