Archive for September, 2012

The 27th Annual Mushroom Festival

Ever wonder what it’s like to be surrounded by 100,000 mushroom lovers?  Council Representative, Bart Minor, shares his fun-gi filled experience at the 27th Annual Mushroom Festival in Kennett Square, PA.

With more than 100,000 visitors in two days, the Mushroom Festival is the world’s largest fun-gi filled event. This annual gathering is held in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, and rightly so as the region grows more than 60% of the United States’ mushrooms!  Every year the Mushroom Festival celebrates and promotes the importance of mushrooms, through entertainment, competition, and education.

Top Chef Contestant, Antonia Lafaso, taught passionate mushroom fans how to prepare a simple mushroom salad topped with a poached egg. Next Great Baker, Dana Herbert, also graced the culinary tent stage, to prepare a savory mushroom & seafood flatbread.

The First Annual Fried Mushroom Eating Contest, sponsored by Buona Foods, drew a large and excited crowd. Twelve contestants were challenged to eat as many fried mushrooms as they could in eight minutes. In the end, fungi lover Jamie McDonald ended up taking home the $1000 prize after downing an astonishing 5.5 pounds of mushrooms.

As expected, there was no lack of food to fulfill a mushroom craving. From Mushroom Pumpkin Ice Cream, to creamy Mushroom Mac n’ Cheese, and even a Seafood Stuffed Portabella Burger, the Mushroom Festival did not disappoint in the culinary area. Vendors also showcased their passion for mushrooms through art, crafts and home goods.

Putting Kennett Square, Pennsylvania on the map, the Mushroom Festival is an event that a true mushroom lover should not miss. Make sure to check out our full event photo album on Facebook.

What is your favorite festival to attend?

An Eat Right Routine

Kelsey from The Naptime Chef shares how mushrooms are a key ingredient in her healthy, delicious meal plan for the fall.  

With a baby on board this fall I am focused on making sure I eat right all season. For me that means staying away from fatty, sugary foods and sticking with nutrient rich vegetables, like mushrooms. One of the ways I’ve been enjoying mushrooms lately is lightly cooked and served on fresh grilled bread with a dash of melted Parmesan cheese.

I came up with the idea for these when I saw a vegetarian melt sandwich at a local diner. It was piled high with vegetables and tossed with tons of gooey cheese! To make mine more in tune with my eat right routine I dialed down the cheese, put away the butter and made it using this simple recipe instead.

“The versatility of mushrooms in any dish make them the perfect ingredient to add a hearty and nutritious touch to the meal.”

We love to enjoy these toasts alongside fresh grilled chicken or fish, or even served right alongside a fall green salad.

Mushroom-Parmesan Melts on Grilled Bread

Makes 4 small, or 2 large grilled breads

Ingredients:

  • 4 slices whole wheat country bread sliced ¼-inch thick
  • 12 ounces fresh sliced mushrooms, rinsed and patted dry
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese, coarsely grated

Directions:

1. To grill the bread heat a grill to medium and place the bread slices over indirect heat for about 3-minutes per side or until grill marks begin to show. This step can also be completed on a grill pan.

2. While the bread cools add the mushrooms and salt to a sauté pan and warm over medium heat. Cook the mushrooms until they release their liquid and cook down so they are completely softened.

3. Turn the broiler on high and place the grilled bread on a baking sheet. Divide the mushrooms among the four pieces of grilled bread and top with equal amounts of the Parmesan cheese.

4. Broil the toasts for about 2 minutes, or just until the Parmesan begins to melt. Remove immediately. Drizzle the breads with the olive oil and serve!

A Mushroom Filled Weekend

Fall weekends were designed for getting back into the kitchen. The chill in the air inspires turning to the stove, and the kitchen quickly fills with laughter, company and delicious bites. Whether you’re cooking for one or a full house, here are a few tips to incorporate mushrooms into your weekend cooking adventures.

The Snack Craving

Some Saturday afternoons, a mid-day snack is preferred over a full meal.  Roasted Mushroom Hummus with Goat Cheese is the perfect dish to whip up for friends, or to serve on the side with a good book.

The Dinner Party

 

Allow yourself more time for catching up with friends at your next dinner party and go for  DIY-style dining.  Assemble the ingredients for tacos, such as Caramelized Onion and Mushroom Tacos and let guests create the tacos themselves.

Sunday Dinner

Nothing rounds out the weekend better than a family meal.  Pair Caramelized Mushroom and Vidalia Onion Risotto with a dinner salad and crusty bread to close your weekend on a high note.

What are your favorite weekend dishes?

Easy Mushroom and Corn Tart

Stacey Billis from One Hungry Mama celebrates the end of summer’s harvest in this comforting and simple dish for a Mushroom and Corn Tart. 

Two things have happened this summer. One: I became obsessed with frozen puff pastry. Two: My family fell in love with the combination of fresh, sweet corn and mushrooms (of any kind).

Let’s start with the puff pastry. This stuff is family food gold. Thaw it, shape it, top it, bake it and you’re done. Not only will you have something delicious, but also something impressive. (Shhh: With hardly any work!) I used to think that puff pastry was just for dessert, but I used it all summer to make vegetable tarts like this Tomato, Zucchini & Pesto Tart.

After my family went gaga over my Shiitake, Fresh Corn and Chive Clafoutis, I started pairing mushrooms and corn more often. In a quick sauté cozied up to grilled steak, grilled together for veggies tacos and paired in—you guessed—an easy, elegant Corn and Mushroom Tart.

This tart was a hit and it comes together in a snap. Since late summer corn is still available at the farmer’s market and September is National Mushroom Month, you can celebrate summer and mushrooms by making it right away!

Corn and Mushroom Tart

 

Recipe by Stacie Billis of One Hungry Mama

Serves 6 as a first course, 4 as a main course

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 medium onions, halved and thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme
  • 2 fryer peppers, trimmed and cut into 1-inch thick strips
  • 1 8-oz package mushrooms, your favorite kind (I like baby bellas)
  • 4 cobs of corn
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • Salt & freshly ground pepper
  • 2 sheets frozen puff pastry, thawed*
  • Basil, for garnish (optional)
  • Crème fraiche, for garnish (optional)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 15×9 cookie sheet with parchment; set aside. Heat olive oil in a large dutch oven set over medium heat. Add onions and thyme. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onions start to turn golden brown, about 25 minutes. Add peppers and cook for another 15 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook for another 5 minutes or so, until their liquid cooks off and the vegetables are caramelized.

2. In the meantime, cut kernels off of the cobs. Add them to the onions, peppers and mushroom and cook for 3-5 minutes, allowing the flavors to come together. Remove from heat.

(You can do steps 1 and 2 up to three days ahead of time. Store cooled vegetables in an airtight container in the fridge until youre ready to use.)

3. Stir sour cream into veggies and season with salt and pepper to taste.

4. Lay one whole sheet of puff pastry and 2/3 of the second puff pastry sheet* on the prepped cookie sheet. Press to close the seams. Make a rim by folding the edges in ½ inch and pressing them down gently. Using a fork, poke holes all over the pastry.

5. Top the dough with veggies, spreading evenly across the surface. Bake in preheated oven for 40-45 minutes until the edges are puffed and golden brown. Garnish with leaves of basil and dollops of crème fraiche. Serve warm.

*Note: You’ll only need 2/3’s of the second sheet. Save the leftover puff pastry in the fridge for as long as indicated on the package.

The Versatile Mushroom

Not only is September National Mushroom Month, but it is also the official start of fall. As lemonade stands are replaced by piles of leaves and summer grilling transitions into baked casseroles we’re reminded at the Mushroom Council that one of the greatest benefits of mushrooms are its versatility through every season.  Since mushrooms are grown indoors they have the unique credential of always being in season.

So here are some recipe suggestions for making the transition from summer to fall meal planning.

Crimini and Pork Meatballs

 

These meatballs are perfect for fall activities from tailgating Sundays to easy after-school dinners. These meals can be made larger for a main entrée or made smaller for an easy toothpick appetizer.

Light N’ Creamy Mushrooms Soup

 

There is nothing like that first bowl of soup to welcome in the crisp fall air. When you have a bunch of mushrooms on hand, whip up this soup and store a portion in the freezer for a quick dinner later in the week.

Roasted Mushroom & Kabocha Squash

 

Squash will start to make its appearance as your local grocer or farmer’s market produce section starts to reflect the fall season.  Mushrooms are a great complement to quintessential fall veggies, like squash, and make hearty side dishes.

What is your favorite fall mushroom dish?