Archive for November, 2011

Mushroom Sage Focaccia from Stetted

This warm loaf of love is being shared with you courtesy of Megan of the beautiful Austin food blog Stetted. If you’re looking for a fresh take on the breaking of bread this Thanksgiving, Shiitake Sage Foccacia is a simple, delicious idea for you!

I’ve often said that I am a breadatarian. I could never give up carbs, because bread is just too darn delicious. Comforting and convenient, it’s hard to resist a warm slice of fresh bread. When in England at 15, our small group would buy small boules to snack on as we toured small villages. Granted, this was partially due to thrift and picky taste buds, but looking back on it I realize that we were enchanted by the idea of a shop devoted solely to bread.

These days bakeries aren’t so few, but now I’ve moved on to the enchantment of baking my own bread, and my family happily imbibes my offerings. My current obsession is throwing all sorts of different ingredients into dough and seeing what happens. One of the best vehicles for this is foccacia, a versatile bread that can take on anything, from meat to grapes.

With the holidays upon us one of my favorite flavors has been taking center stage: sage. This odiferous herb pairs wonderfully with a number of ingredients, and mushrooms are a great example. I chose shiitake mushrooms to help create this savory focaccia, sauteing them for a few minutes with shallot and sage to really bring out the flavors before adding them to the top of the unbaked dough. Once baked, the flavor permeates through the bread, making it a lovely accompaniment to soup, salad, pasta, or grilled meats.

Mushroom Sage Focaccia

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon yeast
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 cup sliced shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 tablespoon diced shallot
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped sage

Mix together flours, yeast, and salt in a large bowl or stand mixer. Slowly add 1 tablespoon olive oil and the water while stirring the dry ingredients. Once the dough comes mostly together in a large ball, work it together with your hands, then turn out onto a floured surface. Knead dough to form a smooth ball, then place in a greased bowl. Cover and let rise until doubled in bulk; about two hours.

Punch down dough and turn out onto a floured surface. Roll out dough into a large circle or rectangle and let rest.

Meanwhile, heat a small saucepan over medium. Add ½ tablespoon olive oil and heat through. Add the mushrooms, shallot, and sage, and saute until the mushrooms are softened and fragrant, about 5 minutes.

Make indentations in the dough using your fingers, then drizzle remaining olive oil over the top. Scatter mushroom mixture over the dough, then sprinkle on remaining salt.

Bake at 375 degrees on a pizza stone or greased baking sheet for 35-45 minutes, until golden brown.

The Mushroom Council and Partnership for a Healthier America

When we think about kids, food and nutrition, one topic comes to mind lately: childhood obesity. According to the CDC, childhood obesity rates in America have tripled over the past three decades, and today, nearly one in three children in America are overweight or obese. It’s a serious problem that calls for serious efforts from our government, food companies, corporations and ourselves to solve.

Today the Mushroom Council is proud to announce that we’ve joined with the Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA) as a key sponsor of the inaugural “Building a Healthier Future” Summit and true partner in PHA’s mission to end childhood obesity.

We are involved for one simple reason – we believe mushrooms can be part of the solution to improve the health of children and families across the country. Our mushroom growers are proud to help families put healthy foods on their tables, offering low-calorie, nutrient-rich produce that can easily be added to their favorite meals. One easy example: replace some of the higher-calorie items in a recipe with finely diced mushrooms to help cut calories in dishes like burgers, tacos, spaghetti or sloppy Joes.

Highlighting all of the reasons and ways our loyal fans have come to love mushrooms, we’re bringing mushrooms’ outstanding nutritional benefits and meaty, satisfying texture straight to Washington for the inaugural summit, November 29-30. We’ll be dishing up some of our favorite mushroom recipes for more than 600 like-minded attendees. Guests of the event represent foundations, advocacy groups and businesses committed to finding solutions to childhood obesity from every angle, as part of the larger hope to end this crisis within a generation. Stay tuned to the Channel for more updates from the event!

The Doctor is In!

Take three mushrooms, and call me in the morning

Most doctors don’t make house calls, but lucky for us, Dr. Oz does! This week he invited one of our favorite dietitians, Liz Ward, onto the show to talk about the mighty mushroom. Watch the video to learn more about three different kinds of mushrooms – white buttons, creminis, and maitakes – and fun ways to cook with them to get more nutrients onto your plate!

Tasting is believing! Try one of the recipes mentioned on the show with your family today:

Like what you see?

Check out the Facebook page for Liz’s new book, MyPlate for Moms, for more nutrition and cooking tips.

Purple Potato and Mushroom Casserole from Bell'Alimento

If you were looking for a stunning, straightforward side to pair with your Thanksgiving feast, one that is sure to elicit gasps for both its beauty and earthy deliciousness, we have your recipe right here. This comes to the Mushroom Channel courtesy of the ever so talented Paula at Bell’Alimento.

There is something so comforting about a warm casserole straight out of the oven. Especially in the colder months when I’m craving comfort food. I gravitate towards them. This casserole is hearty and filling. It could be eaten as a light lunch or as a side to dinner.

Purple potatoes pair beautifully with mushrooms. If you can’t find purple potatoes you can absolutely use regular potatoes. A mandolin will save you gobs of time when slicing and makes you look like a professional knife wielder {don’t worry we won’t tell if you’re not} I’ve been fascinated with purple potatoes lately. They have the most brilliant color and are tasty to boot. I’ve used button mushrooms here but feel free to substitute any mix you like.

Purple Potato and Mushroom Casserole

What you’ll need: {Serves 4}
4 tablespoons unsalted butter – divided
1 large purple potato – peeled and thinly sliced
salt
8 ounces button mushrooms – thinly sliced
3 tablespoons flat leaf Italian parsley – roughly chopped, divided
¾ cup Parmigiano Reggiano – grated, divided
3 tablespoons dry white wine

What to do:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 10 x 6 ovenproof dish with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.

2. Melt 3 tablespoons of butter. Pour butter into bottom of dish.

3. To assemble: Place a layer of potatoes onto bottom of dish. Lightly season with salt. Top with a layer of mushrooms. Top with 1 tablespoon parsley and ¼ cup cheese. Add additional 2 layers. {NOTE: Top layer should only have potatoes, salt and cheese.} Pour wine over potatoes.

4. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 50-60 minutes or until potatoes are fork tender.

Preparing for the (Flexitarian) Feast

Two weeks from today, many of this country’s citizens will still be recovering from what is traditionally the heaviest feast day of the American calendar year- Thanksgiving. Now I could never knock a holiday built around food (let’s be honest, most holidays are built around food so far as I’m concerned) but the Mushroom Channel would love to help you avoid that overstuffed food hangover that sets the stage for the kind of winter layer we can’t pull off like a wool sweater once the heat kicks on.

Mushrooms are a key ingredient to filling your feast with a lot of beloved fall flavors, minus the big time calories. For the next two weeks, we’ll be highlighting a few recipes per post that would make for a meal the whole family can enjoy- including the vegans or vegetarians at the table (or in the kitchen, for that matter).

The goal is simple: providing options so that no one feels like they need to skip their favorite dishes to keep from feeling like they swallowed Plymouth rock for days afterward. Do you have a favorite Thanksgiving dish you think we should feature? Leave us a link in the comments!

Leek Pear and Chanterelle starter from Happy Yolks

Sauteed Mushrooms with Caramelized Shallots side from Eating Well

Vegetarian Thanksgiving Stir Fry from the New York Times Eating Well blog