Archive for July, 2010
This week’s featured contributor is Boston-based food writer Chelsee Adams of We Are Not Martha . We Are Not Martha takes the recipes of their food folk heroes (like site namesake, Martha Stewart) and delivers them in a way any kitchen beginner would feel safe to try them.
I always like to experiment in the kitchen when I have a friend over. I know, I know, they always say never try new recipes out on guests, but I like to use my friends as guinea pigs, and hey, they get a free meal out of the deal so no one’s complaining! It’s truly an adventure in the kitchen to taste and sample a dish together, figure out ways to perfect it, or just sit back with a glass of wine and enjoy what you’ve created over great conversation.
The other night one of my best friends came over for dinner so it was the perfect opportunity to test out a recipe I had bookmarked from SimplyRecipes for quite some time for Zucchini Boats stuffed with all sorts of loveliness. It was a hot Summer day and this recipe seemed like it would be perfect, filled with loads of refreshing veggies, herbs, cheese, and of course, mushrooms. And the fact that all of those ingredients are housed in a zucchini shell could only mean good things.
For the recipe you’ll need:
• 1 zucchini about 12 inches long
• 3 tablespoons olive oil
• 1/2 cup chopped onion
• 3 cloves garlic, minced
• 1/2 cup chopped mushrooms
• 2 tablespoons dry white wine
• 1 pound ground turkey
• 2 diced tomatoes
• 3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
• 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
• 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
• 1 egg, lightly beaten
• 2 teaspoons salt
• 2 teaspoons pepper
• Cut the zucchini in half, lengthwise. Scoop out the insides making sure to leave the shells around 1/4 inch thick. Save the insides.
• Next, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet over medium/high heat. Cook the onion and garlic until soft. Then add the mushrooms, insides of the zucchini, and cook for an additional 2 minutes.
• In another skillet heat a tablespoon of olive oil over medium/high heat. Add ground turkey and cook until lightly brown, making sure to stir occasionally, 6 minutes. Add the onion and mushrooms from the other pan. Add wine. Mix in tomato, basil and rosemary and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes. Drain the excess fat and remove the skillet from the heat.
• Once the mixture has cooled incorporate cheese, egg, salt and pepper. Stuff the zucchini boats with the turkey mixture.
• Fill a baking pan with 1/4 inch of water and place the stuffed zucchini shells in the pan.
• Bake at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes, or until nice and golden brown.
• Serve the zucchini boats while hot.
Two things should be known. 1) As my roommate entered the apartment she very passionately commented on the delicious aroma that was flooding our home. And 2) as my friend and I were eating she didn’t say anything about the dish. I was actually a bit worried she didn’t like it but as she took her final bite and rested her fork on her plate, she slowly looked up and said “Wow. Now that was good!” I think that only means one thing… success was had!
Sizzling Good Times Are Here If you’ve been feeling a bit uninspired by “traditional” summer BBQ dishes, our friends up North have some fabulous suggestions to bring more creativity to your grill. Purchasing fresh goods from local food suppliers is one of their tips, as are various original ideas for healthier alternatives to one’s usual daily fare. Mushrooms are highlighted, of course, receiving only praise for their delicious taste and nutritional value. Our favorite part: the mouth-watering (and very simple) recipe for Portabella Mushroom Burgers.
Health Benefits of White Button Mushrooms If you’ve questioned the necessity of having white button mushrooms in your diet, you might find yourself thinking otherwise after you read this awesome laundry list of health benefits provided by AssociatedContent.com. Mushrooms provide 1-97% of the recommended Daily Value of Vitamin D? Check. They contain immunity-boosting antioxidants? Check. Chock full of potassium? Check. White button mushrooms pretty much have it all!
Gloss How-To: Eat More Fruits & Vegetables Every now and then we all feel like we could use a friendly reminder on how to eat healthier and improve our diets. After all, USDA guidelines recommend we each eat 2 cups of fruit and 2 and ½ cups of vegetables each day! MyGloss.com, a popular health and lifestyle blog, published a list of clever tips on incorporating more fruits and veggies into your daily meals. We like this article because the tips are realistic and not out of reach. Our fave suggestion? Replace a serving of meat once a week for a serving of vegetables. Their recommendation? Instead of a grilled hamburger, enjoy a grilled Portabella Mushroom Sandwich.
Fresh mushrooms a virtual powerhouse of goodness, says nutritionist It still amazes us that some folks out there are only now just discovering that mushrooms really are great for you. Our buddies in Canada are once again spreading the word in this interview with Toronto nutritionist Clare Jones. As mushrooms are nearly fat-free, cholesterol-free, and sodium-free, chock full of essential vitamins and minerals, and contain cancer-fighting antioxidants, they’re basically a nutritionists dream. Add the delicious taste and unlimited ways to serve them in the kitchen, and you have a “powerhouse of goodness.” Don’t forget to read her do’s and don’ts on care, handling and storage of mushrooms, too!
Work some healthy mushrooms into diet Jackie Silver, founder of Aging Backwards, really hits a homerun with this informative piece on the Tampa Tribune’s website, TBO.com. It is just another reminder of how beneficial mushrooms are to your health. Silver specifically cites an Australian study on mushrooms and breast cancer prevention, not to be confused with the research we’ve help provide funds for at City of Hope in Duarte, Calif. But hey, we’re happy to see any research that’s fighting for the cure. Make sure you check out the healthy (and delicious) recipe for Carrot Mushroom Spinach Loaf.
Editor’s Note: Today’s gorgeous mushroom ragu is from Featured Contributor Patti Londre of Worth the Whisk. Patti is also the founder and “head counselor” of the food blogger boot camp known as Camp Blogaway.
Confession: despite my home economics degree and decades-long food career, I don’t really create original recipes. My vast recipe collection is pretty much everyone else’s work that I have tweaked to suit our tastes. What I’m good at is feeding Larry, someone who likes what he likes. And he likes mushrooms, just not necessarily in fancy-pants concoctions. I needed inspiration that would (a) satisfy my promise to the Mushroom Channel to deliver a few good recipes and (b) be eaten by Larry. Who is Larry? My husband, a somewhat normal guy, no celebrity, no politician, no super hero.
This past month, we were on vacation in Southern Africa. WAIT, this recipe isn’t African. Boarding our flight in Johannesburg, I picked up a copy of the Financial Times (that pink international paper that’s a tough read when your head is on holiday). Odd but fortuitous, this edition had a recipe article, “Gnoc, Gnoc, Gnocchi on Heaven’s Door.” Homemade gnocchi with Mushroom Ragu. They had me at “mushroom” and I tore it out, tucked it away and put that to-do to rest.
Back home, I checked with Larry. “You like gnocchi, right?” “Not particularly.” Dang. So I studied the recipe and figured out a few adjustments ‘cuz I was NOT going to abandon this inspiration, or the story behind it (my blog has as many stories as recipes). One idea was to add prosciutto. Another was to switch the starch to bowtie pasta because the shape would hold this heavy ragu topping, and is a satisfying mouthful o’ pasta. The original recipe called for FOUR types of mushrooms, but I decided two– white button and crimini – were fine and would balance well. Buttons are so delicate in flavor, and crimini are earthy and robust; “more is not better” was obvious to me. Larry ate two portions, score!
Farfalle with Fresh Mushroom and Prosciutto Ragu Presented by Worth The Whisk
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ red onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
¼ lb. prosciutto, diced
¼ lb. crimini mushrooms, brushed clean and sliced
¼ lb. button mushrooms, brushed clean and sliced
1 plum tomato, chopped
½ cup red wine, such as cabernet
1 lb. farfalle (bowtie) pasta, cooked to package directions
Cracked black pepper
Soft, mild cheese such as Taleggio for topping, if desired
Fresh parsley for garnish, if desired.
Heat olive oil in large pan over medium heat; add the onion and sauté until soft. Add the garlic and cook a minute longer. Turn heat to medium high, add the prosciutto, mushrooms and tomatoes, sauté. Add the wine and cook until it is almost completely reduced. Season with pepper to taste. Toss with hot, cooked bowtie pasta. Serve garnished with slices of cheese and fresh parsley. Serves six to eight.