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

Ingredients:

  • 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

Directions:

  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!

 





One Comment to “Eat, Write, Retreat Serves Up Shiitake Mushroom and Chorizo Tacos”

  1. What a great recipe! I happen to have mushrooms, chorizos and everything else to make this mini tacos. Must do this for Memorial Day weekend! Thanks for sharing!