Guest Post: Double Mushroom Pizza with Bacon & Balsamic Drizzle by Sweet Sugar Bean

Hi everyone! My name is Renée Kohlman and SweetSugarBean is my food blog I started just 14 months ago. I love whipping up delicious creations in my little green kitchen here in Saskatoon, Sask. Being a professional chef as well as a food blogger, I’m fortunate to have turned my passion for food into a career I absolutely love.

When we were kids, my Mom made the best mushroom soup ever. Rushing home for lunch was always worth it when we found a pot of her mushroom soup greeting us. Since then, I’ve always been a fan of mushrooms. Sliced button or cremini always find their way into an omelet or stir-fry. Portabellas are amazing when done up on the grill, or stuffed with herbs and diced vegetables for an excellent vegetarian main course. And of course I always seem to have a pot of mushroom soup on the stove for our catering clients (I sneak a little sherry into mine – don’t think Mom did that!). What I love about mushrooms is that they are so adaptable. You can throw them in coconut milk curries, or in red wine sauces, or with cream and Dijon mustard for an amazing compliment to chicken. Pan-fried with butter and slathered on toast is a favourite after-work snack of mine. Besides being utterly delicious, mushrooms are also super good for you. They are the only vegetable source for Vitamin D – how cool is that? Also full of B Complex vitamins, fibre, antioxidants, and immune-boosting goodness, mushrooms deserve a little space in the shopping cart.

By far my favourite way to get mushrooms into my life is by eating them on pizza, especially with their best friend, bacon. This recipe is my dream pizza – mushrooms, bacon, Boursin and feta cheese, tomatoes and of course, fresh basil. I used button and portabella mushrooms – giving them a light sauté first to eliminate some of their juices (helps avoid a soggy pizza!). The whole wheat crust is simple to throw together, but if you are tight for time, the toppings would work well on a pre-made crust, or even pita bread. Balsamic vinegar reduced down turns almost syrupy and provides the perfect finishing touch when drizzled over a slice of this dreamy pizza. The sweet/salty/cheesy/mushroom goodness happening here makes for one delightful biteful.

Double Mushroom Pizza with Bacon & Balsamic Drizzle

To make the crust:
1 package dry yeast
2 cups warm water
2 eggs
2 tbsp sugar
4 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp salt
3 cups all purpose flour
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp hot chili flakes
2 tsp dried oregano

In a large bowl, stir yeast into warm water and let sit for 10 minutes. Whisk in the eggs, sugar, salt, and oil until foamy. Slowly mix in the flour and herbs, mixing well until everything is absorbed. The dough will be soft but not too sticky – if this happens just add a bit more flour. Drizzle some more olive oil into a large bowl and place your round of dough inside, turning it over to coat in oil. Cover with a tea towel and let rise for an hour in a warm spot. Dough will double in size, then punch it down. Divide into three portions. For this recipe you only need one portion, so go ahead and freeze the other two for later use. Cool! Pizza dough in the freezer!

For the Pizza:
2 tbsp butter
1 portabella mushroom, sliced
3 ½ cups button mushrooms, sliced
salt and pepper
1 package Boursin cheese (the herb and garlic is great)
8 slices bacon, cooked until medium crisp, chopped
handful cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1 cup feta cheese, crumbled
½ cup fresh basil, sliced
½ cup balsamic vinegar

Method
Melt 1 tbsp of butter in large skillet and fry the portabella mushroom slices until soft. Remove from pan. Melt the other tbsp of butter and fry the remaining button mushrooms, until soft and all liquid is evaporated. Season with a little salt and black pepper. Remove from heat.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out one third of the above pizza dough recipe, so it’s around 12” by 16”. It doesn’t have to be perfect – it’s pizza. The thinner you roll it out, the thinner it will bake up, obviously. Place on a pizza stone, or a parchment lined bake sheet. If using a pre-made crust you can proceed with the following as well. Scatter the Boursin cheese over the base of the crust. Top with bacon, mushrooms, tomatoes and crumbled feta. Place in the lower rack of a preheated 400*F oven and bake until golden, 20-30 minutes, checking centre for doneness. (If using a pre-made crust, your baking time will be less). Sprinkle the pizza with fresh basil before slicing.

While the pizza is cooking, pour ½ cup of balsamic vinegar into a small saucepan or skillet. Bring to a boil and simmer for 8-10 minutes until it begins to turn syrupy. It will thicken as it cools. Pour into a squeeze bottle.

Let pizza stand for a few minutes before slicing. Drizzle with balsamic reduction. Serves 3-4.

If you love the mushroom/balsamic vinegar combination, check out my recipe for Sausage & Asiago Stuffed Mushrooms with Balsamic Glaze.

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Thank you so much Renee for sharing this fabulous recipe with us!

Make sure you follow Renee over on her Blog, on Twitter and on Facebook.

Behind the Scenes: Hamilton Food & Drink Fest

Why hello again Mushroom Lovers! It was a close one, but we made it through yet another Food and Drink Fest! Can you believe the people of Hamilton ate over 200lbs of mushrooms? That’s right, the Mushrooms Canada team sauteed over 200lbs of fresh crimini mushrooms… that equals almost 6000 samples!

The most successful part of the show was our “Ask a Farmer” session, where Paola Piccioni from Piccioni Mushrooms came out to answer all your questions. The question of the night: “What mushrooms are grown locally in Ontario?” Our answer is simple: these 7 varieties.

I was pretty excited to see Chef David Adjey on stage again. He whipped up a delicious (and very expensive) Tuna dish… shocking the crowd when he told them the piece of tuna he was using retails for about $90!

My favourite dish of the weekend? Roasted Tri Tip with Mushrooms & Sweet Onion from VG Meats… sooo good!

I always find Hamilton to be a great crowd with a wide range of exhibitors; everything from local restaurants and bakeries, to winery’s & breweries. I can never resist all the wonderful food and drink!

I would like to thank everyone who came out and tried a sample, asked a question, and filled out a ballot for our T-Fal pan draw!

I also want to thank my amazing staff, Shannon and Amanda.

See you all next year at the 2012 show!

For more show pictures, check out our album on Facebook.

Join Us at the 2012 Hamilton Food & Drink Fest

Mushrooms Canada is out & about again this weekend. This time we are taking our mushrooms and  heading to Hamilton for the 7th Annual Hamilton Food & Drink Fest!

Come and experience an exciting variety of local and international wines & spirits, craft beers, and culinary treats created by some of the Hamilton, Burlington & Niagara Regions’ most popular restaurants, breweries & wineries. Enjoy terrific live musical entertainment and a fun informative cooking demonstration from Chef David Adjey on Sunday!

Make sure to stop by Mushrooms Canada’s booth for a sample of our Crimini Mushrooms (they are always a big hit!). While you’re there, enter our draw to win a T-Fal Hot Spot Frying Pan, pick up our NEW recipe booklet, and ask us a few questions!

I will be tweeting while at the show, so make sure to follow Mushrooms Canada over on Twitter or on Facebook!

But hey, where are you going!? I can’t let you leave empty handed, we have a little coupon for you, $3.00 Off the price of admission at the door. Simply CLICK HERE, print it off and bring it with you; you’ll receive your discount at the door.

I hope that everyone has a great time, enjoys themselves, and travels responsibly…. Don’t drink and drive! See you at the show!

Guest Post: Mushroom & Lentil Ragout by Communal Table

Hi everyone. I’m Neil from Communal Table. My wife, Jenny, and I have a shared love of food and cooking, and we started our blog to document some of the things we create together in our kitchen. I’m excited to be contributing our first-ever guest post to the Mushrooms Canada blog, because mushrooms are definitely one of my favorite vegetables to cook with.

I don’t cook with mushrooms on a regular basis. Instead, I tend to go on kicks where I randomly decide to buy mushrooms, and then I remember how great an ingredient they are and become temporarily obsessed with cooking with and eating mushrooms for a while. When I do cook with mushrooms I try to make sure they’re the star of the dish. In fact, I tend to use mushrooms when I’m creating vegetarian dishes, since the textures and flavours of different varieties make them perfect stand-ins for meat in meatless dishes. I came up with this recipe in January. I’d decided to challenge myself by giving up meat for the month, and decided to make a mushroom-based dish to satisfy my cravings for some deep, rich umami flavours.

Enjoy, and if you like this, you might also want to try:
Grilled Portobello with Asparagus Pesto and Poached Egg

Mushroom and Lentil Ragout

Ingredients
1 shallot, diced
1 carrot, diced
A quarter of a fennel bulb (or 1 celery stick), diced
A mix of fresh mushrooms (I used cremini, oyster and shitake), roughly chopped
A handful of dried porcini mushrooms, steeped in a cup or so of boiling water for 20 minutes
1 bay leaf
1 can of lentils, drained
1/2 C white wine
Ricotta cheese (optional)
Truffle oil (optional)

Method
1. Remove porcini mushrooms from steeping liquid and chop them into small pieces. Reserve the liquid.
2. Heat a couple tablespoons of olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add shallot, carrot and fennel and sauté for about 5 minutes.
3. Add in the chopped fresh mushrooms and some salt and pepper. Saute for 5 more minutes, stirring
occasionally. Add in wine and let it cook off for a minute or two.
4. Add chopped porcini mushrooms and steeping liquid to the pan.
5. Stir in lentils, and throw in a bay leaf. Turn heat to low and let the ragout simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.
6. Serve in a bowl, topped with a small spoonful of ricotta and a few drops of truffle oil.

Yield: About 4 Servings

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Thank you so much Neil and Jenny for sharing this gourmet recipe with us!

Make sure you follow Communal Table over on their Blog, on Twitter (Neil & Jenny) and on Facebook.

Behind the Scenes at Mushrooms Canada: Toronto Wine & Cheese Show 2012

I am happy to announce… we made through another fantastic Toronto Wine & Cheese Show!

This past weekend Mushrooms Canada set up shop in Toronto at the Wine & Cheese show. We handed out recipe booklets, brown paper bags, and over 250lbs worth of mushroom samples! Yes it looks like Toronto loves their mushrooms!

We were happy to answer lots of questions like, “What kind of mushrooms are these!” and of course the infamous, “Mushrooms have no nutritional value, right?”

We even had a few true mushroom lovers show up at the booth for a sample, like this young lady, who proudly came to our booth and pronounced, “I had to come have a sample because I am wearing my mushroom dress!” Now that’s true love!

As I mentioned last week, I was really excited to see Chef Lynn Crawford on the KitchenAid cooking stage… and she did not disappoint! She made a wonderful pasta dish, and even challenged audience participants to make the “World’s Longest Lasagna Noodle.” Very fun!

And of course we can’t ignore all the glorious food that was served….

I would like to thank everyone who came out and tried a sample, asked a question, and filled out a ballot for our T-Fal pan draw!

I also want to thank my amazing staff, Shannon and Amanda.

See you all next year at the 2012 show!

For more show pictures, check out our album on Facebook.

Join Us at the 2012 Toronto Wine & Cheese Show

It’s that time of year again! Mushrooms Canada is heading to the Toronto Wine & Cheese Show for a weekend full of gourmet foods (like our mushrooms), wines, beers, and spirits.

Every year this show gets bigger and better! Make sure to stop by our booth (822) for a sample of Simple Sauteed Mushrooms, and to pick up some NEW mushroom recipes! While you are hanging out with us, fill out a ballot to win a T-Fal Hotspot Frying Pan!

Other Show Highlights:

Don’t miss my live tweets from the show! Follow Mushrooms Canada over on Twitter or on Facebook!

What are you looking forward to trying?

Personally, I can’t wait to see Lynn Crawford again… she is a riot!

I hope that everyone has a great time, enjoys themselves, and travels responsibly…. Don’t drink and drive! See you at the show!