I had the chance to spend part of my Labor Day holiday playing in the kitchen after some inspiration from NPR on making marinades. (Note: the NPR story focuses on marinades for various meat recipes.) According to the story, the basic flavors in a good marinade include salty, sour, sweet, savory, spicy, and oil. It provides a template for experimentation, with examples of each flavor, as well as recommended proportions to get you started. Well, I was too tempted by the prospect of playing mad scientist in the kitchen not to work on my own special sauce.
I tried two marinades, one for baby portabellas and one for baked tofu. The tofu needs a little more work. It was tasty, but not exciting, and I refuse to post a half-lame tofu recipe because people give poor tofu a hard enough time as it is.
The mushrooms were another story! Complex, a little sweet, and tangy. They had us wiping the plates for the last drops of sauce. We enjoyed them warm poured over fresh baby spinach. Next time, I'll tinker with the proportions to decrease the Bragg Liquid Aminos and the vinegar, but below you have the recipe as sampled.
Marinated Baby Portabellas with Spinach
yields 1 1/4 cups marinade
1/2 cup Bragg Liquid Aminos
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
2 Tablespoons vegan Worcestershire sauce
1 Tablespoon spicy brown mustard
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
10 ounces baby portabella mushrooms, cut into quarters or sixths
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil for skillet
red onion, thinly sliced
Whisk marinade ingredients and add mushrooms. Allow to marinate 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Heat 1 Tablespoon olive oil in skillet over medium heat. Using a slotted spoon, scoop the mushrooms into the skillet and saute for about 10 minutes.
For each serving, plate baby spinach, warm mushrooms, and red onion slices. Add extra marinade to the salad as a dressing. Store leftover marinade in the refrigerator.