A Mushroom-Filled Foodies’ Night In

In between busy work schedules, rushing the kids to after-school activities, and figuring out what’s for dinner, we all need an hour to sit back, relax and enjoy some delightful conversation.  In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we’re sharing our support the “social” way with a mushroom-filled Foodies’ Night In Twitter party on Monday, October 15 at 4PM CT.  Featuring delicious recipes from City of Hope and Cooking with Caitlin and engaging conversation from mushroom enthusiasts across the country, this is a party you won’t want to miss. In case you’re not convinced, here are five more reasons you should tune in to an Umami filled #FNIChat this Monday.

1)   It’s co-hosted by four amazing food bloggers, who know how to celebrate mushrooms in many a meal. Take a look at how they’ve been cooking up fresh mushrooms recently:

2)      Discover new recipe ideas that will wow your taste buds. Mushroom Gyro Burger, anyone?

3)      You’ll find healthy new ways to incorporate mushrooms into all of your meals.

4)      Find out why City of Hope refers to mushrooms as a SUPER FOOD.

5)      It’s an hour and a half completely dedicated to our favorite fungi. What better reason could there be for an evening chat!

If you need to gather mushroom inspiration before the party, head to your local grocery store where you’ll find mushrooms sporting PINK tills. Then, prepare a tasty recipe from our collaborative “Mushrooms for Hope” Pinterest board.

Hope to see you Monday!

 

Holiday Hosting with Mushrooms

Kelsey from The Naptime Chef demonstrates that it’s never too early to start planning for the holidays, especially when there are delicious mushroom appetizers to prepare.

With the holiday season just around the corner, it’s time to start drawing up your list of go-to recipes. By that, I mean the ace recipes you want in your back pocket all season long while you plan parties, take food to potlucks, and generally have a host of social occasions on your calendar.

This year I am putting Mushroom Pine Nut Pinwheels at the top of my entertaining recipe list. They hit all the right notes for make-head appetizers. Not only are they always a hit with a crowd, they are a cinch to make in advance and take very little time to bake on the day of the party. This means I can whip them up the morning, or day before, and pop them in the oven right before guests arrive. It makes everything so simple!

With so much going on this holiday season give yourself a break from the rush and make this delicious mushroom appetizer. Everyone will love it so much you’ll be declared the hostess with the mostess for the entire season!

Mushroom Pine Nut Pinwheels

Yields: 1 dozen Pinwheels

Ingredients:

  • 1 sheet puff pastry, thawed and rolled into a 14 x 11-inch rectangle
  • 1 cup pine nuts, lightly toasted
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound mushrooms, sliced
  • ¼ cup white wine
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

2. Drizzle the olive oil in a medium sauté pan and heat the pan over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and cook until they are wilted. Then add the white wine and cook until it’s almost entirely evaporated.

3. Scoop the mushrooms into a small food processor and add the pine nuts. Pulse just until the mushrooms and nuts are coarsely ground, but not completely smooth.

4. Spread the mixture on the thawed puff pastry leaving a 1-inch border around the edges of the pastry.  Sprinkle half of the grated Parmesan on top of the mushroom mixture.

5. Working carefully, beginning at the long end, roll up the puff pastry like a jelly roll. Cut the roll into 12 equal portions. Place cut side down onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper.

6. Bake pinwheels for about 10 to 12 minutes, or until they are lightly golden and baked through. Remove from the oven and immediately sprinkle the remaining Parmesan on top of the pinwheels. Allow to cool for about 15 minutes. Serve.

The Mushroom Taco that Stole Chicago’s Heart

Antique Taco opened their doors May 15, 2012 in Wicker Park, Chicago, offering a limited menu of various, deliciously creative tacos. Little did they know that their lone vegetarian taco, The Market Mushroom, would be a massive hit with vegetarians, meat-eaters and taco lovers.

Antique Taco in Chicago

Ashley and Rick Ortiz, husband and wife team, envisioned Antique Taco as more than a causal taco joint – they wanted it to feel like home. Every detail receives a handmade touch, from the personally selected antique adornments, down to the hand-stamped “Mushroom” taco skewer. Rick manages the kitchen, dreaming up seasonal taco recipes and Ashley utilizes her event planning background to handle the store front. Whether they’re cooking or tasting, they share a clear vision for mushrooms on the menu.

Mushroom Taco at Antique Taco in Chicago

Their Market Mushroom Taco is not your ordinary mushroom experience.  A handmade corn tortilla envelopes three mushroom varieties – shiitakes, oysters and criminis – delivered twice a week from local mushroom farm River Valley Mushrooms. Since mushrooms are well-known as a great substitute for proteins, Rick treats mushrooms like meat, starting with giving the mushrooms a quick sear on the grill. The mushrooms’ natural flavors are elevated with a garlic and thyme marinade and then accented with a unique combination of garlicky kale, pickled vegetables including cauliflower, lime-soaked onions and drizzled with a cilantro cream. Each taco is made to order from the freshest local ingredients.

Antique Taco places a strong emphasis on seasonal, wholesome food and their menu always reflects that. Due to the unique fact that mushrooms are always in season, they’re not going to be leaving the menu anytime soon. Can’t wait to see how they’ll be incorporated next!

If you can’t make it to Chicago to try a taco for yourself, try these chef-approved tips that Rick guarantees will make your own mushrooms tacos just as tasty (or close to it!):

  • Quality of mushrooms is a key factor; look for dry, tightly closed caps.
  • Season mushrooms with salt immediately after searing to pull out the moisture and maximize the depth of the mushroom’s natural flavor.
  • Try olive oil in place of butter when searing or sautéing mushrooms.
  • Utilize the liquid mushrooms release when cooking; it’s where the most flavors are captured.
  • Experiment with different flavor pairings – think out of the box.

Whether you’re vegetarian, vegan (the taco can be prepared vegan without the cilantro cream), meat-eater or a general mushroom enthusiast, Antique Taco will steal your heart and it is well worth a visit to taste what all of the buzz is about, next time you’re in Chicago.

Antique Taco is located on 1360 N. Milwaukee Avenue, Chicago, IL 60622.

Hours:

Monday: Closed

Tuesday- Thursday:  Noon – 10PM

Friday –Saturday:  Noon – 11PM

Sunday: Noon – 8PM

*No Reservations

Mushroom Bruschetta

Paula from bell’alimento  demonstrates how bruschetta can transform from casual tailgating fare to dinner party elegance.

It’s officially FALL which means we can turn on the oven without the worry of heating up the entire house.  With fall comes football. While I am not a football fan (much to my husband’s dismay) I am a fan of making appetizers for the game.  My go- to appetizer is always bruschetta. They’re the perfect size. You can hold them with your fingers and you can top them with just about anything your heart desires.

They may look super fussy and fancy but guess what? They’re not. At all. They do have a nice little kick hiding under all that shroom’ goodness. If you’re not a fan of spicy foods, simply cut back on the chili infused olive oil or just substitute it for regular olive oil.

Besides being great for football parties, they’re also a sure bet for dinner parties or just for snacking (if you’re me).

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons chili infused olive oil (or regular olive oil with a dash of cayenne pepper)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 8 ounces mushrooms – sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic – minced
  • 1 Tbsp fresh oregano
  • 2 tablespoons dry white wine
  • 1 baguette – sliced thickly
  • Fontina cheese – sliced thinly

Directions:
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2) Add oil and butter to a large sauté pan, melting the butter over medium heat.  Add mushrooms, garlic, oregano and cook for approximately 4-5 minutes.

3) Season with salt and pepper.  Add wine. Reduce heat and cook until liquid has reduced.  Using a slotted spoon transfer mushrooms to a small bowl. Set aside.

4) Lightly dip baguette slices into mushroom liquid. Transfer to baking sheet and cook until golden and toasted.

5) Spoon 2 tablespoons of the mushroom mixture on each baguette slice. Top with a slice of Fontina.  Return the bruschetta to the oven and cook just until cheese has melted, 1-2 minutes.

6) Garnish with additional oregano, if desired.

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?