Shitake Dashi

shiitake-dashi-LEDEA Vegetarian Dashi

What is wrong with the fishy dashi?
(Lots of Mess, Lots of Fishy Smell, Not Vegetarian I guess)

Shitake Dashi (Splendid Table)
Kate Jacoby and Rich Landau, chefs at Vedge in Philadelphia

One Gallon of Water
2 Cups dried shitake (I use a couple small handfuls of dried potellos)
1/4 Cup tamari (I use Soy Sauce and use a little bit more)
2 Oz kombu seaweed
I add 2 Cups of Sliced Fresh Mushrooms
And a Tbsp of Red Pepper Flakes

Even before it boils, it smells good

I gets quite dark in color
We store in canning jars in the fridge
Seal with a layer or lard
(which defeats the purpose of a Vegetarian Dashi)
But it extends its “shelf life”

Byproducts Include:
The Mushrooms which we immediately incorporate into a meal, searing hard, they have very good flavor, salt and lots of pepper
We save the Kombu to incorporate into our weekly pot of Green Rice

Why Vegetarian Dashi?
If we were to make Dashi with Bonito Flakes, there would be something to throw away
(if we were to buy a packaged jar Dashi product, there would probably be additives)


Bad Meat

Lamb Chops
Some local groceries discount Bad Meat for quick sales
(it will soonly meet its expiration date)

We often prowl for Lamb . . .
Lamb Stew Bones and Lamb Chops

It’s funny . . .
We would NEVER buy Lamb Loin Chops at $7.99
(although an affordable 0.62 lb portion is an affordable $4.95)

We will almost ALWAYS buy BAD MEAT
– a $4.95 portion of Lamb Loin Chip (with a $2.00 Discount sticker)

In fact, we will buy two of them


Rice Bowl

Something good to eat

We combine ingredients into a stew almost every night
Sometimes it isn’t very good
But sometimes memorable and delicious

Rice Bowl:
(a few layers of different ingredients)

In the bottom:
Garbanzo Beans
(cooked in instant pot, flavored with onion scraps and chipolte peppers)

Next, a couple spoons of:
Green Rice
(rice cooked with the stems of greens, jalapenos and onions, barley, quinoia, amararanth, wheat berries, sesame and millet seeds)

Then a spoon of:
Braised Sweet Potato

Top with:
(Tahini, Smoked Paprika, Cumin, Tumeric, Garlic, Lemon Juice, EVO and Giardiniera liquid)

Finally a spoon from the:
Mustard Pot

This was good because the Garbanzos, Green Rice and Sweet Potatoes were cooked separately and have different tastes and textures

Hummus is the ultimate sauce, it has lots of oil in it,
between the EVO and Giardiniera Liquid that we always add

And anything is better with a heaping spoon from the Mustard Pot on top
Mustard Pot

Pork Shoulder

One of the great pieces of meat
Lamb shoulder is even better

Very nice roasted with crisp outer coating
and juicy, well marbled interior

But we like it Boiled
Yes, Boiled

We cut it into manageable pieces, so it cooks faster
remove some of the fat, but not the bone

Salt and Pepper and store in refrigerator at least overnight
(other seasonings would be good)

When we boil it in any stock we have, some onion ends, bay leaves and herbs
Never let the liquid rise above a simmer, a violent boil will emulsify the fat into the stock and prevent it from being removed later

This produces moist pork for the evening braise, more flavorful than the chicken which we also make, not durable, retaining its integrity

It also produces stock, which we use for the evening braise
Pork fat is less likely to dissolve than chicken fat
It could be sealed in lard to last longer



Our search for Lardons
LardonsWe bought think-sliced bacon and looked for bacon in the deli section, to be cut thick. Which didn’t work.

Then we found Pork Belly. Cut it into nice big pieces and stored frozen

(This is how it is done!)

Unlike Hickory Smoked Bacon (Thick Sliced) very little fat is rendered.

Buy the leanest piece of Pork Belly that you can find

Depending on how you slice it, you get the great fatty, chewy bite that I was looking for. This slab of Pork Belly cost about $3.00 per pound at the expensive local supermarket.

There you have it (Voila!)

Celery Toast

A delicious excuse to eat celery with the components of Blue Cheese Dressing
(Blue Cheese, Green Onions and Garlic)

Suddenly, we are buying stalks of celery!
It’s an opportunity to eat cheese, in moderation (as a flavoring)

2 Stalks of Celery
A Bunch of Green Onions
(we often substitute sweet onion, pre-soaked rinsed in water an vinegar)
4 Garlic Cloves
1/4-1/2# Blue Cheese (it has been fun shopping for the best Blue Cheese)
Lemon Juice (there is no substitute for fresh lemon juice)
Salt and Pepper
(the salt extracts water, which accumulates over time, so we are experimenting)

We toss this in a one Gallon Kimchi Jar and fish it out over the week
(improving over time)

Initially we mashed the blue cheese with onions and garlic, resulting in large clumps of blue cheese.
We combine the sweet onion with chopped garlic, black pepper dressed in Olive Oil
And sprinkle this in layers with crumbled Blue Cheese
(we found no additional salt is needed)

On alternate weeks we prep Tangy Purple Slaw, of Red Cabbage, Red Onion, our Homemade Sauerkraut and Apples, creating a sort of Purple Terrarium
(this is also a great condiment to add to stews in the final minutes)

Celery Toasts New York Times

Gabrielle Hamilton Recipe Archive