Sunday, November 13, 2011

Eataly's Birreria: Beer-battered Shiitake Mushrooms

This recipe is inspired by a dish at Eataly's Birreria, a beer garden located on the 14th floor of Mario Batali's epicurean ode to Italy. These crunchy bites are perfect for sharing with friends over a boisterous conversation. The juicy – almost meaty – mushroom flavor pairs well with pints of beer and glasses of Italian sparkling wines. And, sage always tastes like Fall. 

Beer-battered Shiitake Mushrooms with Sage and Sea Salt
 20 Shiitake tops only (Tip: Reserve bottoms for a mushroom stock)
Beer Batter (recipe below)
Maldon or crunchy sea salt, to taste
Ground black pepper, to taste
6 Sage leaves, chopped fine
Flour, for dusting
parley leaves, as a garnish (optional)
Vegetable oil, for frying

Candy thermometer, for measuring oil temperature
Medium-sized pan with deep edges 
Wire rack (optional)

1) Heat fryer oil. *Tip: ideal frying temp = 350 degrees Fahrenheit
2) Dredge Shiitake tops in flour, then dip in beer batter, shake off excess. Drop in fryer oil. When Shiitakes are golden brown on both sides, remove from oil. Drain on paper towels or on top of a wire rack. Season with salt, pepper and sage. Serve immediately. Or keep warm in a 325 degree oven.

Beer Batter:
1 (12-ounce) bottle beer
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon Seasoning Mix (recipe below)

1) Whisk together dry ingredients. Then drizzle in beer. Continue whisking – make sure there aren't any lumps. Use immediately.

Seasoning Mix:
1 cup salt
1/4 cup black pepper
1/4 cup garlic powder
 (Reserve the rest in an air-tight container for salt-baked chicken or for grilling steaks and burgers.)

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