Guest Post: Quick, Light Mushroom-Cashew Curry by Eat. Live. Travel. Write.

We’ve got a guest in our kitchen today… we welcome back Mardi of Eat. Live. Travel. Write.

Hi, I’m Mardi and I write the blog eat. live. travel. write. where I chronicle my culinary adventures both near and far.  I am excited to be back with a new recipe for Mushrooms.ca (thanks for having me again!) – this time, adapted from one of my mum’s old handwritten recipes which I consult on a regular basis.  Back in my early 20s, mum was just starting to experiment with curries and Indian food. My sister had an Indian friend who came over and talked mum through a few of her basic recipes – beef, chicken and potato curries – and my mum wrote down her versions of the recipes which I still have today!  I remember how much I liked the chicken curry with cashews and had often thought that this would be a great dish to make with vegetables just for something a little lighter. Mushrooms are the perfect vegetable in a curry because they retain their shape and texture and don’t end up a mushy mess.

Since we’re heading into summer, I wanted to pack the maximum flavour punch with as little stove time as possible, so I took all the spices mum lists in her recipe, added a little bit of tomato paste and oil to create a mild curry paste which you add to the onions instead of adding each individual spice.  This is in part inspired by a wonderful Jamie Oliver tikka masala recipe I have used a number of times (and that featured in my Food Revolution Day event) – I know that if I can coordinate teaching 20 kids how to make a curry paste, I can take the time to make my own at home.

For the curry, I chose to use eggplant and zucchini for some extra colour (mushrooms can be a little brown, sometimes!) but you are free to make this dish using mushrooms only or your own combination of vegetables. But make mushrooms the star. With their meaty texture, mushrooms will impress even your most die-hard carnivore!  This is a super easy recipe that is flavourful and satisfying, but light enough to enjoy on a warm summer’s day.

Mushroom and cashew curry with Oasis naan

Quick, light mushroom-cashew curry
Serves 6

Ingredients
For the curry paste:
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
seeds removed from 6 cardamom pods
3 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh ginger
1 table spoon turmeric
2 teaspoons chili flakes (for a more intense heat, you can add more of the chili flakes or else use chili powder or cayenne)
2 teaspoons garam masala powder
1/2 cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 tablespoons tomato paste

For the curry:
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 medium onion, finely diced
1/3 cup curry paste
3 cups chopped fresh mushrooms (a variety – I used cremini, white, baby bella and king oyster) – make sure they are evenly chopped
1 small eggplant, diced
1 small zucchini, diced
1/2 cup roughly chopped coriander
2 cups canned diced tomatoessalt and pepper, to taste
1/2 cup raw cashews
2/3 cup Greek yogurt
chopped cashews and fresh chopped cilantro to garnish

Cashew and mushroom curry
light Mushroom and cashew curry


Method

For the curry paste:
Heat a small frying pan over medium-high heat and add the cumin, coriander and cardamom seeds.  Toast the seeds for a few minutes until the smell becomes more intense.Using either a mortar and pestle or a spice grinder, grind down your toasted spices to a fine powder.

In the bowl of a food processor, add the toasted spice powder and the remaining ingredients for the paste and process until you have a smooth paste.  You might need to stop and push the mixture down with a rubber spatula a few times to make sure all the ingredients are incorporated and well combined.

For the curry:
In a large saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat and gently sauté the onions until translucent.Add the curry paste and sauté until the onions are well coated with the paste.Add mushrooms, eggplant, zucchini, coriander and tomatoes. Reduce heat to medium and cover.

Cook for about 10 minutes or until the eggplant and zucchini are just starting to soften.Season with salt and pepper and add the cashews. Cook for about 5-7 more minutes, then remove pan from heat.Stir in the Greek yogurt and serve on white rice, garnishing with the chopped cilantro and cashews.

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Thanks to Mardi for being our guest again. This Mushroom Curry is absolutely amazing… mushrooms truely are the star of this dish!

Don’t forget to follow Mardi on her blog Eat. Live. Travel. Write. and on Twitter.

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Guest Post: Wild Mushroom & Asiago Risotto Cakes by Sweet Sugar Bean

We have a guest in our kitchen today…Welcome back Renee of SweetSugarBean

Hi everyone!  My name is Renée Kohlman and SweetSugarBeanis my food blog I started in January of 2011.  I live in beautiful Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, where I happily whip up delicious creations in my little green kitchen.  Being a professional chef as well as a food blogger, I’m fortunate to have turned my passion for all things food into a career I absolutely love.
 

Mushrooms have always been a big part of my culinary life.  Simply frying them in butter with a good crack of pepper, slices of fresh garlic and a few chili flakes makes me happy.  Versatility is their big draw – you can combine any type of mushroom with goat cheese and roll them in puff pastry for a killer appetizer, or simmer them in a simple, yet satisfying soup.  It’s always a treat to use local wild mushrooms in these dishes.  This time of year, the wild morels are thriving right in my sister’s backyard some three hours away from here.

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She’s fortunate to live lakeside and these little beauties are ripe for the picking.  Even my 2 and 3 year old nieces are great at spotting them!  Every year I tell my sis that I’ll make it there for mushroom picking season, but they are fickle little beasts and their timing is “sometime in May” depending on rainfall etc and other variables conducive for morel growth.  After she was bombarding my inbox with lovely photos of these tasty mushrooms, I asked her quite nicely if she would mind putting some on the bus for me to sample.  Her sisterly love shone through and the package arrived, with two big bundles of light brown morels.  They are neat, webby little things, and I love their wrinkly textures.  Quite soft, they almost crumbled under water while I was cleaning them, so not a lot of chopping was necessary when I threw them into the risotto.  These morels smell of the earth and the forest and I’m so grateful for my stash.  I’m crossing my fingers that next year I’ll be able to go pick some of these delicious mushrooms myself!

Risotto is one of those dishes that may have a bad reputation for being stuffy or time-consuming.  And while there is a fair bit of stirring involved, the end result is well worth it.  Just have a glass of wine handy to keep you company 🙂 So you know what’s even better than risotto?  Risotto cakes.

 
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Leftover risotto doesn’t reheat to its former glory super well, but rolled into patties and dredged in Panko bread crumbs, then pan-fried to crispy perfection, well, these are pretty glorious.  You’ll be making a batch of risotto just for this reason alone!  Don’t fret if you don’t have a generous sister nearby who’ll pick your wild mushrooms for you!  Feel free to substitute your favourite variety in this recipe.
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WILD MUSHROOM & ASIAGO RISOTTO CAKES
3 tbsp butter
1 small onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup arborio rice
1 cup chopped wild mushrooms of your choice, or your favourite mushroom
a good glug of white wine (about ½ cup)
cracked black pepper
½ tsp thyme
1 tsp coarse salt
3-4 cups chicken broth
1 cup grated Asiago cheese
In a small saucepan, heat the chicken stock over medium heat.  Melt butter over medium heat in a medium size saucepan.  Stir in the onions and garlic.  Cook over medium low heat until softened and garlic is golden.  Stir in the rice until evenly coated in butter.  Add the chopped mushrooms.  Increase heat to medium high and stir in the white wine, salt, pepper and thyme continuing to stir until the rice absorbs the liquid.  Ladle in hot chicken stock and continue to stir until the rice absorbs all of the liquid.  Continue adding one ladle full of stock at a time and stirring until the rice is softened, but still has a bit of a bite.  Takes about 30 minutes or so.  When the rice is soft, stir in the Asiago cheese.  Spread in a shallow dish to cool completely. Cover and refrigerate.
To make the risotto cakes:
1 ½ cups Panko crumbs, divided
1 egg yolk
3 tbsp fresh chives
2 eggs beaten
canola oil for frying
fresh chives or pea shoots for garnish
Stir ½ cup of Panko, the egg yolk and fresh chives into the chilled risotto.  Shape into 1 ½ inch balls, and flatten a little bit.  Place these balls on a cookie sheet.  Have the beaten eggs in one bowl and 1 cup of Panko crumbs in another bowl.  Dip each ball into the beaten egg, then the Panko, and set on another bake sheet.  Pour canola oil into a skillet, just to coat the bottom and heat the pan over medium high heat.  Fry each risotto cake until golden brown on both sides, about 2 minutes per side.  Place in a pre-heated 250 degree oven to keep warm while you cook the rest.  Garnish with chives or pea shoots.  Makes about 8-10 servings.
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Thanks so much Renee for being our guest! Don’t forget to follow Renee on her blog SweetSugarBean, on Twitter and on Facebook.
If you like this recipe, you may also want to try:

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Guest Post: Mushroom Soba Salad by Guilty Kitchen

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The depths of winter. There’s nothing quite like it. You are so far from summer it feels like it will never come and you are still far from spring, so there’s no holding on to that thought either. All you can do is bury yourself inside, bake cookies and cakes, set fires in the hearth, read books, light candles and hope that these dark days are behind us soon.

Something I like to do in winter more than anything else (well, foodwise that is), is eat meals that make me feel like it’s summer again without eating way out of season produce. There are many winter vegetables that make for very delicious meals. Mostly of the hardy variety because they store so well and of course mushrooms, because they are in season all year round!

This salad showcases the many flavours of the dressing with a great texture because of the soft noodles and crunchy vegetables. The addition of the mushrooms makes for an even more inspiring plethora of flavours and there really is a party in your mouth. After I first created this recipe, we ate it for three solid days after. We didn’t have any leftovers that first night…I just made it over and over again. So easy and quick and so delicious and satisfying.

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Mushroom Soba Noodle Salad

Yield: 2 entrée size servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 8 minutes

Ingredients
4oz buckwheat soba noodles (I used Sobaya wheat and buckwheat brand)
1 tsp oil
6 large white or brown mushrooms, sliced
1/4 of a large red cabbage (about 1/4 lb.), shredded or finely sliced
3 small carrots, grated
4 green onions, chopped
1 large avocado, cubed

Method
1. In a medium sized saucepan, fill with water to within two inches of the top. Add salt to taste (about 2 tsp for a 4-6 cup pot). Set to a boil.
2. Add pasta when water boils and cook for 6-8 minutes or until tender. (al dente doesn’t work too well in this recipe)
3. Drain the noodles and run them under cold water for a minute. Set aside to drain.
4. Meanwhile, in a small skillet, heat the oil. Add the mushrooms and sauté for about 8 minutes or until slightly golden and soft. Remove from heat and set aside.
5. In a large bowl, combine the cabbage, carrots, onions and avocado. Set aside.

For the dressing:
1 clove garlic, minced or grated on a microplane
1 inch of fresh ginger, finely minced or grated on a microplane
2 tbsp toasted sesame oil
2 tbsp Tamari or other soy sauce (low sodium)
1 tbsp Mirin
1 tbsp Ponzu
1 tsp fish sauce
juice of 1 lemon
1 jalapeno, finely minced
1/4 cup minced cilantro
black or white sesame seeds, for garnish

1. Mix the garlic, ginger, oil, Tamari, Mirin, Ponzu, fish sauce and lemon juice in a small bowl.
2. Add the jalapeno and cilantro and stir. Set aside.

Assemble your salad:
1. In the bowl full of vegetables, add the cooked mushrooms and the noodles. Pour the dressing over and toss to coat. Serve on plates with a sprinkle of sesame seeds as garnish.

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Thanks so much Elizabeth for being our guest. If you missed Elizabeth’s first three Guest Posts, you can catch up on them here: Caramelized Mushroom & Onion DipMushroom Ravioli & Morel Mushroom, Pork and Asparagus Fresh Rolls.

Don’t forget to follow Elizabeth on her blog Guilty Kitchen, on Twitter and on Facebook.

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Nikki of Conestoga College Presents: Vegetarian Mushroom Stroganoff

This year, Mushrooms Canada is taking part in a 5 week Student Placement Program with a local college. This gives one lucky student the opportunity to work along side me in my daily efforts to plan and implement our marketing strategies. So let’s get to know her a little bit.

I am excited to welcome Mushrooms Canada’s very first Guest Blogger, Nikki from Conestoga College.

Hello everyone my name is Nikki. I am a student at Conestoga College and I am just starting my 5 week Work Study Placement at Mushrooms Canada. I chose Mushrooms Canada because of two reasons: (1) I love mushrooms, (2) I am interested in Agricultural marketing. During my placement I am looking forward to seeing cooking video production, taking part in company discussion and using my creative skills to design new mushroom materials. I know that I will learn a lot about advertising & marketing in the agricultural sector from Brittany and am really excited about his opportunity. Thanks for having me as a trainee and I will keep you posted on how everything is going during my 5 weeks!

I have always liked mushrooms with dip, but since I don’t do the grocery shopping they don’t come around very often. I never really knew how to cook them, except sautéing them and add them to pasta, but Brittany has introduced me to all the delicious recipes they have on www.mushrooms.ca, and I can’t wait to make some of them! I am going to start using mushrooms in my everyday cooking because I just found out that they are surprisingly good for you; low cal, low fat and tons of vitamins, and hey, this gal’s gotta watch her weight 😉

NikkiVegetarian Mushroom Stroganoff

Ingredients
8 oz whole fresh mixed Mushrooms 250 g
(white, crimini, portabella or shiitake)
2 tbsp vegetable oil 25 mL
1/2 cup sliced onion 125 mL
2 cloves garlic, minced 2
1 1/2 tsp minced fresh thyme (1/2 tsp/2 mL dried) 7 mL
1/2 tsp minced fresh rosemary (1/8 tsp/0.5 mL dried) 2 mL
1/2 cup Each vegetable broth and sherry 125 mL
1/2 cup low fat sour cream 125 mL
1 tsp Each cornstarch, Dijon mustard and tomato paste* 5 mL
1 tbsp minced chives (optional) 15 mL

Method
Quarter the white and crimini mushrooms; remove stems from shiitake mushrooms. Slice shiitake and portabella mushrooms. In large skillet heat oil over medium heat. Sauté mushrooms, onion, garlic, thyme and rosemary for about 3-4 minutes or until softened. Add vegetable broth and sherry; bring to boil and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes. Meanwhile mix sour cream, cornstarch, mustard and tomato paste until smooth. Add to mushroom mixture, stirring constantly. Bring to boil stirring constantly and boil for 1-2 minutes or until slightly thickened. Serve over cooked noodles, rice or mashed potatoes. Garnish with chives if desired.

Makes 2 main course servings or 4 side dish servings .

*For convenience purchase tomato paste in a tube.

Recipe Adapted from Fleming Colleges’ entry into the Make it with Mushrooms Student Chef Challenge Fall 2007. Recipe received second place.

Other Recipe Suggestion
Fettuccine Carbonara
Asian Mushrooms and Vegetables with Noodles
Easy Mushroom Ravioli with Four Cheese Sauce