Archive for February, 2015

“Mushroom Mania” Pops Up on USC’s Campus

The second annual Mushroomapalooza kicked off earlier this month at the University of Southern California. Mushrooms were featured on just about every menu across campus, and Council Representative, Steve Solomon, was there to cover the festivities.

Kicking off at Parkside Cafe, the Mushroomapalooza tour had students coming out in droves looking to try a dish featuring fresh mushrooms. Ten of USC’s most popular campus restaurants menued mushrooms during the weeklong celebration, prompting students to give mushrooms a try!

Head Chefs at McKay’s, The Lab Gastropub, Morton Fig, Lemonade, and Parskside, all jumped at the chance to include mushrooms in their favorite dishes. McKay’s served a Tom Kha Soup with Sweet Shrimp, Morton Fig served Grilled Lamb “Lollipops” with Polenta Cakes, Mushroom Confit, and Red Wine Mint Reduction, and The Edmondson put a twist on a classic and served Portobello “Corn Dogs” with Housemade Mushroom Ketchup and Tater Tots… just to name a few!

Midweek students were invited to the weekly campus farmer’s market for free samples of Israeli Couscous Medley of Mushrooms with Lemon Truffle Vinaigrette and Organic Tuscan Black Kale, Button Mushrooms with Kumquat Vinaigrette from Lemonade. Students were blown away by the flavor combinations, which made them eager to try more! And what would a mushroom promotion be with a t-shirt giveaway? Students couldn’t wait to get their hands on a “I don’t give a shiitake” t-shirt.

The Mushroom Council was once again proud to take part in this campaign; educating students on the many benefits of mushrooms and allowing them to experience their true versatility in all the dishes served across campus is exactly what the Council strives for. See you next year Trojans!

Asian Meatballs with Sweet Soy Sauce

Chef Billy Parisi gives us delicious blended Asian Meatballs with Sweet Soy Sauce.

March is one of my favorite months.  Not only because you get a slight glimmer of hope from the 40 degree weather in Chicago and that winter is almost over, but that it’s MARCH MADNESS!  Man do I love college sports, and especially college basketball when it’s tournament time.  I always have a few fellas over and we eat and watch basketball all day long, it’s a grown man’s bliss!  When having buddies over to eat and watch games, I always try different things because why not?  Sure there are the staples of wings, nachos and pizza, but I always like to make something a little bit different.

I know what you’re thinking, meatballs are not anything different from the norm, but I guarantee my Asian Meatballs with Sweet Soy sauce are.  Even I was shocked when I took my first bite.  The explosion of umami flavors literally made my mouth feel like the Garden of Eden, it was DELICIOUS!  The perfect combo of onion, garlic, ginger, soy, shiitake and spice left nothing more to be desired, period!

Shiitake Mushrooms   Fresh Ginger

In addition to the meatballs being delicious, they were actually pretty easy to make.  Simply remove the stems of the shiitake mushrooms and add them to a food processor along with some fresh ginger, sweet onion and garlic cloves and pulse until it becomes almost like a paste.  The shiitake mushrooms will act as an excellent filler for both flavor and moistness for the meatballs.  If you’ve seen any of my other meatball recipes you’ll notice that I add soaked bread to my recipe to ensure they are moist, well the shiitakes do that very same thing only with more delicious flavor.  If you wanted to explore a little, you could add in some oyster mushrooms for an even more delicious flavor!

Blending Asian Meatballs  Blended Asian Meatballs

Once your shiitake paste, if you will, is done, simply add it to a large bowl with all of the other delicious ingredients and get to rolling.  Once rolled out, you bake’em up at 375°, then toss them in a little Kecap Manis (Indonesian Sweetened Soy Sauce), sprinkle on a little garnish and you’re done and ready to eat.  I cannot stress enough how dang good these meatballs are, they will literally make your friends beg you to make more.  You could even take it a step further and throw them in a warm pita shell with some Kimchi to further blow your friend’s minds.

Super easy to serve with toothpicks or put them on a spoon for a nice single serving twist!

Garlic-Bacon Mushroom Bites for the Oscars

Recipe courtesy of Brooke of at Cheeky Kitchen

The Oscars are right around the corner and you know what that means – Oscar parties! We have you covered with the perfect bite-sized mushroom snack that is sure to please everyone from Birdman to Boyhood fans.

Garlic-Bacon Mushroom Bites by Cheeky Kitchen

Serves: 24


24 large cremini mushrooms

1 stick butter, melted

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened

1 large egg

1 clove garlic, very finely chopped

4 thick slices peppered bacon, cooked and finely diced

2 teaspoons sweet paprika

¼ cup green onions, chopped

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Pull the stems from each of the mushrooms. Wash and gently dry with a clean paper towel. Dip mushrooms in melted butter, then place mushrooms round-side up on a parchment-lined baking sheet (or in a large parchment-lined skillet or baking dish). Arrange the mushrooms so they’re not touching. Bake for 15-18 minutes in the preheated oven until mushrooms are tender and dark brown.Flip each mushroom so the bottom side is up. In a stand mixer, beat together cream cheese, egg, garlic, and bacon. Beat until smooth. Spoon into the center of each mushroom. Drizzle with butter and sprinkle with paprika. Bake for an additional 10-12 minutes, or until the center mixture melts and begins to bubble lightly around the edges. Cool slightly before serving. Garnish with chopped green onions.

Mushroom Minestrone

From Adrianna at A Cozy Kitchen

I believe we’re in what they like to call the dredge of winter. The cold won’t let up, the snow keeps coming (I’m talking about you, Northeast, Los Angeles is pretty lovely at the moment) and spring seems like it’s so close yet so far.

This mushroom minestrone is a play on the Italian classic. It’s meant for those colder months when a hug in a bowl is what everyone needs and wants. This minestrone is spiked with loads of dried herbs, beautiful and colorful rainbow chard, cannellini beans for some heftiness and lots of mushroom for needed comfort. Pour ladles of this into bowl and serve them to your guests with a side of bread; coziness guaranteed.

Mushroom Minestrone by A Cozy Kitchen

Mushroom Minestrone

Serves: 4 to 6


2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 yellow onion, peeled and diced

2 carrots, peeled diced

2 ribs of celery, sliced


2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced

1/2 of red pepper flakes

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 teaspoon dried rosemary

2 tablespoons Parmesan-Reggiano

1 (15-ounce) can crushed tomatoes

6 cups water

3 leaves of rainbow chard, ribs removed and leaves roughly chopped

1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans

8 cremini mushrooms, stems removed and sliced


1. In a medium pot, set over medium heat, pour in the olive oil. Once the oil is hot, add the diced yellow onion, carrots, celery and a few pinches of salt; mix and cook until slightly softened, about 5 minutes. Mix in the minced garlic, red pepper flakes, dried thyme and rosemary and mix until fragrant, about 1 minute.  Pour in the can of tomatoes, water and give it a good mix.

2. Bring the soup to a simmer and then immediately turn the heat down to low. Mix in the rainbow chard and cannelloni beans. Cover the soup and allow to simmer for about 20 minutes. Uncover the pot, add the cremini mushrooms, cooking for an additional 10 minutes. Salt to taste (I added an additional 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt).

3. Mix in the grated parmesan and divide the soup amongst bowls. Garnish with some additional Parmesan, if you like, and serve with a side of bread.