Archive for November, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Panko Crusted Green Bean Casserole from A Southern Fairytale

The holidays are all but here and we’re loving this slimmed down version of classic green bean casserole- particularly because it’s stuffed full of fresh mushrooms to soak up all that great flavor! Great addition to the Thanksgiving recipe box from A Southern Fairytale.

Mushroom Pancetta Gyoza from La Fuji Mama

Today’s featured recipe comes to us from Rachael, the taste buds behind La Fuji Mama.

Gyoza, Japanese pan-fried dumplings, were one of the first things I learned to cook when I first lived in Japan.  I’ve since made them many times with many different fillings.  One of the things that I love to put in gyoza are mushrooms.  For this gyoza variation, I use a combination of mushrooms (I use 5 ounces of fresh shiitake mushrooms, 4 ounces of baby bella mushrooms, and 3 ounces of enoki mushrooms, but you can use whatever mushrooms you like), cubed pancetta, garlic, ginger, green onion, and a bit of aka miso (red miso paste).

I chop up the mushrooms.  Then I saute the pancetta in a large saute pan until the fat starts to melt and the pancetta starts to brown.  Then I add the mushrooms, garlic, ginger, and green onion and saute everything together until the mushrooms have browned slightly.  After letting the mixture cool slightly, I stir in the miso paste and a bit of salt.

Then I assemble the gyoza.  Gyoza are made using round wrappers.  Many local grocery stores only carry square wonton wrappers.  You can buy these and use a biscuit cutter to cut them into circles.

There are several ways to form gyoza, but here is a simple method you can use: Start out by laying a dumpling wrapper on a dry work surface, and place a heaping teaspoon of the mushroom mixture in the center of the wrapper.  With a fingertip moistened with water, trace a line along half of the edge of the round wrapper.  Fold the wrapper over to enclose the filling, and pinch the wrapper in the center to seal the edges together at that spot.  Holding the filled half-circle in your left hand, push the right rounded end in with the forefinger of you right hand to close the opening.  Pinch the “V” created by doing this together.  Repeat on the other side.  This should create a flat rectangular bottom, with the a rounded arch on top.

If you want to make your gyoza look a bit fancier and pleat them, take a look at my step-by-step pleating instructions.

Once you have assembled all of the gyoza, cooking them is simple.  First you fry them in a bit of oil until the bottoms turn a golden brown.  Then you add some water, cover them with a lid, and steam them for several minutes until they are cooked through.

Serve them hot with a simple dipping sauce.  The finished gyoza make a wonderful party appetizer or a fun meal.  The mushrooms make a wonderful earthy and meaty filling.

Mushroom Pancetta Gyoza (Japanese Pan-fried Dumplings)

Makes 40 gyoza

3 ounces cubed pancetta
12 ounces mushrooms, diced
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/2 tablespoon freshly grated ginger (with a Microplane grater)
1 tablespoon green onion (green part only), minced
1 tablespoon aka miso (red miso paste)
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
40 dumpling wrappers

For cooking the dumplings:
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 cup water

Dipping Sauce:
6 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
Several drops of chili oil or sesame oil (optional)

1. In a large saute pan over medium heat, saute the pancetta until the fat has partially melted and the pancetta starts to brown.  Add the mushrooms, garlic, ginger, and green onion and saute until the mushrooms are lightly brown.  Remove from the heat and let cool slightly, then stir in the miso and sea salt.

2. Have a small bowl of cold water ready.  Lay a dumpling wrapper on a dry work surface, and place a heaping teaspoon of the mushroom mixture in the center of the wrapper.  With a fingertip moistened with water, trace a line along half of the edge of the round wrapper.  Fold the wrapper over to enclose the filling, and pinch the wrapper in the center to seal the edges together at that spot.  Holding the filled half-circle in the left hand, push the right rounded end in with the forefinger of you right hand to close the opening.  Pinch the “V” created by doing this together.  Repeat on the other side.  This should create a flat rectangular bottom, with the a rounded arch on top.  Set aside the stuffed dumpling with the rounded-wrapper edge up. Repeat to make 40 dumplings in all.

3. In a large skillet with a tight fitting lid, heat 1 teaspoon of the vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Carefully place as many of the dumplings that can fit without touching in the skillet with the pleated-wrapper edge up.  Cook the dumplings for 3 minutes, or until nicely browned on the bottom.  Check the progress by lifting 1 or 2 dumplings by their pleated edge.

4. Once the bottoms are nicely browned, use the skillet lid to shield yourself and carefully pour in 1/4 cup of the water.  When the hissing and splattering die down, drizzle in 1/2 teaspoon of the vegetable oil around the edge of the skillet.  Place the lid on the skillet to trap in the moisture and then quickly lower the heat to keep the liquid at a bare simmer.

5. Check the dumplings after 2 minutes.  When the wrappers appear slightly translucent and the filling feels firm when pressed lightly with a spoon, remove the lid and raise the heat slightly.  Continue to cook until all the water has evaporated and only the oil remains (about 2 minutes).  Once you hear a sizzling sound, shake the skillet.  The dumplings should slide about.  If they seem to stick to the skillet, move the skillet away from the stove and replace the lid for a moment.  Remove the dumplings from the skillet with a broad flexible spatula. If you’d like, flip them over so that the seared surface faces up.  Cook the remaining dumplings the same way.  Serve the dumplings hot accompanied by the dipping sauce.

4. While the dumplings are cooking, make the dipping sauce by mixing the soy sauce and rice vinegar together in a small bowl.  Pour the sauce into a small serving pitcher or distribute among individual dipping dishes.

Mushroom Ravioli with Creamy Kale Sauce: Video Recipe from the Fearless Cook

The Fearless Cook – Mushroom Ravioli from Ross Cauvel on Vimeo.

Enjoy this little Friday diversion from The Fearless Cook. We can personally attest to the deliciousness of River Valley Mushrooms‘ raviolis for anyone in the Midwest with a craving. If you’re feeling daring, try making your own mushroom ravioli with this tutorial from Rhodey Girl Tests.

Wordless Wednesday: For the Love of Cooking

I love that Pam made this recipe for poached eggs with roasted tomatoes, caramelized mushrooms and shaved Parmesan because she couldn’t get a picture out of her mind. We officially know the feeling.

Grilled Mushroom and Ham Crostini from Worth the Whisk

From Patti Londre, publisher of Worth The Whisk:

If ever in need of a mood lift, throw a dinner party that’s potluck.  Invite an interesting mix of people, hand out food assignments early (quite easy: appetizer, side dish, salad, vegetable, dessert) – the host does the main entrée. Surprise! wine always seems to show up with the delicious eats.

Recently invited to a gathering of fellow high school classmates of my husband Larry’s, I felt the urge to go MUSHROOM.  Larry attended an all-boy’s Catholic prep school, Loyola High, so “the guys” were going to be the main focus of the evening. And we all know, guys do like mushrooms. Grilled, stacked and stuffed, try these Grilled Mushroom and Ham Crostini appetizers.”

GRILLED MUSHROOM AND HAM CROSTINI

16 whole mushrooms, approx. 1 ½ inches in diameter

2/3 cup olive oil, divided

¼ teaspoon minced garlic

3 teaspoons stone ground mustard, divided

Sea salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste

¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon mayonnaise

1 large baguette of bread (you will use approx. ¾ of the loaf)

1 cup diced ham

Fresh chives for garnish

Remove stems from mushrooms and carefully peel the caps (or brush with dry mushroom brush).  Place cleaned mushrooms in a medium bowl.  In a small bowl, blend together 1/3 cup olive oil, 1 teaspoon mustard, garlic, and a little salt and pepper to taste.  Drizzle over mushrooms; gently mix around with a pastry brush to coat all inside and out. Set aside at room temperature for one hour.

In a small bowl, mix together ¼ cup mayonnaise and 1 teaspoon mustard. Refrigerate.

In another small bowl, mix diced ham with 1 tablespoon mayonnaise and 1 teaspoon mustard, refrigerate.

Cut 16 one-inch slices of bread, use remaining olive oil to brush both sides of each piece very lightly.  Heat grill to medium-hot; toast both sides of bread and remove to serving platter.

Grill the mushrooms starting with the smooth side down.  Turn over and cook the interior of the mushrooms.  You will see them darken in color and soften.  Once cooked through, place on a paper towel to drain until cooled to room temperature.

To assemble: spread about ½ teaspoon mayo-mustard mix onto the toasted bread. Top with mushroom interior side-up. Fill mushroom with diced ham mixture, top with a tiny dollop of the mayo-mustard mix and affix fresh chives.  Serve within an hour at room temperature, makes 16 appetizers.

Assembly Blueprint: