It has been mighty chilly here in Winnipeg (duh, it's January!) but I have had an excuse to stay inside for the past week - STREP THROAT! It was a fun-filled, first time experience for me indeed (fun, like someone stabbing you in the throat with a fork)! I was mostly on a liquid diet but some softer foods made it onto my sick bed menu too (Avocado Carpaccio, anyone?). And in my antibiotic/Advil stupor, I managed to create an outstanding dish that I am so proud of and so excited to share with you! King oyster mushrooms are not always easy to find, but I have had no problem finding them in my friendly neighborhood Asian grocery store. Blood oranges are easily substituted with regular, seedless naval oranges or even grapefruit. This recipe should serve eight as a starter or four as a main dish.
Raw Vegan "Scallops" with Orange Pepper Cream and Blood Orange Salsa
for the mushroom 'scallops':
- one dozen king oyster mushrooms, bottoms and caps removed
- 2 tsp smoked paprika
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 2 tbsp nama shoyu or tamari soy sauce
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp agave syrup
- 1 tbsp olive oil
for the bell pepper puree:
- 2 orange or yellow bell peppers
- 1/2 cup macadamia nuts
- 1/4 cup white wine
- 1 tbsp minced shallot
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
for the blood orange salsa:
- 2 blood oranges, rind and pith cut away with a sharp paring knife and diced (regular seedless naval oranges are fine if you can't find blood oranges)
- 1 minced shallot
- 1/4 cup cilantro, finely chopped (or parsley if you are a cilantro hater)
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tsp macadamia nut oil, or pistachio oil or avocado oil or olive oil
- 1 chili pepper, seeded and finely diced (optional)
Slice the king oyster mushroom stems into 1/2" thick "scallops". Mix together all other ingredients and season with S&P. Marinate "scallops" in the lovely marinade you just whipped up for 30 min - an hour, stirring occasionally.
Dehydrate the "scallops" at 104 degrees for two hours, basting occasionally with the marinade. Alternatively, if you are not in possession of a dehydrator, but want to keep this dish raw, warm the medallions in an oven on it's lowest setting with the door cracked open. If you are not in the least bit concerned about the rawness factor, sear the scallops in a pan with 1 tbsp olive oil over medium-high heat until tender.
For the puree, combine all ingredients in a high speed blender and blend until silky smooth.
For the salsa, toss all ingredients together and season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper.
To serve, put a few tablespoons of the bell pepper puree in the middle of each plate and swirl to make a nice circle. Arrange the scallops in the center of the plate and put a spoonful of the blood orange salsa on top. Garnish with a cilantro sprig if you like.