Archive for June, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Unstuffed Mushrooms from Kid Appeal

These “Unstuffed Mushrooms” come to us by way of Jenna over at Food with Kid Appeal, a longtime favorite when it comes to family-friendly cooking. I’m keeping words to a bare minimum here, because you really need to go read the words there- it’s a post I’d like to shout out loud from the rooftops.

Portobello Mushroom, Egg, & Pancetta Breakfast “Pizzas” from La Fuji Mama

This post comes to you by way of Mushroom Channel Featured Contributor Rachael of La Fuji Mama.

For breakfast most mornings I make hot oatmeal or miso soup for the girls and I. But a couple of days ago I woke up in the mood for a change. As I was peering inside the refrigerator, hoping for inspiration to hit, Bug ambled up behind me and took her own peak into the refrigerator. She spotted some Portobello mushrooms that I had picked up at the supermarket the day before and became really excited. So I pulled them out and looked at them for a moment, handing her one to examine.

As she turned the mushroom over in her hands, stroking the soft gills inside, and then putting the mushroom to her nose to smell, I thought about what I could do with the rest of them for breakfast. Then a package of pancetta caught my eye and inspiration struck: Portobello Mushroom, Egg, & Pancetta Breakfast “Pizzas.”

I removed the stems and then used a spoon to gently scrape out the gills. Then I brushed them with a bit of olive oil and put them in the oven to roast. While they were roasting I chopped the pancetta into small cubes, fried it until it was nice and crispy, scrambled some eggs, and then folded the fried pancetta into the scrambled eggs. Just as I was finishing scrambling the eggs, the mushrooms finished roasting. I pulled them out of the oven and gently blotted off the extra moisture. Then I topped each mushroom with scrambled eggs and sprinkled the eggs with a healthy dose of finely grated Gruyère cheese.

The juicy roasted Portobellos made wonderful “crusts” and tasted delicious paired with the fluffy scrambled eggs, salty pancetta, and the slightly earthy flavor of the Gruyère cheese. The girls each happily devoured half of a “pizza” and I ate a whole one and was pleasantly full.

The pizzas were quick and easy to make, only taking a total of about 20 minutes, and made for a nice change to our usual breakfast routine. You could always substitute your favorite cheese instead of using Gruyère, or use bacon rather than pancetta. I like to hand pick my mushrooms out of baskets of mushrooms that supermarkets often have, rather than buy pre-packaged Portobellos. This allows me to examine them and make sure that they are fresh. When you are picking your mushrooms, avoid any that look limp, dried out, or slippery (which indicates that they are past their prime). The mushroom should be firm and plump with a nice earthy smell.

Portobello Mushroom, Egg, & Pancetta Breakfast “Pizzas”

Makes 4 “pizzas” (4 — 6 servings)

4 Portobello mushrooms
3 tablespoons olive oil
8 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper, or to taste
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
4 — 5 ounces pancetta, cut into small cubes (you can substitute bacon)
4 ounces finely grated Gruyère cheese (you can substitute your favorite cheese)

1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Use a kitchen towel to lightly brush off any remaining dirt on the mushrooms.  Remove the stem and then use a spoon to gently scrape out the gills inside the mushroom.  Brush the mushrooms lightly with olive oil and place them in a baking dish cap sides up.  Roast the mushrooms for 15 minutes (or 20 if your mushrooms are larger and thicker).

3. While the mushrooms are roasting, fry the pancetta in a large skillet over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until crispy.  Drain the pancetta on paper towels and set aside.

4. About 5 minutes before the mushrooms are done roasting, whisk the eggs, salt, and pepper in a mixing bowl just until the whites and yolks are blended.  Put the butter in a large heavy nonstick pan over medium heat.  When the butter is melted, swirl the pan to cover the bottom and sides.  Reserve 2 tablespoons of the beaten egg mixture, and then pour the rest of the egg mixture into the pan and turn the heat down to medium low.  Star slowly scraping the eggs from the bottom of the pan.  They will very gradually coagulate into soft curds over several minutes.  When they have thickened to your taste, remove the pan from the heat and fold in the reserved 2 tablespoons of egg mixture (to stop the cooking and cream the eggs).  Taste and season if needed.  Fold the fried pancetta into the just-scrambled eggs.

5. To assemble the breakfast “pizzas”: When the mushrooms have finished roasting, remove them from the oven and blot away any excess juices.  Spoon 1/4 of the scrambled eggs on top of each mushroom.  Top the eggs with 1/4 (1 ounces) of the finely shredded gruyère cheese and serve the pizzas immediately.

Wordless Wednesday from The Bitten Word

We bring this beautiful Wordless Wednesday offering to you as a voice from the past (cue the movie music).  Monday, to be exact. Typically, we scan a full week for our WW offering.  This week, this post from The Bitten Word popped up in our reader and it was love at first site.

Grilled Steak and Arugula Salad with Shiitake Mushrooms and White Beans.

Proceed with the delicious silence.

Helping Kids Learn to Love Mushrooms with Eat Live Travel Write

This week’s featured contributor is Mardi from Eat Live Travel Write. Having done a lot of all four of her blog’s namesakes, her mission is passing a sense of wellness-minded adventure onto her students.

My first experiences with mushrooms when I was a child growing up in Australia were with what we called “champignons” (so exotic!) which were in fact, just canned button mushrooms in brine.  I was a fairly adventurous eater, but in terms of ‘shrooms, these were the only ones I would eat for a very long time.  I know there are kids who find mushrooms “gross”, so when I decided to introduce them to the 9 year-old boys in my cooking club, Les Petits Chefs, I knew I would need a cunning plan…

We have cooked our way through Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution cookbook this term and had a grand old time experimenting with “real food” versions of foods they only know from restaurants or boxes.  Many of these recipes included mushrooms and whilst one of the boys loved them and would eat them raw, the others would taste the dishes containing mushrooms during the club but tell me that they picked the mushrooms out of the dishes when they ate them at home.  I racked my brains to think of a way to showcase mushrooms for little palates and finally gave in to their pleas for pizza, knowing that not only would I be teaching them a valuable lesson (i.e. that the best pizzas are the ones you can make yourself with fresh ingredients) but also giving the mushrooms their best chance for kid-size appreciation!

We used pita bread, due to time constraints, but you could also have some adventures in pizza dough baking if you had the time.  For the pizza sauce base, we made a simple tomato sauce, using San Marzano tomatoes cooked up with a little garlic and some fresh basil.  The boys had a blast squishing the sauce onto the pita halves:

I selected some “funky” mushrooms that I thought would appeal to the boys: Shiitake, King Oyster, Oyster and Cremini:

And we got to work chopping them up:

We fried the mushroom pieces in a little olive oil and set them aside as we prepared the rest of the toppings – pepperoni, bacon and sweet orange and yellow peppers (as per the boys’request!).

And we set to work loading on our toppings:

I am impressed how many of the pizzas featured mushrooms, even when it was on the pizza with the topping of their choice!  Their willingness to try new things made me very proud!

I always allow the boys to test our the various ingredients as we cook and when one little boy asked if he could try the mushrooms to see which ones he wanted to put on his pizza, of course I said yes.  Two seconds later, he asked for more and then more again. I asked him what he thought and his response?

“OMG I LOVE mushrooms!  Where have they been all my life?”

Les Petits Chefs “Where have you been all my life?” Funky Funghi Pizzas

Ingredients

Serves 2

  • One small (7 – 8-inch) pocket-style pita bread
  • 4-6 tablespoons simple tomato sauce (drained, canned whole tomatoes roughly chopped and cooked down to ketchup-consistency with 2 cloves minced garlic and a handful of roughly chopped fresh basil)
  • 2 cups finely sliced mushrooms – any fresh variety (shiitake, cremini, oyster, king oyster), fried in olive oil and drained on a paper towel.
  • 2 tablespoons diced orange peppers
  • 2 tablespoons diced yellow peppers
  • 3 rashers bacon, finely diced and fried
  • Finely sliced pepperoni
  • 4 oz mozzarella cheese, grated
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil, finely sliced
  • Olive oil and cracked black pepper to finish

Method

Pre-heat oven broiler to high.

Using a bread knife carefully cut through the middle splitting the pita to form two rounds.

(Optional) Toast pita rounds (under the broiler) cut side down for a minute or two.  The bottom should start to feel a bit crispy but not burnt.

Spread the sauce over each pita, cut side up.  Squish the larger chunks of tomato down with the back of a spoon so the sauce spreads to the edge of the pita bread.

Spread toppings evenly over pita breads and top with cheese and basil.

Place under pre-heated broiler until cheese starts to bubble.  Remove pizzas from heat and top with a drizzle of olive oil and freshly ground black pepper.  Cut into quarters with a pizza cutter and enjoy!

Wordless Wednesday: Mushroom and Brie Omelet from Heather Eats Almond Butter

Today’s bite of beauty is a simple omelet of cow’s milk brie and plenty of mushrooms from Heather Eats Almond Butter. Bonus round?  This photo shares a post with another mushroom enhanced recipe- stroganoff! Popular week for that creamy, umami-laden dish