Meaty Mushrooms Star in Wiz Kid’s Philly

Wiz Kid is the brainchild of Rich Landau, chef and owner of trendy restaurants V Street and Vedge in Philadelphia. We recently had the chance to sit down and chat with Chef Rich about his new fast-casual restaurant and his star “crowd stunner” menu item: the Wiz Kid Philly. The best part? He swapped traditional steak for juicy, meaty mushrooms.

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What inspired you to open a fast-casual restaurant?

“People don’t have time for fancy, white tablecloth, hour-long lunches anymore. In fact, some might be lucky to even have a half hour for lunch these days. Fast casual is being defined as the new American cuisine, because people want something that is healthy, delicious and fair priced, that they can take on the go.”

Why did you decide to swap mushrooms for meat in the Wiz Kid Philly?

“We wanted to use something that is completely fresh and whole. There aren’t many, if any, other vegetables that can mimic the taste of meat quite like mushrooms. When treated right, mushrooms are delicious, meaty and smoky. Portabellas are one of the best food products – they’re a real ‘knife & fork’ food. A knife won’t glide through any other food like it does through a portabella.”

Chef Rich Landau_7543 FINAL Credit Jason Varney

What is your favorite mushroom variety?

“While portabellas are great to have on hand because of their versatility, my favorite variety is the maitake. They’re the next big thing. They have a very distinct ‘mushroomy’ flavor – which is a good thing! They’re just a beautiful mushroom. I love the difference in texture and the variety of flavor. When grilled, the tops get crunchy, crackly and caramelized, while the base stays thick and meaty.”

What is your go-to mushroom dish?

“Right now, probably the Philly from Wiz Kid. It’s just such a crowd stunner, and it’s great to see peoples’ reactions when they try it. They wonder why they have been eating meat all this time when they could be eating mushrooms!”

What has been the reaction to Wiz Kid so far?

“So far, the reaction has been stellar. I’ve had the sandwich recipe in my back pocket for a few years now, and I finally had the opportunity to showcase it. We’re super thrilled about it.”

If you live in Philly, we encourage you to try the famous Wiz Kid Philly for yourself, check out Wiz Kid’s satellite location in Whole Foods, and stay tuned for Wiz Kid’s 19th street location – opening soon!

Meatless Monday Made Easy with Mushrooms

We’re big fans of Meatless Monday, or what we like to call “Mushroom Monday.” So, what’s all the hype around Meatless Mondays? It’s a global movement urging consumers to go vegetarian one day per week. Many meatless meals feature mushrooms as the main ingredient, and for a good reason. Mushrooms are rich in umami, an ultra-savory quality (found in many meats) that make meatless meals just as satisfying and full of flavor. Ready to try Mushroom Monday for yourself? We’ve taken the guesswork out of the planning process and rounded up a day’s worth of meals to get you started.

Mushroom Monday Meal Plan

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Breakfast Vegetable Frittata: There are plenty of meatless breakfast options out there, but this one will keep you full for hours. Loaded with bright vegetables, protein-packed eggs and meaty mushrooms, this frittata will ensure you start Monday on the right foot.

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Lunchtime Mushroom Minestrone: Fill up with a hearty bowl of mushroom soup – perfect for a chilly winter afternoon. Whip this recipe up Sunday evening for lunch (or dinner!) the next day.

Chez Us - Chipotle Mushroom Tacos - 2

Late-Night Chipotle Mushroom Tacos: Thanks to umami-rich crimini and portobella mushrooms, you won’t miss the meat in these zesty, flavor-packed tacos.

Did you try any of these recipes out at home? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

6 Mighty Mushroom Recipes to Jump Start 2017

Start the New Year fresh with mighty mushroom recipes!

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It’s officially January, meaning it’s time to put away the holiday decorations and focus on the year ahead. Whether you’re hoping to shed pounds after consuming a few too many large, sodium-packed holiday meals, or are just looking for some healthy recipes to add to your arsenal, we’ve rounded up a few of our favorite mighty mushroom meals to help you hit the ground running.

Tips to help you stick with your resolutions:

  • Cut calories and sodium by swapping out a portion of the ground meat for finely chopped mushrooms in your favorite burger and pasta sauce recipes.
  • Hop on the Meatless Monday trend and make mushrooms the star of your meals one day per week. Thanks to mushrooms’ umami, you won’t even miss the meat!
  • Rather than focusing on what you need to eliminate from your diet, try adding more fruits, veggies and whole grains to your meal plan.

Mighty Mushroom Recipes

Blenditarian Korean Rice Bowl

Korean Rice Bowls with Turkey and Mushrooms
Not quite ready to give up comfort food? These Blended Korean Rice Bowls feel indulgent but are easy on the waistline.

Roasted Mushroom Whea Berry Salad

Roasted Mushroom and Wheat Berry Salad with Orange Curry Vinaigrette
Bursting with bright citrus and bold curry, this Wheat Berry Salad proves healthy doesn’t have to be boring.

Italian Turkey Sausage Sliders

Italian Turkey Sausage Sliders
These Blended Turkey Sausage Sliders are perfectly bite-sized appetizers for your bowl game watch party.

Vegetable Noodle Bowl

Vegetable Noodle Bowl
Packed with juicy mushrooms and crunchy veggies, these flavorful bowls will keep you full and happy.

Blenditarian Kefta Kebobs

Easy Mushroom Kefta Kebob
Blend mushrooms, beef and Middle Eastern spices together for a flavor-packed weeknight dinner solution.

Portobello Pizzas

Pesto Portobello Pizzas
Craving pizza? Swap the crust with portobellos for a lighter twist on a comfort classic.

Snuggle up to Chicken ‘n’ Dumplings with Mushrooms this Winter

Snuggle up to comfort food this season with a hearty Chicken ‘n’ Dumplings with Mushrooms! Thanks, Paula of bell’alimento for the recipe and inspiration.

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Chicken and dumplings is classic Southern comfort food that’s perfect to consume all winter long. This one starts by sautéing bacon until crispy. Anything that starts out with bacon is going to be good in my book. Next, we’ll fry the chicken (we’re using dark meat which is more flavorful than white meat) in the bacon grease.

We’re building levels of flavor here: onions, garlic, fresh herbs and white wine join the party. Into the hot tub of comfort, we’ll add chicken stock and simmer until the chicken is falling off the bones.

Typically, you don’t find mushrooms in chicken and dumplings, and I’m not sure why. To change this, we’ve used a mix of fresh mushrooms for extra flavor. You can, as always, use your favorite fresh mushrooms. I would recommend sautéing the mushrooms by themselves, and then add them to the pot after the dumplings come in.

You might also think about adding yeast rolls to sop up the thick flavorful sauce. This is one dish that will be in our regular rotation this winter and I hope it will be in yours too!

Chicken ‘n’ Dumplings with Mushrooms Recipe

Yield 6 servings
Prep Time: 30 min
Cook Time: 2 hours

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
6 ounces thick bacon – diced
¼ cup all-purpose flour
2.5 pounds chicken legs
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 medium onion – minced
2 cloves garlic – minced
1/2 cup dry white wine
6 sprigs fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
8 cups chicken broth
frozen flat dumplings
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
12 ounces mixed mushrooms

Directions:
In a large Dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat. Add bacon and cook until crisp. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate and set aside.

WHILE bacon is cooking, season chicken with salt and pepper.

Place flour into a shallow bowl. Dredge chicken in flour making sure it’s lightly coated on all sides.

Place chicken into Dutch oven and cook for approximately 20-25 minutes until golden and crispy, turning as necessary. Transfer to a plate. Set aside.

In Dutch oven, add onion and garlic. Sauté until softened, stirring as necessary. Add wine to deglaze and cook until reduced by half.

Return chicken to Dutch oven. Add thyme, bay leaves, and chicken broth. Bring to a boil. Reduce and cook for 1 hour or until chicken is tender and falling off bone.

Five minutes prior to end of cook time, in a sauté pan add butter and heat over medium heat. Add mushrooms and cook until softened.

WHILE mushrooms are cooking, add desired amount of frozen dumplings to Dutch oven and stir.

Prior to serving, add mushrooms and bacon to Dutch oven. Check for seasoning and adjust if necessary.

Go Day-to-Night with Firebirds’ Winter Features

Firebirds Winter Features are available now through January 3, 2017 – don’t miss out!

Firebirds Wood Fired Grill just launched their Winter Features, which means you’ve got some delicious decisions to make.

Keep it day-time casual and stop by for a drool-worthy Bleu Cheese Burger – pepper crusted and topped with bleu cheese sauce and port wine-sautéed portabella mushrooms.

Firebirds Winter Features Bleu Cheese Burger

Or, do date-night right with delectable Wood Grilled Twin Filets – topped with port wine-sautéed portabella mushrooms and served with roasted Brussels sprouts, squash and sweet potatoes.

Firebirds Winter Features Twin Medallion Filets

Lucky for you, there’s time for both: Firebirds Winter Features run through January 3, 2017. Find a Firebirds near you.