Archive for the ‘Kitchen Swap’ Category

How to Select and Store Mushrooms

If you’ve ever felt overwhelmed with the selection of produce at your local grocery store, you’re not alone! With so many choices available, it’s often hard to push yourself out of your culinary comfort zone and experiment with new ingredients.

With varieties of fresh mushrooms ranging from portabella, to shiitake, oyster and the classic white button, many people may not realize the diverse flavors that can be added to a dish with a generous serving of mushrooms.

In addition to being low in calories, fat-free, low-sodium and naturally gluten free, umami-rich mushrooms are a natural complement (or replacement) to the meat in dishes you may already love.  If you’ve been holding off on mushrooms because you didn’t know where to start, Chef Bill Briwa from the Culinary Institute of America and Bart Minor, President of the Mushroom Council, answer your questions about how to select and store fresh mushrooms, sending you on your way to create the mushroom dish of your dreams!

How to Select Mushrooms:

  • Purchase mushrooms that are firm with a fresh, smooth appearance. These mushrooms are best used raw in salads or for stuffing. More mature mushrooms will be softer and slightly browned — these will have more flavor, but a shorter shelf life. Chop and cook the day of purchase.
  • The surface of the mushroom should be dry, but not dried out, and appear plump.
  • A closed veil under the cap indicates a delicate flavor, while an open veil and exposed gills mean a richer flavor.

How to Store Mushrooms:

  • For prolonged shelf-life, store mushrooms in their original packaging or in a porous paper bag.
  • Some mushrooms may keep for up to one week in the refrigerator.
  • Fresh mushrooms should never be frozen, but sautéed mushrooms that are frozen will keep for up to one month. They are great to have on hand to toss into any meal like pastas, sandwiches/wraps, in salads, etc.

With a little inspiration and a basket of mushrooms, you can kick up the flavor of your dishes in a brand new way. Peruse our Mushroom Meal Makeovers Pinterest board to get inspired, then make your way to the grocery store to pick some beautiful ‘shrooms! Here are a few of our favorite meals made over:

Spinach Mushroom Quiche

Mushrooms take the place of ground sausage in this great breakfast recipe by Erin Chase from $5 Dinners. In fact, this quiche is so hearty and satisfying that it’s even a go-to meal option for lunch or dinner.

Breakfast. Brunch. Lunch. Brinner. Any and all of these meals could play host to this simple, yet elegant dish. Serve it up to your family on a busy weeknight or to out of town guests on a leisurely Saturday morning. This quiche would also be a great addition to the spread at a potluck luncheon or to take to a friend who’s in need of a meal.

Brinner, or breakfast for dinner, is a staple at our house. It’s my, “Gahhh, I need to come up with a meal, and quick” default. Whether it is pancakes, scrambled eggs, waffles or quiches, breakfast for dinner always succeeds in pleasing the palate and filling the little tummies around the table.

And this spinach mushroom quiche is no exception. The kids didn’t even pick up that I’d swapped out the usual ground sausage for sliced mushrooms. In fact, they ate their pieces without hesitation and left the table smiling and satisfied.

Spinach Mushroom Quiche

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 6 ounces fresh spinach leaves
  • 8 ounces sliced white mushrooms
  • Salt and pepper
  • 6 eggs
  • 3 ounces crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 pie crust, homemade or store bought
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9-inch pie plate with non-stick cooking spray.

In a medium skillet, heat the olive oil and then sauté the fresh spinach leaves and sliced mushrooms for 4 to 6 minutes, or until mushrooms have browned some and the spinach has “melted.”

In a mixing bowl, whisk the eggs with the feta crumbled.

Place the pie crust into the prepared baking dish. Gently add the sautéed mushrooms and spinach to the pie plate. Then pour the egg-feta mixture over the top.

Place the quiche into the preheated oven and cook for 30 minutes. Remove from oven, add the shredded mozzarella to the top and return to the oven for 5 to 10 minutes, or until cheese has melted.

Serve Spinach Mushroom Quiche with a side of fresh fruit for breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner!

Mushroom Lover’s Eggs Benedict

Handy kitchen work and creative thinking from We Are Not Martha takes a classic brunch staple, eggs benedict, and gives it a modern, tasty twist.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve judged restaurant brunches on their eggs benedict. If eggs benedict is on the menu, without a doubt I order it. While traditional eggs benedict is almost always heavenly, I get even more excited if I spot a bit of a variation. Like crab cake eggs benedict because that’s as far as restaurants tend to go. They just don’t seem to get very creative with this brunch item, probably assuming, “Why mess with a wonderful thing?” While I generally agree with that sentiment, I’ll answer you why, “To make it even better!” And better comes from the addition of mushrooms. Enter Mushroom Lover’s Eggs Benedict.

There are many things that can take eggs benedict to the next level, but there are some essentials in my book. The English muffin must be replaced with a biscuit. I knew I’d be baking biscuits for my Mushroom Lover’s Eggs Benedict and decided to pack the biscuits full of crimini mushrooms to add to the flavor punch. Instead of laboring over a hollandaise sauce, I whipped up a simple mushroom sauce to top the benedict. I also replaced the ham with a layer of lightly sautéed kale for an added tangy touch. The egg remained the same, perfectly poached with a beautiful runny yolk.

You want your eggs benedict to be packed with an earthy flavor that brings comfort to your soul, making you feel right at home with your loved ones for the rest of your weekend afternoon.

 

Mushroom Biscuits (makes about 12):

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 8 oz chopped crimini mushrooms
  • 2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/4 cup milk

Benedict with Mushroom Sauce (makes 2 serving of benedict):

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 4 oz shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon marsala wine
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3/4 cup torn kale leaves
  • 4 biscuits from above recipe

 

Mushroom Biscuits:

1) Sauté the mushrooms in olive oil over medium heat, until softened.

2) In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cream of tartar, salt and pepper.

3) Add the chilled butter into the flour mixture and work it into the mix with a pastry blender or your fingers, until the mixture resembles coarse sand.

4) In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg and milk. Add to the flour mixture and mix until it’s just incorporated.

5) Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Scoop about 1/4 cup of dough and place on baking sheet. Continue placing dough about 2 inches apart.

6) Bake at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes, until biscuits are just turning brown.

Benedict with Mushroom Sauce:

1) Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Once melted, add the mushrooms and sauté until they’re softened. Stir in marsala wine, cooking for about 1 minute.

2) Add in milk and flour. Whisk vigorously until sauce thickens, about 2-3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper then remove from heat.

3) To poach eggs, bring water to a boil in a large skillet with vinegar. Crack eggs into two bowls (2 in each) and gently drop into water. Remove skillet from heat and cover. Let eggs cook for 5 minutes. Remove with slotted spoon to paper towel-lined plate.

4) Heat olive oil in small skillet. Put kale in skillet and sauté until wilting and a tiny bit crispy. Remove from pan.

4) Put 2 biscuits on each plate, flat side up. Top each with kale and a poached egg. Spoon mushroom sauce over the top.

Enjoy!

Take a (Spring) Break with Easy Mushroom Fajitas

It’s finally spring! This time of year always makes me itch for a fun getaway. Since there is no spring break vacation on my calendar this year I decided to give myself a staycation, complete with my favorite vacation food…fajitas!

Fajitas have always been a favorite of mine because they are tasty no matter what I’m craving – beef, chicken or even veggie. This time I settled on using steak. It’s the perfect complement to the medley of crisp-tender spring veggies like onions, bell peppers and mushrooms. And besides, who doesn’t love the flavor-packed combo of steak and mushrooms?

This recipe was a total breeze to put together. While the steak marinated, I chopped all of my veggies and preheated the grill. In less than 15 minutes, I was ready to savor the flavors of vacation without having to leave my backyard!

If you share my love for fajitas and appreciate leisurely meal preparation, then you’re going to enjoy this Mushroom Steak Fajita recipe.



Mushroom Steak Fajitas (serves four)

Ingredients

  • 12 oz sirloin or other boneless steak, about ¾-inch thick
  • 1 tablespoon no-salt fiesta lime seasoning (Like Mrs. Dash), divided
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 cups sliced crimini mushrooms
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, sliced into strips
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, sliced into strips
  • 1 medium yellow or white onion, sliced into strips
  • 8- 6-inch whole wheat tortillas
  • 1 medium tomato, diced
  • 2 cups shredded iceberg lettuce
  • 4 tablespoons non-fat sour cream

 

Directions

  1. Slice beef across the grain into ¼-inch strips. Place in a medium bowl with ½ tablespoon fiesta lime seasoning’ toss to coat.
  2. Place mushrooms, peppers and onion and remaining fiesta lime seasoning in a large bowl; toss to coat.
  3. Heat oil in large, non-stick skillet. Add beef strips; cook about 3-4 minutes. Remove from skillet. Place coated vegetables in skillet and sauté until vegetables are slightly tender, about 5-8 minutes. Add beef back to skillet and sauté mixture 1-2 more minutes.
  4. Assemble fajitas by dividing beef-vegetable mixture evenly on each tortilla, top with remaining ingredients and roll up.

Mushrooms On the Menu- The Results Are In!

The polls have closed for the Council’s “Mushrooms On The Menu” photo contest, and the votes are in! We had a blast checking out all of your photos, and dining vicariously with you at restaurants across the country.

Thanks to your votes via the Mushroom Channel blog and twitter, we are proud to announce our three winners. Please join us in congratulating the following mushroom fans:

  • 1st place: Amanda Downing – Mushroom Burger from Rockit Bar & Grill in Chicago, Illinois
  • 2nd Place: Tom Garner – Rack of Lamb from La Famiglia Italian Restaurant in Destin, Florida
  • 3rd Place: Paula Jones – Stuffed Pork with Spinach Salad, Tomatoes and Mushrooms from Capri Restaurant in Raleigh, North Carolina

Mushroom Burger from Rockit Bar & Grill in Chicago, IL

Just because the contest is over, doesn’t mean you have to stop sending your mushroom photos! We still want to see your favorite mushroom dishes, so keep on sending ‘em our way.