Archive for October, 2010

Portabella Pizette for Fall from Eat Live Travel Write

These perfect pizettes come to you from Mardi of Eat. Live. Travel. Write.

I’ve been a little overwhelmed with produce from our organic box lately and with Canadian Thanksgiving just gone, our fridge has been inundated with leftovers. What to do?  Make a seasonal pizzete, of course, starring portabella mushrooms!

These are fine with or without turkey so you can make them according to what your guests prefer. Two would make a great meal on its own with a green salad or you could serve a single one as a starter.  However you serve them they are tasty and pretty and speak to fall flavours so beautifully!


Serves 3 main course, 6 starters

Sweet Potato Mash “Sauce” Ingredients:

  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and parboiled
  • mashed with:
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons butter

Pizza Ingredients

  • 6 portabella mushroom caps (stems removed, cleaned if necessary)
  • 6 heaping tablespoons cranberry sauce
  • about ½ cup shredded cooked turkey or rotisserie chicken
  • about ½ cup shredded cheese such at Emmenthal
  • Chopped flat-leaf parsley for serving


1.     Grill the portabella caps in a heavy grilling pan (or if you’re lucky enough for the weather to still be warm enough to grill, you could totally do these on the barbecue).

2.     Spread the sweet potato mash over the portabella caps.

3.     Top with the cranberry sauce, turkey (if you are using it) and cheese.

4.     Place under a pre-heated broiler (high) for a couple of minutes until the cheese starts to bubble and turn golden.  Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve!

I can’t think of a better use for fall produce or Thanksgiving leftovers than these pizzas. After all that indulgence over our Thanksgiving, these were a perfect light meal on their own.  Do try them, they’re easy and pretty!

“Mushrooms on the Menu” Restaurant Photo Contest

The old saying goes, “there’s no such thing as a free lunch,” but we beg to differ. The Council is hosting a “Mushrooms on the Menu” contest to recognize the most eye-catching and delicious mushroom dishes at restaurants across the country. Send us a photo of a mushroom dish you’ve ordered in a restaurant for the chance to win a gift card of up to $100 to use the next time you dine out.

From today until Wednesday, November 17, share your photos via Twitter or email and you’ll automatically be in the running! Include a brief description of the dish and name the restaurant and location. All approved photos will be uploaded to the Mushroom Channel the week of November 15 and readers can vote on their favorite entries.

Check out some examples of our great mushroom finds, and then get started on your own pics! Want to increase your chances of winning? Get tweeting! Every person who re-tweets your entry using the #shroompic hashtag will count as a vote toward your submission!

To Enter:

Don’t forget to include a description of the dish, the restaurant and location it’s from

Key Dates:

  • Submit photos from Wednesday, 10/27 – Wednesday, 11/17 on Twitter @mushroomchannel or via email
  • Look for your photo on the Mushroom Channel blog and VOTE from Thursday, 11/18 – Sunday, 11/29
  • First, second and third place winners will be announced Monday, 11/29


  • Participants may enter more than one entry provided a different mushroom menu item is photographed and submitted
  • Photos that show mushrooms at restaurants will be selected and posted to the Channel for voting (no illegal or inappropriate content, please)
  • All entries can be used by the Mushroom Council in future marketing communications
  • 1st prize is a $100 gift card, 2nd prize is a $75 gift card and 3rd prize is a $50 gift card
  • Winners of previous Mushroom Council Grocery Store Challenge contest are not eligible to win again

For extended contest rules, click here.

“Hongos:” a row of delicious mushroom tacos (shared as an appetizer) from Mexican fave, Mercadito (Chicago, IL)

Sautéed mushrooms top a savory “Ratatouille” vegetarian crepe at Le Creperie (Chicago, IL)

Wordless Wednesday: Ratty Gourmet Gnocchi

This week’s honors belong to the set of twins behind Ratty Gourmet– a blog devoted to the gourmet re-workings of a Brown University dining hall. We’re big fans of improving dining hall cuisine and this blog is the best example we’ve seen yet!

Polenta Pasticciata ai Funghi e Gamberi {Polenta with a Mushroom and Shrimp Sauce}

This week’s gorgeous taste of Italy comes from none other than Paula- the meravigliosa cook behind bell’alimento!

Polenta is incredibly versatile and can be eaten either creamy or solid. In solid form you can make it into various shapes which also allows for it to be grilled, pan fried, or oven baked. You can top your polenta with just about anything. How is that for versatile ; )

Like Risotto, polenta needs to be stirred and often. Be mindful when cooking the polenta as it tends to “bubble” and we don’t want to burn ourselves ; ) It’s equally as delicious creamy but for today’s recipe we are going to bake it, which means it needs to be refrigerated after it’s done to allow it to set up. This also allows you to make this well in advance of your meal {great time saver} Depending on how thick you like your polenta cakes will depend on what dish you use to set it in. I like mine no more than 1″ thick. When warming your polenta through cooking time will depend on the thickness of your polenta.

Feel free to cut the polenta into any shape you like. I like a circular shape and I use a glass to cut mine with. Cookie cutters would work as well.

Mushrooms are a natural pairing with polenta. Their earthy flavor pairs beautifully with the corn. You can use any mushrooms you like here. A combination would be fantastic! Remember when making this sauce to add the shrimp towards the end so that you do not overcook them {you don’t want rubbery shrimp} Cooking time for the shrimp will depend on the size of shrimp you use.

What you’ll need:
1 cup polenta {cornmeal}
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 pound shrimp – peeled and deveined
8 ounces of fresh mushrooms – sliced
2 cloves of garlic – minced
1 tablespoon flat leaf Italian Parsley – chopped
1 cup dry white wine
2 cups stock
pinch of ground nutmeg

What to do:

1. Into a large sauce pan add 3 cups of water and season with salt. Bring to a boil. Slowly sprinkle in the polenta. Using a whisk to combine, stir constantly to achieve a smooth texture. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until mixture thickens. Use a wooden spoon to stir.

2. Once polenta has thickened, spray a rimmed baking sheet or similar dish with cooking spray and pour polenta into sheet/dish. Use a spoon to evenly distribute polenta. Cover polenta with a piece of saran wrap {so that a skin does not develop} and transfer to refrigerator to cool completely.

3. Into a sauté pan melt the butter over medium heat. Add the mushrooms, garlic and parsley. Stir to combine. Add the wine and allow to reduce. Add the stock and season with pepper and nutmeg. Add shrimp and cook until mixture has reduced and shrimp are pink.

4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. WHILE the mushroom and shrimp sauce is cooking. Remove the polenta from refrigerator and cut into desired shape. Place the polenta onto a baking sheet and place into oven to heat through.

5. Plate the polenta and serve with a generous topping of the mushroom/shrimp sauce.

Buon Appetito!

Wordless Wednesday: Mushroom Ravioli from Artistta

Homemade Ravioli in Mushroom Broth by Artistta. In our book, a warm bowl of soup is the reason for the season.