Archive for May, 2015

“Better Burgers” Were A Hit at Plate Night, Chicago

Plate Magazine’s “Plate Night” event earlier this month created excitement about the Mushroom Council’s new partnership and social contest with the James Beard Foundation; The Better Burger Project. Council representative, Kathleen Preis, and Celebrity Chefs Jehangir Mehta and Maneet Chauhaun, talked with chefs generating lots of interest in menuing a “better burger” this summer.

We couldn’t think of a better month to launch our Better Burger Project than in May – National Burger Month!  But just as important as the month was the venue, and lucky for us Plate Magazine’s “Plate Night” in Chicago was just the place to introduce 900 hungry chefs to our “better burgers.”

Plate Magazine "Plate Night" Launch of Better Burger Project

Our burger booth, adorned with fresh mushrooms and a photobooth, immediately grabbed the attention of the guests. Our celebrity chefs, who helped serve up burgers, also contributed to the excitement and wow-factor. Chef Jehangir Mehta offered up his famous blended Graffiti Burger and Enoki Fries, while Chef Maneet Chauhaun handed out samples of her delicious blended Chicken & Mushroom burger.

Plate Magazine "Plate Night" Launch of Better Burger ProjectPlate Magazine "Plate Night" Launch of Better Burger Project

Guests raved about the burgers and loved having the opportunity to talk with Chef Maneet and Jehangir about the upcoming Better Burger Project promotion. We all know chefs love a challenge, and when presented with the opportunity to menu a “better burger” and win a trip to the historic James Beard House in New York, several rose to the challenge!

Plate Magazine "Plate Night" Launch of Better Burger Project

But the “better burgers” didn’t stop there! As guests left the party, they were invited to enjoy a take-home snack from the Windy City Patty Wagon Food Truck, consisting of blended mini sliders! Again, guests were surprised and thrilled to learn that they burgers they loved so much were made with 25% finely chopped mushrooms; a tasty, healthy and sustainable addition.

The Better Burger Project officially launched on May 26th, and is already trending on Instagram with over 500 hungry consumers posting pictures of their favorite “better burgers.” To find out more about the Better Burger Project and to locate a local restaurant visit

What a great way to celebrate National Burger Month!

Cheesy Mushroom Tart

Paula of bell’alimento shares a cheesy mushroom tart just in time for warm weather!

Tarts are easy and elegant and come together lickety split. They’re incredibly versatile. You can enjoy them for brunches, light lunches or even dinner. They’re even elegant enough to serve for party appetizers. Add mushrooms to the mix and what’s not to love?

Cheesy Mushroom Tart 1

I like to keep a few boxes of puff pastry in my freezer at all times. They’re perfect for both sweet and savory recipes and have saved me more times than I care to admit. To make this tart, you’ll start off by forming the thawed pastry sheet onto your tart pan. If you don’t happen to have a rectangular pan, you can absolutely you a small round pan. No pans at all? No worries, just cut the pastry into squares and freehand this.

A simple saute of mushrooms (any fresh variety will work beautifully) with a few fabulous ingredients and a mixture of cheeses and your filling is ready to be smoothed into the tart crust. Pop that beauty into the oven for a few minutes and then enjoy a slice (or two)!

1 puff pastry crust – thawed
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 onion – minced
2 cloves garlic – minced
8 ounces mushrooms – sliced, divided
4 sprigs fresh thyme
1/4 cup white wine
kosher salt/pepper
4 ounces cream cheese – room temperature
4 ounces mascarpone – room temperature

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. Spray a rectangular tart pan with non-stick cooking spray. Unroll pastry and form to fit pan. Using the tines of a fork poke holes throughout. Bake for 10 minutes.

3. WHILE crust is baking, into a large skillet heat butter over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook until softened. Add 7 ounces of mushrooms, thyme and wine. Continue cooking until mushrooms have softened. Season with salt and pepper.

4. Add cheeses to mixture and stir until combined. Check for seasoning. Adjust if necessary.

5. Pour cheese mixture into crust and spread evenly. Top with reserved mushrooms. Bake for additional 10-15 minutes until golden.

6. Let tart cool and then cut into slices. Garnish with additional thyme if desired.

Yield: 6
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20-25 minutes

Mushroom Swiss Burger

Robyn from At a Pinch shares her delicious blend burger with us.

If your family is anything like mine, as soon as the weather warms up the slightest bit, you live for cookouts, BBQs, and any excuse to have friends and family over. Trying to keep the menu fresh and interesting is always a fun challenge and one that I absolutely love and I think guests appreciate, too!

This Mushroom Swiss Burger is the perfect addition to your summer cookout menus! Packed full of steakhouse flavor with delicious swiss cheese, this is one burger everyone will love!

Blended Mushroom Swiss Burger by Add a Pinch

Here’s my Mushroom Swiss Burger recipe that I think will become a favorite!

Mushroom Swiss Burger Recipe

Yield: 4 servings
Total Time: 15 minutes


1 (8-ounce) package portobello mushrooms, diced
1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 medium sweet onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
olive oil
4-6 slices Swiss cheese
4 hamburger buns
favorite burger toppings


1. Add mushrooms, Panko crumbs, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, onion, garlic and eggs to a medium bowl. Stir to combine well.

2. Drizzle olive oil into a medium skillet over medium heat. Form patties of the mushroom mixture and place in the skillet. Cook about 3 to 5 minutes on each side, making sure lightly browned and cooked throughout. Remove from skillet and serve with Swiss cheese, buns and favorite burger toppings.

Blend Mushroom Beef and Swiss Burgers

Denise from Chez Us shares her tasty take on a blend burger.

I am going to get it out of the way right now, and say it. This recipe for Mushroom Beef and Swiss Cheese Burgers is one of the best recipes we have ever made. To be completely honest, Lenny said it was the best burger he has ever had, and he is always on the burger hunt for the ultimate burger. The burger is full of flavor, is ultra moist as well as juicy like dripping down your chin juicy. What is the secret? Mushrooms are; that is mushrooms added to the meat as well as topping the grilled burger before devouring.

Mushroom Beef and Swiss Cheese Burgers

The mushrooms act as a filler for this burger recipe. Typically when I make burgers or even meatballs for that matter, I add bread crumbs along with an egg as a filler or binder. When I use The Blend Approach, which is finely chopped up mushrooms, there is no need for the bread or egg. The chopped up mushrooms act as my binder as well they add an extra punch of flavor and moisture to the meat. Not to mention bonus points for more nutrients being added. I keep the seasonings simple as I really want the flavor of the mushrooms as well as the meat to shine, so I only use old fashioned salt and black pepper. There is no need for other seasonings when good ingredients as the base of your recipe are used!

I did want some extra mushroom wow on my burger so I sautéed sliced mushrooms with yellow onion until both were golden and caramelized for my topping; instead of pickles and tomatoes. I also stuffed the mushroom beef mixture with some shredded swiss cheese as an extra surprise with each bite.

There is so much flavor in this burger explosion that you only need a smear of mayonnaise and Dijon on the bread as the flavor is really in the burger! No need for traditional pickles or tomatoes either, just some lettuce along with those caramelized onions. There you have the ultimate summertime Mushroom Beef and Swiss Cheese Burgers.

Happy Grilling!

Recipe: Mushroom Beef and Swiss Burgers

1 pound ground beef
1 pound cremini mushrooms, stemmed and cleaned
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup swiss cheese, shredded
1/2 cup yellow onion, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 hamburger buns
extra swiss cheese
dijon mustard
** can also add tomatoes and pickles if you like

How To:

  1. Finely chop 1/2 pound of the mushrooms using a food processor.
  2. Add the mushrooms to the beef along with the salt and pepper. Using your hands mix well.
  3. Equally divide the meat into 4 balls.
  4. Make an indention in each ball, stuff with the shredded cheese and form into a patty. Set aside on a plate.
  5. Thinly slice the remaining mushrooms.
  6. Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat, add the onions and cook until soft. About 3 minutes.
  7. Add the mushrooms, stir and cook over medium low heat until golden and lightly caramelized. About 5 – 8 minutes.
  8. Heat your indoor or outdoor grill, and lightly coat with a little olive oil to prevent the burgers from sticking.
  9. Place the burgers on the grill. Cook for 4 – 6 minutes each side for medium rare. If you use a meat thermometer the temperature should be between 145 – 150.
  10. If you want more cheese on your burger, add to the top after flipping the burgers.
  11. Prepare your buns with the condiments, top with a burger and the extra mushroom mixture.
  12. Serve.
  13. Eat.

National Burger Month: Mushroom, Blue Cheese, and Caramelized Onion Burger

Chef Billy Parisi shares his new blend recipe with us just in time for National Burger Month!

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I am ALWAYS on the lookout for the best pizza and best burger, no matter if I’m staying local or traveling. However the best burger I’ve tasted in a long time just happen to come from my very own kitchen, no joke… I know, I know how narcissistic of me, but I just can’t help it. I mean when your burger is almost well done and still so incredibly juicy, tender and flavorful, then you know you’ve got a good one. What’s my secret you ask? While mushrooms of course! I’m sure you are thinking to yourself what mushrooms have to do with making a burger as delicious as I described. It’s really easy actually; all you need is a food processor or some amazing fine chopping skills!

Chef Billy Parisi Blue Cheese Buger

I blended up a combination of domestic and cremini mushrooms until they were almost a puree and simply folded them in with some ground sirloin and few seasonings. The mushrooms act as an amazing filler, to not only save money and extend the amount of burgers I was making, but also to act as a moisture provider to the burger. When I make meatballs I soak bread and fold them into my ground meat to make them ridiculously moist. This is the same process except it is much more flavorful, because they’re mushrooms. They hold so much moisture that it can’t help but add juiciness, tenderness and flavor to the burger. Literally after I grilled and tasted it I was beyond amazed. It was so good we called as many friends as we could to come over and try it and they were blown away. Honestly, after making them this way I don’t think I would do it any other way from now on. In fact if I owned a restaurant, this would for sure be on the menu!

Chef Billy Parisi OnionsChef Billy Parisi Mushrooms

The seasonings are simply a splash of soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco, salt and pepper, and of course pureed mushrooms. You can get even more info about the mushrooms here at

Chef Billy Parisi BeefChef Billy Parisi Burger Toppings

Nothing better than caramelized onions on a burger or for my ultimate burger the addition of onion rings. I make some killer homemade onion rings, which you can get the recipe for here, or simply buy them premade; I won’t judge you. Condiments are all in the eye of the beholder so feel free to serve with it what you’d like, but mine is a blue cheese, bacon and caramelized onion burger on brioche!

Chef Billy Parisi Onion Blue Cheese Buger

Don’t forget to pin the big guy below, enjoy! Please reach out on social media to tell me when you’ve made these and how flippin good they are!

Mushroom, Blue Cheese, and Caramelized Onion Burger

For the Burger:
• 2 pounds of 85/15 ground sirloin
• 1 cup of cremini mushrooms
• 1 cup of domestic mushrooms
• soy sauce to taste
• Worcestershire to taste
• Tabasco to taste
• 2 tablespoons of olive oil, or bacon fat drippings from the cooked bacon
• Kosher salt and cracked black pepper to taste

For the Toppings:
2 thickly sliced sweet onions
• 1 teaspoon of unsalted butter
• 1 teaspoon of sugar
• blue cheese crumbles
• 8 crispy cooked bacon strips
• cooked onion rings (my version is here)
• 8 slices of mozzarella cheese
• 4 toasted brioche buns

Makes 4 burgers

1. Caramelized onions: In a large sauté pan on medium high heat add in the butter and caramelize the onions until golden brown. Add in the sugar to help brown. Note: May take up to 30 to 40 minutes to caramelize.
2. Preheat the grill to high (450° to 550°).
3. Burger: Add the mushrooms to a food processor and blend until smooth. Add the pureed mushrooms to a large bowl and thoroughly mix together with the ground sirloin, soy sauce, Worcestershire, Tabasco, salt and pepper. Form 8 patties with your hands and set on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper.
4. Brush the burgers with the olive oil, season them lightly with salt and pepper, and add them to the grill oiled side down. Once they are on the grill brush the other side with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes on each side or until golden brown grill marks have been formed or to your desired internal temperature have been achieved.
5. To keep the flames down use ice cubes were fire is consuming the burger to help tone down the flames and smoke.
6. Toast the brioche buns on the grill for 2 minutes until crispy.
7. To serve: place 1 cooked burger patty down on the brioche bun followed up with a slice of mozzarella cheese and then repeat the process again. Add on 2 tablespoons of the caramelized onions, 2 strips of bacon, and then 1 tablespoon of the blue cheese crumbles. Top it off with a few cooked onions rings, and then of course the top of the bun. Enjoy!