Mushroom Risotto Balls

Recipe courtesy of Jenny from The Brunette Baker.

Prep Time: 45 mins. | Cook Time: 40 mins.

Ingredients

1 cup Arborio Rice
½ cup finely chopped onion
1 cup crimini mushrooms, finely chopped
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon canola oil
3-4 cups chicken broth
½ cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
¼ cup Pecorino cheese, shredded
Sea salt, to taste
Frying:
1 cup Italian-style bread crumbs
15-20 ½-inch cubes mozzarella cheese
Canola oil, for frying

Method

To make risotto:
1. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter and 1 tablespoon canola oil over medium heat. Add onions and cook for several minutes until translucent.
2. Add in uncooked Arborio rice and stir, allowing butter and oil to completely coat the rice. Sauté for a couple minutes or until rice begins to release a nutty aroma.
3. Add white wine and stir until the rice has completely absorbed the liquid. Add the mushrooms and a cup of hot broth, stirring constantly until liquid is absorbed.
4. Continue this process until the rice takes on a creamy consistency and the starches begin to release.  Rice should be al dente; tender, but firm to the bite.
5. Add butter, cheese, and salt;  stir until melted. Refrigerate risotto for several hours or overnight for best results.
To make risotto balls:
1. With dampened hands, form risotto into 1 or 2 inch balls, depending how large you would like them. 2. Stuff a cube of mozzarella inside, squeeze firmly, and then roll in breadcrumbs.
3. In a deep saucepan, fill pan with enough canola oil to cover risotto balls and heat to 365ºF. Place balls into hot oil, two at a time, frying until they turn golden brown and cooked throughout – about 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove from oil and transfer to a paper towel-lined plate.
4. Serve warm with a side of marinara sauce.

Mushroom Scallion Dumplings

Whether you’re celebrating the Chinese New Year or simply have a similar love affair with all things dim sum, making dumplings, or rather jiaozi, at home couldn’t be easier. Both the savory filling and soy-vinegar dipping sauce come together in minutes. 

Recipe and photo courtesy of eatHalifax.

Prep Time: 30 mins. | Cook Time: 30 mins.

Ingredients

2 tbsp. oil
1 lb. (16 oz.) shiitake mushrooms, finely diced
1 tbsp. finely grated ginger
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 bunch scallions, finely diced
2 tbsp. finely chopped cilantro (including stems)
4 tsp. soy sauce
4 tsp. sesame oil
1 tbsp. hoisin
salt and pepper, to taste
40 dumpling wrappers
Dipping sauce:
1/3 cup soy sauce
2 tbsp. rice vinegar
1 tbsp. sesame oil
1 tbsp. sugar
1 scallion, finely diced

Method

1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook mushrooms until liquid releases, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger and scallions. Cook for another minute. Transfer the mixture to a bowl. Stir in cilantro, soy sauce, sesame oil, and hoisin. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Allow to cool.
2. To assemble the dumplings, get a small bowl of water. Starting with one wrapper, place a spoonful of filling in the center. Dip your finger in water and moisten the entire edge of the wrapper. Fold over, pressing to seal the center. Starting at one edge, make 4 pleats in the wrapper. Repeat on the other edge. For a visual of the process, head to Serious Eats. Repeat with remaining wrappers.
3. For steamed dumplings, set a bamboo steamer over a pot of boiling water.  Add dumplings, being careful not to crowd the steamer. Steam for 10-12 minutes.
4. For pan fried dumplings, heat enough oil to cover the bottom of a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the dumplings, being careful not to crowd the pan. Fry until the bottoms are crisp, about 4 minutes. Add ¼ cup water, cover and let steam about 3 minutes. When most of the water is evaporated, uncover and continue cooking until the bottoms are crisp again.
5. For the dipping sauce, whisk together the ingredients, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Serve alongside the dumplings.

Mushroom Quesadillas

Being mad obsessed with all things Mexican as of late, what better way to showcase some mushrooms than sandwiched between two tortillas. Bursting with seasoned mushrooms and gooey cheese then smothered in a zesty lime cream, these quesadillas may just have you jumping on board with Meatless Monday. 

Recipe and photo courtesy of Kathy from eatHalifax.

Prep Time: 10 mins. | Cook Time: 15 mins. | Serves: 4

Ingredients

1 tablespoon butter
200 g mushrooms (oyster, crimini, button & shitake), sliced
1 onion, diced
1 jalapeno, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
pinch salt and pepper
½ cup cilantro, chopped plus more to garnish
2 cups shredded Monterey jack cheese
¼ cup crumbled feta cheese
8 corn tortillas
4 lime wedges
2 green onions, sliced
Lime crema
½ cup sour cream
zest of ½ lime
squeeze lime juice

Method

1. Prepare lime crema by combining all ingredients. Set aside.
2. Melt butter in a skillet over medium-high heat.  Sauté onions til starting to become translucent, about 3 min. Add mushrooms, jalapeno, and garlic. Add a good pinch of salt and pepper. Cook til mushrooms release juices then start to brown, about 5 min. Add cilantro. Remove from heat.
3. Heat a cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add a tortilla. layer with ¼ cup Monterey Jack, ¼ of the mushrooms, 1 tablespoon Feta, then another ¼ cup Monterey jack cheese. Top with a second tortilla. Cook until crisp and browned on both sides.
4. Slice and serve with lime crema, green onions. cilantro, and salsa of choice.  If desired amp up the heat by replacing jalapeno with a hotter variety or serving with a hot salsa.

Mushroom Nuggets

Recipe and photo courtesy of Diane from Kitchen Bliss.

Prep Time: 10 mins. | Cook Time: 20 mins.

Ingredients

small button or cremini mushrooms (about 325-425 grams)
beaten egg
seasoned breadcrumbs (about 1 cup)
1 cup of vegetable oil

Method

Ensure that the mushrooms are clean. Cut (and discard) a thin slice off the base. Dip each mushroom into the beaten egg. Then coat in seasoned breadcrumbs. “Deep fry” in about ¾” of fairly hot oil – first on one side and then briefly flipped to the other side. The mushroom is edible raw, so you are frying these only to get a nice colour. Additional salt can be sprinkled on them as they come out of the frying oil.

Tip Tip

Breadcrumbs should be as fresh as possible – make at home or purchase from your local bakery. Some bakeries sell seasoned breadcrumbs, but you can make your own with your favourite flavour profile. For 1 cup of breadcrumbs add any/all of the following: 1/4 tsp dried thyme (or 1/2 tsp fresh, chopped), 1/4 tsp dried, crushed rosemary (or 1/2 tsp fresh, chopped fine), 1/2 tsp dried basil and/or oregano, 1 tsp dried parsley, 1 tsp garlic powder, a pinch of nutmeg, sage, and salt to taste – and also consider sprinkling salt on freshly fried mushrooms. Depending upon your mayo dip plans, add a touch of heat to the breadcrumbs with a pinch of cayenne. Although this is Hungarian, best not to add paprika to the breadcrumbs, since it burns when in contact with high heat.
For optimum control I tend to cook only 4-5 at a time and place them on paper towels as they are removed from the oil.
A spider or slotted spoon is great for quick removal from the oil
These are best when made/served fresh.
Mayo Dips:
Serve with mayo dip(s). In Hungary that might be mayo mixed with some creamed horseradish – but one can get creative – and offer guests a small selection. Mayo Dips are all the rage at trend-setting Brooklyn’s Smorgasburg. Mayo blended with avocado or guacamole, sriracha, curry, mango, caramelized onion – you are limited only by your imagination and taste buds. Enjoy!

Mushroom Muhammara

This is a mushroomy take on a classic Middle Eastern dish. While there seems to be a lot of roasting and toasting, it’s all timed to come together quickly without wasting time or energy. The results are spicy, full of flavour and totally irresistible.

Recipe and photo courtesy of Charmian from The Messy Baker.

Prep Time: 15 mins. | Cook Time: 30 mins. | Makes: 1 1/2 to 2 cups.

Ingredients

3 red bell peppers
1/2 pound cremini mushrooms, quartered (about 3 cups)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
3/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup bread crumbs
2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses*
2 tablespoons Aleppo pepper flakes*
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
fresh cilantro or mint for garnish, optional

Method

1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Remove the cap and tip from the bell peppers, then slice them in half lengthwise. Remove and discard the seeds and ribs. Place the peppers cut side down on one of the lined baking sheets. Roast in the oven until blistered and blackened, about 20 to 25 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, toss the mushrooms in 2 tablespoons olive oil and salt. Spread in a single layer on the second lined baking sheet, and roast in the oven along with the peppers. Stir after 10 minutes. Keep cooking until the water they release has evaporated, about 20 minutes. Set aside to cool. The mushrooms and peppers will be done about the same time.
3. When the peppers are roasted, place them in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap until they are cool enough to handle, about 10 minutes. Covering them is essential since the steam will loosen the skin.
4. While the peppers and mushrooms cool, spread the walnuts on a baking sheet and place in the hot oven. Turn off the heat and leave them to toast for 7 to 10 minutes or until fragrant. Remove from oven to cool.
4. By this time the peppers should be ready. Simply peel the skin off and discard it. Roughly chop the peppers and put them into the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Add the cooled mushrooms, toasted walnuts, breadcrumbs, pomegranate molasses, Aleppo pepper flakes, lemon juice and remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Pulse until ground.
5. Serve drizzled with more olive oil, if desired, and garnish with chopped cilantro or mint.
*While pomegranate molasses are becoming a common item in larger grocery stores, a trip to the Middle Eastern grocery store should get all the ingredients you need.
If you can’t find Aleppo pepper flakes, substitute an equal amount of hot scaled peppers or 1 teaspoon of paprika.