Mushrooms Masters: A Tournament of Taste – Shiitake Showdown

Welcome to Week 3 of the Mushroom Masters: A Tournament of Taste.

Phew! We made it though Weeks 1 and 2 – thank you to all who voted! As you may have seen Australia’s Kitchen Wrench took home Gold last week, but Canada came in a close 2nd with 35% of the vote – way to go Jeannette!

The Shiitake Showdown

Representing Canada in this weeks challenge is none other than Elizabeth from Guilty Kitchen! She will be heading up against Susan from Sticky, Gooey, Creamy, Chewy (US) and Christine from Fig & Cherry (AUS)

Growing up on Vancouver Island (on the wet West Coast of British Columbia) led to a love of nature and all things in it. The child of an avid hunter and gardener, lean years in my family were filled with plenty of wild caught protein and home grown produce, giving me a true appreciation for local food.
Through adolescence and young adulthood, I kept busy as a professional chef in catering outfits and restaurants alike all up and down Vancouver Island. After a stint in college led to an office job outside of the food world, I continued to cook for myself, my family and my friends. Soon after buying a house and a dog, marrying my dreamy husband Adrian, and having our first son Cohen, food became even more important. Learning all about the local food movement while trying to make my child’s first foods more “sustainable” was what brought my passions for food back to the forefront. Having not returned to work to stay home with the little tornado, blogging about my passions just came naturally.
We’re now enjoying life with our second child (a girl!) Isla, and our life is being busily filled with love for local food, family, gardening, writing, photography, endless laundry and diapers.

Shiitake Mushroom & Steak Flatbread on Shiitake Crust
When I was given Shiitake mushrooms, I was a little overwhelmed. They are my favourite mushroom and have amazing flavour. You often don’t find them around though as they are used very little, I find, in home cooking. Save for a few Asian dishes, shiitakes have little of the spotlight. What I did know, was that there is always dried shiitake mushrooms in my grocer, along with fresh. So I decided to amp up the shiitake flavour by using ground dried shiitake mushrooms as 1/3 of the flour in the crust, not only does this make for a beautifully buttery crust, but it also makes the whole shiitake flavour a wonderful star of this dish. Shiitakes are meaty and plump when cooked and when paired with super thin shavings of a good steak, make for a mouth watering pizza that’s as easy as it is delicious!

Ingredients
2oz dried shiitake mushrooms, stems removed
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1/3 cup + 2 tbsp vegetable shortening
3/4-1 cup water
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp fresh rosemary, minced
1 large leek, sliced thinly into half moons
200g fresh shiitake mushrooms, sliced and woody stems removed
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1/3 cup white wine
kosher salt to taste
fresh cracked black pepper to taste
1/4 cup heavy cream (or half and half)
1/2 lb. hanger steak (or any good quality steak such as, filet, strip, ribeye, etc.)
1 tsp olive oil
200g Gruyere cheese, grated fine
3oz fresh baby spinach, roughly chopped
1 tbsp butter

Directions:
1. Pulverize dried shiitake mushrooms in the bowl of a food processor until it takes on a bread crumb like consistency.
2. In a large bowl mix flour, salt and pulverized mushrooms.
3. Cut in shortening until a fine crumb like texture forms.
4. Pour in 3/4 cup water and if more is needed at a bit at a time. Knead dough until stickiness is gone and dough is slightly elastic. Let rest 30 minutes covered in bowl.
5. In a large sauté pan, melt 2 tbsp of butter on medium heat. Add in rosemary, garlic, leeks and fresh shiitake mushrooms. Sauté until mushrooms are softened.
6. Add Dijon salt and pepper and white wine. Continue to sauté until wine reduces by half and all vegetables are thoroughly cooked through.
7. Stir in cream, cook for 2 minutes and remove from heat. Set aside.
8. Rub steak with 1 tsp of oil and season with salt and pepper. Sear in a sauté pan on high heat (or on the grill) for 2 minutes per side. Just long enough to brown the outside leaving the interior very rare.
9. Allow steak to cool for 10 minutes and slice as thin as possible against the grain. Set aside.
10. On a lightly floured surface roll out dough to desired shape and about 1/4″ thick. Roll up edges to make a crust and pinch down to seal.
11. Bake on a baking sheet in a 450°F oven until golden brown, about 15 minutes.
12. When down, spread 1 tbsp butter over the crust, top with chopped spinach, leek mixture, steak and grated Gruyere.
13. Return to 450°F oven for another 10-15 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and golden.
14. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before slicing.

Oh my, this recipe is bursting with mushroom flavour!!

Head on over to Tastepotting to vote for Elizabeth’s Shiitake Mushroom & Steak Flatbread on Shiitake Crust Recipe now in the Shittake Showdown!

TIP: You can follow the contest by subscribing to Mushrooms Canada’s Blog Feed. Just click here to sign up! You don’t want to miss this contest!

Mushrooms Masters: A Tournament of Taste – Button Battle

Mushroom Masters Blogger Tournament
Welcome to Week Two of the Mushrooms Masters: A Tournament of Taste!

If you haven’t read about it already, Canada was able to capture Gold in last weeks Portabella Playoff thanks to Angela’s mouthwatering recipe for stuffed portabellas. And I don’t mean to gloat, but we won by a landslide!! Canada received over 80% of the vote! So let’s keep that Canadian momentum going into this weeks challenge…

The Button Battle

Representing Canada this week is Jeannette from Everybody Likes Sandwiches with her delicious Button Mushroom Empanada recipe. She’s up against some stiff competition – Maggie from Pithy and Clever (US) and Ellie from Kitchen Wench (AUS).

Jeannette Ordas likes to make stuff. From designing websites (her day job) to illustrating greeting cards (her hobby) to creating kick-ass meals for her friends, she’s happiest when she’s facing a challenge. Empty fridge? Bare cupboards? No worries, Jeannette can probably whip up something crazy-delicious and she’s got proof: check out her food blog, Everybody Likes Sandwiches, for simple, no-fuss recipes.

Mushroom Empanadas
These tasty bites make a great hors d’oeuvres or a light supper when eaten alongside a green salad. They can be prepped the night before you plan on serving them (just bake them the next day) and they also reheat well.
Empanada dough:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup all-vegetable shortening, cold & cut into cubes
1 large egg
1/3 cup ice water
1 tablespoon vinegar

Combine flours and salt in a large bowl and stir. Add shortening and use your fingers to blend until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

In a small bowl, whisk the egg with the ice water and add in the vinegar. Slowly pour into the flour mixture and use a fork to gently incorporate it. Gently knead the dough until it comes together into a ball – two or three times should do it.

Wrap the dough in plastic wrap, flatten it slightly with the palm of your hand, and chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour.

Mushroom filling:
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 fat cloves garlic, minced
1/2 small red onion, minced
1/4 cup of fresh thyme, stems removed
1 lb button mushrooms, sliced & roughly chopped
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup of white wine
2 tablespoons of heavy cream

1 cup Asiago cheese, grated
1 large egg, lightly beaten with 1 teaspoon of water

Heat oil and butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and onion and saute until soft. Add mushrooms, thyme, salt and pepper and cook until the ingredients start to turn golden and fragrant. Add wine, stirring, until it evaporates. Turn down heat and add cream, stirring until it absorbs into the mixture. Remove from heat and let cool.

Preheat oven to 400F.

Roll out dough to 1/8 inch thick on a floured surface. Use a 3 1/2-inch circle cutter to cut out circles of dough. Scraps can be collected, re-rolled and cut into circles.

Place about a teaspoon of the mushroom mixture onto each circle, topping with some cheese, while leaving a half-inch border around the filling. Brush the egg wash on the empty side of the circle and fold dough over to create a semi-circle. Use a fork to press the edges tightly together. Brush the egg wash over the tops of all of the completed empanadas and place on cookie sheets lined with parchment or silpat. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the empanadas are golden brown and flaky. Let cool slightly before serving. Makes 18 empanadas.

Heavenly!!

Head on over to Tastepotting to vote for Jeannette’s Button Mushroom Empanada Recipe now!
TIP: You can follow the contest by subscribing to Mushrooms Canada’s Blog Feed. Just click here to sign up! You don’t want to miss this contest!

Mushrooms Masters: A Tournament of Taste – Portabella Playoff

Mushrooms Masters: A Tournament of Taste
Welcome to the very first round of the Mushrooms Masters: A Tournament of Taste!

Let’s kick things off with a little introduction. What started as a friendly bet between representatives of a couple countries has quickly turned into a bigger event.

Canada, the US, and Australia have pitted 12 amazing food bloggers, 4 representing each country, against each other in this Tournament of Taste.
For 4 weeks, each country will offer up a delicious recipe from their food bloggers for voting on Tastespotting. Every week you can head on over and vote for Canada!
At the end of each week, a winning recipe/country will be announced.
So, without further ado, let’s get this thing started.
Competing in the Portabella Playoff, against American Blogger Sara from Sprouted Kitchen, and Australian Blogger Jules from Stone Soup, is the fabolous Angela from Oh She Glows
Oh She GlowsHello, my name is Angela Liddon. I am a spunky and passionate vegan bakery owner, healthy living writer, and photographer who found her glow with a vegan diet. Oh She Glows documents how I got my glow back, after years of depriving myself, and discovered that food can be fun. I tempt with delicious vegan recipes and mouth-watering photography and most of all, I show that Vegan doesn’t have to be a bad word.
Easy Stuffed Portabella Pizza in a Cashew Basil Cheese Sauce
These ridiculously cute and mouth-watering Portabella pizzas taste so much like the real thing you won’t believe they are vegan, gluten-free, and good for you! Shhh, don’t tell my husband.
Prep time: 10 minutes Cook time: 10-12 minutes.
Ingredients:
• 8 Portabella mushrooms
• 2 cups pizza sauce
• Vegan Cashew Basil Cheese Sauce (see recipe below)
• 1/3 cup of each: red, green, orange pepper, diced
• 1/3 cup sweet onion, diced
• 2-3 large basil leaves, finely diced
• 1 tsp red pepper flakes
Directions: Preheat oven by setting the broiler on low. Take a baking sheet and cover with a silicone non-stick baking mat or parchment paper for easy clean up. Make your Vegan Cashew Basil cheese sauce by using the recipe below. Set aside. Remove stems of Portabellas and gently rub Portabellas with a wet cloth to clean. Place Portabellas ‘belly’ side up on the baking sheet. Spoon about 2 tablespoons of pizza sauce into each Portabella. Now spoon about 2 teaspoons of Vegan Cashew basil Cheese Sauce on top of the pizza sauce (see recipe below). Grab a cutting board and knife and chop the onion and pepper and then sprinkle onto Portabellas. Finally, shake on some red pepper flakes and sprinkle finely diced basil on top. Broil in the oven on the lowest temperature setting on the middle rack for about 10-12 minutes, watching closely as broiler temperatures vary. Serve immediately and enjoy! Serves 3-4.
Vegan Cashew Basil Cheese Sauce
Ingredients:
• 1 cup raw cashews
• 1/3-1/2 tsp Himalayan sea salt, to taste
• 1/2 tsp cold-pressed sunflower oil
• 1 fresh basil leaf
• 1 small clove garlic
• 1.5 tbsp nutritional yeast
• 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
Directions: Place 1 cup of raw cashews in a bowl of water, cover, and soak overnight in the fridge. When cashews are ready, drain and place all ingredients (cashews, Himalayan sea salt, cold-pressed sunflower oil, basil, garlic, nutritional yeast, and lemon juice) into a food processor and process until smooth, stopping to scrape sides of processor as necessary. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary. Place any leftover cheese in a container in the fridge and enjoy with chopped vegetables, crackers, bread, and chips!
Sounds and looks delicious!
Head on over to Tastepotting to vote for Angela’s Easy Stuffed Portabella Pizza in a Cashew Basil Cheese Sauce Recipe now!

TIP: You can follow the contest by subscribing to Mushrooms Canada’s Blog Feed. Just click here to sign up! You don’t want to miss this contest!

Fresh Mushroom and Cheese Frittata

Fresh Mushroom and Cheese Frittata
Preparation Time: 10 mins. Cooking Time: 25 mins.

Frittata is an Italian version of an omelet that has the vegetables mixed in with the eggs and since it is not folded but served open face, it is easier to handle. It may be baked in oven or cooked on top of stove and served any time of day.

Ingredients
8 eggs
1/4 cup 2% milk 50 mL
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese 50 mL
1 tsp dried sage leaves 5 mL
1/4 tsp ground pepper 2 mL
2 tbsp olive oil or butter 25 mL
1 medium onion, diced
1/2 cup red pepper, diced 125 mL
8 oz sliced small mushrooms 250 g
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp minced parsley (optional) 25 mL
3/4 cup shredded Provolone, Swiss or Jarlsberg cheese 175 mL

Method
In a large bowl or measuring cup whisk eggs, milk, Parmesan cheese, sage and pepper together until well mixed, set aside. Preheat oven to 350ºF (180ºC).

In a 10”(25 cm) non-stick skillet heat oil over medium- high heat; sauté onion and red pepper 2-3 minutes or until softened. Add mushrooms and sauté 4-5 minutes or until lightly browned; add garlic and cook 1 minute. Pour egg mixture into skillet mixing lightly to incorporate mushrooms; sprinkle with parsley if desired. Bake in oven about 12-15 minutes or until just set in the centre and no longer moist on top. Sprinkle with cheese and return to over for 2 minutes to melt cheese. Loosen around the edges with a rubber spatula and slide out onto serving plate. Cut in wedges to serve. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Makes 4 servings

Variation: Instead of cooking the frittata in oven it may be cooked on top of stove over medium- low heat; lifting outer edges of omelet to allow uncooked portion to run underneath, then cover and cook until just set. Turn off heat. Sprinkle with cheese and cover to melt cheese.

Tip: Substitute 4 eggs and 4 egg whites for the 8 eggs to lower fat.

Nutritional Information: Calories: 346, Sodium: 416 mg, Protein: 22.9 g, Fat: 24.6 g, Carbohydrates: 8.7 g, Dietary Fibre: 1.7 g

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posted by Brittany

Exploring Fresh Mushrooms with CTV’s Pauline Chan

Did you happen to catch the news tonight? If you did then you would have learned a thing or two about fresh Canadian Mushrooms!

Our home economist and nutritionist Clare Jones had the opportunity to host a little get together with CTV’s Health Reporter Pauline Chan, to explore all the different varieties, and to cook up some big, juicy portabellas for her Grilled Mushroom Tomato and Avocado Feta Salad.

You can watch the full interview on CTV’s website here.

Grilled Mushrooms with Tomato, Avocado, and Feta Salad
Preparation Time: 10 mins. Cooking Time: 8 mins.

Portabellas take a trip around the world with this interesting topping. Great as a luncheon dish or first course for a dinner party.

Ingredients
1 large ripe tomato, quartered and seeded
1 large ripe avocado peeled and pit removed
3/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled (3oz/90g) 175 mL
1/4 cup olive oil 50 mL
2 tsp cider, white wine or rice vinegar 10 mL
1/4 tsp salt 2 mL
1/8 tsp pepper 1 mL
4 large fresh Portabella Mushroom caps

Method
Dice tomatoes and avocado into ½ inch (1 cm) pieces. Place in small bowl; stir in feta cheese. In small screw top jar or bowl combine 2 tbsp (25 mL) oil, vinegar, salt and pepper; shake or whisk well to combine. Pour dressing over the tomato mixture and toss gently to coat. Set aside. Brush mushrooms on both sides with remaining olive oil. Barbeque mushrooms over high heat for 3-4 minutes on each side or until tender and heated through. Place the mushrooms, stem-side up, on serving plates; top with tomato mixture.

Makes 4 servings

TIP: Instead of barbecuing mushrooms, roast on a baking sheet in 425º F (220º C) oven.

Variation: Spread 1 ½ tbsp (22 mL) prepared hummus on each mushroom cap before topping with tomato mixture.

Nutritional Information: Calories: 344, Sodium: 473 mg, Protein: 8.4 g, Fat: 31.3 g, Carbohydrates: 12.4 g, Dietary Fibre: 6.9 g