Saturday, March 8, 2014

Mushroom hash and eggs

By Victoria Abbott - aka those brunch-loving Maffini women.

We love brunches and lunches around here.  We particularly appreciate the fresh and unusual meals you can make with veggies and eggs. For those of you who are seeking low carb or low GI foods, these can be a boon and introduce much needed variety.

This mushroom hash is a variation on a mushroom-hash recipe from Steven Raichlen’s High-flavor, Low-fat Italian Cooking. It is an inspired cookbook.  Of course, we weren’t seeking low-fat so there’s a bit of butter and oil.  The original is served with polenta and that was ‘off the table’ for us at least for a while.

We served ours with poached eggs.  It was a huge hit and had to be made again the next week as we’d all enjoyed it.  The egg poaching was less than stellar, but we’ll try again. Third time lucky, as they say.  

You could serve yours with polenta if carbs are not an issue. The mushroom hash and polenta are a marriage made in heaven.  

Mushroom hash - you will need:


1 ½ pounds sliced mushrooms. We used a blend of cremini, white mushrooms and baby portabellas.  You can mix it up with other types of mushrooms to suit yourself and you don’t have to be too finicky about exact amounts of anything!

4 sun-dried tomatoes, soaked in boiling water for a half hour, then chopped
½ cup of chicken or veggie stock.
3 cloves garlic, minced
¼ cup finely chopped parsley (or 4 tablespoons prepared parsley)
2 tablespoons EVOO
2 tablespoons butter
4 green onions, white and green parts, sliced
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Salt and pepper

This serves two with lots of leftover mushrooms.  They reheat beautifully .

You will also need:

4 eggs – poached (good luck with that)
2 ounces or more of good quality Parmigiano-Reggiano or Grana Padano.  



In a large heavy skillet, heat the butter and oil until foamy. Sauté the green onions and the garlic over medium heat for five minutes.  Don’t singe the garlic!  

Add the mushrooms and cook for about ten minutes. Add the chopped tomatoes, parsley, and stock. Cook for another ten minutes or so.  Add the lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste.  Keep warm. 

Meanwhile, convince someone to poach the eggs. Around here people will jump ship like rats. But never mind. We love poached eggs so …  Our new egg poacher was a bit of a letdown.  Our experiment with the rings from mason jars not much better. Our attempts to poach them without constraint in boiling water led to a so-so result.  Of course, they tasted fine. We were just trying to make them pretty for the pix.

Heat a large pan with about an inch of water.  Place egg poacher or rings inside and bring to a boil.  Crack eggs into poacher or rings.  Cook until white is opaque.  Hope for the best. Try not to overcook them or use bad language. 

Place a serving of mushrooms on each plate.  Remove eggs from poaching device and top mushrooms. 

We thought our mushrooms were much prettier 'in person'. They may look like a Sesame Street monster here, but they tasted great.

Don't forget to grate cheese on eggs. 

Okay, who are these people?  Here's a little bit more about Victoria Abbott, author of the book collector mysteries. 

Victoria is an artist and photographer and MJ is the author of 13 books in three other series, as Mary Jane Maffini.  They really really like dogs. They try not to fight when they're working on their books or recipes.

Deep down, they really love each other and they really really love their book collector mysteries and are happily waiting for The Wolfe Widow, third in the series, due September, 2014. 

    Pre-order it here!

They're very excited about the The Sayers Swindle which is out now!

The Sayers Swindle, the second in the book collector mysteries is now available.

You can click here to order The Sayers Swindle!

Or here for the Kindle version!

Or order through your favorite bookstore - in person or online.


The Christie Curse, the first book collector mystery, launched in March 2013 to great reviews.

The Christie Curse is also available in Large Print! Tell your local librarian!

 Walter, the pug in the series is a dead ringer for Peachy, Victoria's new best friend. 

 Come over and friend Victoria on Facebook

Tell  her  you love the pug!

and check out Mary Jane Maffini and Victoria Abbott


  1. Your poached eggs look just fine, so you can stop saying those 'bad' words!!!! For those that don't have egg rings, try this....... it's a technique I learned from a lady in England and it's changed the way I make my beloved poached eggs: bring a pot of water to a boil and add a splash of vinegar (to prevent those pesky ragged edges from the whites), crack your egg into a bowl, turn the heat off and slip the egg into the water. Cover the pan and let it sit for 5 minutes. Tah Dah, perfect poached eggs.

    1. You rock, Sharon! I will print this out and try it today,

      Thank you.

      Hugs, MJ (and gang of poachers)

  2. Mary Jane, I'm a big fan of brunches and eggs, too. For some reason, people seem more relaxed and linger over brunch.

    I poach eggs with vinegar, too. I read somewhere that the trick is to crack each egg into a small teacup (I use the tiny ones that came with sets of china but are never used because they're too small), then gently slide each egg into the vinegar water. Have no idea why this would make a difference. Maybe it helps the egg white stay together?

    Wonder how restaurants make those pretty poached eggs?


    1. I love this tea-cup idea, Krista. Those china layabouts have to earn their rent in the china cabinet.

      Thanks for the tip!



  3. What a good idea, to make mushroom hash! Eliminating wheat from my diet has forced me to get creative to eat eggs, since I like the yolks runny, and this would be an excellent solution.

    Since it's almost spring, may I suggest using garlic scapes instead of green onions? I chop them up the same way and use them in place of either garlic or onions (or in addition to onions). They have a milder, greener taste.

    Have you ever seen the silicone egg poachers? They work great! I spritz them with a little organic olive oil Pam first, then place them in an inch of boiling water. Crack the egg in, cover and turn down the heat. Time for four minutes: perfectly cooked eggs. I could never make them before I got these.

    1. Thanks for these tips, Karen. I will watch for scapes. I am not familiar with them. Silcone egg poacher, here I come!


    2. They will only be at your farmers market in about mid-spring. They are crazy looking, long, skinny green curls from the top of the garlic bulbs (which don't get harvested until fall). You can use them for anything you'd use garlic with. One of my favorite spring greens, and they're cheap. Most of our farmers sell them for a dime apiece, or 10 for a dollar. I freeze about half of them, chopped, to use all year.

    3. I will be there hunting for them, Karen! Thanks for the tip about freezing.



  4. Wow, I'm learning a lot about poached eggs! My only contribution is to remove the from the water with a slotted spoon and then place them--while still in the spoon--on a paper towel to dry. Putting the egg on the paper towel pretty much guarantees it will stick and the yolk will break. This looks delicious--a great brunch dish or even a light dinner!

    1. Thanks, Peg. I hadn't heard of that technique. I'm learning a lot too.



  5. My uncle was the premier egg poacher. This was way before silicone cups or egg poaching apparatus. He brought the water (yes, with vinegar) to a boil and lowered the heat to just a light simmer. Each egg was cracked into a bowl (tea cups are a lovely idea). The water was swirled with the slotted spoon and the egg was poured into the middle of the swirl. he adventurous They were served on corned beef hash (Broadcast brand). The adventurous can try more than one egg at a time, but if perfection is your goal, try them one at a time. Oh, I just remembered--he sprinkled paprika on top of the eggs when serving them. I didn't trust the stuff, but the adults claimed it was only for looks, it didn't have any taste! And I bought that malarkey!!!
    I read recently of a suggestion for how to get rid of the egg white "tails". They suggested putting the egg in a wide mesh strainer that allows the watery part of the white (assuming you do not have fresh from the hen, eggs with their marvelously firm whites) to drip off. What's left is less likely to spread. Too much trouble for me, but I thought I'd pass on the idea.

    1. The poached egg with corned beef hash is divine! Especially if you manage to get a bit of crispness to the edges of the hash and have a runny yolk. It's those simple things in life.

  6. I can picture your uncle doing this! What great ideas. And I think an egg on corned beef hash is inspired. Thanks, Libby!

  7. This sounds great but what is EVOO?

  8. Anonymous - EVOO is Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

    MJ - Poached eggs and I are old friends. And this post cracked me up (pun intended). Thanks for the delicious recipe and the smiles.

    ~ Cleo

  9. MJ - what a fun recipe. Lots of goodies in this hash. Love it!

    Daryl / Avery