Archive for December, 2010

Mushrooms in the Big Easy

This past November we had the chance to get away for a few days from the early onset of winter in Chicago, to the sunny, fall weather in the Big Easy. The Council attended the annual International Foodservice Editorial Council conference in New Orleans, where we met with other foodies in the writing world.

At the event, we partnered with Chef Tenney Flynn of renowned New Orleans seafood restaurant, GW Finn’s, to meld New Orleans charm with the savory flavor of mushrooms. For anyone who has ever doubted their love for mushrooms and seafood, doubt no more. Chef Flynn will make you fall in love with both, time and time again.

Chef Flynn prepared two tasty mushroom dishes that included a mushroom risotto with grilled sea scallops and mushroom butter sauce, as well as a mushroom and oyster tart. Both dishes were a hit! In fact, we’re still dreaming about his mushroom risotto…

For those of you planning to visit the Crescent City, take a trip to the French Quarter and experience for yourself Chef Flynn’s delectable mushroom dishes. And for anyone who’s ever been, let us know!

Mushrooms On the Menu- The Results Are In!

The polls have closed for the Council’s “Mushrooms On The Menu” photo contest, and the votes are in! We had a blast checking out all of your photos, and dining vicariously with you at restaurants across the country.

Thanks to your votes via the Mushroom Channel blog and twitter, we are proud to announce our three winners. Please join us in congratulating the following mushroom fans:

  • 1st place: Amanda Downing – Mushroom Burger from Rockit Bar & Grill in Chicago, Illinois
  • 2nd Place: Tom Garner – Rack of Lamb from La Famiglia Italian Restaurant in Destin, Florida
  • 3rd Place: Paula Jones – Stuffed Pork with Spinach Salad, Tomatoes and Mushrooms from Capri Restaurant in Raleigh, North Carolina

Mushroom Burger from Rockit Bar & Grill in Chicago, IL

Just because the contest is over, doesn’t mean you have to stop sending your mushroom photos! We still want to see your favorite mushroom dishes, so keep on sending ‘em our way.

Wonton “Pizzas” with Asian-Style Mushrooms

Today’s holiday-inspired post comes to us from Mardi of Eat. Live. Travel. Write.

For my last Mushroom Channel contribution, I wanted to give a nod to the season. Yes, the season of joy and giving. And sometimes, the season of stress – shopping, entertaining, parties a go-go and constant cooking and baking.  Whilst I am the first one to challenge myself and take on too much, it’s not always good to be stressed out in the kitchen.  These appetizers are bite-sized yet really pack a flavour punch.  I love the Asian-inspired flavours that make a nice change from the sometimes-heavy holiday fare, and I think they would go well with a glass of champagne on Christmas Eve.

Wonton “Pizzas” with Asian-Style Mushrooms

Yield: About 20 hors d’oeuvres


  • 20 wonton wrappers, cut into rounds (use a cookie cutter) and shallow fried until crispy (these can be made in advance and kept in an airtight container)
  • 4-6 tablespoons mushroom (or vegetable) stock
  • 2 tablespoons fresh ginger, minced
  • 3 medium cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup fresh shitake mushrooms, diced
  • 1 cup brown mushrooms, diced
  • 1 cup scallions, sliced finely
  • 2 tablespoons Ponzu
  • Juice and zest of one lime
  • Fresh cilantro, to garnish


Simmer the stock and add the ginger, garlic, mushrooms and scallions.

Season with the ponzu and lime juice, and reduce over a low heat until sauce has just about evaporated.

Add the lime zest and stir to incorporate.

Spoon a teaspoonful of the mushroom mixture onto the fried wonton wrappers and garnish with fresh cilantro.

“Mushrooms On The Menu” Photo Contest – Cast Your Vote!

In November, the Council sent out a call for the most eye-catching and delicious mushroom dishes at restaurants across the country. A number of you rose to the chow challenge and sent us images of the mushroom dishes you’ve ordered out that look good enough to eat (and presumably, you all cleaned your plates). Now it’s time to choose a winner and the competition is tight- we really need your help!

Just take a look at all of the photos below and then vote for the corresponding letter and description at in the poll at the bottom of this post.

The entry with the most votes will receive a $100 gift card, 2nd prize is a $75 gift card and 3rd prize is a $50 gift card.

Voting ends December 17 at 5:00 p.m. CST, so vote now!

A)  Stuffed Pork with Spinach Salad, Tomatoes and Mushrooms at Capri Restaurant in Raleigh, North Carolina. Submitted by Paula Jones.

B)  Turkey Meatloaf with Mushroom Gravy at Rockit Bar & Grill in Chicago, Illinois. Submitted by Amanda Downing.

C)  Rack of Lamb at La Famiglia Italian Restaurant in Destin, Florida. Submitted by Tom Garner.

D) Chicken Mushroom Platter at Cholla Prime Steakhouse in Scottsdale, Arizona. Submitted by Joseph Assaf.

E)  Mushroom Burger with Truffle Aoili at Rockit Bar & Grill, Chicago. Submitted by Amanda Downing.

F)  Mushroom Deep Dish Pizza at Gino’s East in Chicago, Illinois. Submitted by Sydney Williams.

G)  Mushroom Torta at Oxco in Chicago, Illinois. Submitted by Elizabeth Karmel.

H)     Mushroom Lasagna from Shroom Shack. Submitted by Krsna April Rosner.

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Mushroom Bread Pudding from Colleen of Foodie Tots

This gorgeous recipe is brought to you by Mushroom Channel contributor Colleen Levine of the family-friendly food blog Foodie Tots.

I’m sure I’m not alone in appreciating Thanksgiving as a time to indulge in all the unhealthy side dishes we tend to shy away from the rest of the year – after all, most nights of the year it would be unthinkable to have two or more types of potatoes on the table. And I can’t remember the last time I had stuffing outside of a Thanksgiving meal. Though I will confess that during college, my roommates and I would make a chicken dinner, complete with mashed potatoes from a box, gravy from a mix, and Stove Top stuffing, when we were craving home-style comfort foods. Ever since the low-carb diet craze, it seems bread-laden side dishes have become regrettably scarce.

So I decided to bring stuffing back to the dinner table – in the form of a savory mushroom bread pudding. I used two types of mushrooms, maitake and shiitake, and my usual stuffing starters of celery, onion and prosciutto. It’s just a tad “lightened” up by using mushroom broth in place of the usual heavy cream, but still results in a fluffy, luscious bread pudding. I used an American parmesan-style cheese called BellaVitano – if you can’t find it, a blend of parmesan and asiago will do just fine. The finished pudding can be served as a dinner side dish, or make it the main course with a salad on the side. And it works equally as well as a brunch dish, too.

Now I’m not a fan of hiding vegetables from my son, but I have found that vegetables often meet with less resistance when served alongside something familiar. As many preschoolers would be content eating nothing but the bread for dinner, the comforting familiarity of the bread cubes in this just may make the mushrooms go down easier if your little ones are skeptical of them. No guarantees, of course.

Mushroom Bread Pudding


  • 1 1-pound loaf whole wheat bread, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
  • 6 ounces mushrooms, sliced
  • 4 ounces prosciutto, diced
  • 1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 celery ribs, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/8 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 4 large eggs
  • 3 cups mushroom broth
  • 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded asiago cheese

Instructions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. While oven is warming up, spread bread cubes in a rimmed baking sheet and place in oven to toast for 10 minutes. Heat a sauté pan over medium heat and cook prosciutto until browned. Remove to a bowl, leaving rendered fat in the pan. Add olive oil, celery and onion and cook until vegetables are soft and translucent. Add the mushrooms, salt, pepper, thyme and paprika, and cook until mushrooms are tender. Remove from heat.

In a large bowl, whisk eggs and mushroom broth to combine. Gently fold in toasted bread, the mushroom mixture, prosciutto and cheese. Pour into a lightly oiled 8×13-inch baking dish. Bake for 50 minutes, or until top is golden and pudding appears set. Makes 8 servings.