Archive for May, 2010

Pure Poetry: Mushrooms in Verse

If  yesterday was Wordless Wednesday, today can be Thoughtful Thursday.  Okay, we don’t have to stick with that if you can come up with something better but a regular reader sent us something this morning that we needed to share with you.  It’s more than just thoughtful, it’s poetry.  Poetry inspired by mushrooms, to be exact.

Mushroom Has Landed

Expressionless visitor who appears overnight,

seamless as a spaceship,

neither animal nor vegetable,

your unearthly flesh-likeness, rooted nowhere.


Despite your independence,

you proliferate in our wastes and rot,

play temporary citadel among shadows,

but still submit to our sauté pans,


And bathe just as easily in butter

as in moonlight, donning or losing

your hat for every culinary occasion,

formal or otherwise.


Depending on generation or hemisphere,

you become the handpicked delicacy,

fodder for foodie gossips,

as you sneak unobtrusively with flavor among wild rice,


Accept the crown as cream of soups,

or stuff yourself endlessly on an entourage of

high-priced hangers-on

lying as tray of luxuriant hors d’oeuvres.


Just as you achieve superfood status,

you blanche at the thought of mistaken identity,

of taking blame when your poisonous cousins,

the toadstools, mimic you,


Forcing you to return to the woods for respite,

until you pop into fashion again,

but for now, head skyward, shoulders low, hoping to be beamed up,

before farmer’s foot crushes you in the glade.

~ Cynthia Gallaher


Now might be a good time to share that this is not the first mushroom poetry we’ve received at the Channel.  No, there’s a lot of talent out there inspired by our fungi friends.  It just so happens that the last one was a haiku pair written by my grandfather.  The poems below were sent in by Dr. Arnold Langsen, a mushroom lover for all his 92 years.

#1

Browned butter sizzles;

Sliced shiitake in the pan;

Mouthful of heaven.

#2

Ribeye steaks on grill

Carmelized onions and mushrooms

Prelude to romance.

Friends from afar and family alike- thank you for your generosity of thought. For any other “peat moss poets” out there, I hope you’ll share your mushroom-inspired works with us here. We still specialize in your inspired works in the kitchen, but thanks for indulging us.

Wordless Wednesday from The Pink Apron

A Mushroom Lover’s Grilled Cheese…is a beautiful thing.  Kelly’s photo from The Pink Apron almost brings tears to my eyes.

I think you could guess what’s happening for dinner at my house tonight.

Mushroom Ravioli with Tomato Dipping Sauce from RhodeyGirl Tests

Mushroom Ravioli with Tomato Dipping Sauce

This gorgeous tutorial comes to you from Sabrina- the blogger behind the healthy living (and eating!) blog RhodeyGirl Tests.  Welcome to the team, Sabrina!

Mushroom ravioli make a beautiful presentation for an appetizer, yet are hearty enough to make a full meal. The filling is so easy and simple, and leftovers can be eaten simply with some crunchy toasted bread. Wonton wrappers save you some time, and this recipe, from making the filling to cleaning up, takes only an hour. While it may not be ideal for a weeknight meal, it is ideal for your latest dinner party.

Easy Mushroom Ravioli with Tomato Dipping Sauce

Mushroom Ravioli with a Tomato Dipping Sauce
Serves 4, makes 40-50 ravioli

Ingredients
2 tbs olive oil
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tbs unsalted butter
8 oz button mushrooms
8 oz baby bello mushrooms
2 shakes hot red pepper
dash of kosher salt & pepper
2 tbs parmigiano reggiano

1 egg, beaten

wonton wrappers

Directions

Heat 1 tbs of the olive oil over medium heat in a large nonstick pan and add the minced garlic. Meanwhile clean and chop your mushrooms. Do not worry about cutting them too small as they will all end up in the food processor anyway.

Add the mushrooms, butter, 2 shakes of hot red pepper, and kosher salt and pepper to the pan. Cook over medium heat, stirring now and again, until the mushroom mixture reduces, about 10 minutes. Take off the heat and add to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until the mixture reaches the right consistency. You want the mixture to be in between coarse and smooth. Stir in the parmigiano reggiano.

Fill a large pot with water and place over high heat. Meanwhile, assemble your ravioli. Here is how:

1. Lay a wonton wrapper on a flat surface.

2. Brush with the egg.

3. Cut the wrapper in half.

4. Add a bit of filling to the bottom half of each wrapper.

5. Fold over and seal the edges with your finger.

7. Place on a floured cookie sheet and keep covered with a dishtowel until you all the ravioli are ready.

By the time you have assembled all of your ravioli, the water will be boiling. Heat a pan with the remaining oil. Add a handful of ravioli at a time to the boiling water and cook for 2 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and place immediately in the hot pan to crisp the edges. Flip after 1 minute. When both sides are crispy and golden brown remove and serve with your favorite sauce! I serve it simply with San Marzano crushed tomatoes.

A few tips:

  • The filling can be made a day ahead.
  • The ravioli can be made a few hours ahead of time. Just place the towel-covered cookie sheet directly into the fridge until needed.
  • Leftover crispy ravioli can be reheated in a toaster oven or microwave. The best advice I can give you for reheating this type of dish is doing what you would do to heat up leftover pizza. For me that means a few seconds in the microwave followed by a minute or two in the toaster oven.
  • If the small ravioli are too much trouble, you can also make giant ravioli, using 2 wonton wrappers per one.

Your Questions Answered Part II: Our Interview with Keri Glassman

We are thrilled to once again have author and nutrition expert Keri Glassman answer  questions submitted by our amazing fans and followers on Facebook and Twitter. Fresh off the release of her new book, The O2 Diet, Keri dishes with us on nutrition, superfoods and her tips for maintaining a healthy diet. And we can’t help but notice she’s a big fan of mushrooms. If you missed last week’s edition, we have to highly recommend checking that post out.

Q: I’ve heard a lot of talk about vitamin D lately. How important is it for our bodies? Brian (Grand Rapids, MI)

A: Most of us don’t get enough vitamin D, which is troublesome because it plays an important role in supporting a healthy immune system and lowering the risk of certain diseases. You can increase your D levels by including foods containing D in your diet. I mentioned that mushrooms are the only item in the produce aisle to contain vitamin D; salmon and dairy are great sources as well.

Q: I’m trying to lose weight. Where can I cut corners on calories without feeling hungry and bored? — Jill (Boulder, CO)

A: It can be challenging to find foods that fill you up, but are good for you. Reach for foods that are low in calories and high in fiber like fruits and whole grains. Try substituting veggies for meats once a week to lose weight. For example, studies have shown substituting four ounces of mushrooms for four ounces of meat once a week for one year could save more than 18,000 calories and nearly 3,000 grams of fat – that adds up to more than five pounds. Lastly, sauté an assortment of vegetables as a meal starter; it’s a great way to pack in antioxidants and help you eat less throughout your main meal.

Q: How can I satisfy snack cravings without killing my diet? — Jessica (St. Louis, MO)

A: Be a conscious snacker. You can’t go wrong dipping cut up veggies in hummus. You can sprinkle a few mushrooms into a quesadilla, or grill up a veggie sandwich for a satisfying snack. Consider keeping a healthy side salad around as a snack, especially when making dinner for the kids. Marinated mushrooms with pine nuts is a great one! And if you need something sweet, you can give in a little without giving up; I love dark chocolate and almonds, and portion controlled treats make managing snacking a lot easier for me. Just put one serving of almonds or chocolate in small Ziploc bag, and keep it in your purse or desk drawer for when hunger strikes.

Q: I have a deep love for cooking and food, but I also have a passion for health, and I am taking the steps of going back to school to pursue a career as a Registered Dietitian. What are your thoughts on combining a career as a personal chef with a dietetic degree? — Renee (Chicago, IL)

A: I always say that I love food, which is one of the reasons I love being a nutritionist. You have to love food! Combining being a chef with an RD is a powerful combo and I wish you the best of luck!

A special thanks to Keri for making a special guest appearance on the Mushroom Channel. To learn more about Keri Glassman and The O2 Diet, visit www.nutritiouslife.com.

Wordless Wednesday: Fiddleheads with Shiitake Mushrooms from Earthly Delights

This week’s Wordless Wednesday comes courtesy of Earthly Delights. A beautiful recipe that calls for dried shiitakes but my guess is that you could easily go fresh, opting for a quick saute rather than rehydrating them.