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Posts Tagged ‘mushroom’

Way back in later September, JT and I rented our neighbours’ cottage in Muskoka. Its vista reminds me of our beloved cabin that we no longer visit. But that’s a whole other story for some other time. Right now, I’d like to focus on the cottage we rented, and its beautiful views. Click on the images below to view the gallery.

We invited some dear vegetarian friends up for a couple of days and one of the days we had a grazing dinner of tapas and cheeses. One dish that was very successful was the mushroom and chestnut paté with cognac. You would be hardpressed to guess this does not have any meat. The texture is creamy and smooth with great depth of flavour.

Mushroom and Chestnut Paté with Cognac

Makes 125 mL Paté

Ingredients:

    • 100 g roasted chestnuts, roughly chopped (I used this one)
    • Handful of raw cremini mushrooms
    • 1 shallot, roughly chopped
    • 2-3 cloves roasted garlic
    • 80 g butter, room temperature
    • 15 mL EVOO
    • 30 mL cognac
    • pinch of nutmeg
    • pinch of allspice
    • pinch of salt and black pepper
    • ~20 g butter, to top off paté

Directions:

  1. Melt 20 g butter with the olive oil in a pan. Sauté the shallots until caramelized, add the mushrooms and cook until softened. Add the chestnuts and sauté lightly until softened. Deglaze the pan with the cognac.
  2. Set aside to cool.
  3. When cool, add the cooked ingredients to a food processor or jar of the immersion blender. Add remaining softened butter (not the melted butter at the end of the list), roasted garlic and spices and pulse until very smooth.
  4. Add the paté to a plastic-lined pan and press into the corners or into a shallow mason jar, as pictured, and smooth the top over. Pour melted butter over the top and allow to harden.
  5. Allow this paté to come to room temperature before serving.

Notes:

  • You may substitute the butter with vegan butter should you desire, however I am unsure of the impact it would have on the overall flavour.
  • You may use any type of mushroom, I love cremini’s earthy sweetness.

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TunaCasseroleMakeover_1This past week was International Women’s Day and I was generously invited (by my dear colleague and friend, Andrea) to the City of Brampton’s 2015 Women’s Day Event and the keynote speaker was none other than celebrity chef Anna Olson! I’ve been a long admirer of Chef Anna’s work from the very first time we dined at Inn on the Twenty in Jordan, Ontario where she and her husband Michael were the executive chefs, more than 15 years ago! These days Chef Anna works with Food Network Canada and is currently starring in Bake with Anna Olson as well as authoring cook books, managing her website, blog and social media outlets not to mention the presentation gigs. On Thursday, Chef Anna recounted her path on how she arrived at where she is today and it was inspirational! She was engaging, funny and interesting, the time just flew by. The audience of 140 were primarily comprised of entrepreneurial women and some young ladies from a local high school. Thank you Andrea for the invitation and the reminder that these networking events are worth every minute because you never know who you’ll meet and where that will lead (of course, I gave Chef Anna my contact info ;-)).

IWD_AnnaOlson

Chef Anna speaking at Lionhead Golf and Conference Centre in Brampton.

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That’s me after I had my lovely new cookbook signed by Chef Anna!

Chef Anna’s primary food influence was her grandmother and as I reflected on who my primary influence was (my dear Mother, of course) I also thought about other influences I’ve had over the years, like JT’s mother. JT’s mother was a typical North American cook of that era, not overly adventurous but she made a tuna casserole in the 80’s that was a family favourite. Canned cream of mushroom soup (or cream of celery), a can of tuna, some cooked noodles, perhaps some chopped onion and the pièce de résistance: crumbled salted potato chips on top! Bake in a casserole dish until thoroughly warmed through and serve immediately. Being raised in a Hungarian home, I had never had tuna in this way (or canned tuna any other way for that matter) and having potato chips on top was such a treat. Of course, these days we don’t buy canned soups (too much sodium) nor do we indulge in potato chips, but I wanted the flavour of this retro meal so I reinvented it in a slightly healthier way. I got the thumbs up from JT. Definitely a keeper!

TunaCasserole

Tuna Casserole Makeover

A Kitcheninspirations Original Recipe!

Ingredients for Creamed Mushroom Soup (yields 300 mL):

  • 60 g little button mushrooms
  • 125 g chopped onion
  • 20 g dried wild mushroom mix (rehydrated in 375 mL (1 1/2 cups) water, reserve liquid)
  • 20 g red lentils (thickener)
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • Sea salt

Directions for the Creamed Mushroom Soup:

  1. Rehydrate the mushrooms in 375 mL of hot water (you can microwave this for a couple of minutes to get it going faster). Strain into a fine sieve (I use a dedicated coffee filter) and reserve liquid. Wash the mushrooms thoroughly. Chop mushrooms into smaller bits (allows for the really chewy parts to hydrate faster) and set aside.
  2. Cook the onions with a spray of canola oil until translucent, add garlic and stir until fragrant. Add lentils and 375 mL of mushroom broth and rehydrated mushrooms. Cook until lentils are completely cooked and mushrooms have no chewy bits, season with salt. 
  3. Pulse with an immersion blender until smooth and silky. You may push this through a fine sieve if you’d like, but I didn’t think it was necessary. Set aside 250 mL (1 cup) and freeze the rest, it’s great for soups, gravy or even a base for pizza.

Ingredients for the Tuna Casserole:

  • 120 g drained albacore tuna in water
  • 1/2 cup pearl barley
  • 150 g green beans, washed and cut into thirds (bite-sized pieces)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/3 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Directions for the Tuna Casserole:

  1. Pre heat the oven to 350° F (176° C).
  2. In the same pot as you made the creamed mushrooms, toast the pearl barley in a little oil, add about 250 mL (1 cup) water and cook the barley until about 3/4 done (it will continue to cook in the casserole) until almost all of the water has been absorbed and what’s left is thick. The barley should still have quite a chewy texture.
  3. Combine the cleaned and cut green beans and roughly separated, drained tuna with the barley, add the creamed mushroom soup, 1 cup of water and give it a good stir. You may keep everything in your pan if it’s oven proof, I transferred it to two small oven proof casseroles that I lightly oiled.
  4. Combine the Greek yogurt, bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese and dollop on top. Bake for 30 minutes or until the internal temperature is 160°F (71° C). Serve with a small green salad.
TunaCasserole_2

This is the Greek yogurt topping before I baked it.

Notes:

  • You may, of course use canned soup and not make your own creamed mushrooms.
  • We prefer to use Albacore tuna in water, but the choice is yours.
  • Don’t like green beans? Use celery instead (I had green beans on hand).
  • We are trying to cut back so I used this recipe for four servings. JT said he could have easily eaten one small casserole on his own (even though I did serve him 3/4 of it!).
  • I have a double oven and I baked this in the top, smaller oven so I was able to get a little browning on the topping without turning on the broiler. If you bake these in a large oven, you may wish to broil the tops for colour and texture!
  • Substitute quinoa or bulgur to lower the calories and carbs a bit (makes it 5 points in WW). Leave out the Parmesan and bread crumbs to bring the WW points down even further to 4!
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Weight Watchers Points

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For fun I did the original recipe as comparison. WW points for the original recipe would have been 12!

 

 

 

 

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While in Barcelona, Spain we enjoyed many tapas that we’d never tried before and one particular tapa was the Potato Omelet. Now you know that I am not a huge potato eater, but for some reason I really wanted to try it. The starch in the potato makes for a very dense and slightly chewy omelet, which was usually served as a small cube, sometime with bread but most often not.

The potato omelet is the cube centre back.
We enjoyed this plate while dining along side of the Mediterranean Sea!

Now that we’re home, I’ve experimented with other ‘fillings’ for this simple treat and yesterday I think I hit the jackpot. I made this little hors d’œuvres with a shallot, finely diced chorizo and a sliced mushroom. What made it hit the jackpot for me was the texture and because I wasn’t using a potato in this version, I needed to add something to help thicken the egg. I remembered Sissi’s recipe for a Korean Pancake (which I thoroughly enjoyed) and she added corn starch to the egg batter to firm it up. So that’s exactly what I did. Thanks Sissi. It made eight 2.5cm squares (1″) that were tasty and incredibly easy to make. You can even make it in advance and reheat.

A lovely dense texture and a little spice from the Chorizo

Chorizo, Shallot and Mushroom Omelet Tapa

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole egg and 1 egg white
  • 1 tbsp corn starch
  • 1 mushroom, sliced about 2mm thick
  • 30 g finely diced chorizo (I didn’t add extra salt as I find Chorizo salty enough)
  • 20 g finely chopped shallot

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Beat the egg and white together, add the corn starch and beat until all the lumps have disolved.
  3. Generously grease a small loaf pan 7cm x 13cm (2.75″ x 5″) or 200 mL (3/4 cup size).
  4. Add the chorizo, shallots and mushrooms and make sure they are distributed evenly in the pan. Pour the egg batter over it and tap a few times so that it reaches under and over all the inclusions. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until egg is entirely set. You may serve immediately or cool completely and reheat this mixture prior to serving.

And definitely don’t let my ingredient mix stop you from trying something you have on hand…for example, ham and gruyère cheese!

Ham, Gruyère cheese and a little Dijon

The possibilities are definitely endless. I do hope you enjoy this snack.

The potato and bacon omelet took a nose dive out the pan. It must have been possessed! And NO, for all the guys, the three second rule did NOT apply.

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I finally got around to updating my blogrolls on the right. It’s funny how I just forget how to do things just because I haven’t done them in a while.

There is a heat wave going in the Mid-west and Eastern Seaboard right now, today during the early evening, Toronto was  94°F* or 32°C with relatively high humidity. It’s actually quite unbearable, but I won’t complain because it will be winter very soon and that’s a lot worse in my books!

It’s actually too hot to eat outdoors so we use our festive chargers and lovely colourful napkins and pretended to be outside. We’re just back from our Illinois/Wisconsin trip to visit our good friends Paul and T and we need to buckle down and start eating right again so all our hard work in April doesn’t go to waste (or waist!). Tonight we’re having Tilapia and I wanted something a little different so I sat down and thought about it. Several years ago, I purchased a small bottle of porcini dust for a small fortune. The porcini dust is long gone, but the idea stuck in my head — why couldn’t I make my own porcini dust? So I did just that but I also added a couple of dried morels for good measure. An entire crust of fungi would be a bit too earthy for such a delicate fish, so I augmented it with ground walnuts, which turned out to be a perfect combo. And the walnuts helped crust it up nicely. We pan fried it on the BBQ to avoid turning on the oven. I hope you enjoy this Kitcheninspirations original.

It was so hot outside tonight that the fish almost cooked without the BBQ!

Walnut, Morel and Porcini Crusted Tilapia

a Kitcheninspirations original recipe

Serves 4 (2 dinners and 2 lunches in our case)

Ingredients:

  • 8 g dehydrated porcini mushrooms
  • 4 g dehydrated morels
  • 2 g granulated garlic
  • 8 g dehydrated onion
  • 2 g maldon sea salt
  • 20 g walnuts
  • 400 g tilapia (or another firm white fish)
  • Greens, tomatoes and cucumbers

Directions:

  1. In a dedicated savoury coffee grinder, add the fungi, garlic, onions, and sea salt. Grind until it is finely ground. Add the walnuts and grind them into the mix, a slightly coarser texture (mine was a little too fine). The walnuts are a bit oily, so you’ll need the dryer ingredients to balance off the oiliness.
  2. Dry off the tilapia and spoon the mixture onto each side, pressing it into the fish.
  3. Heat a cast iron pan on the BBQ until sizzling, spray with non-stick spray. Add each piece of fish (I would do the same thicknesses at one time) and cook until it is opaque. It took the thicker parts about 5 minutes each side and the thinner parts about 3 minutes each side.
  4. Serve over an easy salad of greens, tomatoes and cucumbers.
  5. Dress with a warm white balsamic mushroom dressing (posted here).
  6. Enjoy.

The walnut complimented the earthiness of the fungi very well.

*For my faux pas, having Metric before Imperial measures on Independence Day. Am I forgiven? 😉

And I’ll leave you with this single thought.

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We’re having Walnut, Porcini and Morel Crusted Tilapia later this week and I needed a dressing to help jazz up the greens. There is nothing like a good warm dressing over greens, it just wilts the greens ever so slightly making it a delicious meal. The miso paste goes very well with mushroom, emulating the creaminess that some butter would bring to it (I was trying to keep it healthier). I hope you enjoy this Kitcheninspirations original dressing.

Lemon Thyme goes so well with Mushrooms. The sprigs are from the garden.

Warm White Balsamic and Mushroom Dressing

a Kitcheninspirations original recipe

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 75 g sweet onions finely sliced
  • 100 g crimini mushrooms finely sliced
  • 15 g light miso dissolved in 120 mL water
  • 50 mL white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic finely minced
  • 1 tsp canola oil

Directions:

  1. Heat oil in a small pan, cook the onions until translucent. You may need to add a little bit of the miso liquid. Add mushrooms and cook down so they are quite wilted, add garlic and cook just until you can smell it. Add remaining liquid and white balsamic vinegar. Stir to combine and remove from heat.
  2. Serve hot over greens or Walnut, Porcini and Morel Crusted Tilapia.

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This is a relatively easy and lite recipe I came up with for my mushroom-loving friends. When I say mushroom-loving, it means that it is indeed very mushroomie and you really have to love them to like this soup. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

The was the soup course from the Vegetarian Valentine’s Dinner. Of course, I eyeballed this recipe, so the measurements are vague. By using dehydrated mushrooms you will get a mushroom stock from the hydrating liquid that compares to none. Costco sells a giant tub of dehydrated field shrooms for a reasonable cost, or you can buy them from the grocery store for a small fortune. I like the mix Costco has. Some Asian markets also sell interesting dried shrooms, but you have to be a little daring.

Mushroom Consommé with Mushroom Onion Dumpling

Serve 4 smallish soup bowls (1 1/2 cups each).

Just a light broth with some Valentine dumplings. Who are you calling dumpling?

Ingredients:

  • about 1 cup of dyhydrated field mushrooms soaked overnight in about 5 cups of water. You will want to put a cover on this otherwise your entire house will smell of the shroom!
  • about 1/4 cup finely chopped sweet onion
  • 1 clove garlic finely minced
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp of cognac per serving
  • 4 sheets of wonton paper
  • Egg white as glue

Directions:

  1. Through a fine sieve or coffee filter, strain the mushroom water to capture any loose sand. Wash the mushrooms well under cold water.
  2. Melt butter in a sauce pan, add onions and sauté until translucent. Add mushrooms and the garlic and sauté a bit more.
  3. Add the mushroom water and the soy sauce and simmer for about 20 minutes.
  4. Strain the mushrooms, garlic and onion from the liquid and return to the pan.
  5. With a small food processor, process the mushrooms, onion and garlic with the Parmesan cheese. Taste and salt as needed.
  6. Taking a heart-shaped cookie cutter about 6 cm in diametre, cut out 8 heart shapes. Place a small teaspoon of the puréed mushroom mix into the centre of each heart. Brush egg white along the edges and seal with a second heart directly over top. Seal well with the tines of a fork. Repeat until you have finished 8 of these little dumplings.
  7. Boil about 4 cups of water with a sprinkling of salt. Drop each dumpling into the water and cook until they float to the surface. Remove from the water and add two into each bowl of mushroom consommé. Enjoy while hot

    I HEART U

    Note: for the photo I actually had to prop up the dumplings because they sank to the bottom like lead. You’ll have to tell your guests they have heart-shaped dumplings in the soup…

Thanks to Charles who pointed out (very subtly) my typo on the word consommé. I have corrected it now.

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I thought my cold was over and done with…I was left with a few sniffles, but certainly not bad considering it started in Morocco. Sunday it returned with a vengeance! It is everything a head cold is supposed to be, annoying, noisy and gross! So here I am, week 2 since we’ve been back and I’m sick as a dog, AND I have to drag my sorry butt into work because we are so busy, I cannot let my friend (boss) and clients down. Fortunately I have a wonderful husband who has totally looked after me since the sniffles returned. It’s been strictly soup and JT makes enough for me to have a lunch the next day! Tonight’s dinner was Chanterelle Mushroom Soup, a variation from Epicurious (he has kindly made a healthier version for us!) and it was so delicious, I had to write about it. This soup is a light mushroomy broth and the chanterelles give it some sweetness. If you’re really hungry, you could add some dumplings, or even egg drop noodles.

Chanterelle Mushroom Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped shallots
  • 3 cups Chanterelle mushrooms coarsely chopped
  • 2 cups button mushrooms coarsely chopped
  • 1 tsp parsley
  • 1 tablespoons brandy
  • 4 cups low sodium chicken or vegetable stock

Directions:

  1. Melt butter in large pot over medium-high heat, add onions and sauté until golden.
  2. Add all mushrooms and sauté until mushrooms begin to brown lightly.
  3. Stir in stock.
  4. Add brandy, stir 30 seconds and bring soup to boil.
  5. Reduce heat; simmer uncovered 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and garnish with parsley.

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