(For Justin and Ashley, who used to LOVE chicken fried steak when they were little)
2 Pkgs Organic King Oyster Mushrooms
1 1/2 cups Organic Buttermilk
1 cup Flour
1 cup Cornstarch
One batch of Seasoning Mix
Grapeseed Oil for frying or Canola
For the seasoning mix stir together in a little bowl the following:
2 tsp Salt
1 tsp Paprika
up to three tsp assorted chile powder. this is to taste of course. Paul Prudhomme uses 1 tsp each of guajillo, arbol and new mexico chile and it comes out VERY spicy. We use about half that much heat by using about a tsp of Hatch green chile powder and and a tsp of regular chile powder.
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp white pepper
1/2 tsp ground cumin
Clean your mushrooms well and trim off the root part, if any. Cut the Mushrooms carefully lengthwise in half or thirds, depending on the size of the mushroom. You want to end up with chicken tender sized pieces that will fry evenly. If pieces fall off and are too small, don’t worry. You can use them to make mushroom broth for gravy.
Put your cut up mushrooms in a large flat dish or pan and sprinkle generously with the seasoning mix and then cover with the buttermilk to marinate. Cover and refrigerate for up to two hours.
When ready to fry, mix together the flour and cornstarch and almost all the rest of the seasoning mix, reserving a little to sprinkle on top. Heat oil in a wok or deep frying pan until the surface glimmers. Let the buttermilk drip from the pieces of mushroom before dredging in the flour mixture, then carefully slide into the oil. Fry, turning once until a delicious golden brown. Drain on a towel and sprinkle with the seasoning mix before serving. You can easily keep the fried pieces warm in the oven, of course, as you work.
I served these very meaty mushrooms with mashed potatoes and gravy, cornbread muffins and greens. Who says being vegetarian says you have to give up an old school taste you sometimes crave?