I poisoned a child.
Not intentionally, but it happened and we have to talk about it. Did you know that in the world, there is a teeny proportion of person who find dried, raw shiitake mushrooms poisonous? It’s not an allergy; it acts like a poison. So this kid was one of those small number of people who get very dangerously unwell from eating raw, dried shiitake mushrooms.
The circumstances add to it a little.
You see, I have an introverted personality. I’m not bothered by it, and my partner is the same, so it means we have a happy intro life together without judgement. What also happens, is that we can have a relationship for nearly seven years where I have only met one/two of his friends (and vice versa). I had yet to meet the friend he sees the most frequently. This bachelor tended to have his home open to many different people, and my partner by frequenting the house, met many of these visitors. And after several years, it’s easy to see why most of them had just stopped believing i was even real. Visitors drop in, often with partners. Parties occur, where my partner heads in, alone. Am I real? Does Chris really have a girlfriend?
It turns out yes! It is I!
When I went around, I just offered to make dinner, because what the hell else am I good for? (Jokes, I’m f**king hilarious). I made the dish you see featured, and it was damn good – I know this because I had made it before. On this occasion, as I stumble through a stranger’s kitchen, I am chatty with the resident child, who starts picking at the ingredients. This is my fault, because I was cooking for “adult time” (ie when older people eat, which is later, and also definitely not the time I tend to eat when alone). So dinner goes well, Chris’s mate has never seen polenta, probably thinks I’m a weirdo (and therefore perfect for Chris) and everyone is content.
I find out the next week that Chris had been avoiding telling me that the child snacker had left school early and been to hospital because I’m a horrible food maker. Or at least because the shiitake was toxic.
But don’t let that put you off, because we all ate and enjoyed it. And what’s a little poison among friends? To save yourself, always cook dried shiitake or do what I have done for you and use the freshies (obviously always go for fresh, but dried ones are so handy).
- ½ cup polenta
- 1 cup veggie stock
- 1 cup soy milk
- ¼ cup nutritional yeast
- 1-2 TB vegan butter substitute (optional)
- 400g mushrooms, sliced - I used Swiss and Shiitake
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 chilli, chopped finely
- 100 ml vegan Oyster sauce
- 2 spring onions, sliced
- Broccolini - small bunch, chopped
- ½ cup hazelnuts, chopped
- In a small saucepan, heat the milk and stock. Once simmering, add the polenta and whisk. Keep whisking until then, then remove from the heat. It will continue to thicken! Whisk occasionally to stop clumping. Once cooled slightly, add the nooch and season.
- In a frying pan, heat the butter and add the mushrooms. Cook for approx 10 minutes, until the mushrooms are soft.
- Once soft, add in the garlic and chilli, stirring for 2 minutes. Pour over the oyster sauce, broccolini and onion. Stir to coat well.
- Serve by spooning some of the polenta on a plate. Top with mushrooms and sprinkle over the hazelnuts.