Archive for September, 2016

Mexican Mushroom Meatball Soup for the Win!

Jump start soup season with a delicious blenditarian Mushroom Meatball Mexican Soup from Chez Us.


One of the most exciting things about switching seasons from summer to fall is that it is officially soup season!  The weather is beginning to cool off, I start to unpack big wooly sweaters and blankets for the house, and comfort food – particularly soup – creeps into my mind.  We eat a lot of soup around our house once the temperatures cool off, and nothings say comfort like a big bowl of this Mexican Meatball Soup.

This recipe is not lacking in flavor or mushrooms.  Blended meatballs are made with a mixture of ground beef, pork and finely chopped mushrooms using The Blend, and then flavored with our favorite dried taco seasoning.  The broth is loaded with more mushrooms as well as heat from jalapeños.  Simmering the meatballs in the broth not only cooks them but adds so much more flavor.  All that is left is some garnish of fresh cilantro, avocado, and cheese.

Save an extra bowl for yourself to enjoy the next day at lunch, as this soup gets better over night!


Mexican Meatball Soup Recipe

Serves 6 – 8


  • 1/2 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 pound ground pork
  • 1/2 pound of cremini mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup panko
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons of your favorite powdered taco seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1/2 jalapeño, no seeds and finely chopped
  • 1/2 pound of sliced cremini mushrooms
  • 1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 8 cups beef stock
  • 1 cup frozen corn, thawed out
  • 1 14.5 ounce can kidney beans
  • 1/2 bunch of cilantro
  • a large avocado, cut into dice
  • 1/2 cup cotija cheese, crumbled
  • cilantro, garnish
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges
  • kosher salt
  • black pepper

How To:

  • In a large mixing bowl, add the ground beef, pork and chopped mushrooms, along with the panko, egg and taco seasoning. Mix well.
  • Form into medium-sized meatballs and set aside.
  • Place a large pot over medium heat and add the olive oil and onion.  Stir and cook for 3 minutes.
  • Add the garlic, jalapeño and sliced mushrooms, stir and cook over medium-low heat for 7 minutes.
  • Add the tomatoes, stock, corn and kidney beans and stir.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low, and gently place the meatballs into the hot broth.  Cover with a lid and cook for 15 minutes.
  • Turn off the heat, then tear the 1/2 bunch of cilantro into the soup.  Stir.
  • Place soup into a serving bowl, top with some cheese, avocado and cilantro.  Squeeze a wedge of lime into the soup.
  • Serve.
  • Eat.

Event Recap: FEAST Smoked!

The pouring rain and soggy grass didn’t stop Portlanders from wanting a taste of Chef Hugh Acheson’s blended burger at FEAST Smoked! this year. Smoked!, the only FEAST event to solely focus on grilled meats and vegetables, is a foodie dream. Some of the best chefs from Portland and beyond set up shop at The Fields Park in The Pearl District for the northwest’s famous culinary event. Featuring everything from smoked sweet breads and duck-heart kebabs to goat tacos, there was no shortage of adventurous eats.


The crowd favorite? The Top Chef Judge’s Cremini-Lamb Burger with charred scallions, Boursin Cheese, pickles and fresh tomato. The line was wrapped around the corner as Hugh and his team busily served the freshly-made burgers to hungry patrons. One bite of this juicy, umami-packed burger and they were hooked.hugh-2

Big thanks to Hugh Acheson and his team for making this an event to remember!

Didn’t get enough of the Cremini-Lamb Burger at FEAST? Click here for the recipe!

Event Recap: Mushroom Festival 2016

Highlights from a mushroom insider: Sonya Beltran of First Generation Farms in Toughkenamon, PA takes us through her highlights of the 31st Mushroom Festival in Kennett Square.


  • To kick-off the 31st annual Mushroom Festival, there was a parade marching down the main street of Kennett Square that started Friday. Since the year 2000, The Mushroom Festival Committee has been able to give out $805,000 in grants to multiple organizations.
  • That evening also marked the 15th anniversary of 9/11. The Mayor of Kennett Square did the honors of singing the National Anthem, while a flag that was raised to be about 3 stories high.
  • When arriving at the Mushroom Festival Saturday afternoon, the very first food item I just had to try was the blended burger. The only location at the festival that was serving these was Buona Foods, Inc. It was beyond delicious and I didn’t even need to put ketchup on it.


  • Following of course the blended burger I went on to the ‘oh so famous fried mushrooms’. Such a tasty ‘filling’ snack.
  • Though at the fried mushroom eating contest, the competitive eaters were hoping to differ. The Fried Mushroom eating contest was 8 minutes long and had over 18 contestants. They gave themselves nicknames such as “Evil Mushroom,” “Vicious Vinny” and the winning contestant was “Termite.” He was able to eat 4 pounds of fried mushrooms.


  • I may not have wanted to see another fried mushroom for the rest of the day, so I moved on to dessert. No way mushrooms are in dessert right? I was mistaken. At the local ice cream shop, La Michoacana, they made mushroom ice cream popsicles. Something I have never come across. Although being at the Mushroom Festival in the Mushroom Capital of the World, how could I not have known that mushroom ice cream was going to be an option?!
  • Not only were there crazy amounts of tents with multiple vendors trying to market their best mushroom meal, there was also a Mushroom Exhibit. In the Exhibit, you were give then step by step format of house a mushroom becomes a mushroom. Not only did they have white mushrooms on location, there were also grey oysters, yellow oysters, shiitake and many more.


  • Okay great, now I know the life of a mushroom, I’ve had fried mushrooms, I know where to get fresh ones, but how do I prep fried mushrooms if I’m feeling like an amateur chef one day?!
  • The Culinary event tent was fantastic. There had so many tutorials on how to prep different meals with mushrooms. The one I was able to sit in was a fried oyster tutorial. The benefits of experimenting with these at home can be much more adventurous than just ordering take-out.


  • I couldn’t walk away from the festival without taking a picture with the iconic mushroom hat. The Mushroom Cap store has anything and everything you need mushroom. The store is a tourists dream when it comes to looking for fresh mushroom retailers, the step by step process of a mushroom, and of course gifts upon gifts to your loved ones (or you).
  • The sun was definitely making an appearance this weekend, but it was better than walking around in the rain. Not only walking though, let’s talk about this kid-friendly mechanical bull that was present as well as a pop-up carnival they fit in a parking lot. The mushroom festival is hands down a family event. There is something for everyone. I am very much looking forward to the 32nd Annual Mushroom Festival!


Chef Spotlight: Michael Gottlieb, Wood’s Kitchen

Meet Michael Gottlieb, co-chef at Wood’s Kitchen in Bloomingdale, GA and one of five winners of the 2016 James Beard Foundation Blended Burger Project. He is a part of our Chef Spotlight series, which offers a behind-the-kitchen look at the inspiration behind chef-created blended burgers.


Born into a food family that’s been operating in Georgia since 1870, Chef Michael Gottlieb and his brother, Laurence Gottlieb are co-chefs at Wood’s Kitchen, a southern-rooted BBQ restaurant with Gullah and Cajun/Creole inspirations.

His motivation for participating in this year’s James Beard Foundation’s Blended Burger Project? “It was an opportunity to bring something a little healthier to our menu and educate our customers how eating a touch healthier can still be fun!” They had a great experience right out if the gate and really loved how their community supported them and their blended burger from start to finish.

Their blended burger is a mouth-watering Worcestershire Glazed Double Mushroom Burger with Charred Vidalia Onions served on a Mushroom Salted Brioche Bun. The burger uses Hunter Cattle “Wood’s Blend” ground beef, a rich earthy local beef, and cremini mushrooms.

Michael and his brother enjoy cooking with mushrooms given the flavor and textures differ from variety to variety. “We love cooking with chanterelle, morels, and Hen of the Woods – but they are all so good it’s hard to pick a favorite.”


Turn Up the Heat: Mushroom & Cheese Stuffed Jalapenos

Welcome fall and football season with bell’alimento’s Mushroom and Cheese Stuffed Jalapenos.

Mushroom and Cheese Stuffed Jalapenos


If you’re looking for a quick and easy appetizer that’s perfect for fall and football season, look no further. These mushroom stuffed jalapenos will disappear faster than you can make them.

We’ve used white button mushrooms but feel free to use any fresh mushrooms you’d like.

When selecting your jalapenos, try to get them as close to the same size as possible so that they cook at the same rate. To save time you could even make the mushroom/cheese mixture in advance, stuff the jalapenos and then bake them just before you’re ready to get your nosh fest on.

Although we’ve listed the crispy prosciutto and chives as optional, they are highly recommended.

Mushroom and Cheese Stuffed Jalapenos

Yield: 24
Prep Time:  15 minutes
Cook Time: 20-25 minutes


12 jalapenos, halved, seeds removed
8 ounces button mushrooms, finely minced
1 clove garlic, minced
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup grated aged cheddar
kosher salt/black pepper

2 slices prosciutto, crisped

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicon baking mat. Place jalapeno halves on top. Set aside.

Into a large bowl combine: mushrooms, cream cheese, cheddar. Season with salt and pepper.

Scoop mushroom mixture into jalapeno halves. Bake for 20-25 minutes OR until cheese is bubbly and jalapenos have softened.

Garnish with prosciutto and chives if desired.