Archive for the ‘Mushroom News’ Category

2014 Was the Year of the Mushroom

This year mushrooms were everywhere! From schools and universities, to online communities and restaurants; 2014 was most certainly the year of the mushroom! Council Representative, Kathleen Pries, breaks down the four best mushroom highlights of 2014.


1. Mushrooms Get Noticed Online. It was a record breaking year for mushroom mentions online! Serious Eats featured seven posts showcasing blended recipes of chefs Linton Hopkins and Jehangir Mehta, the Mamavation weight loss community challenged their followers to incorporate the blend into their weight loss strategy, and Life of Dad hosted a #ShroomTember recipe challenge in September. Burger Business listed blended burgers as a trend to watch, Health revealed five surprising facts about mushrooms, and the Washington Post told us why the meat-mushroom blend makes sense. The humble mushroom is definitely getting noticed.


2. Mushrooms on the Menu.
Isn’t it incredible that over 80% of all restaurants serve mushrooms? In fact, mushrooms are one of the fastest growing items on the menu. And it’s no wonder why, mushrooms are not only delicious, but versatile, adding flavour and texture to any cuisine. Some of our favorite restaurants featured mushrooms on their menus this year; Atlanta’s king of burgers, restaurateur and chef Linton Hopkins menued his blend burger, while Seasons 52 developed a new mushroom duxelle for their Signature Burger. Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurants realized the many benefits of the Blend and introduced a Turkey and Wild Mushroom Meatloaf, and Romano’s Macaroni Grill continues to menu their Veal Marsala Meatball, which is a half-pound blended meatball that combines veal and mushrooms.

The Better Burger Project also rolled through Boston’s Copley Square in September. Seven Boston chefs competed in the “Earth and Turf: The Better Burger Challenge” in an effort to make a delicious tasting burger by blending meat with finely chopped mushrooms. All participating chefs menued their “better burger” creations at their restaurants in October.


3. Mushrooms in Schools. Mushrooms were popping up on school menus across the country this year! From Cincinnati Public Schools to the University of Washington, students were introduced to many different types of mushroom menu items. Chef Jehangir Mehta treated the students at the University of Massachusetts to his famous blended “Graffiti” burger, while Food Network celebrity chef Maneet Chauhan showcased her favourite blend dishes at the University of North Texas. In July, the Mushroom Council introduced school foodservice director to the Blend while exhibiting at SNA ANC in Boston. Many directors and showed interest and agreed the Spicy Mushroom Meatballs were the perfect way to get kids to eat their mushrooms!


4. Mushrooms as a Superfood. 2014 was also a banner year for mushroom research. A first-of-its-kind sensory study on the Blend was conducted by the Culinary Institute of America and University of California-Davis proving the flavor and nutritional benefits of the blend. A Nutrition Today manuscript was published calling for mushrooms to be crowned as their own kingdom based on their distinct nutrient and culinary characteristics. More and more, mushrooms are being recognized for the superfood they are!

We are definitely looking forward to continued success in 2015!

Mushrooms Take a World Tour at Epcot Food & Wine Festival

You know it’s Fall when the Epcot Food and & Wine Festival takes over Disney. From celebrity chef demos and tasting seminars to 25 international marketplaces, delicious surprises can be found across the park. Council Representative, Steve Solomon, spent the day at Epcot experiencing all the festival has to offer… and even found a few mushrooms along the way!

Mushrooms embarked on their first culinary adventure at Epcot’s International Food & Wine Festival; a 60+ day event attended by more than 100,000 people. With 25 countries representing 6 continents, fresh mushrooms popped up in Africa, Italy and New Zealand, just to name a few.

Celebrity Chef Jehangir Mehta made a special guest appearance at the festival’s Party for the Senses, demoing a Mushroom & Tuna Tartare and his famous mushroom blended Graffiti Burger. The crowds “oohed and awed” over the fact that the burger was made using Angus beef and a blend of portabella, king trumpet, and button mushrooms. Other Disney chefs, including Pam Smith, Jenny Sly, and Brian Knox, took The Blend challenge during their culinary demonstrations blending fresh mushrooms with duck, turkey and beef.

Outside of the culinary demos and special events, country specific kiosks served up fresh mushrooms in many different forms. Italy served a Filetto di Pollo, con Funghi al Marsala, Canada served a Wild Mushroom Beef Filet Mignon with Truffle Butter Sauce, and France served a Gratin de Crozet de Savoie. Most impressive was the South African Bobotie at the Africa kiosk. This traditional South African dish (reminiscent of a quiche) blended ground turkey with finely chopped mushrooms to give it a flavor that’s completely unique.

The Epcot Food & Wine Festival runs until November 10th, so if you are craving some culinary fun, excitement and maybe even some mushrooms, this festival should not be missed.

 

5 Ways Mushrooms Ruled During National Mushroom Month

As September comes to a close, so does National Mushroom Month. This month brought lots of opportunities for mushrooms to take center stage and shine. From festivals to cooking challenges, Council Representative Bart Minor, tells us all the ways that mushrooms ruled this month!

1. Mushrooms have their own two day festival. Deep in the heart of mushroom country (Kennett Square, Pennsylvania) over 100,000 people gathered to take in everything-mushroom at The 29th Annual Mushroom Festival. The festival certainly didn’t disappoint when it came to food. Portabellos served 15,000 Portabella Cheese Steaks over the two day period, while Buona Foods served thousands of pounds of fried mushrooms. Speaking of fried mushrooms, the winner of this year’s mushroom eating contest scarfed down an astonishing 11lbs of mushrooms in only 8 minutes!

2. The Blend makes meals better. It’s never been easier to use mushrooms to transform meals. Simply chop mushrooms to match the texture of ground meat – beef, pork, chicken, turkey – and blend them into recipes such as burgers, tacos, meatloaf, lasagna, pasta sauce, or meatballs to make every day dishes more healthful and delicious. The kids will clean their plate every night!

3. Mushrooms get dads cooking! Nothing gets dads in front of the stove (or BBQ) like mushrooms. Earlier this month Life of Dad bloggers took our #ShroomTember recipe challenge. From game day favorites like Mushroom, Onion and Swiss Burgers to hearty classics like Turkey Pumpkin Mushroom Casseroles, the Life of Dad community came up with some prenominal recipe ideas.

4. Mushrooms add a boost of nutrients. They may be white and brown but they are packed full of goodness. Mushrooms are low in calories, fat-free, cholesterol-free, gluten-free, and very low in sodium, yet they provide important nutrients, including selenium, potassium (8%), riboflavin, niacin, vitamin D and more. Nutrition that tastes great!

5. Mushrooms make burgers better. Tomorrow The Blend will take center stage during the Boston Globe’s “Let’s Talk About Food” event in Copley Square. Seven Boston chefs will compete in the “Earth and Turf: The Better Burger Challenge” in an effort to make a delicious tasting burger by blending meat with finely chopped mushrooms. All participating chefs will then menu their “better burger” creations at their restaurants during October, so if you’re in the Boston area you’ll have the chance to try them all!

What an exciting month filled with mushroom celebrations of all sizes. Looking forward to seeing what 2015’s National Mushroom Month brings!

 

Seven-Layer Portabella Burgers

Brooke from Cheeky Kitchen shares a twist on two summer favorites with a hearty portabella base.

Seven Layer Portabella Burger by Cheeky Kitchen

There are a few flavors your family already loves, so why not use them as a springboard for adding good-for-you veggies into your life? With this quick and easy dinner, inspired by the classic 7-Layer Taco Dip, you’ll have a meatless dinner on the table in 20 minutes flat. Plus, you’ll have all the added benefits mushrooms offer. More vitamins, more nutrients, more yum!

As the mom of a family full of both mushroom lovers, I love this recipe because it’s so scrumptious! It’s an affordable way to fill up hungry bellies, and easy way to cook for Meatless Monday’s, and a healthy way to indulge in flavors we typically save for potlucks, parties, and Game Day snackin’! That’s a combo I’d call win-win anyday!

7-Layer Portabella Burgers

Bunless and meatless, these vegetarian burgers fill a portabella mushroom with beans, rice, and salsa, top it all with cheese, then hit the oven for a bit of melting. Top it all off with sour cream, guac, cilantro, and scallions and you’ve got a quick dish that offers a new twist of flavors your family already loves!

Serves 4.

Ingredients:

  • 4 portabella mushrooms
  • 2/3 cup refried beans
  • 2/3 cup Mexican rice
  • 2/3 cup salsa
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese
  • ½ cup guacamole
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ¼ cup scallions, chopped
  • ¼ cup cilantro, chopped

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Gently pull the stem from the underside of each portabella mushroom. Gently scrape the underside clean to make room for the stuffing ingredients. Spread about 3 tablespoons refried beans, rice, and salsa in the center of the underside of each portabella mushroom. Top with cheese. Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
  2. Remove and top immediate with guacamole and sour cream. Sprinkle with scallions and cilantro. Serve and enjoy!

The Versatile Mushroom Strikes Again

Throughout 2014, we have been promoting “Mushroom Makeovers” which reinvent culinary favorites by adding flavorful and nutritious mushrooms to dishes. We would now like to introduce you to a different kind of Mushroom Makeover!

Mushrooms, which have long been used to add savory flavor and heartiness, have been popping up in unexpected ways. Foodies, restaurants and chefs have been putting mushrooms to the culinary test, creating a number of innovative uses for a classic ingredient. From dinner, to dessert, to your morning coffee, mushrooms have you covered. To celebrate this new era, we’ve rounded up a few of our favorite newfound uses for mushrooms:

  • Making life a little sweeter – MytoTechnology researchers have discovered an all-natural fermentation process that uses mushrooms to remove bitter and acidic tastes from food ingredients such as chocolate and coffee. Mushroom mocha, anyone?
  • Playing a role in interior design – Former chef turned USF Professor Phillip Ross has engineered a technique combining mushrooms and woodchips to create a sustainable yet sturdy material that can easily form to any mold. Hailed as an alternative to plastic, mycotecture has the opportunity to make its way into a number of everyday products including car parts, furniture and clothing.
  • Taking a sweet role in traditional desserts – A rich and decadent Truffle Flan from Flanbouyant Eats is an interesting twist on dessert that puts the versatile mushroom to the test and helps expand savory flavor across every course of your meal.

Think you’re bold enough to try your hand at a new kind of mushroom recipe? Our Shiitake Mushroom Ice Cream with Chocolate-Covered Bacon Bits offers a new, make-at-home twist on dessert. Try it as part of a 3 course mushroom feast!