Friday, November 4, 2011

The Stranger in Bangkok starts to cook gourmet flood food: Creamed mushrooms with wilted baby rocket

Eddie's creamed mushrooms with wilted rocket

Just to give everyone a quick update. The flood waters will remain in Bangkok for another month yet, and is spreading everyday to more and more parts of Bangkok. But we are still lucky to be living and working in districts that have been spared temporarily. While waiting for the blue dolphins to make their arrival with their aggressive and poisonous reptilian friends, I have been starting to make what I consider as flood food. It sure doesn't look like flood food, but I have my reasons (though I am pushing it):

  1. When the floods come, there is a likelihood that the electrical supply will be cut. In this case, we will need to clear the fresh perishables out of our refrigerators as soon as possible. Bacon, fresh mushrooms, salad leaves and fresh cream fit nicely into this category.
  2. Once there's no electricity, people like us living in condominiums will be deprived of our electronic hot plates for cooking. With our small portable gas stoves (I hope you got one), it is important that we can cook something from start to finish in a single small pot/pan (bingo), and more importantly, in as little time as possible as gas is precious commodity!
Now that everyone is convinced that this is a dish that make your day after many consecutive meals of Mamak (instant noodles), I shall present the method of making it in a concise, pictorial presentation. The key to making fresh mushrooms (this dish does NOT work with canned or dried mushrooms) is to have a very very hot pan and only use enough mushrooms to at most cover the pan. If you use too much mushrooms in a small pan (worse if it's not hot), the water that comes out of the mushrooms will not evaporate fast enough and you will end up with a disgusting mushroom soup.

Lightly fry 2 slices of bacon, this is a delicious base to any dish

Once the bacon is slightly brown, add in as much sliced garlic as you want. If you  put in the garlic first, it would have burnt before the bacon turns crisp
Add in the mushrooms while the pan is searing hot, I use fresh Shiitake

And fresh Enoki, because it's cheap and easily available. You can use any fresh mushroom you like actually, it will work just as well even with truffle!
With a hot pan, your pan will look like this within 30 seconds, and it's time to add a nice pinch of salt and freshly-ground black pepper

You may skip this step, but I like to now drench the mushrooms with a swig of fresh cream

Right at the end, it's time to add in a handful of baby rocket. I think wild rocket, spinach or watercress will work just as well for this recipe. It looks like a lot of leaves now, just wait for 20 seconds

20 seconds and a toss will give you your finished product, less than 4 minutes from start to finish!

So here, Eddie's creamed mushrooms with baby rocket to solve your eating blues whether or not you are facing the threat of floods. I tell my wife it can be the perfect side-dish for any wastern main course (be it steak or pork chop), but we like to enjoy it as the star of our breakfast.

Mushroom sandwich, anyone?

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