Archive for the ‘holidays’ Category

Savor the Flavors of the Season with Billy Parisi’s Sausage and Mushroom Stuffed Acorn Squash

If you’re looking for a festive and seasonal appetizer for your holiday feasts, try Chef Billy Parisi’s Sausage and Mushroom Stuffed Acorn Squash – simple and loaded with flavor. 

Sausage and Mushroom Stuffed Acorn Squash Overhead

I often say I love summer produce the best with its abundance of vine fruits and vegetables, until I sink my teeth into root winter vegetables like this acorn squash – stuffed with sausage and mushrooms.  Whether it’s that delicious savory nutty flavor from fall squashes or the heartiness of root vegetables, there’s something about winter produce that really has helped me appreciate the season.  Regardless of which seasonal produce you prefer, there is no doubt that mushrooms can help enhance the flavor.  The best part about this recipe is that you could use shiitake mushrooms, portabella mushrooms or buttons, like I did, and it will still be delicious due to mushrooms’ versatility.

Stuffing acorn squashes is nothing new, but changing up the stuffing to your desire is.  I’ve seen meat sauces with meatballs, ground turkey, you name it!  I wanted to create something that represented fall with tons of balanced flavor.  The combo I came up with is Italian sausage, apples, brown rice, finely minced button mushrooms, bread crumbs and herbs.  You’ve got salty from the sausage, savory from the herbs, a little sweet and tart from the apples and, of course, umami from the mushrooms.  Not to mention all of that goodness is stuffed up in an acorn squash half and baked in a brown sage butter sauce.

When finely mincing the mushrooms, you can either do it with a knife or put them in a food processor and process until they are to the minced consistency.  I prefer the latter, as it saves a ton of time so you can focus on everything else.  Once the mushrooms are finely minced, mix them in a bowl with the other ingredients.  Now before you stuff up the squash, be sure to scoop out the seeds and season the inside with salt and pepper.

Once they were stuffed up, I added a few more panko crumbs to the top and then off to the oven.  While they were baking, I cooked some butter in a small pot until the milk fats were cooked off and turned the butter slightly brown, making brown butter.  Browning butter makes for a really tasty nutty flavor which I thought would be perfect to drizzle on top of the stuffed squash.  Once the butter is brown, I seasoned it with salt and pepper and added in some fresh chopped sage.  Super delicious!!  This Sausage and Mushroom Stuffed Acorn Squash with Brown Sage Butter is as simple as it gets and is absolutely loaded with flavor!!

Sausage and Mushroom Stuffed Acorn Squash Cut Open

Sausage and Mushroom Stuffed Acorn Squash with Brown Sage Butter Recipe

Serves 6

Ingredients

1 pint domestic mushrooms, brushed free of any dirt
1 pound loose Italian sausage
2 cups cooked brown rice
1 peeled and small diced Granny Smith apple
1 peeled and small diced Fuji apple
¾ cup panko bread crumbs + more to top off
3 teaspoons chopped fresh sage
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
4 acorn squash cut in half, seeds removed and seasoned
1 stick unsalted butter
Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste

Procedures

1. Preheat the oven to 375°.

2. Using a knife or food processor, finely mince the mushrooms to match the consistency of the sausage.

3. Add the mushrooms to a bowl and mix with the sausage, rice, apples, ¾ cup of panko bread crumbs, 1 teaspoon of sage, 1 teaspoon of thyme, salt and pepper until combined.

4. Place the squash skin side down on a sheet tray lined with parchment paper and season the inside with salt and pepper. Evenly divide the sausage-mushroom mixture and stuff it into the center of the acorn squash. Sprinkle on remaining bread crumbs and bake in the oven at 375° for 30 to 35 minutes or until the tops are lightly browned and the sausage is cooked through out.

5. In a small pot, add the butter and cook over low heat until the milk fat solids are cooked and the butter begins to turn light brown. Remove from the heat, season with salt, pepper and remaining sage and drizzle it over the cooked stuffed squash. Enjoy!

3 “Souper” Ways to Include Mushrooms this Season

Elevate soup season with fresh, umami-rich mushroom soups.

Warm up these cooler days with fresh mushrooms. Whether you’re cooking a weeknight dinner or prepping for a holiday party, incorporating umami-rich mushrooms into your favorite comfort foods is the perfect way to sneak in an extra serving of vegetables – and a boost of flavor – this season.

Adding vitamin D into our diets this time of year is essential to coping with shorter days and longer nights. Thankfully, mushrooms, such as maitake are packed with vitamin D, which helps the body absorb calcium and maintain bone strength.

Check out three of our favorite and “souper” versatile recipes fit for the season:

Vegetarian? Toss your favorite mushrooms into this Creamy Mushroom & 3 Bean Soup. The protein and fiber from the beans will keep you full and focused for hours.

Creamy Three Bean Mushroom Soups

Recipe Courtesy of Dine and Dish

Fall Cream of Mushroom Soup: Take this comfort classic up a notch by adding fresh button, baby portabella, shiitake and oyster mushrooms into the mix.

Creamy Mushrooms Soups

Recipe courtesy of Chef Billy Parisi

Whip up a batch of this rich, non-dairy Roasted Mushroom Parsnip Soup for dinner and savor the flavor of sweet parsnips and herbaceous thyme.

Roasted Parsnip Mushroom Soups

Recipe courtesy of Chez Us

 

WATCH: Mushroom Crepes with Gruyere Béchamel Sauce for Mother’s Day

Special thanks to Chez Uz for helping us cook up crepes for Mom this weekend. Rich and inviting, Mom won’t be able to resist the comfort that comes with each flavorful bite. 

Mushroom Crepes-1

This recipe is inspired by a savory crepe recipe that we often enjoyed during my childhood.  The original recipe is made with sliced mushrooms, broccoli, and canned mushroom soup–a rich and comforting dish.  While my memory reminds me that it was a great recipe, I wanted this new version to be even better by using more mushrooms, and no broccoli or canned soup. Still rich in flavor, as well as inviting and comforting with each bite.

I doubled the amount of the mushrooms used in the original recipe by adding blended mushrooms with sliced mushrooms into the filling.  Blending in mushrooms is one of my favorite ways to incorporate more flavor and moisture into dishes.  For this recipe, I also decided not to use canned soup, and I made an easy Gruyere Béchamel sauce, which compliments mushrooms very well.

This recipe would be wonderful served during Mother’s Day brunch or as a light entree during dinner.

Recipe: Mushroom Crepes with Gruyere Béchamel Sauce

Serves:  4

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup minced yellow onion
  • 2 fresh garlic cloves finely minced
  • 1 1/2 pounds cremini mushrooms
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 4 cups packed spinach, washed and dried
  • 1/4 cup salted butter
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup shredded gruyere cheese
  • kosher salt
  • fresh cracked black pepper
  • 8 crepes – your favorite recipe or they can be found pre-made at the grocery store
  • fresh thyme sprigs as garnish – optional

Directions: 

Place a large frying pan over medium-low heat and add the olive oil.  Once slightly warmed add the yellow onion.  Stir and cook until soft; about 3 minutes.

Add the garlic and dried thyme.  Stir again.  Lower heat to the lowest setting on your stove.

Place 3/4 of the mushrooms into a food processor and finely chop.

Slice the remaining 1/4 of the mushrooms.

Add the mushrooms to the onion/garlic mixture and cook, stirring often for 5 minutes over medium-low heat.

Add the spinach and cook just until wilted over medium-low heat. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Heat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.

Place the butter into a medium saucepan over low heat and melt.

Whisk in the flour, then slowly pour in the milk.  Stir over medium-low heat until slightly thickened.

Add the cheese, continue whisking until melted.  Season with salt and pepper.  Remove from the heat and set aside.

Place a crepe into a baking dish and fill with some of the mushroom filling, roll up, and then repeat.  You can place the crepes into individual baking dishes as I did in the video or a large baking dish.

Drizzle with some the Gruyere Béchamel sauce.

Optional: garnish with a sprig of fresh thyme.

Bake for 15 – 25 minutes until the sauce is bubbly and lightly golden.

Serve.

Eat.

Easy Cheesy Mushroom Pinwheels

Looking for the perfect appetizer to serve your friends and family this holiday season? Add a Pinch’s Easy Cheesy Mushroom Pinwheels are not only quick to prepare they are sure to please!

These mushroom pinwheels are so easy to make and are so delicious! Made of puff pastry, mushrooms, onions, garlic, and cheese, these pinwheels are always a favorite as an appetizer or for a light lunch or snack!

To make these pinwheels, sauté mushrooms, onion, and garlic in a little olive oil and then spread onto thawed puff pastry. Then, top with shredded cheeses, salt and pepper, slice, and bake until golden brown.

Easy Cheesy Mushroom Pinwheels

Easy Cheesy Mushroom Pinwheels

Ingredients:
1 roll puff pastry, thawed
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 (8-ounce) package sliced Portobello mushrooms
½ medium onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
½ cup shredded Monterrey jack cheese
½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions:
1. Preheat oven to 350º F.
2. Drizzle olive oil into a 12-inch skillet. Saute mushrooms, onions, and garlic until mushrooms are tender, about 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
3. Unroll puff pastry and spread with mushroom mixture. Top with cheeses and salt and pepper. Roll and slice into ½-inch slices. Place onto rimmed baking sheet and bake until golden brown, about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to stand about 3 minutes. Serve warm.

Hearty and Comforting Coq Au Blanc

Nothing is more comforting during the winter months than gathering around and indulging in a hearty and delicious 1 pot meal. Coq Au Vin is a classic option, but if you’re looking for something with a twist Chef Billy Parisi has you covered with this Coq Au Blanc.

Coq Au Blanc Chef Billy Parisi

I’ve learned to appreciate the winter months over the last few years, because it really paves way to hearty delicious comforting dishes. You can really put all of those root vegetables to work when it comes to making stews, and the same goes for this Coq Au Blanc. It’s a bit of a twist up from the traditional Coq Au Vin which uses red wine, but I decided it was a white kind of day :).

Coq Au Blanc Searing Chicken

This Coq Au Vin is really a 1 pot meal, and starts with rendering some bacon fat and then searing off the chicken. Doing this really helps the chicken to take on more flavor because the bacon fat is simply loaded with it.

Coq Au Blanc Vegetables

Once the chicken is seared to a delicious golden brown, set it aside and roast of your vegetables. I used onions (cippolinis actually), celery and carrots as the base along with some baby bellas and button mushrooms. While the traditional recipe calls for just buttons I wanted an earthier flavor to this recipe since we are using a lighter crisper white wine instead of red, hence I added the baby bellas. Now is also a great time to add in some fresh herbs, bay leaves, thyme and parsley!

Coq Au Blanc Roasting Vegetables

I like to roasted up the vegetables a bit so they can get a light brown on them before adding in the flour, and then the Pinot Grigio and chicken stock. Bring the liquid to a boil, season it very well with salt and pepper and then add back in the seared chicken and crispy bacon! From there it’s all oven for the next 90 minutes on 375°.

Coq Au Blanc White Wine

The thing I love about this dish is that is so ridiculously flavorful and everything is big. For instance, the mushrooms are whole, the carrots and celery are big cuts, it just makes for a hearty more delicious meal, in my opinion. The big cuts also help them stay intact while in the oven for that amount of time. If you go too small they will break down and be mushy…

Coq Au Blanc One Pot Meal

Coq Au Blanc

Ingredients
8 chopped up strips of bacon
2 each bone-in split chicken breasts, drumsticks and wings.
20 peeled cippolini onions
5 carrots cut into 1” chunks
5 stalks of celery cut into 1” chunks
1 pint of baby bellas
1 pint of button mushrooms
25 sprigs of fresh thyme
1 small bunch of fresh parsley
2 bay leaves
5 heaping tablespoons of all-purpose flour
1 bottle of pinot grigio
4 cups of chicken stock
Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste

Directions
1. Preheat the oven to 375°.
2. In a large dutch oven pot on high heat add in the bacon and cook until crispy and the fat is rendered.
3. Once the bacon is brown and crisp remove it form the pan and set aside.
4. Next, season the chicken on all side with salt and pepper and cook them on high in the dutch oven pot with the rendered bacon fat on all sides until they are golden brown. Remove the chicken and set aside.
5. Add in the onions, celery, carrots and mushrooms and roast on high heat for 6 to 8 minutes or until lightly browned.
6. Season the vegetables with salt and pepper and add in the herbs and flour and mix until combined.
7. Next, pour in the wine and chicken stock and bring it the mixture to a boil and season with salt and pepper.
8. Add the chicken and crispy bacon back into the pot, place a lid on it and cook it in the oven for 90 minutes at 375*.
9. Serve hot!