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The Mushroom Masters Begins! Breakfast Battle by Shutterbean

The Mushroom Masters is back and we are kicking off National Mushroom Month and our month-long Tastespotting partnership with the most important meal of the day- all of them breakfast!

Team USA is  serving bruschetta for breakfast courtesy of Shutterbean in Week 1- we must really like you guys. If you are inspired by this especially tasty toast, if you’re feeling especially patriotic or both, please do click through to vote for the US and Tracy from Shutterbean over on Tastespotting this week.

A little bit about Tracy:

Tracy Benjamin is obsessed with good food and great photography, both of which are equally evident on her fun and colorful blog, Shutterbean. Completely self-taught, Tracy loves the intimacy and nurturing quality of sharing delicious meals with loved ones. As a busy working mom, she has made it her mission to serve up tasty, home cooked meals, without having to slave for hours in the kitchen.

And what you’ve all been waiting for… the recipe:

Caramelized Mushroom & Shallot Bruschetta

Makes 20-22 bruschette

For the caramelized shallots
-3 medium shallots, thinly sliced in rings (about 1 cup)
-1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
-1 teaspoon light brown sugar

For the mushrooms
-1 ½ cups crimini mushrooms, thinly sliced
-1 ½ cups white button mushrooms, thinly sliced
-3 tablespoons salted butter
-3 tablespoons dry sherry
-kosher salt & fresh ground black pepper
-red pepper flakes
-4-5 sprigs fresh thyme

For the crostini
-1 sourdough baguette, cut into ½ slices on the diagonal (about 20-22 total)
-1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
-1 clove garlic
-4 oz. goat cheese, at room temperature
-aged balsamic vinegar

To make the caramelized shallots, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat and add shallots. Saute until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon of water and 1 teaspoon of brown sugar and continue to cook until shallots are browned and caramelized, about 10 minutes. Set shallots aside in a small bowl.

Heat 3 tablespoons butter in the same saucepan. Add the mushrooms and cook on medium- high heat to soften, stirring occasionally. After about 8 minutes, add sherry, salt, black pepper, a pinch of red pepper flakes and 3 sprigs thyme. Continue to cook for another 5-7 minutes, or until mushrooms are slightly caramelized and soft. Add the shallots to the mushroom mixture and set aside.

To make the crostini, put oven rack in upper third of oven and preheat oven to 350°F. Put bread slices on a baking sheet and brush slices with oil on both sides. Season lightly with salt and pepper, then bake until pale golden, about 10-15 minutes. If you are grilling the crostini, heat over medium high heat and grill each side for 3-4 minutes. When crostini are cool to touch, rub a clove of garlic on the top of each crostini.

To assemble bruschette, spread 1 tablespoon of goat cheese on top, spoon the slightly warm mushroom mixture on top of goat cheese. Repeat until all crostini are topped. Plate the bruschette and sprinkle tops with reserved thyme leaves, a pinch of salt, and drizzle each bruschetta lightly with aged balsamic vinegar.

Rustic Mushroom Tart from Bell'Alimento

We are just so happy to be kicking off Mushroom Month with another beautiful post from Mushroom Channel contributor Paula of the positively bella Italian food blog Bell’Alimento. We think this would be the perfect addition to Labor Day brunch. Enjoy the long weekend!

This is a simple savory mushroom tart that you can put together quickly. It’s stunning as an appetizer when sliced and served with wine or is hearty enough as a full meal.  It starts off with a flaky layer of crust and then you taste the creamy béchamel which leads way to the scrumptiously sautéed herbed mushrooms

Feel free to substitute puffed pastry dough for the pie crust if you like even more flakiness.  To up the mushroom ante you can even mix in a variety of mushrooms.

Rustic Mushroom Tart
Serves: 4 – Prep Time: 10 minutes – Start – Finish Time:  40 minutes

1-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
½ onion – minced
8 ounces button mushrooms – sliced
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
1 refrigerated pie crust
¼ cup prepared béchamel sauce {see below}
1 egg – beaten

1. Add olive oil to a medium sauté pan. Heat  over medium –high.  Add onion and sauté until softened. Add mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper. Reduce heat to low and cook until mushrooms are tender. Add thyme. Set aside.

2. Place pie crust onto a rimmed cookie sheet that has been lined with a silicone mat or parchment paper. Place béchamel sauce into center of pie crust. Top with mushrooms.

3. Carefully fold pie crust so that it overlaps mushrooms but does not enclose.  Brush top of pie crust with beaten egg.

4. Bake for approximately 30 minutes OR until crust is golden.

Béchamel Sauce:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 1/4 cups milk – heated
pinch of salt
Into a small sauce pan add butter and melt over medium heat. Add flour and stir with a wooden spoon. Cook for approximately two minutes, stirring constantly. Add heated milk and whisk to combine. Continue cooking until mixture has thickened. 

Time to Celebrate National Mushroom Month!

It’s the most wonderful time of year- September is National Mushroom Month! September is the perfect time for mushroom fans to let their friendly fungi flag fly and we’ve got all kinds of delicious ideas for flavorful feasting.

Some things to watch out for during mushroom month are:

  • Mushroom Masters: A Tournament of Taste – the second annual international competition of food bloggers kicks off on Tuesday, September 6. Tune into the Channel to see amazing recipes and photos from four fantastic food bloggers representing the USA. Please support these patriotic plates by voting for Shutterbean, La Fuji Mama, Savory Sweet Life and Elana’s Pantry on Tastespotting this month!
  • Mr. Food Mushroom Recipes – Fellow fun-guy Mr. Food created two new mushroom recipes just for us! The nationally syndicated show airs on September 7 & 8, and we’ll share the full recipes with you!
  • 30 Days of #MushroomMonth Tweets – We’ve cooked up 30 reasons for you to celebrate National Mushroom Month to the fullest, every day!
  • Fun on Facebook– Come check out fun with photos, recipes,interesting facts and delicious meal ideas.
  • Mushrooms all Month – Cook with mushrooms every day, every way! Take recipes and inspiration from our phenomenal contributing bloggers, the Mr. Food test kitchen, and the Council’s collection.

Campfire Mushrooms from Chez Us

Today’s exceptionally summertime-friendly post comes from Denise of the beautiful food blog, Chez Us.  Mushrooms in all their goodness with the smoky addition of a campfire? I need to find my tent…

It is that time of year, when we unpack our sleeping bags, air out the tent, and dust off the out-door kitchen gear.  That is right it is camping season.  Time to hit the high-country, take in some fresh air, and commune with nature.  Let’s clear the air right away;  we are not the type of campers who feel the need to bring freeze dried bags of food nor cans of soup.  Why would people scrimp on eating good food just because they are camping.  Food tastes so much better next to a campfire.

Planning the perfect (and easy) menu is as critical as finding the right camping spot.  Camping for us is a joyously, gourmet event.  One food item that is always on the menu is some sort of beef dish, as there really is nothing better than sizzling meat on the grill.  We picked up a beautiful tri-tip to take on our most recent camping excursion.  This cut of meat is flavorful enough without having to do a lot of seasoning.  We kept it simple;  lightly seasoned with maldon salt, fresh cracked black pepper, and finished with campfire mushrooms.

Campfire mushrooms can be found on most of our camping adventures.  Mushrooms are very camp friendly as they are easy to transport as well as easy to prepare.  They don’t require a lot of cleaning prep, just a mushroom brush or a paper towel;  they require very little cutting, if they are small enough just toss into the pan;  and, they go with just about everything from grilled meat to eggs for breakfast.  Campfire mushrooms is a sauteed mushroom dish that is made with a medley of mushrooms such as cremini and portobellos.  If I can find fresh shiitakes, I like to add them to the recipe.

I could not find shittakes for this outing, but I did find fresh morels, so I splurged and added them to the mix.  I love the morels sponge like texture and woodsy taste.  The seasonings are simple, a little olive oil and fresh garlic, shallots and rosemary, all of which are easy to transport.  I use a little fresh lemon juice as well as some red wine or beef stock, which makes a rich broth for the mushrooms to bathe in, and for the grilled meat to soak up.  This recipe goes really well with a nice steak and even a juicy burger.  Guaranteed to impress even your fussiest camping guests.

Campfire Mushrooms

  • 1 pound brown cremini mushrooms, cleaned and cut into thirds
  • ¼ pound portabella mushroom, cleaned and cut into thick slices
  • ¼ pound morels, cut the very end off;  leave whole
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 2 small shallots, thinly sliced
  • 1 spring fresh rosemary
  • ½ lemon juiced
  • drizzle of red wine or beef stock (about ¼ cup)

Start your campfire using wood;  the smoky flavor will add depth to your mushroom dish.  Once the coals are ready put a cooking grate over the top of the fire, set a large frying pan on top;  add the olive oil and butter.  Heat until melted.  Add the shallots, stir, and cook for a minute.  Add the garlic and rosemary, stir.  Add the brown cremini mushrooms, stir, and cook for about 3 – 5 minutes, until slightly soft.  Cooking time will depend on how hot the fire is.  Add the portobello mushroom, stir, and cook for another 3 – 5 minutes.  Add the lemon juice, stir and cook for a minute.  Add the wine and cook down for about 5 minutes.  Stir in the morels, and lightly heat for 3 minutes.  Serve over grilled steaks.

Pickled Mushrooms from Hey What's for Dinner Mom

Today’s post comes to us from Laura Sampson of the fabulous family food blog Hey What’s for Dinner, Mom? If this is her answer to that perennial question, we’ll be coming over for supper as well!

I’m always looking for ways to keep and preserve food in our 3 pantries, I live in Alaska, it’s what we do. The dry pantry, the cold pantry and the frozen pantry are continually being pressed into service to hold some sort of pickled, smoked or canned delicacy.

Gravlax, caviar, hand dug clams, beet relish, spiced crabapple jelly, homemade sauerkraut, smoked salmon, fresh halibut, moose hot dogs and ginger ale are a few of the favorites that have graced our shelves. When I was plotting my first post for the Mushroom Channel I knew I wanted to make something that I could make ahead and pulled out later. Something along the lines of “oh yes THESE ARE homemade….no, not hard to make at all!”, I guess spectacularly easy was the goal.

Obviously this had to be the humble pickled mushroom. A seemingly simple recipe with delightful results. Mushrooms are cleaned, cooked lightly in pickling solution and refrigerated for a week to be infused with spices, garlic and herbs. The recipe can easily be adapted to what herbs you have on hand or can be made spicy hot by the addition of a sliced pepper or two.  No question about it, this little appetizer bite is easily homemade and it is fabulous. I think you’ll agree.

Pickled Mushrooms


  • 1 pound button mushrooms, petite if possible
  • 1 1/2 cups white wine vinegar
  • 1 3/4 cups water
  • 2 1/2 Tablespoons of sugar
  • 1 bay leaf
  • pinch or dried chili flakes
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and smashed
  • one good pinch of salt

you will also need

2 pint jars, lids and rings, washed well

  1. Wash and pat the mushrooms dry
  2. Trim the stems down a bit just to remove the end, save the trimmed stems for making stock
  3. In a medium size pan, combine the rest of the ingredients and bring to a boil over medium high heat
  4. When boiling reduce heat to a simmer and add the mushrooms
  5. Cook the mushrooms for 5-6 minutes
  6. Remove from heat
  7. Lift the mushrooms out of the vinegar solution
  8. Cool the mushrooms and vinegar separately
  9. Once cool, divide the mushrooms between the two pint jars
  10. Cap and store in the refrigerator for up to a week

they can be eaten in as little as 24 hours but the longer they pickle the more developed their flavor will be

These are great served up with a toothpick for a little bite or used in something bigger like an Antipasto Platter with fresh mozzarella, cured olives, sliced prosciutto and the like.