Appetizer Spotlight FBC2017: Savory Mushroom and Quinoa Crostini by My Island Bistro Kitchen

With the appetizer contest closed, we’re busy behind the scenes evaluating the competition. As we take a look at them all, we think you should too! We have a few final entries to share…Bloggers are sharing their favourite appetizers, this time with a Canadian twist, for a chance to win their way in to FBC2017! FBC members were invited to join the contest, earning them entry and accommodations at the conference, as well as a spotlight feature at the Mushrooms Canada table during the opening night reception. For those of you who are just here for delicious eats, watch the competition unfold, as we share each entry and help us decide!

We’re excited to welcome Barbara from My Island Bistro Kitchen to this year’s contest! She’s here with a delightful little bit, loaded with Canadian ingredients. Savory Mushroom and Quinoa Crostini
These easy-to-prepare savory little toasts are packed full of flavor. Red onion, garlic, mushrooms, and red pepper are sautéed in butter and seasoned with nutmeg, summer savory, and thyme. The seasoned and sautéed vegetables are combined with cooked quinoa added for texture and visual appeal along with Parmesan cheese for additional flavor. The ingredients are bound together with chicken stock, cream, and Canadian maple syrup to add a touch of sweetness. Spooned on to olive-oiled baguette slices, each crostini is topped with delectable award-winning Appletree Smoked Cheddar Cheese produced in PEI by COWS Creamery.

Yield: 16 appetizers

Ingredients

1½ tbsp butter
¼ cup red onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 cup coarsely chopped white button and/or crimini mushrooms
2 tbsp red pepper, finely chopped
1/8 tsp nutmeg
¼ tsp dried summer savory
1/8 tsp dried thyme

4 tsp chicken stock
2 tbsp heavy cream
2 tsp pure Canadian maple syrup
¼ cup cooked quinoa
4 tsp finely grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper, to taste

¼ cup grated Appletree Smoked Cheddar Cheese from COWS PEI Creamery

Fresh herbs for garnish

1 French baguette
Olive Oil for brushing on baguette slices

Method

1. Over medium heat, melt butter in saucepan. Add onions and garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add the mushrooms and sauté for 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the red pepper, nutmeg, summer savory, and thyme. Sauté for an additional 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently.
2. In small bowl, combine the chicken stock, cream, and maple syrup. Add the quinoa, Parmesan cheese, and sautéed vegetables. Season with salt and pepper to taste and combine all ingredients well.
3. Slice baguette into 16 slices between ¼” and ½” thick. Brush each slice with small amount of olive oil. Divide mixture evenly between the 16 slices. Sprinkle with grated cheddar cheese. Place crostini on baking sheet and broil for 1-2 minutes or just until cheese has melted. Garnish with fresh herbs. Serve hot.

Bio

A native of Prince Edward Island, Barbara Mayhew of Charlottetown launched her food blog, My Island Bistro Kitchen, in 2012 as a creative outlet to combine her passions for cooking, photography, and writing. Barbara looks after the entire gamut of her blog – she develops, creates, and tests the recipes, does the food styling, photography and photo editing, and is the sole writer and editor of all the blog’s content.

Whenever possible, Barbara uses locally-produced PEI foods and beverages in her cooking. Inspired by local, seasonal flavors and heritage recipes passed down from family members, many of her recipes reflect the four distinct seasons enjoyed on PEI. The recipes are meant for everyday home cooks so the aim is to create recipes that use common ingredients and have methods of preparation that are easy to follow for success. Many postings will have an informational component, explaining a cooking or baking technique or details about a featured ingredient.

An avid home cook, largely self-taught, Barbara lives and breathes working with food and has always had a love of cooking and enjoying good food. She grew up around great cooks and both her mother and grandmother allowed her to be fully involved in whatever cooking or baking was happening at the time in their kitchens. A travel enthusiast, Barbara often uses her travels as additional inspiration for recipes.

In addition to sharing her own recipe creations on her blog, Barbara enjoys visiting Island food producers, creating recipes featuring their products, and telling their food production stories as part of her food blog postings to educate readers on where food comes from and what’s involved in its production. She likes to inspire and encourage people to eat local foods as much as possible – those products are the freshest, have not travelled long distances to reach the consumer, and it is a way to support local food producers. Focusing on Island products also inspires Barbara to be more creative in how she cooks with local products and to find different ways to incorporate them into recipes and present them on the table. She also finds it’s a way to give blog visitors who don’t live on PEI a glimpse into the many fine foods produced on the Island and, to some extent, the general quality of life Prince Edward Islanders enjoy.

Barbara’s blog also includes inspiration for creative tablesettings and afternoon teas as well as summer picnics at many beautiful scenic locations around PEI.

~~~~~FBC Members were encouraged to join the competition with their own recipe! The contest is now closed.

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