That’s right. ANOTHER musing about bacon. Well, this time it’s “Shiitake Bacon.”
I’ve shared several times before how much I want to like bacon. I really do. I just simply cannot. The smell used to turn me off entirely, and most days, it still does. However, a few weeks ago I was at work early one morning, chatting with my boss, as she was eating a giant plate of bacon and eggs – The plate was only inches from my nose and mouth. A strange sensation came over me…my mouth began to water and I had a sudden urge to grab one strip of bacon off her plate, quickly stuff it in my mouth and run away! This little fantasy did not play out, of course, but on the mornings when the aroma of bacon fills the store, my stomach does not necessarily churn and turn.
It must still be the taste, though, that is so unappealing – or perhaps the oily, greasy strips of lard that run through the strips? This must be why faux bacon appeals to me so. We all know that faux anything doesn’t really taste like the real thing…sorry soy lunchmeat. I would never allow for any highly processed soy meat-like products to cross my lips these days anyway. Remember – real food.
Being that the taste of bacon is the turn off, I was delighted to discover a recipe for Shitake Bacon last week!
We have a local raw foods company, The Pixie Retreat, that makes a Mock BLT, which is absolutely to die for! (Even Marc likes this). The bread is made from dehydrated flax and onions (bad breath city, I tell ya). The mayo is a sweet and savory cashew cream, and the bacon is a spicy and spicy dehydrated eggplant jerky. The flavor is divine. I’ve vowed to try this at home, as I am fully capable of all elements and am very confident I could replicate or improve upon the recipe. However, the idea of pulling down my Excalibur dehydrator is absolutely daunting these days. Life is entirely too stressful right now to have to worry about one more giant appliance cluttering the counter for 24 hours. (Yes, to the rest of the world this seems utterly ridiculous, but clutter is extremely stressful for me!)
This recipe involves the oven. I can handle that. It’s out of the way – it has its “place” already in the kitchen. Yes, baking the bacon at 350-375 degrees in the oven will destroy all the raw enzymes, I know, but I can deal with that for now. Someday, I’ll break out the dehydrator and try both the shitake and the eggplant together…Take that overwhelming appliance!!
The recipe that I saw online called for a plethora of more elements. My own intuition told me to keep it super simple – besides the fact that the original recipe called for a dash of liquid smoke and even just the smell of such a concoction causes both my tongue and my scalp to feel numb.
Shakin’ Shiitake Bacon
4 large shiitake mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
1/4 c. wheat free tamari
2 Tbs. apple cider vinegar
2 Tbs. coconut oil, melted
2 tsp. dried rosemary – or 1 Tbs. fresh rosemary, minced
3 drops liquid stevia
Combine all ingredients in a plastic bag. Massage so that the liquid begins to penetrate the mushrooms on all sides. Allow to marinate at least 20 minutes, or overnight in the fridge.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. On a parchment lined baking sheet, bake the strips for 10 minutes. Flip and bake 10 minutes again. Increase the heat to 375 degrees and bake an additional 10-15 minutes. At this point, personal judgement is needed – feel free to flip the strips one more time for an additional 10 minutes.
Remove from the oven and allow to drain and cool on paper towels. As the strips drain, the edges will become crispy.
Shakin’ Shitake Bacon!