Monday, November 29, 2010

Expensive Taste: The Maitake Melt.

Enhance your immune system with this ' may be worth the initial sticker shock.

Over lunch at Barbuzzo one afternoon, we quickly decided that a Hen-of-the-Woods Mushroom Grinder would equate to One Amazing Sandwich. We hit up the Reading Terminal Market to procure the 'shrooms, also commonly known as Maitake, which is Japanese for Dancing Mushroom.

What's so special about the Maitake? Well, they are known to enhance the immune system.

Our Shroomsteak plans were nearly thwarted when we discovered that Maitakes were $28 per pound at the market. We carefully selected $10 worth of mushrooms, still feeling cheated, but knowing that we were worth it.

For a side, try roasted broccoli. The smear of hummus on the roll is absolutely essential, giving the sandwich a buttery flavor as the hummus soaks and cooks into the bread, softening it slightly, while the edges remain crisp.

Would I do it again? Absolutely, with a less expensive mushroom. It was earthy, succulent, enormous, filling, and packed with veggies (an entire pepper per sandwich, nearly 1/4 lb of mushrooms each).

The Maitake Melt
Makes 2 large sandwiches

1/3-1/2 lb. Maitake mushrooms, cleaned and broken up
1 red pepper, sliced super thin
1 yellow pepper, sliced super thin
1/2 onion, sliced and quartered
2 cloves of garlic, minced
5 sage leaves, chopped fine
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
Sesame Italian bread
Salt and pepper to taste
1-2 tbsp. safflower oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Heat oil over medium high heat.  Add garlic when the oil ripples, followed shortly by the rest of the veggies.  Add paprika, salt and pepper.  Sauté until veggies are tender, adding sage about a minute before they are done.  While veggies are cooking, cut Italian rolls in half, slice them, and smear hummus on them.  Split the veggies between the two rolls.  Toss them in the oven for about five minutes, until toasty.

*You can also add vegan cheese for those vegan cheesesteak cravings.

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