As you may have noticed, I write rather a lot about flavour combinations. Since few ingredients can bring enough flavour to make a great dish, it is important they have a partner in gastronomic crime. In my mind, there are two distinct types of flavour combination; those that contrast and those that compliment. My previous post, double chocolate cookie bites, is a fantastic example of a contrasting partnership. Happily, for the sake of variation, this recipe exhibits a complimentary culinary combination. Indeed, if one were to visit one’s local green grocers in the dead of night whilst under the influence of a potentially deadly squint, one would almost be able to discern a mushroom and a knob of ginger strolling gaily through the aisles. Perhaps I’ve been indulging in a little too much Toy Story.
You may be under the illusion that cashew nuts tend to cost a pretty penny. However, as usual, I am in possession of a tip or two regarding the previously mentioned misapprehension. On entering one’s local ‘nut aisle’, one will notice that unsalted nuts tend to be far more expensive than their salted counterparts. It would be both idiotic and shameful to ratify in any way the absurd levying of prices attached to what is seen as a healthier product. If anything, wouldn’t it make more sense, morally, to make such products cheaper? Digressions aside, these cashews, in my limited experience, aren’t of superior quality. As such, to save money one must simply purchase the supposedly inferior product and give it a jolly thorough rinse. Before you know it, Bob will be your uncle and you’ll have a socking great, delicious mushroom bake sitting before you.
Mushroom, Cashew and Ginger Bake
• 250g chestnut mushrooms, quartered
• 135g breadcrumbs
• 100g cashew nuts, halved
• 2 onions, finely chopped
• 1-2 chillies, taste dependent
• 2 cloves of garlic
• A thumb of ginger
• 1 egg, beaten
• Salt and pepper
• Olive oil
1. Begin by frying off the mushrooms in a little oil for around 5-7 minutes; this will reduce the amount of water they contain.
2. Place the breadcrumbs in a mixing bowl, blitz the mushrooms in a food processor and add to the breadcrumbs. Blitz the chillies, garlic and ginger and fry for 5 minutes together with the onions. Tip this into the mushroom mixture along with the egg and cashews. Mix thoroughly and season well. Press into a baking dish and cook for 30 minutes at 200C.
Cost: Mushrooms always tend to be rather inexpensive here. If chestnut mushrooms are a little pricy where you live, use which ever variety is cheapest. If this advice, along with that given in regard to cashew nuts, is followed this bake should cost one roughly £2.10.