Ooh, baby. Just one look at these crispy, savory, slightly smoky shiitakes and I’m weak in the knees.
Just kidding. The knee weakness is a result of muscle atrophy. And the muscle atrophy is from my house arrest.
House arrest is our new term for snow days followed by Mom I’m Tired Can’t I Just Sleep days followed by sick days dating back before the dawn of time and continuing to the present. It’s a more fitting description than mere “cabin fever” or “stir-craziness.” House arrest comes closer to capturing the intensity of the experience. Gives you the appropriate amount of street cred. I almost wish schools would call a spade a spade and hand out ankle bracelets.
When your kid is sick with a routine illness from which she’ll make a full recovery — cold, or was it the flu, strep — you learn what it feels like to be a saint and a martyr and an ass all at once. A one-woman manger scene. A perpetual swirl of love and annoyance and gratitude and three kinds of selfishness punctuated with flashes of existential dread and potato chip cravings.
At least there’s coffee. And wine. And, to get to the point, crispy shiitakes. Which, truth be told, really do make me a little weak in the knees.
Sprinkle these beautiful whispers of possibility over anything from pasta and pizza to ramen and miso soup for an extra hit of umami. If you’re ever faced with lackluster food, they’re basically a Get Out of Jail Free Card.
In case you happen to know anyone who needs one of those.
Crispy Shiitakes/Shiitake Bacon
These little umami bombs do taste reasonably like bacon, but I prefer to think of them in their own glory, showering eggs, risottos and pastas, or whatever meals you like with savory love.
- 1 pound shiitake mushrooms
- 1/3 cup canola or other neutral oil
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 3/4 teaspoon salt