by Grace Young
kinpira peeler that Grace recommended. My mother had bought me and my siblings these garnishing kits a few years ago. Why she bought one for my brother I don't know - he does not cook. She had a shopping addiction (I say had, because she passed away two years ago) and would order all kinds of crap off of the TV. I can see it now: Order in the next hour and it's yours for only 19.99! and if you order in the next fifteen minutes we will throw in an extra one, absolutely free! Ha ha. This was a good buy mom, a good buy. :) I thought I would never use it and tossed it into a drawer (still in the box) and sworn I had recently donated it to Goodwill. Thank goodness it was still here. I was able to shred three cups of carrots in like thirty seconds! OK, maybe in forty-five. Definitely under a minute! Try doing that with a knife. In a pinch I would have used my food processor with the shredding disc - it would have made wider strands, but would be better than using a knife; which reminds me - they need sharpening.
My dried shiitakes soaking away. I placed a bowl on top to keep them submerged. The recipe called for whole mushrooms and to soak them for thirty minutes. My store only had pre-sliced and the instructions call for them to be soaked for ten minutes. They ended up soaking for thirty minutes and still some were quite tough and overly chewy. I guess I am not a fan of dried shiitakes. This happened the last time I used them as well.
I really enjoyed the carrots in this stir-fry. Andy said he thought this would be good even without the chicken, for the mushrooms have such good flavor - if they were not so chewy. Maybe soak them even longer? I could use fresh, but then they would not have the intense flavor the dried do. Hmm...
Success meter (1-3): 2 - I rated this a two due to the chewy shiitakes.
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