Add mushrooms to a stir-fry dish

Mushrooms add lots of flavor to mangy dishes, and they're especially good combined with vegetables in the stir-fry, Chinese method of cooking. Here's recipe using cucumbers, tomatoes, and onions, which can also be made by substituting other fresh vegetables such as summer squash, zucchini, and small pieces of broccoli or cauliflower.

Stir-frying is a very quick method of cooking vegetables that preserves most of their natural flavor and crispness. This dish would be a good accompaniment to anything cooked outdoors on a grill -- hamburgers, steak, or chicken. Vegetable Stir-Fry 1 medium cucumber 2 medium onions or 4 scallions 2 tablespoons vegetable oil 1 cup fresh mushrooms, whole or halved 1 cup cherry tomatoes 1/3 cup water 1 tablespoon soy sauce 1 chicken bouillon cube, crumbled 1 teaspoon brown sugar 1 teaspoon vinegar 1 teaspoon cornstarch 1 clove garlic, pressed 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger

Pare and slice cucumber 1/4 inch thick. Cut onions into wedges. Stir-fry onion in oil over high heat 1 minute. Add remaining vegetables and continue to stir-fry 1 minute.

Combine remaining ingredients in a bowl, blending well, and add to vegetables. Stir lightly. Cover and simmer 3 minutes or until vegetables are tender-crisp. Makes 4 servings.

Other mushroom ideas: Spruce up packaged long-grain wild rice mix by adding sauteed sliced fresh mushrooms for an elegant side dish.

And sauteed fresh mushrooms, a dash of nutmeg, and a few tablespoon of cream to a meat sauce of gravy for extra richness.

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