Jun 3, 2011

FNF - mushrooms and the bodacious bulb

Food Network Friday!

Brought to you by Tami Noyes' Vegan Appetite blog, this month's Food Network Friday recipe of choice to replicate is Guy Fieri's Chicken and the Bodacious Bulb. The recipe is shallow-fried chicken pieces with a garlic-infused gravy. 

Guy asks us to make a Garlic Oil and I was more than happy to oblige. I love garlic, as anyone close enough to smell me can tell. The fact that the recipe itself uses almost two cups of garlic is enough to send most people packing and other less sane ones into the kitchen. I belong to the latter group. 

Chicken is something that is easy enough to replace with tofu (especially marinated), seitan or any of the commercial replacements on the market. Very easy and satisfying. I didn't want to go the same old route, especially since Food TV relies so heavily on animal protein that most anytime we would have an FNF, it is a meat product. I needed to change it up a bit. 

I strolled down my local Whole Foods produce aisle looking for something captivating. Eggplant. Nice, but no. A root vegetable? Nah, not this time. Nothing was quite it until I got to the fungus section. I pounced on the Oyster Mushrooms and to round off the meaty-ness, I also went for a few portobello caps.   Perhaps not what Fieri had in mind when he created the recipe, but I like it better this way.

Since he shallow-fries the chicken in the garlic oil, I knew it would make a crispy crust on the chicken and I needed to make that happen for my mushrooms. I breaded them in matzo meal and brown rice flour, appropriately seasoned. This is a simple process of dipping the pieces in non-dairy milk and then in the crumb mixture. Allow it to sit in the fridge for about ten minutes before proceeding. I fried it just as he directed, but mine has a homemade crispy crust - not one made by an animal. 

The gravy is made using chicken stock he asks you to make. I used the carrot, onion and celery, as in the recipe, but for the chicken flavor I added 2 t. nutritional yeast, 1/2 t thyme, 1/2 t sage, 1/2 t smoked paprika, 1/2 t onion powder and 1/2 t garlic powder. I cooked the stock until the carrots were tender. The garlic bulbs (from the garlic oil) are added in the stock as well and I added 1 t of vegetable concentrate. I am telling you it was creepy how chicken-like it tasted. I mean it was like going to a restaurant where the server ignorantly tells you the soup is made without chicken stock and you only find out it was an error when you taste it and then double-check with the manager. That creepy. 

Overall, this was delicious! The garlic was not overpowering since it was cooked in the oil, the garlic chips were sweet, the tomato dices were juicy, the gravy was creepy-good and the mushrooms were crispy and flavorful. Really a pleasant meal.

Cost Breakdown

portobello, oyster: $9
spices, herbs, carrot, onion, celery: $1
garlic: $2
flour, tomato: $1
Total to make 4 bodacious servings:

VEG-Aside: You could be the next vegan! Besides for this wonderfully-informative blog, and many others like it, the realization that you can't love animals and eat them, and a few great cookbooks, what will get you well on your way is The Ultimate Vegan Guide by Erik Marcus. This edition is now available as a Kindle reader for less than a buck. Only $.99. Really!

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I have this in paperback and have worn it thin, that is how helpful it is.

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