Oven-braised Leek, Roasted Oyster Mushrooms, Purple Mustard Green, Green Apple Chili Jelly, Miso Maple Bubbles
The Vegan menu at next reminded of how plants can do a fine job of filling in for meat if a little thought and care are taken. There was not a single point during this 22 course meal that I craved any sort of animal flesh. I completely forgot until maybe course 12 that we hadn't and wouldn't be eating meat on this night. Some of the dishes we were served were more savory than any meat dish I've ever had. This meal not only inspired this dish but my cooking moving forward as a whole.
I sliced the leeks into half inch thick rounds and seasoned them with salt and pepper. I placed them in a baking dish and poured in some vegetable stock and sesame oil so it came to the top of the leeks but didn't cover them. I cooked the leeks in the oven at 350 degrees for an hour.
I heated some grape seed oil in a pan and added some diced shallots and crushed garlic cloves and sauteed them for a few minutes. I added the oyster mushrooms and cooked them for a few minutes til they released some of their juices. I added a splash of rice wine vinegar and soy sauce right at the end and allowed it to cook off.
The jelly was made by cooking chopped green apples and chilis in some water until the apples almost disintegrated. I strained all of the liquid out through a cheese clothe lined strainer. I added sugar to the liquid in a large pot and brought it to a rolling boil. I cooked it until a thermometer reached the setting point of 220 degrees. At this point I poured the liquid into canning jars and sealed them.
I spooned some of the jelly into the bowl, which at this point had the consistency of honey since it hadn't set yet. I place a leek round on top and arranged some of the cooked mushrooms around it along with the purple mustard leaves.
I finished the dish with the bubbles, made by combining white miso, maple syrup, rice wine vinegar, soy sauce and lecithin. I buzzed it with a hand blender and strained off the extra liquid through a tamis leaving just the bubbles.
Organic Oyster Mushrooms - Queen's Farm
Organic Leeks - Root Mass Farm
Organic Purple Mustard - Weaver's Way