Guest Post: Crimini Mushroom & Asiago Rice Bake by Family Feedbag

Amy Bronee is a home cook and the blogger behind Family Feedbag, a collection of original recipes and photos from her family kitchen in Victoria, B.C. Home cooks from around the globe visit Amy’s blog for inspiration and creative yet easy recipe ideas, and her work has been honoured with numerous features and awards, including Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution Blog of the Month. Amy is most comfortable in the kitchen making apple pie and family comfort food.

I love a versatile recipe and that’s exactly what you get with this comforting casserole. It works nicely both as a side dish for six to eight people or as a vegetarian main course for four. It’s easy to prepare and will satisfy any mushroom lover around the table.

There is a full pound of dark and delicious crimini mushrooms used here. Their rich, robust flavour cozied up against the sharp saltiness of the Asiago cheese is simply heavenly! Some bacon adds subtle background smokiness while keeping the earthy mushrooms centre stage. Every forkful is a tribute to the fabulous pairing of crimini mushrooms and Asiago cheese.

While some rice varieties could easily become over-cooked in the oven, the long grain brown rice used in this dish holds up nicely during baking. Cooked until al dente in a saucepan, it’s combined with the other ingredients to finish cooking until tender in the oven.

This casserole coming out of the hot oven all bubbly and golden and richly aromatic is enough to make me weak in the knees!

Makes 4 main course servings or 6-8 side dish servings

1 ½ cups long grain brown rice
3 ¼ cups water
½ tsp salt
½ cup onion, diced
6 strips bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 lb crimini mushrooms, sliced
2/3 cup cream cheese
½ + ¼ cup Asiago cheese, grated and divided
freshly cracked black pepper

Combine the rice, water, and salt in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, for 25 minutes until al dente (there will still be water in the pot). Meanwhile, cook the bacon and onion in a large skillet over medium-high heat for about 10 minutes until nearly crisp. Transfer the bacon and onion to a large heat-proof mixing bowl and set aside. Add the mushrooms to the skillet and cook about 10 minutes until dark and delightful! Add the mushrooms to the large mixing bowl. When it’s done, add the rice (including the remaining water) to the large mixing bowl, along with the cream cheese and ½ cup of Asiago cheese. Stir well to melt the cheeses. Pour the mixture into a 9×9 baking dish and top with the remaining ¼ cup of Asiago cheese and black pepper. Bake at 375 degrees (F) for 30-35 minutes until golden and bubbly.

If you like this recipe, you may also want to try:
Pork chops with rosemary & mushroom cream sauce
Stewed beef & mushrooms
Chicken stroganoff

Thanks so much Amy for being our guest…again! I love the umami flavours in this dish!

Don’t forget to follow Amy on her blog Family Feed Bag, on Twitter and on Facebook.

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