Archive for May, 2012

Bacon-Wrapped Rosemary Mushrooms

Shaina Olmanson from Food for My Family shares one of her favorite summer entertaining dishes, which combines the earthy flavor of mushrooms with the saltiness of bacon and acidity of apple cider vinegar. As a party hostess, Shaina is certain this dish will be a crowd pleaser at any summer event.

Last week I hosted a get-together for a few friends. It was a gorgeous day outside, we all stood on my newly-built patio, sipping drinks and eating. It’s the eating part that interests me the most.

The process of entertaining when the weather is nice and we can enjoy face time under a setting sun is one that will never get old for me. Are you planning on entertaining this summer for a neighborhood barbecue, a bridal shower, or Fourth of July? Finger food is always welcome and encouraged.

In this Bacon-Wrapped Rosemary Mushrooms recipe the earthy rosemary and mushrooms just beg to be put together and the apple cider vinegar cuts through just enough to make sure that cold-smoked saltiness from the bacon isn’t too much.

Bacon-Wrapped Rosemary Mushrooms

(makes 12 appetizers)


  • 12 mini portabella or button mushrooms
  • A handful of rosemary sprigs
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 strips of thin bacon, sliced in half


1. Clean the mushrooms and cut the stems. Using a mortar and pestle, mash a tablespoon of rosemary sprigs and add to a medium-sized bowl. Reserve the remaining rosemary.  Mix in the apple cider vinegar and the salt. Slowly whisk in the oil to create an immersion. Add the mushrooms and marinate for at least 20 minutes.

2. Preheat the oven to 400º F. Drain the mushrooms. Wrap a ½ slice of bacon around each mushroom along with a small piece of rosemary, securing with a toothpick, if necessary, or placing on a baking sheet, seam side down. Repeat until all mushrooms are covered

3. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until bacon is crisp. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly. Serve warm.

Getting Kids to Love Mushrooms

Our Mushroom Council representative, Bart Minor, is back to share how he introduced his daughters to mushrooms through swapability.

One thing I am sure we all struggle with is how to serve healthier food to our families, especially those with young children. The first “win” with my daughters was using award winning Chef Jack Czarnecki’s technique for sautéing mushrooms. My kids used to reject my mushrooms as “slimy” until I learned how to caramelize them per chef’s instructions. Now they downright demand them on toast, in their eggs, pasta – you name it!

However, for those of you struggling to get your children to even look at a mushroom, there is a useful method known as “swapability.”

1. Chop up your favorite mushroom variety to match the consistency of your meat.
2. Cook and season the mushrooms the same way you would cook your meat.
3. Combine the cooked meat and mushrooms and use the mix to complete your recipe.

We immediately got to work; finely chopping the mushrooms before adding them to the meat mix, and voila!  We had kids, friends, and neighbors eating tacos, meatballs, burgers and LOVING them, and even when told, they were in complete disbelief that they were eating something that was at least half vegetable!

What is your favorite swapability recipe?

Image courtesy of Amanda from Amanda’s Cookin’.  Check out her swapability recipe for Portabella Salisbury Steak here.


Eat, Write, Retreat Serves Up Shiitake Mushroom and Chorizo Tacos

The Mushroom Council spent the weekend of May 3-5 in the nation’s capitol with 60 food bloggers at the Eat, Write, Retreat Conference. Bloggers gathered to hone their culinary craft through hands-on photography, food styling, writing and cooking workshops. And mushrooms were there to help, serving as a star ingredient throughout workshops and conference menus. Allow us to share a few highlights from the weekend!

Food Styling

Saturday morning kicked off with a photography and food styling workshop with Renee Comet and Lisa Cherkasky who showcased shiitake mushrooms as a photo subject, teaching bloggers how to compose a photo using props and textures to create depth and emotion. We learned that a food stylist’s most important job is to keep foods looking fresh and alive on camera. So the next time you’re snapping a few pictures of fresh mushrooms, grab a small paintbrush and dab a little water onto the mushroom caps. It will make them look their best on camera.


Photo styling workshop, photo by Daphne Domingo


Mushrooms Eat Write Retreat

Photo styling workshop, photo by Renee Comet Photography

Culinary Challenge

The whole event culminated in Sunday morning’s OXO Kitchen Challenge, which pitted ten teams of bloggers against one another in a culinary cook off. Each team served up their own unique culinary creations using key “secret ingredients” of mushrooms, Jarlsberg cheese and watermelon.

The veteran bloggers and recipe developers took to the challenge enthusiastically, creating a wide variety of dishes, including:

  • Summer rolls with grilled vegetables and portabellas with spicy peanut dipping sauce
  • Mushroom empanadas
  • Shiitake mushroom and chorizo tacos

The last recipe was unique because it put the swapability cooking technique to practice and produced such outstanding flavors that it won second place in the competition! Swapability calls for replacing a portion of a higher calorie ingredient, like meat, with mushrooms. It works so well because mushrooms hearty texture and rich flavor blend together to complement meat, in this case, chorizo. Give it a try!

Shiitake Mushroom and Chorizo Tacos
Eat, Write, Retreat 2nd Place Winner, by Diane Eblin, Liz Dodder and Jenn Sutherland

Serves 4


  • 1 pound shiitake mushrooms
  • 8 ounces chorizo sausage, diced
  • ½ white onion, minced
  • 2 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 jicama, peeled
  • Hot sauce (optional), to taste
  • Salt, to taste

Special Equipment: Mandoline slicer


  1. Wash and gently dry the mushrooms. Remove the stems, and slice the caps into 1/4” slices. Scoop into a mixing bowl and set aside.
  2. Dice the chorizo sausage into ½” cubes and place in a small bowl. Peel and mince the onion and set aside.
  3. Peel the jicama with a vegetable peeler. Cut off the two root ends, creating a flat surface at each end of the bulb. Use a mandoline slicer on the thinnest setting to slice the jicama into rounds. Test the first round and bend it into a U-shape. If the slice bends without breaking, the shell is thin enough for the taco shells. Begin slicing the jicama into rounds. You will likely need to discard the first few rounds from the root end of the bulb, as they will be too small for tacos. (Save the extra slices of jicama for a snack or salad!). Once you have 10-15 jicama slices that are 4-5” in diameter, set aside on a plate for serving.
  4. Heat a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the diced chorizo sausage to the pan, and sauté for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. When the sausage has browned and released some of the fat, scoop the sausage out of the pan and into a small bowl, leaving the rendered fat behind.
  5. Add half of the mushrooms to the pan, covering the bottom of the pan in one layer, without overcrowding. Stir the mushrooms gently to absorb some of the fat in the pan. Sprinkle a pinch of salt over the mushrooms. Cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. When the mushrooms are cooked through, scoop the cooked mushrooms into a medium bowl and set aside.
  6. Return the skillet to the burner and add 1 Tablespoon oil. Add the remaining mushrooms and a pinch of salt, and cook as above, scooping the cooked mushrooms into the mixing bowl.
  7. Return the pan to the burner and add 1 Tablespoon oil. Add the minced onion to the pan; add a pinch of salt, and sauté for 5-6 minutes, until golden brown.
  8. Add the mushrooms and chorizo to the cooked onions in the pan and stir to combine. Taste, and adjust seasoning, adding hot sauce or salt as needed. Spoon the taco filling into a serving bowl with a slotted spoon.
  9. Serve the tacos. Take one slice of jicama, and spoon about ¼ cup of the mushroom taco filling onto the center of the taco. Gently fold the jicama into a U-shape, eat and enjoy!


Roasted Poblanos with Mushrooms

Mushrooms bring out an earthy and hearty flavor in this classic Mexican recipe by Stacie Billis from One Hungry Mama. It is the perfect option for a summer fiesta with tortillas.

It doesn’t need to be Cinco de Mayo to get this mama hungry for Mexican food. Mexican cuisine is among my favorites, and not just the cheesy Tex-Mex dishes most popular in the States. Don’t get me wrong—I love those, too—but Mexican food is so much more than burritos and quesadillas, and mushrooms play a significant role in Mexican regional cooking. Mushrooms’ meaty texture and earthy flavor perfectly paired with chiles.

Mushrooms—hongos, in Spanish—have long been enjoyed by cooks from the mountainous regions of Mexico where they grow wild. Their texture is ideal for many traditional Mexican preparations. They are great in moles, stews and as a stuffing in anything from peppers to quesadillas. Cook them in beans and fried with onions, and they pair well with fish, meat, cheese or just other veggies. And, if you ask me, that’s the best way to enjoy mushrooms in Mexican food: in hearty vegetarian dishes that satisfy even the most serious meat eater.

This recipe is one of my favorite ways to incorporate mushrooms into traditional Mexican cooking. Rajas con crema—strips of roasted poblano peppers cooked in cream—is popular in, among other cities, Puebla and Oaxaca, both of which are surrounded by mountains. It only makes sense, then, to add mushrooms—so I did!

This dish, rajas con crema y hongos, is as gratifying as vegetarian food gets. It’s complex, filling, delicious, and not just in a delicious-for-vegetarian-food kind of way! It’s great all year around and with whichever mushrooms are in season. I especially love this dish in summer when roasting the poblano peppers is as simple as throwing them on the grill. Serve with warmed corn tortillas for a fresh take on taco night or do like many Mexican locals and enjoy these for breakfast. They are delicious alongside scrambled eggs!

Rajas con Crema y Hongos (Roasted Poblanos with Mushrooms)
Serves 6


• 8 poblano peppers
• 4 tablespoons salted butter, divided
• 1 cup chopped shallots
• 24 ounces cremini mushrooms, wiped, trimmed and sliced
• 3/4 cup Mexican crema (you can substitute sour cream)
• 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
• Salt and pepper


  1. Begin by roasting the poblano peppers. If you have a grill, set it to high and place peppers on the rack; close the grill and allow the down side to   blacken. Turn peppers and repeat. Continue until the peppers are completely charred on all sides. (You can also do this on a gas stovetop, using the open flame to char the peppers.)
  2. Put blackened peppers in a brown paper bag or in Tupperware and seal shut; allow peppers to cool, about 5-10 minutes. Remove peppers from bag or container and peel off the blackened skin—it should come right off leaving you with soft flesh. Remove the stem and seeds, and cut the flesh into ½-inch wide strips. Set aside.
  3. Heat 2 tablespoons of butter in a large frying pan set over medium-high heat. Once melted, add shallots and sauté until caramelized. Add mushrooms and sauté for about 4 minutes, stirring occasionally, at which point the mushrooms will shrink and release their liquid. Continue cooking until the liquid evaporates, another 2-3 minutes.
  4. Add remaining butter and roasted peppers; cook for 2 minutes. Add crema and cheese. Stir and cook for a minute or so, just until the cheese melts and the flavors come together. Be careful not to overcook or it will get gummy.  Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm with warmed tortillas or scrambled eggs.

Spinach Mushroom Quiche

Mushrooms take the place of ground sausage in this great breakfast recipe by Erin Chase from $5 Dinners. In fact, this quiche is so hearty and satisfying that it’s even a go-to meal option for lunch or dinner.

Breakfast. Brunch. Lunch. Brinner. Any and all of these meals could play host to this simple, yet elegant dish. Serve it up to your family on a busy weeknight or to out of town guests on a leisurely Saturday morning. This quiche would also be a great addition to the spread at a potluck luncheon or to take to a friend who’s in need of a meal.

Brinner, or breakfast for dinner, is a staple at our house. It’s my, “Gahhh, I need to come up with a meal, and quick” default. Whether it is pancakes, scrambled eggs, waffles or quiches, breakfast for dinner always succeeds in pleasing the palate and filling the little tummies around the table.

And this spinach mushroom quiche is no exception. The kids didn’t even pick up that I’d swapped out the usual ground sausage for sliced mushrooms. In fact, they ate their pieces without hesitation and left the table smiling and satisfied.

Spinach Mushroom Quiche


  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 6 ounces fresh spinach leaves
  • 8 ounces sliced white mushrooms
  • Salt and pepper
  • 6 eggs
  • 3 ounces crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 pie crust, homemade or store bought
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9-inch pie plate with non-stick cooking spray.

In a medium skillet, heat the olive oil and then sauté the fresh spinach leaves and sliced mushrooms for 4 to 6 minutes, or until mushrooms have browned some and the spinach has “melted.”

In a mixing bowl, whisk the eggs with the feta crumbled.

Place the pie crust into the prepared baking dish. Gently add the sautéed mushrooms and spinach to the pie plate. Then pour the egg-feta mixture over the top.

Place the quiche into the preheated oven and cook for 30 minutes. Remove from oven, add the shredded mozzarella to the top and return to the oven for 5 to 10 minutes, or until cheese has melted.

Serve Spinach Mushroom Quiche with a side of fresh fruit for breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner!