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

Monday, March 20, 2017

Portobello Mushrooms Stuffed with Spinach

Contrary to popular belief, I do not live off cakes and comfort foods. Sometimes, I even eat something really healthy! This was a new recipe for me. Portobello mushrooms were on sale, so I nabbed some without the vaguest idea what I would do with them. Happily, I planned to cook shrimp for dinner.

All the recipes I looked at involved chopping shrimp to stuff the mushrooms. While that sounds very tasty, I had bought lovely super large shrimp, and I wasn't about to chop them to bits. While the large shrimp cost more, I have found we usually only eat ten of them, which makes them much more affordable.

I happened upon a Kraft recipe in which they used one of their salad dressings, so if you use a bottled oil and vinegar type of dressing, you could use that if you like. I made a simple dressing of my own. I also added olives to the stuffing, and a slice of cheese for the top. It's not much cheese, just enough to add a little flavor and break up all those veggies!

Portobello Mushrooms Stuffed with Spinach
(makes 2, double for 4)
Based on a recipe by Kraft.

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
dash of salt
1/4 teaspoon thyme
pinch of sage
2 portobello mushrooms
1 large garlic clove
12 large black olives
10 ounces (3 very large handfuls) of baby spinach
2 thin slices of cheese (I used smoked Gouda)

Preheat oven to 400. Grease a pan or line it with parchment paper.

Whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, salt, thyme, and sage. Remove the stems from the mushrooms and chop. Using a spoon, remove the gills from the mushrooms and discard.

Brush the tops and bottom of the mushrooms with the oil mixture. Pour the rest into a deep pan and heat.

Mince the garlic and chop the olives. Add the garlic, olives, and chopped mushroom stems to the pan. Cook 2-3 minutes. Add the spinach and cover. Cook about 2 minutes until it begins to wilt. Turn the spinach a bit. Cook another 2 minutes.

Fill the mushrooms with the spinach. Roast in oven 14 minutes, add one slice of cheese to each mushroom and roast another 4-6 minutes.

Mushroom on left has gills. Mushroom on right is after removal.
Chopped mushroom stems, garlic, and olives.
Brush caps with vinaigrette.
Add chopped items to remaining vinaigrette.
Add spinach.
I cooked my shrimp in the same pan.

Eat your veggies and have your shrimp, too!

Cover reveal! I'm so in love with this cover!

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Roasted French Beans, Mushrooms, and Onions with Panko #recipe by Linda Wiken, author, @LWiken

There aren't many vegetables I don't like, although there are some that I feel need to be dressed up before presenting at a meal.

Cauliflower is one, green beans is another. No offence meant to green bean or cauliflower lovers!

But the great news is that it's so easy these days to do just that. Even just roasting these veggies in olive oil, salt and pepper is so easy and transforms the taste.

But I found a recipe that sounded just right, although it added a few more steps to the roasting process. This is a recipe for guests, I decided. And, of course, I played around with it, because that's what we do. I'm not sure where it originated but my guess might be online at  Bon Appetit, one of my favorite sources.

I've switched out the green beans for French beans-- love the shape and size. The choice of onion was new, too, as were the mushrooms and cheese. I'm thinking this would work great for cauliflower, too!

What you need: (to serve four)

1 1/2 lbs. French beans
6 shallots, sliced into rings
8 oz. mushrooms
8 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 c. Panko
1/2 tsp. each freshly chopped rosemary, bay, sage, and tarragon
1/2 c. grated Asiago cheese
1 lemon, zest and juice

What to do:

Preheat over to 425 F.  Place French beans, mushrooms and onions in a large bowl and toss them with 3 tbsp. olive oil.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and arrange the French beans mixture on them. Season with salt and pepper. Roast until tender and browned, approx. 30 to 35 min.

Heat the remaining 2 tbsp. olive oil in medium skillet over medium heat.  Add Panko and herbs, stirring constantly until golden brown, about  3 min. Remove from heat and stir in Asiago and lemon zest.

Squeeze some lemon juice over the roasted vegetables and top with the Panko mixture.


Book 2 in the Dinner Club Mysteries,  ROUX THE DAY, is coming on March 7th!
To pre-order, please check your favorite bookstore website.

The first in the Dinner Club Mysteries is available at your favorite bookstore and on-line, as a paperback and as an e-book.  
Recipes included!

Writing as Erika Chase -- the Ashton Corners Book Club Mystery series are available on-line or at your favorite bookstore.

Visit Linda at
Love to hear from you at my Facebook author page and
on Twitter  @LWiken  
Also appearing at

Visit Erika at 
 at my Facebook author page
and on Twitter  @erika_chase. 

Friday, May 22, 2015

Pasta with Chanterelle Mushrooms

by Sheila Connolly

I’m still working my way through my Philadelphia mushrooms. Since they have a short shelf life, I’ve got to hurry!

The chanterelles

A long time ago, in a universe far, far away, my husband and I lived in the Berkeley area for a decade. He was getting a degree, and after a couple of years, I decided to get one too. Our daughter was born there. We bought our first house (and left before the earthquake!).

Berkeley was home to the Gourmet Ghetto—a collection of amazing restaurants, that of course we, as starving students, couldn’t afford. Among them was Chez Panisse. I used to park near the place, when I was working one of my three jobs, and would stop and read the menu. Would you believe that the prix fixe dinner was something like $14 then? Even so, we could rarely afford the indulgence. But we did take our daughter there to celebrate her first birthday. Since she’s something of a foodie herself now, maybe it made an impression.

A few years ago the mystery conference Bouchercon was held in San Francisco. I had not been back to California since we moved to the east coast in 1987, so of course I had to go. I arrived a day early, so I could indulge in a nostalgic trip to Berkeley—and lunch at Chez Panisse.

If Berkeley was a gourmet mecca thirty years ago, it’s more so now: I swear every other storefront housed some sort of restaurant or food vendor. But Chez Panisse hadn’t changed. Every dish was prepared with meticulous attention, and everything was delicious. I had a simple dish of pasta topped with chopped mushrooms and fresh herbs that was delightful.

That’s what I’ve tried to recreate here. This time my chanterelles were at the head of the queue, which is what I had at the restaurant. Combined with fresh green herbs, the orange mushrooms provide a pretty contrast to the pasta.

Fresh Chanterelles and Pasta

1/2 pound fresh chanterelle mushrooms
3 shallots
Sprigs of fresh thyme and parsley
2-3 Tblsp unsalted butter
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup chicken stock
3/4 cup heavy cream
Lemon juice

Spaghetti (or whatever you prefer)

Slice the chanterelles. Peel and dice the shallots. Pluck the leaves off the thyme sprigs. Finely chop the parsley.

Melt the butter in a pan over medium heat and sauté the mushrooms and shallots for a few minutes. Add the thyme, salt and pepper. 

Sauté briefly, then add the chicken stock and the cream. Simmer gently until the stock is reduced by about a third (but do not let it become too thick!). Taste for seasoning, and add a squeeze of lemon juice.

Cook the pasta according to instructions, then mix it into the sauce. When you serve it, sprinkle it with the chopped parsley.

Whilst it may be indelicate to speak of such matters after a fine meal, Privy to the Dead comes out on June 2nd!

Pennsylvania Antiquarian Society President Nell Pratt finds more than she expects in a deep hole in the basement of the century-old Society building--and a man dies because of it.

Available for pre-order at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Wild Mushroom and Farro Soup

by Sheila Connolly

Here’s another recipe from Ina Garten’s cookbook, Make It Ahead. Let’s start with that farro—what the heck is it? No, we’re not talking about the 17th-century French gambling card game. But nobody seems quite sure what it is. Here’s what Wikipedia has to say:

There is some confusion as to what farro is. Spelt (Triticum spelta), Emmer (Triticum dicoccum), and einkorn (Triticum monococcum), are called farro in Italy, sometimes (but not always) distinguished as farro grande, farro medio, and farro piccolo, respectively. Emmer grown in the Garfagnana region of Tuscany is known as farro, and can receive an IGP designation (Indicazione Geografica Protetta), which by law guarantees its geographic origin. Emmer is by far the most common variety grown in Italy, in certain mountain regions of Tuscany and Abruzzo. It is also considered to be of a higher quality for cooking than the other two grains and is sometimes called "true" farro.

Yeah, sure, okay (Ina, what have you gotten me into?). Simple solution for the rest of us cooks: go to your grocery store or health food store and buy a bag of the stuff, or order it on line. Bob’s Red Mill has it. (And I daresay you could substitute any of the other grains mentioned if you can’t find farro.)

Then there are the mushrooms. Ina wanted me to use dried crimini mushrooms. My local grocery lacks imagination, so they had only one kind of dried mushroom, and it was not crimini. So I used porcini mushrooms. They worked fine. Likewise, there was little choice in fresh mushrooms, so I used sliced shitake mushrooms. Use whatever sturdy mushrooms you can find at your own store (but not the more delicate ones like oyster mushrooms).

Dried porcini mushrooms

Mushroom and Farro Soup

1-1/2 oz dried wild mushrooms

3 Tblsp olive oil
4 oz pancetta, diced
3 cups chopped yellow onions
2 cups diced carrots

4 tsp minced garlic
3/4 cup farro (or other grain of the wheat family)
12 oz fresh mushrooms, stems discarded, sliced
4 cups beef broth
3 large sprigs fresh thyme
kosher salt and pepper

Cover the dried mushrooms with 6 cups water in a medium pot and bring to a boil. Turn off the heat, cover, and set aside for at least 20 minutes. Longer is fine.

Heat the olive oil in a large pot. Add the pancetta and let the fat render for a few minutes, over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the carrots, coat well with the oil, and continue to cook until the carrots are tender.

Add the garlic and the farro and cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the fresh mushrooms and cook for 5-7 minutes, until the mushrooms begin to release some liquid.

Strain the dried/soaked mushrooms through cheesecloth to remove any lingering grit (saving the liquid!). Chop them coarsely and add them to the pot, along with the strained liquid, the beef broth, thyme, 2 tsp salt and 1 tsp pepper. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer, partially covered, for 45 minutes, until the farro is tender. Discard the thyme.

2 Tblsp flour
2 Tblsp unsalted butter, room temp
4 oz creme fraiche
1/4 cup minced parsley

In a small bowl, mash the flour and butter together to form a paste, then stir by spoonfuls into the hot soup. Simmer for 5 minutes (to cook the flour), then stir in the creme fraiche and taste for seasoning.

Serve hot.

The result is a very tasty soup, hearty but not heavy. Serve with a wholegrain bread and you’ll have a nice meal for a winter’s evening. (And this recipe makes plenty of leftovers!)

All right, I know I've told you more than once that the next book in my County Cork Mystery series is coming out soon (February 3rd! at bookstores everywhere!). I was trying to figure out an appropriate way to go from exotic mushrooms to Ireland--and then I realized that on one trip to West Cork I had taken a lot of mushroom pictures. I was there at the beginning of December, and there were still mushrooms everywhere--and here they are.

Yes, that first one really is purple!

And here's the book. In An Early Wake, Maura brings music back to Sullivan's, and someone dies. But the music lives on!

Monday, December 29, 2014

Mushroom Mania

I really should start hiding magazines with recipes in them. Once again my mom is responsible for picking out this recipe. She mentioned it, and I knew right away why she wanted to try it - we're both a little weary of our standby shitake mushroom recipe. How could she resist something that Cook's Illustrated called Best Roasted Mushrooms?

Roasted? I never even considered roasting mushrooms. With the exception of broccoli, every vegetable I have tried roasting has turned out great.

Shitake mushrooms are a staple on our shopping list. They're supposed to be incredibly good for us. Plus, mushrooms are one of the best ingredients for meatless dishes because they have so much flavor and texture. So when pine nuts and Parmesan showed up on my mom's shopping list, I knew what she had in mind. Except I hadn't read the recipe. It requires a whopping pound of shitake mushrooms and one and a half pounds of cremini mushrooms! That's a lot of mushrooms!

Consequently, my first jab at this recipe was somewhat limited because I didn't have the proper amount of mushrooms. They turned out well enough though, for me to want to try again, this time with the proper amount of mushrooms.

There's nothing difficult about this recipe but you do have to budget time for it. I was surprised to find I had to brine the mushrooms! Yup. And to be certain those pesky mushrooms don't float, you weight them with a plate or lid to force them to stay down in the water. Most curious. Be sure to choose a bowl or pot for which you have a plate or a lid that fits down inside the pot. It doesn't have to fit perfectly. A little space around the edge is okay but if the gap is large, the mushrooms will escape. If you use a plate, a gap might be welcome so you can get a grip on it to pull it out.

The brining only takes 10 minutes but unlike a lot of mushroom recipes, this one takes about an hour of brining and cooking time, so plan accordingly.

The one sticking point (pun intended) that I haven't yet resolved is the tendency of the mushrooms, especially the shitakes, to stick to the pan. The first time I tried this, they stuck to the bottom of the pan. So I thought I would be clever and line it with aluminum foil the next time. That was worse because the foil tore when I tried to loosen the mushrooms from their grip. Next time, I think I'll try greasing the pan before I dump the mushrooms onto it. Maybe that will help.

It's meant to be a side dish and would work really well for that. In spite of the pounds of mushrooms, it only serves four. We ate them as a topping for egg noodles, in which case, it serves about three. A warning, though. There really isn't a sauce, so I just mixed a little extra melted butter and lemon and served that on the side for anyone who wanted some sauce.

Roasted Mushrooms with Parmesan and Pine Nuts
by Adam Reid for Cook's Illustrated

salt and pepper
1 1/2 pounds cremini mushroom caps (whole if small, halved if medium, quartered if large)
1 pound shitake mushroom caps (halved if larger than 3 inches)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted (I didn't bother to toast them)
2 tablespoons chopped parsley

Move the oven rack to the lowest position and preheat oven to 450.

In a pot with a lid or plate that fits inside, mix 2 quarts of room temperature water with 5 teaspoons salt. Dissolve salt. Add the mushrooms and cover with lid or plate to submerge. Let stand for ten minutes. Drain and pat dry with paper towels to remove as much of the moisture as possible.

Spread the mushrooms on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and toss to coat. Roast 35 to 45 minutes or until the liquid from the mushrooms has evaporated.

Using a thin metal spatula (I used my cookie spatula), stir gently. Roast another 5 to 10 minutes. Meanwhile, mix the melted butter with the lemon juice in a large bowl. Add the hot mushrooms and toss to coat them. Add the Parmesan, pine nuts and parsley, toss to combine, and add salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

Loads of mushrooms!
Use a lid or dish to weight the mushrooms when brining.
Dry with paper towels.
After 35 minutes of roasting.
Can you believe how they shrink?
We ate them with egg noodles.


Monday, August 4, 2014

The Big Popover

I confess that unusual recipes, those that claim to be magic or are made in some unlikely way, always attract me. In fact, they stop me cold. I scratch my head and wonder if they really work. Maybe it's because I like learning new techniques? Yeah, I'll go with that.

So when I saw a recipe that involved a big popover, I was surprised. Would it really come out like a giant popover? I thought popovers had to be made in special popover pans with tall, narrow cups so they would rise. Hmm.

Apparently this recipe began with Cooking Light. I found a variation by Grab a Plate and put my own twists on it.

Guess what? It worked. Not only that, we loved it. And this popover crust solves one of my biggest kitchen dilemmas - a crust in a hurry. Honestly, with the mozzarella, it tasted so much like a pizza that I was astonished. But the crust was made in less than half an hour. No rising necessary. Of course, there's no yeast in it, so it's not like a bread crust but it's totally satisfying and kind of fun. I can see using this in a lot of recipes.

The popover curls in strange artful ways. It was very cute, though – like it took on a life of its own.

Our garden is having a surprisingly good year. Please forgive me for using red Swiss chard in yet another recipe but we have so much of it! It will look like a huge amount of chard but don't worry, like spinach, it shrinks as it cooks. If Swiss chard isn't your cuppa, I think you could easily substitute spinach. I used white mushrooms but crimini would also be lovely. If you want it to taste more like pizza, substitute 1 teaspoon of oregano for the herbs and be sure you use mozzarella cheese.

I recommend cutting off the chard stems for this recipe, though it's not really necessary. If you do cut them off, freeze them, along with the "discarded" liquid to make soup. The chard, mushroom, and herb flavors in the liquid are delicious! In fact, it occurred to me that this might be a great base for a vegetarian broth.

This dish is surprisingly filling. Super for meatless Mondays or vegetarian family members. It will easily serve 3-4. And no guilt! The veggie to crust ratio is so good you'll feel entitled to dessert.

The Big Popover
with Swiss Chard and Mushrooms

1 8x8 inch pan

1-2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 red onion
1/2 teaspoon sage
1/2 teaspoon thyme
8-ounce package fresh white mushrooms
1 clove garlic
1 bunch Swiss Chard
1 tablespoon butter + extra for greasing the pan
2 eggs
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup skim milk (whole probably works, too)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup shredded mozzarella (I used part skim)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Heat the olive oil. Slice the onion and the mushrooms, and mince the garlic. Cut the stems off the Swiss chard and reserve for soup. Cut the chard and wash. Add the onion to the pan, when it begins to cook, add the herbs. When they are fragrant, add the mushrooms and garlic. Top with the Swiss chard and turn occasionally as it wilts. When wilted, turn the heat down and keep warm.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425. Grease the pan with butter and place 1 tablespoon of butter in the bottom of the pan.

Lightly whisk the two eggs. Stir in the flour, milk and salt until smooth. Set aside. When the oven is ready, place the pan in the oven for 2-3 minutes until the butter melts. Do not let it burn!

Pour the egg mixture into the hot pan and slide it into the oven. Bake for 12-14 minutes, until puffed up and slightly browned. Sprinkle the bottom with 1/2 of the mozzarella.

Pour the excess liquid off the Swiss chard mixture. Spoon the chard mixture into the baked popover. Sprinkle the top with the remaining mozzarella and then with the Parmesan.

Bake 10-12 minutes.

Melt butter in baking pan. 

Combine eggs with flour and milk.

Who'd have thought it?

Before second baking.

Ready to serve!

Surprisingly satisfying.