Congratulations to our 2016 winner, Justine Kmiecik!
“What's cuter than making little mushrooms out of mushrooms?” That’s the question that Justine Kmiecik, winner of our annual recipe contest, posed on her food blog, Night Shift Lunch Box, and that’s pretty much the same remark that we made when we saw the recipe she submitted in response to our contest.
How cute, the testers exclaimed when they saw Justine’s Mushroom Sushi 'Mushrooms', plump with a shiitake and leek stuffing in their stipe and topped with a shiitake cap that had been simmered in oyster sauce.
Cute is one thing, declared one taster; delicious is another. One bite, and all the tasters agreed that cute and delicious were synonymous in this case.
Some wondered out loud about how difficult it might be to create the perfect little stuffed sushi base. Simple, replied the chef; it takes only minutes to put the appetizer together.
One word of caution. The recipe suggests that these 6 pieces serve 6 people as an appetizer. Not so, based on our experience! Most of our tasters enthusiastically scooped 2 pieces off the serving dish onto their hors d'oeuvre plate, while coyly keeping an eye on the serving dish to see if and when seconds would be available. Our advice is to prepare 2-3 pieces per person. Yes, they are that delicious and that easy to make!
When we asked Justine if we might print a little about her on our website, she modestly forwarded the following information:
Justine recently moved to Washington state with her husband, and has a background in plant and environmental biology. She ran a biotechnology startup in the energy space in North Carolina, and is passionate about gardening, art, and cooking.