Archive for November, 2010

Serving Up Mushrooms with the Culinary Institute of America

If you are a long time reader of the Channel, you know that we’ve had run ins with the CIA before…and before you start wondering what kind of delicious espionage we managed to get ourselves involved with, that’d be the Culinary Institute of America. This past fall we attended two events with the CIA that featured an gorgeous mushroom dishes with an ironically international array of tastes.

First, we stopped by the new Latin Flavors conference to celebrate the grand opening of the CIA’s San Antonio campus. Mushroom usage in Latin culture dates back to the time of the Aztecs, so it was no surprise to see the following recipes served up and quickly devoured.

Cheese and Mushroom Stacked Quesadillas

Mushroom Chilaquiles

Fried Eggs with Portabellas and Ranchera Salsa (a twist on eggs benedict)

At the CIA’s Worlds of Flavor annual conference in St. Helena, CA, the theme was Japanese cuisine. Another no brainer for mushrooms and plenty were available for sampling. The Council worked with Chef Masa Uehara from Masa’s Sushi in Mountain View, CA to prepare some delicious recipes for attendees to sample. If you are in the area, be sure to stop by his restaurant and ask for the Royal Trumpet Roll (pictured below). Described by many as the best dish of the conference, it features a tempura Royal Trumpet mushroom wrapped in a sushi roll and topped with a sake-marinated shiitake mushroom.

Also served during the conference was a Portabella Sashimi,

Maitake mushrooms served three ways: Grilled, Tempura, Sautéed,

And a Portabella Panko Katsu.

Have any unique Latin or Asian mushroom recipes of your own you want to share?

Also served during the conference was a Portabella Sashimi,

Torta Salata ai Funghi {Savory Mushroom Pie} from Bell'Alimento

Today’s Mushroom Pie post brought to you by the bella of the ball- Paula of Bell’Alimento.

Fall and Winter just call out to us to make bubbling casseroles, gratins, and savory pies…And what better to put in one of those savory pies than Mushrooms ; ) Torta Salata ai Funghi is a pie will that will be sure to go into your rotation during these cold months.


It’s creamy, cheesy and yes full of shroom goodness! Creamy because it’s made with a bechamel sauce {swoon}. Cheesy because it includes Provolone cheese melted to perfection. And of course there are 16 ounces of majestic mushrooms. All of that contained in a beautiful, flaky buttery package.

This is perfect to make ahead of time and pop it into the oven when you come home!

Torta Salata ai Funghi {Savory Mushroom Pie}
What you’ll need:
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 cloves garlic – minced
16 ounces mushrooms – sliced
1 tablespoon flat leaf Italian Parsley – chopped
salt/pepper
4-6 slices of provolone cheese
2 pie crusts

1 egg – beaten
béchamel:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 1/4 cups milk – heated
pinch of salt

What to do:
1. Into a sauté pan add olive oil and butter and heat over medium heat. When melted add: garlic, mushrooms, parsley. Reduce heat to LOW. Stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for approximately 10 minutes.

2. WHILE mushrooms are sautéing, prepare the béchamel sauce. Into a small sauce pan add butter and melt over medium heat. Add flour and stir with a wooden spoon. Cook for approximately two minutes, stirring constantly. Add heated milk and whisk to combine. Continue cooking until mixture has thickened. Once thickened pour mixture over sautéed mushrooms. Stir to combine. Set aside.

3. Spray a pie pan with cooking spray and place one of the pie dough discs into pan. Lay 2-3 slices of provolone cheese onto pie dough disc. Gently pour the mushroom mixture into pie pan. Cover with remaining 2-3 slices of provolone cheese. Cover with remaining pie dough disc. Gently crimp the edges to seal.

4. Place pie onto a cooking sheet. Using a pastry brush, brush the top of the pie with the beaten egg. Cook pie for approximately 35-40 minutes or until golden.

5. Allow pie to cool before slicing.

Buon Appetito!

Back from Boston, Feeling Better than Ever

Last week the Mushroom Council packed its bags and headed to “Beantown” along with nearly 10,000 nutrition professionals for the American Dietetic Association’s annual Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo.

Our good friend and vitamin D expert Dr. Michael Holick was the speaker of a session, “Vitamin D: Connecting Science to Health,” in which he discussed the importance of vitamin D, its impact on our health and solutions for maintaining healthy D levels. Mushrooms are on his list of recommended foods since they’re one of the few dietary sources of vitamin D (and the only natural source for vegans!). Following the session, we had the pleasure of hosting Dr. Holick at the Mushroom Council booth to greet attendees and distribute copies of his book, “The Vitamin D Solution.”

In addition to our D-lightful day with Dr. Holick, we continued to discuss the Council’s commitment to breast cancer research. For every attendee who scanned his or her badge at the booth, the Council increased its contribution to the breast cancer research taking place at City of Hope. We tip our caps in appreciation for the hundreds of attendees who helped build our “Wall of Pink” by signing tributes to loved ones who have faced the disease. We were moved by their messages and proud to watch the wall turn pink throughout the event. Check out some of the messages in the photos below.

Being the fun-guys that we are (get it, fungis?!), we toured the city for the best mushroom recipes in town. One of our favorite dishes was this grilled sashimi of chanterelle and shiitake mushrooms at O Ya. We snapped a quick pic on blackberry, but the photo doesn’t do the flavor of these mushrooms justice. You’ll have to taste it for yourselves next time you visit. Boston was incredible and we were lucky to be joined by some of our favorite food and nutrition friends. Can’t wait to catch you all in San Diego for FNCE 2011!

Wordless Wednesday: Mushrooms and Polenta from House of Brinson

How completely divine does this look? Thank you House of Brinson.

Mushroom Tart a la Tartine by We Are Not Martha

Today’s recipe comes to the Channel from Chelsee- one half of the dynamic We Are Not Martha duo.  Tartine is a mutually beloved spot in San Francisco’s Mission district. Looks like their cookbook is as good as their shiitake croque monsieur!

One of my favorite things about cooking is trying out a recipe for the first time and absolutely falling in love with it. Of course when in the kitchen, trying new things, and experimenting, not everything will always be perfect. But when it is perfect and you wouldn’t want to change a thing, that’s cause for big smiles and happy stomachs. To me, it’s the ultimate feeling of success when all five senses can be involved!


When I received my Tartine cookbook last week, I immediately sat down with it and decided since I’m not a big baker that my goal would be to learn as much as I can by recreating as many recipes from the book. Most of them are desserts, so when I stumbled across the savory Wild Mushroom Tart I thought, along with a nice salad, it would be a great dinner.

Who am I kidding? Breakfast or lunch, too!

Tartine’s Wild Mushroom Tart

Partially baked and cooled 9-inch Flaky Tart Dough tart shell (see recipe below)
1 lb Assorted fresh mushrooms (don’t need to be wild, just a variety)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 packed cup shallots, halved and thinly sliced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
lemon juice (from 1/2 lemon)
2 tablespoons water
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, coarsely chopped
1 cup creme fraiche or heavy cream
3 large egg yolks

Wild Mushroom Tart recipe

Have tart shell ready for filling. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Prepare the mushrooms by removing stems if necessary. Slice mushrooms depending on shape and size and how large or small you’d like them to be.

In a heavy saucepan, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add shallots and saute for a few minutes until they start to color. Increase heat to high, add mushrooms, salt, and pepper, and saute until the mushrooms are soft, about 5-10 minutes. When the mushrooms are ready push them to one side of the saucepan, add lemon juice and water, and scrape up any brown bits from the pan. Remove from heat.

In a mixing bowl, whisk together the heavy cream and egg yolks until smooth. Add mushrooms and stir to combine. Gently pour the mixture into the tart shell.

Bake until the custard is barely firm in the center, about 20 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack. The tart will continue to set as it cools. You can serve warm or at room temperature, sprinkled with thyme and freshly cracked nutmeg.

Flaky Tart Dough (makes two 9-inch tarts. For the wild mushroom tart you only need one, so be sure to freeze the other for another time.)
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup water, very cold
3 cups + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup + 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, very cold

In a small bowl, add salt to the water and stir to dissolve. Keep cold until you’re ready to use.

Add flour to the bowl of a food processor. Cut the butter into 1-inch pieces and add to the flour. Pulse briefly until the mixture combines into large crumbs and some of the butter is still in pieces about the size of peas. Add the water-and-salt mixture and pulse for several seconds until the dough begins to come together in a ball, but is not entirely smooth. Some chunks of butter should still be visible.

On a lightly floured work surface, divide the dough into 2 equal balls and shape each into a disk that’s 1″ thick. Wrap well in plastic wrap and chill for about 30 minutes.

The wild mushroom tart calls for a partially baked crust, so preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

Place a disk of dough on a lightly floured surface and roll out to about 1/8″ thick, rolling from the center toward the edge in all directions. Add flour to surface to prevent the dough from sticking. Transfer dough to tart pan, easing it into the bottom and sides and pressing into place. Trim the dough even with the rim of the pan with a sharp knife. Bake until the crust looks dry and pale, about 20 minutes. If it rises in the center, gently poke with the tip of a knife (making sure not to create a large hole).

Let the crust completely cool on a cooling rack before filling.