Saturday, January 16, 2010

Jan 16th - Seaside Bakery & Cafe; Shitake and Oyster Mushroom with Edamame Risotto

We went to Mt. Baker this morning so we were pretty beat when we got home. Mt. Baker was a bit of a disappointment for me. It was very icy and choppy toward the bottom of the lifts. It was really poorly marked and the boundary's and trails were sloppy. Most of the day I had no idea which trail I was on. I know it's a more rustic ski mountain than the ones in the Vancouver area. I'm fine with that. It is in a national park after all. I loved the lodges and the view was breathtaking. That said, trail marking and signage could easily make a day better.

On the way down to Seattle or Baker we ALWAYS stop at the Seaside Bakery and Cafe. It's a tiny little dinner just over the border from the Peace Arch crossing. The decor is probably original 70's but really the on-site baked bread, pastries and soups are worth foregoing the childhood kitchen interior design. Today, we picked up or usual scones which are full but butter and fresh fruit. As well, we had egg sandwiches on on-site baked english muffins which were fabulous. They muffins had chewy and crispy texture and full of flavour. Eggs were perfectly scrambled and upon request will substitute the canadian bacon for tomatoes or spinach. I opted for spinach. I really recommend you go in for their scones if you're ever driving through!

Cost: $
Ambience: Cozy but dated
Staff: Friendly
Location: Blaine riverside
Cleanliness: Tidy

Seaside Bakery and Cafe
477 Peace Portal Drive
Blaine, WA

(360) 332-9866

When pressed for time or needing something comforting in the belly, risotto is a must. Don't fear the risotto I say! We normally do a risotto once a week to two weeks. Super easy as long as you keep certain staples in your cupboards. Nothing too fancy: Arborio rice, parmesan cheese, stock/broth.

Originally, we were going to do this dish with peas. As a default if we have forgotten to buy veg, peas make an easy risotto on its own or with a protein like shrimp. When we got home we realised we had run out. We used frozen edamame as a substitute. They're firmer than peas so not as light but they were still yummy.

I am using a new veggie broth this time. I was really loving the low sodium cubes I found at capers. I insist on low sodium to you as well even if you make it or use tetra pack. It is super hard to control the sodium in the rest of the dish if you use salted broth. I've learned that the salty way! I bought a new one that comes in powder form. 1 t per cup and the pack was quite big. Value!

Shitake and Oyster Mushroom with Edamame Risotto

1 - 1.5 l vegetable broth
1 c arborio rice
1 shallot minced
1/4 c dry white wine
6 fresh shitake mushrooms (because when cooked on high to brownining, they are super mushroomy)
1 c fresh oyster mushroom (also cooked on high to brown)
1/2 c shelled edamame defrosted and drained
1/2 c freshly grated parmesan (additional for topping)
2-4 T butter
Olive oil
Salt and Pepper

Bring your broth to a boil and set aside on low heat.

In a large skillet, heat olive oil on high heat. Fry the chopped shitakes without moving for the first minute. Let them brown. Give them space. No piling. Move them around but not too much. Set aside on a plate.

Repeat for the cleaned chopped oyster mushrooms. Nowadays, mushrooms are largely farmed in pretty clean conditions so a good brushing is the way to go. Use a mushroom brush or a dry paper towel. If you insist on washing, make sure you dry them before frying.
Set the oyster mushrooms aside with the shitake.

Add more oil to the pan, on medium heat. Sautee the shallots, try not to brown, just soften. 2-3 minutes. Add the rice. Stir to coat with the oil. You may have to add a dash more. When the rice is all glistening and stlightly browned, add the wine in a large circle around the pan. D doesn't measure this, oddly enough with his propensity to follow recipes. He holds his thumb mostly over the bottle and does 1 circle around the pan. Stir until mostly absorbed. You don't want the pan to dry out and burn.

Add 1 ladle of broth. (about 1/4 - 1/2 c) Stir. When it looks mostly absorbed, i.e. you draw your wooden spoon down the middle of the pan and the moisture doesn't immediately close in on itself. Repeat with the another ladel 1 ladel at a time. About 20 minutes in, add the edamame. Continue adding stock. Season with salt to taste. Add pepper to preference.

When you are 1 ladle away or about at the 30 min mark, add the mushrooms back. Combine add 1-2 T butter. Ladle the last of the stock, stir once. Cover and set aside. Our large skillet is so big that we don't have a lid and we normally cover with our big wok turned over. 10 minutes off the heat.

Add the parmesan and stir to combine. Serve topped with additional fresh parmesan.


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