Showing posts with label baby bella mushrooms. Show all posts
Showing posts with label baby bella mushrooms. Show all posts

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Fettucine with Shrimp, Mushrooms, Spinach and Cashews

LUCY BURDETTE: (Whew, that's a mouthful for a name, isn't it? If anyone has a better suggestion, I'm happy to take it!)

In my May release from the Key West food critic mystery series, TOPPED CHEF, one of the contestants makes shrimp and grits as his specialty dish for the first leg of the contest. However, he tells the audience that Key West has a secret weapon--Key West pinks. This is really true. Also known as "Tortugas" named after the region where they are caught, the shrimp are local and fresh and a lovely light pink color that really steals the show. Now I'm spoiled: I hate to use anything else.

Here's a tasty, easy dish that shows any fresh shrimp to their best advantage.


8 oz Baby Bella mushrooms, cleaned, trimmed and sliced
3/4 pound Key West pinks, shelled, deveined, rinsed and patted dry
8-10 oz fresh spinach, washed and roughly chopped
1 cup chicken broth
1 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 large clove garlic, chopped 

Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/3 cup broken cashews
1/2 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
2/3 box linguine or fettuccine

3 tbsp butter

Mix together in a glass bowl the chicken broth, cornstarch, red pepper flakes, and lemon, and set that aside.

In a large frying pan, saute the mushrooms in the butter until they release their liquid and begin to gently brown. Set those mushrooms aside. Melt another tablespoon of butter and add the cleaned shrimp, the garlic, and the cashews and stir fry until the shrimp are barely pink. Add the mushrooms and the liquid to the pan and simmer until slightly thickened. (Let's say 3 or 4 minutes.) Add the spinach and stir.

At this point, you can put a pot of water on the stove to heat, grab a Red Stripe beer or a glass of wine and watch the sun go down. 


Once the water boils, cook the pasta until tender, then dump it into a large bowl. Warm the shrimp mixture, add to the pasta, gently mix it all together. Add the grated parmesan on top and serve! 

TOPPED CHEF will be out in May! But you can pre-order the book today. And then please follow Lucy on Twitter,  Facebook, and Pinterest too.  

Monday, August 23, 2010

The Beauty of Friendship

Oh, the beauty of friendship.

I just went on the most fabulous trip to North Carolina with fellow MLK authors Krista Davis, Riley Adams, and another pal Ellery Adams. We became such sweet friends...talking about mystery, writing, family.

I wanted to share a little tidbit of our trip. We were hosted by the fabulous Molly
Weston. Check out her blog: Meritorious Mysteries.

On Saturday between events at the Apex Library and the Page-Walker Arts and History Center , Molly, like the perfect hostess, invited us to her home. She didn't prepare a lavish meal. She didn't have to. She served a cheese platter (my favorite, as you know), and a delightful salad, all of which we could put together as we wished. Perfect.We were hungry, but not starved, and the two made a delicious dinner.
Thank you, Molly.

[Photo to right is Molly with Riley at Barnes and Noble.]

On to food!

There's nothing better than a beautiful salad to whet my appetite. An appetizer portion is so much fun, and putting one together might just satisfy the artist in you. And a wedge of blue cheese, a voila, it can taste extraordinary!



{Serves 4}

4 small artichokes, boiled to tender, halved

4 mushrooms, sliced

4 ounces blue cheese

8 slices cucumber

1 Tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon salt

8 slices radicchio

4 green onions, tails shredded


Remove crusty leaves from artichokes and snip off the bottom.

Bring 6 cups of water to a boil. Add 1 teaspoon salt. Drop in the small artichokes. Boil for about 5-10 minutes. Prick with a fork. If fork slides out easily, they’re done. Rinse and slice.

Next, heat the olive oil in a sauce pan. Saute the artichokes and the sliced mushrooms until browned but still firm.

Arrange plates with pieces of raddichio. Rest the artichokes on the raddichio. Arrange the plate with mushrooms, cucumbers, and green onions. Dot the artichokes with blue cheese, and add a wedge to each plate.

Serve with a saucy Sauvignon Blanc and enjoy!

By the way...

If you want to get my quarterly newsletter and be a fan
of A Cheese Shop Mystery series, click this CONTACT LINK and sign up. There are newsy bits, cheese of the month, recipes, contests and more.

And if you haven't read The Long Quiche Goodbye and want to purchase a copy, click this booksellers link.

Say Cheese!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Let's all Veg Out Part 1

Before I go any further... do you all know what today is?

I bet you do!

Today is release day for Avery Aames' debut mystery, THE LONG QUICHE GOODBYE! It's also the day Avery announces the winner of her "You Be the Sleuth" contest. Check out the results on Avery's website here.

Today is also the release day for ...

Riley Adams first Memphis Barbecue mystery DELICIOUS AND SUSPICIOUS!

Please join me in congratulating my blog sisters on this exciting day. I encourage everyone reading this blog to rush out and pick up both these books. Not only are they filled with suspense, fun, and excitement, there's a lot of great foodie information in both as well. Don't miss them!

This week and next week I'll be talking about veggies on the grill. This week is one of my go-to side dishes that's always a hit in my house and can be prepared outside or inside. For next week, I'll try something new (but still very veggie) and report on the family's verdict -- which side dish wins top honors in the Hyzy house!

As I've mentioned before, my youngest daughter is vegetarian. That's been good news for all of us because we've been cutting down on the amount of meat we consume here. Not completely, of course, but a bit. It's been a real challenge for me to come up with new and different items to serve that can be used as main dishes. And although we haven't had 100% success, we're certainly having fun!

Today's super easy dish is a side, for sure. Next week's could stand in as a main dish. But I'm getting ahead of myself...

We use the following as a side when having dinner here. While my husband and other daughters may have a chicken or beef entree, our youngest enjoys a veggie burger or tofu-based dish. But, what we've come to love most of all is that these veggie leftovers make *phenomenal* additions to sandwiches. We all love our panini maker (thanks for the suggestion, Krista) and we use these veggies with provolone cheese (or sometimes pepper jack) on great breads. Who needs meat at that point? These sandwiches are incredible.

So, if you're looking for a side dish that keeps on giving, try...

Grilled vegetables - indirect heat

1 or 2 green bell peppers
1 or 2 red bell peppers
pint (or so) of mushrooms - I used baby bellas
1 purple onion
1 head garlic

I don't know why I prefer the green peppers cut into 1/2 inch chunks, and the red peppers cut into strips, but I do. Cut up the peppers however you like into good-sized pieces. This is not the time to chop. Remove mushroom stems and discard. Depending on the size of the mushroom caps, cut them in half or quarters. Cut the purple onion in half, then half again. Keep at it until the pieces are about 1/2 inch each (give or take). Separate garlic into whole cloves, smash and peel. I sometimes throw the whole cloves in if I'm feeling lazy, but I usually chop them up a bit to share the garlic wealth.

Place all veggies in a grill-safe pan, add a glug or two of olive oil and toss to coat. I don't salt or pepper these until they're finished.

Set your grill to indirect heat and place the pan in the center. These don't cook up super fast -- you'll have to keep checking and re-tossing as they roast. But eventually the peppers soften, the mushrooms lose their liquid and the onions become translucent. That's when they're ready. Bring them in, place in a serving dish... and there they are.

These veggies can also be roasted indoors in a 350 oven. We make these year-round because we enjoy them so much!

Next week - Time to veg out with direct heat!!


Friday, February 5, 2010

Cleo Coyle: Frozen Pizza Doctor and Pizza Toppings Poll!

Super Bowl Sunday is almost here. In order, I am looking forward to (#1) the half-time show because I love, love, love The Who, Who, Who and they’ll be performing Live, Live, Live... (#2) all those crazy, creative commercials; and (#3) the game. 1 Plain Cheese Frozen Pizza
(The Steelers are my team and they’re not in it this year, hence the game has fallen in priority.)
So...what’s to snack on?! While there are loads of delicious ideas around our blog, I’m sure many households will simply order pies from a local pizzeria.
Oh, sure, pizza delivery is fast and easy, but those $$$ can really add up, and the convenience isn’t always worth it. If you’ve ever had a pie arrive cold at your door with toppings that are less than spectacular (canned mushrooms on your pie, yikes!), then consider my quick & easy prescriptions for doctoring frozen pizza. (Unless of course there’s someone in your house who wants to flirt with the cute pizza delivery person, in which case these ideas are moot!)

The patient: Frozen Pizza
The diagnosis: No Pizazz (ok, no groaning!)
The perscription (Rx): See options below...

FROZEN PIZZA DOCTOR Rx #1: Start with a good brand. My favorite is Mystic Pizza. Yes, the same “slice of heaven” that inspired the screenwriter of Julia Roberts’ 1988 movie. I’d love to know your favorite brand. Just leave a note in the comments section below.

(If you never buy frozen pizza, I’ve got you covered. Check out the wonderful homemade pizza crust recipe from our recent Guest Blogger, Mary Jane Maffini, by clicking here. Or try Julie Hyzy’s solution—Caprese flatbread by clicking here.)

FROZEN PIZZA DOC Rx #2: Best tip of them all. Drizzle olive oil around the rim of your frozen pizza before putting it into the oven. You want to drizzle it against the inside rim of the crust (not on the crust). During the high-temperature baking, the oil will seep into the crust and help keep it moist. It adds great flavor, too!

FP DOC Rx #3: Fresh mushrooms! Add 1 cup of fresh, sliced Baby Bella mushrooms to your frozen pizza. These young Portobellos are meaty and chewy—adding texture as well as flavor. Button mushrooms are fine as another option or mix your mushrooms. Sauté in olive oil and a bit of butter before putting on your frozen pie and popping it in the oven.

FP DOC Rx #4: Jimmy Dean Sausage. What?! Not Italian sausage? No. I'm not kidding here. A mild/sweet breakfast sausage is delicious on pizza! Break up about 1/3rd of the 1 pound package with your fingers into a pan on the stovetop; cook it through completely and drain the fat before spreading over the frozen pizza. You’d be surprised how many people assume that the sausage should be put on the pie raw. Not a good idea! Even if the raw sausage does cook through (and it probably won’t, given pizza’s quick bake time), you’ll end up with a lot of grease. So cook, drain, top, bake, and enjoy!
FP DOC Rx #5: Freshly shredded mozzarella cheese and leaves of fresh green basil. Just spread them on the top and bake. The floral fragrance of the basil cooking is really lovely. It brightens and enlivens a frozen pizza and takes no time at all.

Finally, I’d like to learn about your favorite pizza toppings. According to industry sources gathered by the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board, here are some favorites from around our planet…

Australia: shrimp and pineapple, BBQ
Brazil: green peas
Costa Rica: coconut
France: a combo called “Flambe” with bacon, onion, and fresh cream
Japan: squid and eel
India: chicken tikka, Tandoori chicken, pickled ginger
Netherlands: “double dutch” double cheese, double onions, double beef
Pakistan: curry
Russia: red herring
Saudi Arabi: Hold the pork—all meat toppings must be 100% beef!


Click below to vote on what pizza
you would order if given this list.

Yes. This is my Doctored Mystic Pizza. It started out frozen in a box. We inhaled it last night. :)

Eat with joy!

~ Cleo Coyle, author of 

To get more of my recipes,
enter to win free coffee, or
learn about my books,
including my bestselling
Haunted Bookshop series,
visit my online coffeehouse:

The Coffeehouse Mysteries are national bestselling
culinary mysteries set in a landmark Greenwich Village 
coffeehouse, and each of the ten titles includes the 
added bonus of recipes. 


The Ghost and
Mrs. McClure

Book #1 of 

The Haunted Bookshop
, which Cleo writes
under the name Alice Kimberly
To learn more, click here.

LIAR, LIAR: Still wondering what was true and what was false in our "Creative Writer Bald-Faced Liar's Award"? Congrats to Lesa Holstine for guessing the truth! My very first lie was true. I was a cub reporter at The New York Times and I did indeed interview a group of interfaith peace activists who were taken hostage by Nicaraguan rebels. They all came home, I'm glad to report, safe and sound!

TRUTH IN FALSEHHOODS: My other two lies were based on a bit of truth, which is the best way to consturct lies, as most writers know! My sister was indeed the Community Health Director for Bethel, Alaska, and I did visit her there and meet a female musher and her dogs, but I didn't participate in the Yukon-Kuskowkim 300 Dog Sled Race (although I wanted to)!Finally, although I did attend Carnegie Mellon U., my internship was in journalism (via American U. in Washington, D.C., and not in the creation of SF film concepts). I do love SF, however, and although I didn't contribute any ideas to the original, cutting-edge movie Tron, I'm adapting the screenplay of the upcoming sequel Tron: Legacy into a junior novel for Disney Books. Click here for an awesome Light Cycle ride!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Christmas Winter Salad with Cheese!

Brrrrrrr! And yummmmmmmmmmmmm!

It's almost Christmas. The aromas of sweets and pines and candles. The laughter of children. The delight in their eyes. It's all worth it, isn't it?
But food is a major part of this holiday, and, after all the sweets I consume, I hunger for a good crisp salad filled with nutritious "fun" goodies.
According to Bernadette Bessette, the colorful grandmother of my protagonist in The Long Quiche Goodbye, texture, flavor and presentation matter.

So this week, keeping that adage in mind, I put together a winter salad using the tastiest items in my refrigerator. Adorn with strawberries and apples and you've got a truly beautiful plate.

(for two)
10 strings beans
2 strawberries, halved
6 sun-dried tomatoes
1/2 green apple, sliced thin
6 mushrooms
1 Tbs. safflower oil (to grill mushrooms)
6 mixed olives
6 slices favorite salami, halved
2 slices Scharfe Maxx cheese, diced
1 cup mixed greens
2-4 Tbs. oil and vinegar salad dressing (recipe below)

Cook the string beans in boiling water laced with 1 tsp. salt for 3 minutes. Rinse and cool.
Grill the mushrooms in 1 Tbs. of oil, flipping once, until lightly browned.
Place greens on a salad plate. Top with salami, mushrooms, and cheese. Outline the greens with the green beans, strawberries, apple slices and olives.
Drizzle with salad dressing.
When you're eating the salad, mix it all together. That's how it tastes best to me!


2 Tbs. safflower (or olive) oil
4 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper

Shake and serve.

Note: I found Scharf Maxx Cheese at Murray's Cheese Shop in New York. It's a raw swiss cheese made by the Studer Dairy in Hatswil and is a very piquant cheese. Yum!

By the way, would you like to suggest a new secret ingredient for our February Iron Chef? If we choose yours, you'll win a great prize. Just send your suggestios to our mail box: One entry per person per day for our followers. The winner will be chosen among our followers only, so join us! Just scroll down our right column and hit the "follow" button! Watch our posts next week to find out what prize you might win for your suggestion!

Merry, merry Christmas to all. May your new year be filled with love, laughter and good health!


Saturday, September 5, 2009

Baby Bellas with Balsamic Vinegar

Congratulations to Sally Minyard of Arizona! Sally is this week’s winner of our Williams-Sonoma $25 gift card giveaway. We have one more gift certificate to give away, so don't forget to enter TODAY!

I cook a lot of mushrooms and recently, several people have asked me how I prepare them. It's so easy that it's embarrassing. I'm going to post the recipe anyway, because it's lowfat, delicious, and done in a snap. The mushrooms make a wonderful side dish, and taste as good cold as they do hot. They'd be great on Avery's antipasto platter! They're easy enough to make anytime, but elegant enough for company. It's exactly the sort of quick and easy dish that Sophie Winston of my Domestic Diva Mysteries whips up when friends drop by for dinner.

If you're an Alton Brown fan, then you probably know that you can wash mushrooms. Alton did an experiment on one of his shows, in which he weighed two groups of like mushrooms. He soaked one bunch of mushrooms (for hours) and merely wiped the others clean, then weighed them again. Contrary to the old wives' tale, the soaked mushrooms did not take on water. So wash them and don't worry about it. Thanks, Alton!

Baby Bellas with Balsamic Vinegar

1 8-ounce package of baby bella or button mushrooms
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
pepper to taste

1. Wash the mushrooms and remove the stems, saving them for soup.
2. Pour the tablespoon of olive oil into a frying pan.
3. I like my mushrooms a little bit chunky so I cut the caps into sixths or eighths, depending on the size. If they're very small, I leave the cap whole. However, you can slice them if you prefer.
4. Toss the mushrooms into the pan. (The pan and oil can be cold. I don't preheat them.)
5. Sprinkle with garlic powder, salt, and pepper to taste.
6. Sprinkle with balsamic vinegar. If you're leery of vinegar, use less. I've realized that the brand and intensity of the balsamic vinegar can make a big difference. I use Spectrum's Organic Balsamic Vinegar (and I love balsamic vinegar so I use it generously).
7. Simmer over medium heat, uncovered, for about five minutes, turning occasionally. The juices and balsamic vinegar will cook down in the process.

And that's it! How lazy is that? Enjoy!


This is your last chance to enter our contest for a gift certificate to Williams-Sonoma. To enter just leave a comment, or send an "Enter Me" email to! Good luck!