Saturday, November 17, 2012

Nagaimo and mushroom cheese casserole 長芋とエリンギのチーズ焼き

More than a week or so ago, I bought nagaimo 長芋 from the Japanese grocery store. I did not finish it and the edges were getting discolored and I needed to make something from it. I remembered the recipe I saw previously and decided to make this dish. The original recipe uses clamshell mushrooms or shimeji しめじ mushroom but I did not have one. Instead I used royal trumpet mushroom which is very similar to eryingi (popular in Japan). This is a Western-Japanese fusion casserole dish consisting of bacon, nagaimo, onion, mushroom which are first sautéed and then baked with the cheese on the top. The ingredient below made two of the small casserole or ramekin as you see below.

Nagaimo: I had 3 inch piece of nagaimo. I peeled it and removed any discolored ends, cut it in half length wise and then sliced it into half circles (about 1/3 inch thick).

Royal trumpet mushroom: Starting from the stem-side I tore it into 4-6 long, thin pieces (I used 4 large mushrooms).

Onion: I halved and then sliced onions (one small).

Bacon: I cut one strip of bacon into half-inch size.

Cheese: I used smoked mozzarella cheese. I  sliced it into thin (1/4 inch) slices, 2 per ramekin.
I first put the bacon into a dry frying pan on medium low head and rendered the bacon fat and made the bacon brown and crispy (5-7 minutes). Since the amount of the fat was not enough, I also added olive oil (1 tsp) and sautéed the onion for several minutes and then the mushroom. I seasoned it with salt and black pepper. I then added the slices of nagaimo and sautéed for several minutes and seasoned it again. I divided the mixture into two small ramekins and placed the slices of cheese on the top. On hi-broil, I melted the cheese in a toaster oven (2-3 minutes). I garnished I with chopped chives.
The above picture shows nagaimo slices.
Here is the royal trumpet mushroom.

This is a Ok dish but not great. Although cooking (especially grilling) usually reduces the sliminess of nagaimo, that did not happen in this dish. Although the nagaimo had a nice crunchy texture, it was way too slimy and as a result not great. On the positive side, I satisfied my curiosity about this dish, used up leftover mushrooms and nagaimo and made one new post.

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