I needed a hot vegetable dish that I could prep ahead and then quickly cook at the last minute. I had bought a leek that I did not use this week and I thought that would go nicely with oyster mushrooms (a favorite of Miriam and Chris). I would be cutting the leeks hours before I was intending to cook them. To keep them from drying out, I would keep them in cool water. To dry them out before sautéing, I would use the Salad Spinner that Miriam gave me for my birthday last year.
Karl’s Oyster Mushrooms and Leeks
½ lb. oyster mushrooms
1 lb. leeks
3 Tbs. butter (olive oil for Vegan)
6 cloves garlic
¼ cup dark rum
1 tsp. marjoram, dried
½ tsp. fresh ground black pepper
Pinch red pepper flakes
Pinch Kosher salt
2 green onions, chopped finely
1. Trim and break larger mushrooms into bite sized pieces. Place on a plate and cover with a clean dish towel.
2. Rinse the leek well and cut it in half length wise. Slice each half into one inch pieces on a slight bias.
Tip: You can cut the leek strait across to get boring rectangles of vegetable, but you get a more interesting shape if you angle the knife slightly.
3. Put the leeks in a bowl of cool water.
Tip: If you are not watching your salt intake you may add a teaspoon of salt to the water.
4. Measure and set aside the rest of the ingredients until you are ready to cook. In my case this will about 5 hours.
Tip: Wash and trim the green onions, but do not chop them until the last minute.
5. Just before you are ready to cook, drain the leeks and put them in a Salad Spinner to remove the excess eater. Set them aside and let them dry further.
Tip: If the leeks are too wet when you start cooking, you will get steamed leeks rather than sautéed.
6. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a large sauté pan and cook the mushrooms until they are starting to pick up a fair amount of color, about 7 to 10 minutes.
7. Pull the mushrooms to the sides of the pan and add the rest of the butter.
8. When the butter has melted add the leeks and sauté for one minute and then mix in the mushrooms. Continue sautéing until the leeks are starting to pick up some color, about 5 minutes.
9. Pull the vegetables to the sides of the pan and add the garlic to the hole in the center. Saute for one minute and then mix the garlic into the vegetables.
10. Add the rum, marjoram, pepper and salt to the pan and toss to coat. Continue cooking for a minute or two until most of the liquid has evaporated.
11. Chop the green onion finely and reserve ¼ cup of the green part.
12. Add the rest of the onion to the pan and toss to mix.
13. Transfer the mushrooms and leeks to a serving bowl and garnish with the reserved green onions.