Archive for June, 2010

Mushroom Stroganoff Presented by Healthy Delicious

This week’s Featured Contributor hails from a beautiful site with a fresh focus. Healthy. Delicious. offers straightforward fare that packs in rich flavors without a lot of  extra work. The result? Beautiful food, manageable ingredients and meals that live up to the header as both healthy and delicious.

One night, my husband and I were watching Bizarre Foods when – in a rare occurrence for that show – we both turned to each other and said “we need to make that!” In the episode we had on, Andrew traveled to Russia and had been served a very unusual version of stroganoff where beef and caramelized onions were cooked together with sherry and sour cream was served on the side.

While stroganoff hadn’t been something we would have made before – I typically found it to be too heavy and too bland; he had only ever had the hamburger helper variety – this version quickly became one of our favorite meals and our default for when we didn’t know what else to cook. It was cheap, easy comfort food. But as with most comfort food, there was a problem: the recipe relied almost exclusively on meat and carbs, offering very little in the way of nutritional value.

So one night, I decided to take this one step closer to a traditional stroganoff and up the nutritional ante by adding mushrooms. To our surprise, the dish tasted exactly the same as it always had, the mushrooms were almost indiscernible. As we made the dish again and again, we continued to increase the mushrooms and decrease the beef until we came to this final all-mushroom version that – in addition to being far lower in calories and higher in vitamins than the original – is actually even more mouth-watering than the original.

Where most stroganoffs are rich messes of overcooked meat in goopy sauce, this mushroom version is light and fresh with bright, floral notes from the sherry and a little bit of spice. A dollop of sour cream added to each diner’s plate adds a touch of creaminess without thickening the sauce too much.

Note: In order to prevent the dish from being too one-note, I like to use two different types of mushrooms – one cut into large chunks and the other sliced thinly. If you prefer to use only one type of mushroom, you can provide some textural interest to the dish by keeping 2/3 of them larger and slicing the rest. Using all sliced mushrooms will result into a mushy stew.

Mushroom Stroganoff

  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 tsp butter
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 2 cups crimini mushrooms, quartered
  • 1 cup shitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/4 cup + 2 Tbs cooking sherry, divided
  • 1 tsp sage
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 Tbs whole peppercorns
  • 1-2 Tbs cracked pepper
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • Egg noodles and sour cream for serving

Melt the olive oil and butter together in a heavy pot set over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until they become very soft and begin to turn golden – about 10 minutes. Add the mushrooms, 1/4 cup sherry, sage, salt, peppercorns, and pepper. Whisk in the cornstarch. Bring to a simmer and cook for 10 to 15 minutes or until the mushrooms soften and the liquid has cooked off. Turn the heat to high and add the remaining sherry and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, allowing it reduce into a thick sauce.

Serve over top of noodles with a dollop of sour cream.

Serves 4.

Wordless Wednesday: Breakfast Lunch and Dinner Edition

Breakfast: Portabella Eggs Benedict with Roasted Tomatoes and Pesto, brought to you by Healthy-ish

Lunch: Wild Mushroom and Cornbread Panzanella Salad, brought to you by Cookin’ Canuck

Dinner: Chicken Tetrazzini, brought to you by Poco-Cocoa

Featured Contributor: Mushroom Beef Gravy Recipe from In Erika's Kitchen

Erika Kerekes is a dot-com product manager by day and a relentless home  cook and food blogger by night. She started writing In Erika’s Kitchen in 2008 because she was tired of hearing her mother ask “When are you going to write a cookbook already?”  A native New Yorker, she now lives in southern California and marvels every day about the fact that food grows on trees in her backyard.

There are nights when only comfort food will do. In my house, these nights typically follow days like this:

  • Wake up before dawn.
  • Get two boys fed and into the carpool with their lunches, backpacks, completed homework, assorted permission slips, musical instruments and the like.
  • Get to the office to find that more than 100 emails have accumulated while you were sleeping.
  • Go from meeting to meeting, inhaling lunch (maybe) while dealing with the additional emails that have piled up during said meetings.
  • Arrive home and realize that if dinner is not on the table in half an hour, there will be major meltdowns – and they won’t all be coming from the kids.

Comfort food means different things to different people, but for me it’s got to be hot, creamy, salty, and on the table fast. That’s why mushrooms often figure into my comfort dishes – they’re hearty, satisfying, and quick to prepare. We buy two-pound containers of Baby Bellas at our local Costco, and on a comfort food night, they’re the first ingredient I reach for.

This mushroom beef gravy is a cross between a stroganoff and creamed chipped beef, which, inexplicably, is what I was craving that night. It took just a few minutes to prepare; I served it over biscuits, but it would be equally good served over thick slices of toasted country bread if time is really tight.

Mushroom beef gravy

  • 2 lbs Baby  Bella mushrooms, cleaned
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup dry sherry
  • 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup beef broth (or water plus 1 packet  Savory Choice liquid beef broth concentrate)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Separate the stems from the caps of the Baby Bella mushrooms. Slice the caps. Put the stems into a food processor and chop finely.

In a large frying pan over medium-high heat, brown the ground beef, breaking it up with a wooden spoon. Add the onion and the chopped mushroom stems and cook about 5 minutes, until the onions are soft. Pour in the sherry and stir until most of the liquid has boiled off.

Sprinkle the flour over the mushroom mixture and stir for a minute or two until it is well incorporated. Add the milk and broth, bring the mixture back to a boil, and turn the heat down. Simmer the mushroom gravy about 5 minutes more, or until the gravy has thickened and is creamy. If it’s too dry, add a little more broth or milk.

Season with salt and pepper to taste – if the broth was salty, you’ll probably want very little additional salt, and in any case you’ll want a good dose of pepper. Serve over warm biscuits or thick slices of toasted country bread.

City of Hope

The City of Hope is a very important organization to all of us at the Mushroom Channel but particularly within the broader Mushroom Council.  You may remember the fundraiser in October last year and, sneak preview, we have some  good ideas in the works to go even bigger this year (with your help if you’ll lend it).

When we saw this video, we figured it was worth posting here.  Our involvement with City of Hope has been related mainly to breast cancer research which deserves our attention far beyond just October, the month formally devoted to raising awareness. Think pink and have a great weekend!

Fettucine Profumate by Paula of Bell'Alimento

Editor’s Note: Today’s post is the first recipe from Paula of the Italian cooking blog Bell’Alimento.  Incidentally, this is a beautiful site to bookmark if you do not have pasta sauce coursing through your veins and could use a little help preparing gorgeous Italian meals like this one.

Fettucine Profumate… Is Italian for Aromatic or Perfumed Fettucine. And I can’t think of a better description than aromatic. You’ll be smelling this one long before it’s on the table. It’s an incredibly creamy, flavorful and filling dish that’s chock full of mushroom flavor! You’ll only need a small bowl of this! You’ll want more but a small bowl will do the trick *wink wink*

I love the baby bellas or crimini in this dish but feel free to substitute button mushrooms if that’s what you have on hand. The hardest part of making this dish is the mincing and chopping. Once you’ve done that it’s smooth sailing. You can use any type of broth that you like, I used chicken broth here. Also, if you don’t have any truffle oil on hand you can easily swap it out for a good quality extra virgin olive oil. I just like upping the mushroom ante!


What you’ll need:

  • 1 pound of Fettucine Nests
  • 8 ounces Baby Bella {Crimini} Mushrooms – roughly chopped
  • 1 small carrot – peeled and minced
  • 2 stalks celery – minced
  • 1 small onion – minced
  • 1 clove garlic – minced
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 ounce grappa
  • 1 tablespoon fresh flat leaf Italian parsley – chopped
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch {dissolved in 2 tablespoons of water}
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons truffle oil
  • 1 cup broth
  • 1 cup Parmigiano Reggiano – grated
  • salt and pepper

What to do:

Gently wipe your mushrooms clean with a paper towel. Into a large sauté pan heat butter and truffle oil over medium heat. When melted add the mushrooms, carrot, celery, onion, garlic and parsley. Stir to combine. Allow to cook until onions begin to turn translucent and vegetables begin to soften, just a few minutes, stirring as necessary. Season lightly with salt. Remove pan from heat and pour the grappa in. Mix well and carefully return to heat and cook until grappa has evaporated. Add broth lower heat slightly and allow to cook for approx 10 minutes, stirring as necessary. Add the corn starch {which has been dissolved in water} and mix together until it thickens. When thickened, add cream, Parmigiano and season lightly with pepper. Reduce heat to lowest setting and allow to simmer for approx 5 minutes.

WHILE sauce is nearing the final stages cook your pasta in generously seasoned water until al dente. Drain well and add to the sauce pan. Toss well to combine. Transfer to serving bowl, garnish with additional Parmigiano if desired and serve immediately.

Buon Appetito!