Moroccan Beef and Cremini Tagine

Tagine simply means stew. You can make this mushroom-infused Moroccan classic without the traditional cone-lidded tagine slaoui. A simple deep skillet and lid will do. All you need is something to absorb all the spicy sauce.

Recipe and photo courtesy of The Messy Baker.

Prep Time: 30 mins. | Cook Time: 45 mins. | Serves: 4-6

Ingredients

Meatballs
1/2 pound cremini mushrooms (about 10 2-inch mushrooms), quartered
1 large onion, peeled and quartered
1 pound extra lean ground beef
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro
2 teaspoons sweet paprika
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Sauce
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried chili flakes (optional)
remaining onion (from above)
2 tablespoons freshly grated ginger root
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 to 3 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup chopped cilantro leaves

Method

Meatballs
1. Place the mushrooms in a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Pulse until the mushrooms resemble couscous, about 10 pulses. Place minced mushroom in a large bowl. Place the quartered onions in the food process and pulse until minced. Add 1/4 cup of the minced onions to the mushrooms and set the remaining onions aside for the sauce. There should be about 3/4 cup of onions left.
2. Using your hands, mix the beef, garlic, cilantro, paprika, salt, and black pepper into the mushroom and onions. Roll into 1-inch balls. A 1-tablespoon cookie scoop speeds up this process and makes for uniform meatballs. You should have about 40 meatballs.
3. Heat a deep 12-inch skillet over medium-high. Working in batches so you don’t overcrowd the pan, brown the meatballs. Set the meatballs aside. Do not wipe pan out. The browned bits add flavour to the sauce.
Sauce
1. Melt the butter in the meatball skillet over medium heat. Add the coriander, cumin, paprika, cinnamon, black pepper and chili flakes, if using. Fry for a 30 seconds or until fragrant. Add the onion, ginger and garlic. Cook until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Gently add the meatballs back into the pan. Add enough water to cover the meatballs by 2/3, about 1 cup. Bring the sauce to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook with lid partially on for 40 minutes. Occasionally check to ensure the sauce hasn’t cooked down too far. You want about a cup of sauce left. Add more water if necessary.
2. Transfer to a warmed serving dish, sprinkle with fresh lemon juice and cilantro leaves. Serve with Middle Eastern flat bread to soak up the sauce. Alternatively, you can serve over couscous or rice.

Mixed Paella

Accompany this tasty, make ahead one dish meal with a simple Ontario greenhouse salad. This recipe can also be cooked covered in a large paella pan for 20 minutes on the stovetop. Add peas and cook another 5 minutes.

Recipe and photo are courtesy of Foodland Ontario.

Prep Time: 25 mins. | Cook Time: 1 hr. 30 mins. | Serves: 6-8

Ingredients

2 lb (1 kg) Ontario Chicken Thighs and Drumsticks
Salt and pepper
2 tbsp (25 mL) olive oil (approx.)
12 oz (375 g) Ontario Pork Tenderloin, cut in 1/2-inch (1 cm) thick slices
8 oz (250 g)  chorizo, cut in 1/2-inch (1 cm) thick slices
2 Ontario Greenhouse Tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
1 Ontario Onion, chopped
1-1/2 cups (375 mL) sliced Ontario Mushrooms
1 Ontario Greenhouse Sweet Red Pepper, cut in strips
2 cloves garlic, minced
1-1/2 cups (375 mL) arborio rice
3 cups (750 mL)  chicken broth
1/4 tsp (1 mL)  saffron, crushed
2 cups (500 mL) frozen (not thawed) green peas
2 tbsp (25 mL)  chopped fresh Ontario Parsley

Method

1. Dry chicken well; season with salt and pepper. In large skillet, heat 1 tbsp (15 mL) of the oil over medium-high heat; brown chicken well, in batches, transferring to
13- x 9-inch (3 L) glass baking dish.
2. In same skillet brown pork, then chorizo, adding browned pieces to dish. Discard all but 2 tbsp (25 mL) fat from skillet or add olive oil to make that amount. Cook tomatoes, onion, mushrooms, red pepper and garlic, stirring often, until much of the liquid evaporates, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in rice to coat. Spread over chicken and meat.
3. In small saucepan, bring broth and saffron to boil; remove from heat, cover and let steep for 5 minutes. Gently stir into rice mixture. Cover with foil; bake in 375°F (190°C) oven for 45 minutes. Gently stir in peas; cover and bake for 15 minutes or until rice is tender. Garnish with parsley to serve.

Nutritional Information

Per serving (when recipe serves 8):
Protein: 44 grams
Fat: 25 grams
Carbohydrate: 43 grams
Calories: 568
Fibre: 4 grams
Sodium: 733 mg
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Mediterranean Stuffed Pork Meatballs

Blending minced mushrooms into your ground pork is a great way to reduce calories, add nutrients and save money. 

Image and recipe courtesy of Ontario Pork.

Prep Time: 15 mins. | Cook Time: 20 mins. | Makes: 24 meatballs.

Ingredients

1 lb (450 g) lean ground Ontario pork
1 egg
2 Tbsp (30 mL) milk
1/2 cup (125 mL) mushrooms, minced
1/2 onion, minced
1/2 tsp (2 mL) EACH salt and pepper
1 Tbsp (15 mL) balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup (60 mL) goat’s cheese or cream
cheese
1 Tbsp (15 mL) honey
2 Tbsp (30 mL) EACH fresh basil, sun dried
tomatoes, black olives; minced
1/2 tsp (2 mL) nonstick oil spray

Method

1. In a mixing bowl, mix together ground pork, egg, milk, mushrooms, onion, salt/pepper and balsamic vinegar till well combined.
2. In a separate small bowl, mix together cheese, honey, basil, sun dried tomatoes and black olives till well combined.
3. Take 1 tsp of the cheese mixture and form it into a ball. Take 2 Tbsp of the pork mixture and make a bowl shape. Place the ball of cheese in the centre and wrap the pork around the cheese mixture forming it into a ball.
4. Spray a large skillet with nonstick oil spray and brown the meatballs over high heat. Once browned on all sides, turn to medium heat and cook covered for 5 minutes or until no pink remains and aninternal temperature of 160°F (71°C) has been reached.
5. Serve as part of a charcuterie plate or an appetizer on its own.

Nutritional Information

Per 1 Portion (1/4 Recipe):
Calories 263, Fat 8.7 g, Saturated 2.5 g, Cholesterol 69 mg, Sodium 193 mg, Carbohydrate 18.5 g, Fibre 4.5 g, Protein 27.1 g
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Lasagne with Slow Roasted Mushrooms and Goats Cheese

Recipe courtesy of Ellie from Kitchenwench.

Prep Time: 15 mins. | Cook Time: 1 hr. 39 mins.

Ingredients

Slow roasted mushroom ingredients:
500g button mushrooms, cleaned and thickly sliced
3-4 tbsp olive oil
3 garlic cloves, crushed
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
Zest of 1 lemon

Lasagne ingredients:
1 batch slow roasted mushrooms
4 fresh lasagne sheets
150g ricotta cheese
100g soft goat’s cheese
1/2 cup thin or cooking cream
1 large onion, roughly diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tbsp butter

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 160 degrees C, then toss the sliced mushrooms in olive oil, crushed garlic, lemon and salt and pepper. Scatter the mushrooms onto a baking tray lined with non stick baking paper, then roast for 30 to 40 minutes or till browned on the bottom. Flip over all the mushroom slices and roast for another 10 to 15 minutes, then remove from the oven and cool.

2. Melt the butter in a non stick frying pan over medium heat, then add the onion and garlic to the pan and sauté till translucent and soft. Once soft, mix together with the ricotta, goat’s cheese, thin cream and egg till the mixture is well incorporated.

3. Line a non-stick loaf tin with the first lasagne sheet, then layer with 1/4 of the cheese mixture and add 1/4 of the slow roasted mushrooms. Repeat till you’ve used up all of the mushrooms and cheese, then bake in an oven at 180 degrees C for 30 minutes or till a skewer poked through the pasta sheets goes through cleanly.

4. Allow to cool slightly in the pan before carefully removing onto a plate, and serve while still warm with a fresh garden salad.

Indian Spiced Mushroom Puff Pastry Braid with Plum Chutney

Recipe courtesy of Michelle from The Tiffin Box.

Prep Time: 20 mins. | Cook Time: 55 mins.

Ingredients

1 tbsp canola or vegetable oil + an extra 2 teaspoons
1 medium onion, diced
1/2 an inch fresh ginger, grated
1 generous pinch, hot chilli powder
1 tbsp garam masala (homemade is best)
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp grated nutmeg
1 package mushrooms (crimini or white, or a combination)
3/4 tsp salt or to taste
A big handful of chopped fresh coriander
A small handful of chopped fresh mint leaves
1/2 package (200g) puff pastry (I use Tenderflake)
1/4 cup pecans, toasted
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup date chutney

Method

1. Make the date chutney, recipe here. Keep aside.
2. Heat the 1 tablespoon oil in a pan, and saute the onions, till soft and golden, about 7 – 10 minutes. Add the ginger and stir for an additional 30 seconds.
3. In a smaller pan, add the 2 teaspoons of oil, and saute the chilli powder, garam masala, cinnamon and nutmeg for 1 – 2 minutes, stirring all the time. This will take away any rawness in the spices.
4. Add the fried spices to the onion-ginger mixture, and saute for about 1 minute more. Add salt.
5. Slice the mushrooms thickly, and add to the onion mixture. Cook for about 10 minutes on a medium high heat, until the mushrooms are tender. They will release their juices, so if the masala is too watery, turn up the heat and boil away any excess water. The mixture should be moist, but not watery.
6. Taste and adjust seasoning. Take off heat, and let cool completely. Stir in the fresh coriander and mint. Leave to go cold.
7. While the mushrooms are cooling, preheat the oven to 400 F.
8. Roll out the puff pastry to about 30 cm by 22 cm rectangle. Using a ruler or similar, gently mark out thirds lengthwise in the pastry. This will help you figure out where the filling goes (the two pictures below the recipe will help).
9. Gently spread the chutney in the middle third of the pastry rectangle. Top with the spiced mushrooms, then sprinkle over the toasted pecans.
10. Then cut the side wings of the pastry into 1 inch strips at an angle, like left side of a V. Again, refer to picture below to help.
11. Fold the top and bottom edges of the pastry over the filling.
12. The brush the sides of pastry with the beaten egg, and gently fold the angled strips over the filling, like a braid or a plait, brushing with more egg to seal. Once the braid is done, brush over more egg wash on top, and place in the oven.
13. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes, checking every so often, until the pastry is golden.
14. Gently slide on to a serving plate, and let cool a little. Cut into slices to serve. Goes brilliantly with a simple side salad, as well as part of a larger festive dinner.
If you prefer, you can make smaller puffs instead of the braid, and serve as appetizers as well.