Posts Tagged ‘Eat Live Travel Write’

Wonton “Pizzas” with Asian-Style Mushrooms

Today’s holiday-inspired post comes to us from Mardi of Eat. Live. Travel. Write.

For my last Mushroom Channel contribution, I wanted to give a nod to the season. Yes, the season of joy and giving. And sometimes, the season of stress – shopping, entertaining, parties a go-go and constant cooking and baking.  Whilst I am the first one to challenge myself and take on too much, it’s not always good to be stressed out in the kitchen.  These appetizers are bite-sized yet really pack a flavour punch.  I love the Asian-inspired flavours that make a nice change from the sometimes-heavy holiday fare, and I think they would go well with a glass of champagne on Christmas Eve.

Wonton “Pizzas” with Asian-Style Mushrooms

Yield: About 20 hors d’oeuvres


  • 20 wonton wrappers, cut into rounds (use a cookie cutter) and shallow fried until crispy (these can be made in advance and kept in an airtight container)
  • 4-6 tablespoons mushroom (or vegetable) stock
  • 2 tablespoons fresh ginger, minced
  • 3 medium cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup fresh shitake mushrooms, diced
  • 1 cup brown mushrooms, diced
  • 1 cup scallions, sliced finely
  • 2 tablespoons Ponzu
  • Juice and zest of one lime
  • Fresh cilantro, to garnish


Simmer the stock and add the ginger, garlic, mushrooms and scallions.

Season with the ponzu and lime juice, and reduce over a low heat until sauce has just about evaporated.

Add the lime zest and stir to incorporate.

Spoon a teaspoonful of the mushroom mixture onto the fried wonton wrappers and garnish with fresh cilantro.

Portabella Pizette for Fall from Eat Live Travel Write

These perfect pizettes come to you from Mardi of Eat. Live. Travel. Write.

I’ve been a little overwhelmed with produce from our organic box lately and with Canadian Thanksgiving just gone, our fridge has been inundated with leftovers. What to do?  Make a seasonal pizzete, of course, starring portabella mushrooms!

These are fine with or without turkey so you can make them according to what your guests prefer. Two would make a great meal on its own with a green salad or you could serve a single one as a starter.  However you serve them they are tasty and pretty and speak to fall flavours so beautifully!


Serves 3 main course, 6 starters

Sweet Potato Mash “Sauce” Ingredients:

  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and parboiled
  • mashed with:
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons butter

Pizza Ingredients

  • 6 portabella mushroom caps (stems removed, cleaned if necessary)
  • 6 heaping tablespoons cranberry sauce
  • about ½ cup shredded cooked turkey or rotisserie chicken
  • about ½ cup shredded cheese such at Emmenthal
  • Chopped flat-leaf parsley for serving


1.     Grill the portabella caps in a heavy grilling pan (or if you’re lucky enough for the weather to still be warm enough to grill, you could totally do these on the barbecue).

2.     Spread the sweet potato mash over the portabella caps.

3.     Top with the cranberry sauce, turkey (if you are using it) and cheese.

4.     Place under a pre-heated broiler (high) for a couple of minutes until the cheese starts to bubble and turn golden.  Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve!

I can’t think of a better use for fall produce or Thanksgiving leftovers than these pizzas. After all that indulgence over our Thanksgiving, these were a perfect light meal on their own.  Do try them, they’re easy and pretty!

Mushroom Arancini with Cremini Tomato Sauce from Eat Live Travel Write

Today’s post comes to you from Mardi at Eat. Live. Travel. Write.

For my second post here on The Mushroom Channel, I am sharing a recipe that combines some old favourite flavours with some new inspiration.  I have wanted to make arancini (Italian rice balls) for some time now but it calls for leftover risotto and we never have any leftovers!  On returning home from a recent trip to California, three things were in my favour with regards to making arancini – firstly, I hadn’t cooked for over two weeks and was missing my kitchen. Standing over the stove making a big pot of risotto sounded like a pretty good place to be.  Secondly, whilst in San Francisco, I had the good fortune to visit Far West Fungi in The Ferry Building, where I picked up golden chanterelles, dried morels and some porcini mushroom stock cubes that are hard to find in Toronto.

Thirdly, I had some St André cheese and some fresh cremini mushrooms in the fridge needing to be used up.  I got to thinking that the chanterelles would be a perfect addition to a favourite mushroom risotto, whilst the morels and St André would make an excellent filling for the rice balls. You could, of course, use any type of dried mushroom you like.  I started out by making the risotto the day before I needed it for the arancini.  It was difficult not to eat it then and there!

Mushroom Risotto (Serves 6)

This is the first risotto I learned how to make – adapted from a Joan Campbell recipe my mum sent me to Paris with when I moved there in 1994, photocopied from a magazine- I still have the piece of paper!  It might be an oldie but it’s a goodie!  This adaptation of the recipe is a fabulous dish for vegetarians at a dinner party but one that even die-hard carnivores love too!  It is so simple; it has become our “go-to” recipe, even for weeknights.  It’s simple but elegant and very classy.


  • 1 litre mushroom stock
  • 650mls water
  • ½ stick (3 tablespoons) butter
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 small onions, peeled and finely diced
  • salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste
  • 2 cups Arborio rice
  • ½ cup of dry white wine
  • small pinch saffron
  • ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
  • 3/4 cup chopped mushrooms (I used dried golden chanterelle mushrooms soaked in water for about 30 minutes)

Bring water and vegetable stock to a boil.  Add the saffron to the stock.  Cover and keep warm.

Meanwhile, melt butter and olive oil in a large, heavy saucepan.  Fry onion until it is translucent.  Add the Arborio rice and season with salt and pepper.  Mix so that onion and rice are well combines and the grains of rice are well coated.

Add the wine and stir until the wine has nearly evaporated.  Add a ladleful of the stock/water and mix until it has been absorbed.  Add another ladleful and continue, a ladleful at a time until all stock has been used.  Risotto should be slightly al dente (chewy).  Stir in the drained and roughly chopped chanterelles and cheese and remove from the heat.

The next day I got to work on the arancini.  For the filling, I used about 15g of the morels, soaked in boiling water for about 30 minutes, then drained and roughly chopped and about 16 small cubes of the St André.  This amount of risotto made 10 generous arancini, so 10 starters or 5 main courses.  I prepared the eggs for dipping (4 eggs, beaten) and the panko breadcrumbs (you can use ordinary ones but I like the texture of panko).

I wanted them to be about the size of small oranges so I took some of the mixture and flattened it in my palm, then added the filling.  I took about the same amount of mixture again and placed it on top of the fillings and squeezed hard to form tightly compacted arancini. I heated some olive oil in a shallow pan whilst I dipped the arancini in egg and the panko.  They took about 20 minutes to fry evenly all over at a medium heat.

Tomato and Fresh Cremini Mushroom Sauce


  • 16oz can peeled tomatoes
  • a generous handful of basil
  • 4 garlic cloves,
  • 3/4 cup fresh cremini mushrooms, roughly diced

Heat tomatoes, basil and garlic over medium heat until bubbling, reduce temperature and blend with an immersion blender.  Add the diced mushrooms and continue to reduce to desired consistency.  I like a runnier sauce so don’t reduce it that much.  Top the arancini with the sauce and some fresh basil.

This was an incredible dish – your carnivore friends will never even miss the meat because of the meaty mushrooms in the filling, the risotto and the sauce – and the best part? The morel and St André surprise inside.

A lovely dish to make with your leftover risotto – that is if you have any! – or simply to make from scratch.  Served with simple salad leaves, it’s a perfect light meal where mushrooms really are the star of the dish.

Helping Kids Learn to Love Mushrooms with Eat Live Travel Write

This week’s featured contributor is Mardi from Eat Live Travel Write. Having done a lot of all four of her blog’s namesakes, her mission is passing a sense of wellness-minded adventure onto her students.

My first experiences with mushrooms when I was a child growing up in Australia were with what we called “champignons” (so exotic!) which were in fact, just canned button mushrooms in brine.  I was a fairly adventurous eater, but in terms of ‘shrooms, these were the only ones I would eat for a very long time.  I know there are kids who find mushrooms “gross”, so when I decided to introduce them to the 9 year-old boys in my cooking club, Les Petits Chefs, I knew I would need a cunning plan…

We have cooked our way through Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution cookbook this term and had a grand old time experimenting with “real food” versions of foods they only know from restaurants or boxes.  Many of these recipes included mushrooms and whilst one of the boys loved them and would eat them raw, the others would taste the dishes containing mushrooms during the club but tell me that they picked the mushrooms out of the dishes when they ate them at home.  I racked my brains to think of a way to showcase mushrooms for little palates and finally gave in to their pleas for pizza, knowing that not only would I be teaching them a valuable lesson (i.e. that the best pizzas are the ones you can make yourself with fresh ingredients) but also giving the mushrooms their best chance for kid-size appreciation!

We used pita bread, due to time constraints, but you could also have some adventures in pizza dough baking if you had the time.  For the pizza sauce base, we made a simple tomato sauce, using San Marzano tomatoes cooked up with a little garlic and some fresh basil.  The boys had a blast squishing the sauce onto the pita halves:

I selected some “funky” mushrooms that I thought would appeal to the boys: Shiitake, King Oyster, Oyster and Cremini:

And we got to work chopping them up:

We fried the mushroom pieces in a little olive oil and set them aside as we prepared the rest of the toppings – pepperoni, bacon and sweet orange and yellow peppers (as per the boys’request!).

And we set to work loading on our toppings:

I am impressed how many of the pizzas featured mushrooms, even when it was on the pizza with the topping of their choice!  Their willingness to try new things made me very proud!

I always allow the boys to test our the various ingredients as we cook and when one little boy asked if he could try the mushrooms to see which ones he wanted to put on his pizza, of course I said yes.  Two seconds later, he asked for more and then more again. I asked him what he thought and his response?

“OMG I LOVE mushrooms!  Where have they been all my life?”

Les Petits Chefs “Where have you been all my life?” Funky Funghi Pizzas


Serves 2

  • One small (7 – 8-inch) pocket-style pita bread
  • 4-6 tablespoons simple tomato sauce (drained, canned whole tomatoes roughly chopped and cooked down to ketchup-consistency with 2 cloves minced garlic and a handful of roughly chopped fresh basil)
  • 2 cups finely sliced mushrooms – any fresh variety (shiitake, cremini, oyster, king oyster), fried in olive oil and drained on a paper towel.
  • 2 tablespoons diced orange peppers
  • 2 tablespoons diced yellow peppers
  • 3 rashers bacon, finely diced and fried
  • Finely sliced pepperoni
  • 4 oz mozzarella cheese, grated
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil, finely sliced
  • Olive oil and cracked black pepper to finish


Pre-heat oven broiler to high.

Using a bread knife carefully cut through the middle splitting the pita to form two rounds.

(Optional) Toast pita rounds (under the broiler) cut side down for a minute or two.  The bottom should start to feel a bit crispy but not burnt.

Spread the sauce over each pita, cut side up.  Squish the larger chunks of tomato down with the back of a spoon so the sauce spreads to the edge of the pita bread.

Spread toppings evenly over pita breads and top with cheese and basil.

Place under pre-heated broiler until cheese starts to bubble.  Remove pizzas from heat and top with a drizzle of olive oil and freshly ground black pepper.  Cut into quarters with a pizza cutter and enjoy!

2010 Mushroom Channel Contributors

Featured Contributor

The wait is over.  After considering every awesome entry until the last possible minute, your Mushroom Channel team is thrilled to announce the ten official contributors for 2010.  Sincere gratitude is in order for everyone who took the time to write us an email, expressing love for mushrooms. The process of going through the submissions warmed our fungi-friendly hearts.

Without further ado, the 2010 Mushroom Channel Contributors are…

Colleen from Foodie Tots

Erika from In Erika’s Kitchen

Kate from Savour Fare

Lauren from Healthy Delicious

Mardi from Eat Live Travel Write

Patti from Worth the Whisk

Paula from Bell’Alimento

Rachael from Fuji Mama

Sabrina from Rhodey Girl Tests

Susie and Chelsee from We Are Not Martha

To our contributors, be on the lookout for an email from the Mushroom Channel editorial staff to talk through details.  To our readers, be on the lookout for a new post from one of these contributors every week starting April 26.