Archive for July, 2013

Celebrity Chef Richard Blais Blends Mushrooms With Meat For a Great Burger

Blais' Earth and Turf Burger

Summer is in full-gear and burgers off the grill can be found on plates all over town – from backyard BBQs to the hottest restaurants.  We wanted to add another “must eat” to your list. Behold: the Earth & Turf Burger by Chef Richard Blais that brings mushrooms front and center for a flavorful, satisfying burger. This standout burger is accompanied by Gruyere cheese, caramelized onions, pickles and mushroom ketchup and mayo – packing exceptional flavor between a brioche bun.

Plus, creating a burger with mushrooms and meat can cut calorie and fat intake while adding veggies and nutrients without sacrificing taste or hearty portion sizes. With mushrooms, you can have your burger and eat it too – all summer long.

Hey Atlanta! You can find the featured “Earth & Turf” burger on the menu at Flip Burger Boutique in Buckhead, Atlanta, GA until July 31. However, the burger can be a mainstay in your own kitchen with the full recipe here.

If you’re looking to master the grill, follow these additional easy tips and techniques to build a better burger this grilling season:

  • Perfect the patty: Finely chop any mushroom variety and combine with ground meat of choice for a moist burger packed with flavor.
  • Switch Up the Seasoning: Experiment with a combination of herbs and spices like rosemary and thyme to add another layer of savor.
  • Create New Condiments:  Take typical toppers like ketchup or barbecue sauce and stir in unexpected pairings like soy or hot sauces.
  • Bring on the Bun: Bring flair to the whole affair with different bread choices like brioche buns, pretzel rolls, English muffins or even sandwich wraps – be adventurous.

Additionally, our Pinterest board is full of burger ideas with mushrooms as a meat replacement, topper and blend for great summer burgers. Like Chef Blais, tell us how you’re transforming your meals with mushrooms this summer. Enter the ‘Swap It or Top It’ Recipe Contest for the chance to win $8,500 in prizes. Categories for entry include: Swapability, Best Topped Burger, and MyPlate Burger.

Surf and Turf Shrimp and Portabella Fajitas

Shaina from Food for My Family demonstrates that the sun is not the only thing bringing a sizzle to al fresco dining this summer with her Surf and Turf Shrimp and Portabella Fajitas.

Surf and Turf Fajitas

You can always tell when someone orders the fajitas platter at the restaurant: The waiter can be heard across the room with that distinct sizzle, a cast iron dish and its tray being held away from their body like a bomb – an explosion of flavor just waiting to be tucked inside the warm tortillas their other arm holds.

The anticipation builds, and then the sizzling platter is set before you, the meat and onions and peppers still jumping off the surface as moisture and heat explode, the full scent of it drifting towards your nose – pungent onions, sweet notes off the pepper, and the round notes of toasted spices. In my homemade version you won’t find meat in its traditional sense.

Yes, I realize that the “turf” in surf and turf generally refers to a nice piece of juicy steak. However, it doesn’t have to. With a simple swap and a bit of technique in treating the mushrooms as steak and seasoning and cooking them just the way you would your sirloin or rib eye. They hold up well to this treatment, and they give new depth to fajita night.

Surf and Turf Shrimp and Portabella Fajitas

Serves 4


  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 3 portabella mushroom caps, cleaned with stems removed
  • 1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • Seasoning blend, below
  • 3-4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1/2 yellow bell pepper, sliced
  • 1/4 red onion, sliced

For the seasoning blend:

  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

To serve:

  • 8-10 warmed 8″ flour tortillas
  • Chopped romaine lettuce
  • Pico de gallo
  • Avocado slices
  • Mango/pineapple salsa


  1. Marinate the mushrooms and the shrimp in the lime juice for 10 minutes while you prepare the seasoning blend. Sprinkle 2-3 tablespoons of seasoning blend over the mushroom caps and the shrimp.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a medium to large skillet or cast iron pan. Add the mushrooms to the skillet. Cook for 4 minutes over medium-high heat. Turn and continue cooking until soft and tender all the way through, another 3-4 minutes. Remove from the skillet and set aside.
  3. Add the bell peppers and red onion to the skillet and cook just until seared. Vegetables should remain crisp. Remove from the skillet and set aside along with the mushroom caps.
  4. Now add the shrimp to the skillet. Cook for 1-2 minutes per side, just until they turn pink and opaque.  Remove from the heat. Slice the mushrooms into strips, and add them and the vegetables back to the skillet with the shrimp for serving.
  5. Serve immediately with warmed tortillas and toppings.

Notes: These fajitas can be made on a grill. Oil the grill grate, the mushrooms themselves, and the shrimp before grilling.

Fourth of July Prep Begins and Ends with Mushrooms

Mushroom Burger with Roasted Red Peppers and Pepper jack Cheese

When summer rolls around, some of the best meals come from firing up the grill and enjoying the smoky taste that only outdoor cooking can bring. With the Fourth of July around the corner, grills across America are anticipating the tasty treats that await them. This year, why not incorporate mushrooms in your old glory celebration?

Although burgers and hot dogs are a mainstay at most celebrations, this summer provides the perfect opportunity to shake things up and introduce some new, soon-to-be favorites to your family. Create new traditions and encourage your family to incorporate the nutrients only mushrooms can provide. This week we have tips to make mushrooms a standout in any course of your meal, including appetizers, entrees and even desserts!

Starting your meal with mushrooms provides you with a healthy alternative to deep fried appetizers. Stuffed mushrooms are always popular as an appetizer largely because of their versatility. It’s easy to customize them based on your family’s preferred tastes. Just plug in your favorite ingredients and go! Some of our favorite grilled appetizers include:

Grilling provides a versatile means for serving mushrooms as a main course. Whether they top your favorite burger, blend into your meal or act as a substitute for meat all together, mushrooms are sure to be a hit at your Fourth of July cookout. Veggie kebabs can please even the pickiest of eaters, allowing kids to pick what they want on their plate. Enjoy some of our favorite grilled entrees:

We’ve saved the best for last! Those with a sweet tooth can enjoy mushrooms as a part of dessert too. Though they’re not technically “mushrooms”, these Meringue Mushrooms from Chow are as cute as a baby button!

At a time when families all over come together to celebrate Independence Day and share a meal, make your grilled recipe stand out with mushrooms.   Make sure to check out our “Mushrooms on the Grill” Pinterest board for more grilled mushroom inspiration.

Whether in veggie kebabs, blended burgers or just plain on the grill, mushrooms are a tasty way to incorporate nutrients into your BBQ traditions.

Chicago Burger Chain offers Epic Portabella Deal

Epic Burger's Portabella Sandwich

It’s no secret that Mondays often get a bad rap. Luckily for all of our Chicago fans out there, and anyone visiting over the holiday week, we have a juicy surprise to share that will transform the Monday blues. (Here’s a hint: It involves mushroom freebies).

Epic Burger, a popular Chicago burger chain, knew they wanted to do something special when a Portabella burger was added to the menu. With a mission statement focused on “creating a more mindful burger” they wanted to sell a product that not only tasted delicious, but let you feel good about indulging. In coordination with the popularity of #MeatlessMonday, they put a local (and mushroom-filled) spin on the trend with the launch of #MushroomMonday. On any given Monday, a customer can walk in and receive 20% off a Portabella combo. Sounds pretty great, right? Well the fun doesn’t end there!

This week the fun is not just reserved for Monday. Tomorrow on July 2nd the chain is hosting a FLASH SALE where they will be giving out portabella burgers for FREE. No purchase or coupons necessary just walk in before noon with a hungry appetite and reference you saw this blog post.

To ensure you try the portabella burger at its absolute finest, check out the topping recommendation from Epic Burger which includes, Horseradish Havarti cheese (from Wisconsin), grilled onions, tomato, pickles, lettuce & Epic sauce.

Along with this vegetarian delight, at Epic Burger you can find a variety of palate pleasers. Choose from classic ground beef, turkey or chicken as your base, and then move onto the fun.  Add some buttermilk blue cheese or toss on a fried egg.  Quality is the name of the game at Epic. Take a look at the “Epic Rules” that ensures every bite of your burger is as good as the last.

Check off packing a lunch for tomorrow, because burgers are on the menu.