Archive for April, 2011

Vegetarian Mushroom Calzones from Bell Alimento

This week’s recipe post comes to the Mushroom Channel from Paula of the positively bellissima blog bell’alimento. If your family is looking for tasty ways to cut down on meat during the week, this recipe would be an excellent choice for Meatless Monday (or Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday…you get the idea).

Vegetarian Mushroom Calzones are a quick and easy meal that you can pull together in about 30 minutes tops. It’s quick because we’ve taken a short cut and used refrigerated pizza dough. If you want to make your own pizza dough, you can find my pizza dough recipe HERE.

The filling is a classic mushroom mixture that starts by sautéing the mushrooms with butter, garlic, and parsley. A quick note: you’ll want to be sure your mushroom mixture is cool before adding it to the dough and topping with the cheese mixture. Then the assembly comes together in a snap: dough, cheeses, mushrooms, fold, seal and pop into the oven!

You can serve this with pizza sauce for dipping if desired. This recipe makes 2 very generous calzones, but can easily be doubled if necessary!

Vegetarian Mushroom Calzones
Ingredients: {Makes 2 large calzones}

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 8 ounces mushrooms – sliced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh flat leaf Italian Parsley – roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic – minced
  • cornmeal
  • 13.08 ounces of refrigerated classic pizza crust
  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese – divided
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese – divided
  • salt/pepper
  • extra virgin olive oil – enough to brush on calzones

1. Place your pizza stone {or upside down rimmed baking sheet} into oven. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

2. WHILE the oven is preheating, into a sauté pan, add: butter and melt over medium heat. Add: mushrooms, garlic and parsley and sauté for approximately 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.

3. Sprinkle a small amount of cornmeal onto your clean work surface {so pizza does not stick} Unroll the pizza dough and cut it in half.

4. To assemble: Place 1/2 of the mozzarella cheese about 1″ from the bottom of the dough in a straight line. Top with 1/2 of the ricotta mixture. Top with 1/2 of the cooled mushroom mixture. Season with salt pepper. Using your finger, or pastry brush, LIGHTLY dab water onto the edges of the dough. CAREFULLY fold the dough over itself sealing the edges. Use the tines of a fork to crimp the edges. Continue with other piece of dough.

5. Transfer your calzones to the oven {A pizza peel is recommended but if you don’t have a pizza peel, a large grill spatula will work in a pinch} and onto pizza stone {or upside down baking sheet}. Bake for approximately 10-12 minutes or until golden.

6. Carefully remove calzones from oven. Lightly brush the tops with olive oil. Allow calzones to cool slightly prior to serving.

Farfalle with Walnut-Tarragon Pesto, Cremini Mushrooms and Peas from Julies Raw Ambition

This week’s gorgeous spring recipe comes to us from Julies Raw Ambition, one of our 2011 Featured Contributors.  We love the use of fresh peas to offer some sweetness to balance that beautiful umami from the mushrooms and pesto!

Walnuts with tarragon and a little bit of thyme create a decidedly French-inspired, delicious alternative to traditional basil pesto. Meaty cremini mushrooms and sweet petite peas are the perfect compliment, punctuated with freshly grated Parmesan cheese. The portion of tarragon for the pesto may seem modest, but a little goes a long way.

Farfalle with Walnut-Tarragon Pesto, Creminis, and Peas

  • 16 oz package farfalle (bow-tie shaped) pasta
  • 16 oz cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup frozen petite spring peas, thawed
  • 1 cup raw walnuts, lightly toasted in a dry skillet
  • 2 cups loosely packed parsley (some stems are fine)
  • 1/2 cup fresh parmeggiano-reggiano cheese chunks
  • 1/4 cup fresh tarragon leaves
  • 1 TB fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 peeled garlic clove
  • 1/2 cup + 2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 TB lemon juice
  • Sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

Cook farfalle according to package instructions.  Be sure to liberally salt the water. Drain and reserve a cup of pasta water.

In a large skillet, saute the mushrooms in 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat until golden brown. Add a couple of pinches of sea salt and some freshly ground black pepper when they are near done. Turn off heat, add the cooked farfalle and set aside.

Make the pesto by first adding the garlic clove and parmesan cheese to a food processor. Pulse until crumbly, then add the walnuts. Pulse again to smaller crumbles, making sure garlic is well incorporated. Then add parsley, tarragon, and thyme. Blend until herbs are finely minced in with the cheese and walnuts. Add the lemon juice, and with the processor running, slowly drizzle in 1/2 cup of olive oil. Check the seasonings and add some pepper and a pinch or two of salt to taste.

Add the pesto, 1/4 cup at a time, and the thawed peas to the skillet. Toss, and add a little bit of pasta water to thin the pesto.  Add more pesto as desired, toss again, and thin with pasta water as necessary.  Serve with a wedge of parmesan cheese to grate fresh over the top.

Cream of Mushroom Soup from Chez Us

This post comes to us from 2011 Mushroom Channel contributors Denise and Lenny – the brains and appetites behind Chez Us. We love that they took a classic and truly maximized the mushrooms by using a mix of types, blending some and leaving other in slices for additional texture. Really looking forward to trying it at home!

We are excited that this is our first recipe for the Mushroom Channel.  Just as exciting for us, is getting the chance to meet all of you.  We have at least one thing in common, and that is mushrooms.  We look forward to learning more about what the eaters of the Mushroom Channel like, and how we can develop recipes to make you hungry for more MUSHROOMS!

We have been playing around with this mushroom soup recipe for a couple months;  long before we knew we would become Mushroom Channel contributors.  The first few attempts at this recipe, were good, but not quite what we were hungry for.  We wanted something creamy, hearty, flavorful… and easy.  We finally got it right, and just in time to share it with all of you.

This cream of mushroom soup is definitely not what you would think of reaching for when that craving for cream of mushroom soup hits. Our version is light, earthy, full of texture, and a little bit spicy.  You will learn over the next few months, that we are all about texture and spice.

For this recipe, we used a mixture of cremini and portabella mushrooms which are readily available at most markets.  We did not want this soup to be pasty;  it had to have substance.  Instead of pureeing all of the mushroom mixture, we pureed, half of the mixture with the cream and starch, and then combined it with the remainder of the mushroom mixture.  This technique left us with a bowl of soup that had  a creamy broth, and thick, meaty mushroom pieces in every bite.

If you are a vegetarian or gluten free don’t shy away, this recipe is adaptable for you. We have made it with gluten free, rich vegetable stock, lemony-chicken stock, as well as a deep beefy stock;  all versions came out equally as delicious. We’ve also used potato starch and flour as thickeners;  both work perfectly.

To make a complete meal, we like to serve this soup with a leafy green salad and warm, crusty bread.

Recipe:  Cream of Mushroom Soup
*makes 4 hearty servings or 6 light servings

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 1 pound cremini  mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
  • 1 medium portabella, cleaned and sliced
  • 4 springs thyme, leaves only
  • 1 teaspoon Basque paprika or other spicy paprika
  • 4 cups stock, your choice
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 2 tablespoons potato starch or flour
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • handful minced parsley
  • kosher salt to taste
  • black pepper to taste

In a large dutch oven or sauce pan, heat the olive oil, over medium heat. Add the onions, lower heat to a low medium, and cook until soft; about 10 minutes. Add the garlic, thyme, and cook for 5 minutes. Add the sliced mushrooms, and continue to cook over low heat, for 7 minutes. Sprinkle in the paprika, and stir. Add the beef stock, lower the heat to a low simmer; cook for 20 minutes. Remove from heat, and let cool for 10 minutes. Put half of the stock mixture, and about a fourth of the mushrooms, into a blender or food processor, add the half and half and the starch or flour. Give it a couple whirls until the mushrooms are broken up, and the mixture is fairly lump free. Put the mixture back into the stock pot, with the remaining stock and mushrooms. Gently reheat, over low heat. Stir in the butter. Season with salt and pepper. Serve. Eat.

Five Spice Mushrooms & Asparagus with Udon Noodles from Poor Girl Eats Well

This post comes to us from the first of our 2011 Mushroom Channel contributors, Kimberly Morales of Poor Girl Eats Well. We love that Kimberly uses mushrooms to produce tasty and healthy meals on a budget- her first post accomplished just that and, for the record, we share her love of Chinese 5 Spice to bring the natural umami flavor out of mushroom dishes!

One of the lovely mushroom’s greatest traits is its meaty texture.  For vegetarians & vegans, it’s a nice alternative to the standard meat substitutes; for meat eaters, it offers a great meatless option without losing that meaty mouth feel.

Because of this, mushrooms lend themselves to being prepared with many of the flavorings normally used in cooking meats.  A recent obsession of mine is throwing Chinese five-spice powder into almost everything I’m cooking – from chicken to seitan to pork belly – so it seemed only logical that my next five-spice victim would be the almighty mushroom.

It worked like a charm.  The aromatic qualities of the anise, cinnamon, ginger, fennel and cloves that make up traditional Chinese five-spice enhanced the umami of even basic white mushrooms, and the first fresh asparagus of the season complemented them beautifully.  Tossed together with big, chewy udon noodles and topped off with a sweet & spicy five-spice sauce, this dish is easy to prepare, packed with nutrients, and extremely satisfying.

Serve it warm as an entrée or side dish to some grilled meats, or serve it cold over mixed greens for a simple, satisfying lunch.  Either way, it’s sure to become part of any mushroom-lover’s repertoire!

Five Spice Mushrooms & Asparagus with Udon Noodles (makes 4 servings)

  • 1 8 oz. package white or cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • ½ lb. fresh asparagus, cut into 1” pieces
  • 1 8 oz. package dried udon noodles
  • 5 cups of water
  • 2 T cooking oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • ½ t five-spice powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/3 cup tamari or soy sauce
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • ¾ tsp five spice powder

Whisk the sauce ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside.  Cook the udon noodles according to package instructions, drain and set aside (you might want to drizzle a small amount of oil on the noodles to prevent them from sticking).

While the noodles are cooking, bring the 5 cups of water to a rolling boil and add the asparagus.  Blanche them for no more than 45 seconds, then remove with a slotted spoon and set aside in a small bowl.

In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium high heat.  Add the garlic and cook until golden brown and fragrant.  Next add the mushrooms, five-spice powder and salt, and stir-fry for 1-2 minutes.  Add the blanched asparagus and cook for another 2-3 minutes, until the vegetables are tender.

Finally, add the noodles & prepared sauce to the vegetables and mix well.  Serve immediately and enjoy!