Beef and Mushroom Lettuce Wraps with Cucumber/Lime Yogurt and Sriracha Peanuts

Easy and fun to make, these wraps can be used in a formal or informal setting, as an appetizer or main course.

Recipe and photo by Chef Christopher Pires of Food Inspires.

Prep Time: 30 mins. | Cook Time: 15 mins.

Ingredients

The Base:
1 pkg Romaine lettuce leaves, washed and dried thoroughly
The Sauce:
½ cup yogurt
1 lime, zested and juiced
½ cucumber, deseeded and chopped fine
Salt and pepper to taste
The Filling:
1 lb beef, cut philly cheesesteak style – thin and in pieces
1 medium onion, diced
1 cup Cremini mushrooms blended with 1 medium onion in a processor – rough chop
2 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce, Sambal Oelek
2 tbsp chili flakes
Olive oil, salt and pepper – to sauté, and to taste
The Topping:
½ cup peanuts
2 tbsp Sriracha

Method

The Sauce:
Combine all ingredients and let rest for 30 minutes before serving (or use right away)
The Filling:
1. Brown the beef breaking up the bits that clump together
2. Drain any fat that comes into the pan, add about 2 tbsp olive oil to the beef and add the diced onion – you only want to soften the onions 
3. Add the Worcestershire sauce, sambal, salt and pepper – taste, season and taste again
4. In a separate pan (or empty the beef/onion mixture to a bowl), add 1 tbsp olive oil and the mushrooms and onions – you want to remove the extra water from the mushrooms and onions so sauté until they are almost dry – flavor with some salt, pepper  and chili flakes – remember, taste, season and taste
5. Once the liquid from the mushroom and onions has almost dried up, add the beef/onion mixture – stir to combine – That’s it for the filling!
6. Coat the peanuts in the sriracha, let dry on their own on the counter for about 30 minutes or in a 325F oven for 10 minutes (make more than you need, they won’t last and you will regret it!)
The Base:
Arrange lettuce on a plate, top with the beef and mushroom mixture, dollop with yogurt, top with peanuts – enjoy! Note if lettuce doesn’t lie flat, trim the bottom (middle stem) so there is a flat edge, stand it up in this edge

Beef and Mushroom Kofta

By using half the meat and substituting in a mix of chopped mushrooms you add more nutrients and a great woodsy flavour. I highly recommend using a variety of types since each one adds a unique flavour and texture.

Recipe and photo by The Tasty Gardener.

Prep Time: 15 mins. | Cook Time: 10 mins.
Tip: If using wooden bamboo skewers make sure you soak them in water for several hours or over night.

Ingredients

1 lb lean ground beef
2 cups mushrooms, finely chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp cumin
1 tbsp allspice
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup parsley, chopped
1 tsp cinnamon

Method

1. Preheat BBQ to medium high heat.
2. Using your hands blend together all of the ingredients in a large bowl.
3. Take a golf ball size amount and flatten in the palm of your hand.
4. Place a BBQ skewer in the middle of the patty and carefully fold the meat around the skewer pressing to secure. Repeat with remaining meat.
5. Place on preheated grill and cook 5-10 minutes, turning frequently until meat has cooked through.
6. Remove from grill and serve.

Beef and Mushroom Bolognese

The beefiness of the mushrooms makes it an easy swap-out that hardly makes a difference in taste, but bumps up nutrition and we really enjoyed the textural change as well.

Recipe and photo by Kelly of The Gouda Life.

Prep Time: 20 mins. | Cook Time: 1 hr. 10 mins. | Serves: 6-8

Ingredients

2 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper
2 large carrots, peeled and rough chopped
2 celery stalks, cleaned and rough chopped
1 large onion, rough chopped
2 large cloves garlic
1 lbs cremini mushrooms, rough chopped
1 1/2lbs lean ground beef
1 (156mL) can tomato paste
2 cups red wine or beef stock
4 sprigs thyme
500g fettuccini/linguinie/bucatini
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
basil or parsley, to garnish
red pepper flakes, to garnish

 

Method

1. Place the carrots, celery, onion and garlic in a food processor or blender and puree until smooth.
2. Heat olive oil in a large sauce pot/dutch oven over med-high heat. Add the vegetables puree and cook, stirring every so often, until the liquids have reduced and the veggies are starting to brown and dry out. Add in the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquids from the mushrooms has been released and reduced, about 10-15 minutes. Add in the beef and a few generous pinches of salt. Cook until the beef is cooked through and everything is golden brown and fragrant, another 10-15 minutes.
3. Add in the tomato paste and cook until it’s turned a deep brick red, 5 minutes. Pour in the wine and stir, scraping up any browned bits stuck to the bottom of the pot. Bring to a gentle simmer until wine is almost reduced completely. Taste for salt and add a few more pinches if necessary. Add in just enough water to cover the meat/mushrooms by 1/2″. Cook until that water has reduced and sauce is rich and delicious.
4. While the sauce cooks, bring a pot of well-salted water to a boil and cook the pasta to al dente according to package instructions. Reserve 1/2 cup of the starchy pasta cooking water.
5. Strain the pasta and dump into the sauce. Toss with a few tbsp of the reserved pasta water and Parmesan until the sauce is evenly distributed. Add more water if it gets too tight.
Divide among bowls and serve with fresh ground pepper, minced parsley or basil and some red pepper flakes.

Barbecued Tandoori Turkey Drumsticks with Spiced Mushroom Medley Pilaf

Recipe courtesy of Michelle of The Tiffin Box.

Prep Time: 4 hrs. | Cook Time: 45 mins.
Tip: You can make your own homemade spice blends using the recipes below. Otherwise, most Asian grocery stores and some major supermarkets all carry tandoori and garam masala spice blends.

Ingredients

For the tandoori turkey drumsticks:
2 fresh turkey drumsticks, skin on (around 600 g total weight)
2 – 3 tablespoons unscented oil (canola, vegetable, sunflower or grapeseed)
Lime wedges, to serve
Marinade:
3 tablespoons tandoori masala spice blend (you can use homemade or shop bought, see notes)
Juice of 1 lemon (about 2 -3 tablespoons)
3 tablespoons plain yogurt
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 inch piece of ginger, grated
2 tablespoons unscented oil
Salt to taste
For the Spiced Mushroom Medley Pilaf:
2 + 2 tablespoons unscented oil
Pilaf whole spice mix (5 whole green cardamom pods, 5 cloves, 5 whole peppercorns, 3 inches cassia bark or cinnamon, 1 star anise and 1 bay leaf)
1 small onion, finely diced
1 inch piece of fresh ginger, finely chopped
2 cups basmati rice
1 teaspoon garam masala spice blend (you can use homemade or shop bought, see notes)
Generous pinch of saffron
3 cups boiling water
1 teaspoon salt or to taste
450g mixed mushrooms (I used a medley pack that had portabella, oyster, white button, crimini and enoki mushrooms), chopped roughly
For the Garam Masala:
2 star anise
3 pods black cardamom, seeds only
1½ tsps black peppercorns
1 tbsp crumbled cassia bark
1½ tsps whole cloves
1 tsp green cardamom pods
1 tsp crumbled whole mace
4½ tsps coriander seeds
1 tbsp cumin seeds
6 dried bay leaves
1 tsp grated nutmeg
For the Tandoori Masala:
½ cup mild long red Kashmiri chillies
¼ cup coriander seeds
1 tbsp cumin seeds
½ tbsp black peppercorns
½ tbsp whole cloves
½ tbsp green cardamom pods
1 black cardamom pod (optional)
1 tsp fenugreek seeds
6 inches of cassia bark (or cinnamon)
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp garlic powder
½ tsp grated nutmeg
½ tsp ground turmeric
3 – 4 tbsp paprika

Method

For the tandoori turkey drumsticks:
1. Whisk together the ingredients for the marinade, and season to taste. Make three deep slits into the turkey drumsticks, then rub the marinade into the turkey. Place in a sealed ziplock bag and marinate overnight, or for at least 4 – 6 hours in a refrigerator.
2. When ready to grill, bring the marinated turkey drumsticks back to room temperature.
3. Preheat the barbeque to 450 F. Brush the grilles with a little oil. Turn down the barbeque to 400 F, and grill the drumsticks for between 25 – 30 minutes (depending on the size of your turkey drumsticks), turning a couple of times, and brushing with oil, until the juices run clear and the turkey is cooked all the way through.
4. Rest the turkey for a few minutes before serving over the mushroom pilaf and a few lime wedges.
For the Spiced Mushroom Medley Pilaf:
1. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large pot, and add the pilaf whole spice mix. Stir and fry for about 30 seconds until the spices smell fragrant.
2. Add the onion and and fry on a gentle heat for about 5 minutes, until the onion is soft, but not coloured. Add the ginger and fry for an additional minute.
3. Add the basmati rice, garam masala and saffron, and fry together for 1 – 2 minutes, until the rice just turns opaque.
4. Add the boiling water and salt, and bring back to the boil. Turn down to the heat to low, then cover the pot with aluminium foil or a tight fitting lid. Cook undisturbed for 15 minutes, then turn off the heat and let it sit for 5 – 10 minutes without uncovering.
5. Meanwhile, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in a large pan, and saute the mushrooms on a high heat, stirring often, until golden, about 5 minutes.
6. Uncover the pilaf, and gently fluff up the rice. Stir in the mushrooms. Adjust seasoning and serve with the tandoori turkey drumsticks and lime wedges.
For the Garam Masala:
1. Heat a heavy frying pan over high heat and dry roast the black cardamom seeds and star anise just until fragrant, then immediately remove from the pan and set aside.
2. Now use the same pan to dry roast the remaining spices, one at a time, except the grated nutmeg, just until fragrant, then remove from the pan right away.
3. Once the spices are cool, grind them in a spice grinder then add the grated nutmeg.
Can be stored in an airtight container away from direct sunlight.
For the Tandoori Masala:
1. Heat a heavy pan until very hot then dry roast the spices, one at a time, between 30 – 45 seconds, until fragrant, then remove from the pan.
2. Allow to cool before blending to a fine powder in a spice grinder. Sieve if necessary to ensure a fine powder.
3. Combine with the ginger, garlic, nutmeg, turmeric and paprika.
Can be store in an airtight container, away from direct sunlight.

Baked Potatoes with Creamy Mushroom Ragout

A hearty vegetarian-friendly mushroom ragout over a baked potato.

Recipe courtesy of Isabelle of Crumb: A Food Blog.

Prep Time: 20 mins. | Cook Time: 1 hr. | Serves: 4

Ingredients

Baked Potatoes:
4 large baking potatoes, washed and scrubbed
1 tsp olive oil
Kosher salt

Creamy Mushroom Ragout:
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp olive oil
1 lb mixed fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 cup thinly sliced shallots
3 tbsp flour
1 cup chicken or vegetable broth
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 tbsp sweet paprika
1/2 cup sour cream
2 tbsp chopped fresh dill
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
Salt and pepper to taste

Method

Bake the Potatoes:

1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Rub the potatoes with olive oil, sprinkle with salt, and prick all over with a fork. Place on a baking sheet, and bake in preheated oven for 45-60 minutes, or until a fork pierced through the skin meets no resistance.

Prepare the Mushroom Ragout:

While the potatoes are baking, prepare the ragout.

2. In a large heavy-bottomed saucepan set over medium heat, heat the butter and olive oil until butter is melted and foamy.

3. Add shallots and saute until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.

4. Add mushrooms and cook for 10 minutes longer, or until the mushrooms are soft and starting to brown. 5. In a small bowl, whisk together white wine and flour until smooth.  Add to the pan along with chicken broth and paprika.  Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes or until thick.

6. Stir in the sour cream and continue cooking for 2-3 minutes to heat through (make sure not to bring to a boil, as this can cause the sauce to curdle). Remove from heat immediately, and stir in dill and parsley. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.

Assembly:

Once the potatoes are done, transfer them to a cutting board to cool for 5 minutes.

7. Cut a slit through the top of each potato, and gently push on the ends to create a small pocket for the topping. Sprinkle the inside of each potato with a little salt.

8. Ladle a generous amount of mushroom ragout onto each potato, letting the excess spill over the sides and onto the plate (yes, it’s messy, but it’s the best part!). Finish with a sprinkling of parsley or dill, if desired, and lots of black pepper. Serve immediately.