food for thought

by michelle

Posts Tagged ‘mushrooms

stuffed mushrooms

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Whoever said life was too short to stuff a mushroom was wrong. I love mushrooms and this recipe uses 3 types of mushrooms to make a most delicious and satisfying vegetarian meal.

For this recipe use portobello mushrooms (these are large, mature button mushrooms) with a good edge to hold the filling. For the filling finely dice some brown shallots, the stems of the portobello mushrooms and some Swiss Brown mushrooms (these are more flavoursome than button mushrooms – they look similar with a darker and slightly mottled cap). Heat some oil in a pan and fry the shallots until just wilting. Add the mushrooms and some fresh thyme leaves as well as some porcini mushroom powder for extra mushroom flavour. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and cook until the mushrooms are softening then remove them to a bowl to cool. Add 1 egg and a generous amount of soft goat’s cheese to the mushrooms. When you’re happy with the flavour spoon the mixture into the mushrooms and place them into an oiled baking dish. Top with some finely grated parmesan or pecorino and drizzle with a little olive oil. Bake in a moderate oven (along with some roasted vegetables for accompaniment) until nicely browned and well cooked.


Written by michelle picker

May 2, 2018 at 12:17 am

mushroom, walnut and lentil loaf

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Not in the mood for meat? Here’s a high protein, gluten free loaf that everyone will enjoy.

Preheat your oven to 180ºC (350ºF). Line the base and sides of a 1.5 litre loaf tin with baking paper. Heat 1 tablespoon each of olive oil and butter in a saucepan and add a mirepoix of finely diced onion, celery and carrot in roughly equal portions. Cook until the onion is translucent and soft. Add 240g (8½ oz) of finely chopped mushrooms. I used Swiss brown mushrooms and added a sprinkling of powdered porcini mushroom for added flavour. Cook until the mushrooms are soft then add 2 finely diced or crushed cloves of garlic, 1 teaspoon of dried oregano, 1 teaspoon of smoky paprika and 1 tablespoon of tomato paste. Continue to cook for a few minutes more before adding ½ a cup of red lentils and 1¼ cups of vegetable stock. Cook over low heat until the lentils are soft and all the water has been absorbed. Remove from the heat and allow to col a little. Finally add 150g (5 oz) of crushed walnuts, 100g (3½ oz) of finely ground (instant) oats, 100g (3½ oz) of grated sharp cheddar cheese, 3 lightly beaten eggs and plenty of freshly ground black pepper and mix well to combine. Transfer the mixture into the prepared loaf tin and press it down. Bake covered for 20 minutes and uncovered for a further 15-20 minutes until quite firm. Serve with tomato sauce and a fresh green salad.

barley, lentils and mushrooms with fried onions

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Once again Yotam Ottolenghi’s recipe imparts amazing flavours to a vegetarian meal.


In a small bowl cover 20g (¾ oz) of dried porcini with 1¾ cups of boiling water and leave to stand for an hour. After an hour, remove the mushrooms and strain the liquid through a very fine sieve to remove any grit, then return the mushrooms to their liquid. Place 120g (4¼ oz) of barley (pre-soaked) and 170g (6 oz) of brown lentils in a large saucepan. Add 4 times the volume of cold water and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a rolling simmer and cook for 15 to 20 minutes. Drain, transfer to a bowl and leave to cool down. Cut an onion into thin slices lengthways and toss in a bowl with 2 tablespoons of flour. Heat oil in a medium saucepan (enough to cover the onion slices in batches) to high heat and fry the onion in batches for three to four minutes, until golden-brown. Remove them to a plate lined with paper towel and set aside to cool. Slice a second onion into wider wedges. In a large sauté pan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over high heat and fry the onion wedges for five minutes until charred and soft. Stir in 1½ teaspoons of ground cumin, 1 teaspoons of ground allspice and 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon. Next add 4 sliced large mushrooms, the finely sliced rind of 1 lemon and ½ a teaspoon each of sugar and salt. Fry until the mushrooms start to soften then add the porcini and all their soaking liquid. Boil rapidly for five minutes, reducing the liquid to approximately ½ a cup. Reduce the heat and add the lentils and barley plus 1 tablespoon of dried mint, 1 teaspoon of dried dill leaves, ¾ of a teaspoon of salt and a generous amount of freshly ground black pepper. Cook for a minute more then remove from the heat and add 2 tablespoons of lemon juice. Serve garnished with the fried onion and chopped parsley with sour cream on the side.

polenta with mushrooms and sage

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Mushrooms at their best with sage and cheesy polenta.


For this dish you will need at least 450g (1lb) of mushrooms (I used Swiss brown) and a few dried porcini mushrooms. Soak the porcini mushrooms in a little boiling water until soft. Meanwhile fry 20-30 fresh sage leaves in olive oil until crisp and set them aside on a paper towel. Bring 1 litre (1 quart) of water to boil in a saucepan and add ½ a teaspoon of salt. Transfer 200g (7 oz) of polenta into a jug with a good spout. Reduce the water to a simmer and slowly pour the polenta into it while stirring with a whisk. When the polenta begins to erupt turn the heat down as low as possible and continue to cook, stirring, until the polenta is thick and pulls away from the sides of the saucepan. Add 85g (3 oz) of butter, 130g (4½ oz) of freshly grated parmesan and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Remove from the heat. For the mushrooms, dice 1 or 2 brown shallots and gently fry them in a mixture of olive oil and butter until translucent. Deglaze with a little white wine and cook for a few minutes. Slice all of the mushrooms and add them to the pan. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cook the mushrooms until they are soft, adding a little liquid if necessary. Serve the mushrooms over the polenta and garnish with fried sage leaves.

Written by michelle picker

May 23, 2014 at 5:58 am

pork belly with mushrooms, noodles and bok choy

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Caramelised and anise-flavoured pork belly over noodles- what could be better? This recipe, adapted from gastronomydomine, is even better the next day (which also allows for the removal of unwanted fat from the sauce).


Chop a 1kg (2 lb) piece of pork belly into pieces leaving the skin on. Mix one tablespoon each of the soy sauce and honey with a teaspoon of five spice powder and marinate the sliced pork in this mixture for an hour. Chop 5 cloves of garlic and 6 shallots very finely (you can blitz them in a food processor). Heat some oil to very hot in a pressure cooker (if you have one) or a heavy pot with a lid and fry the garlic, shallots, 4 flowers of star anise and 2 tablespoons of soft brown sugar together until they begin to turn a golden brown. Reduce the heat and add the pork to the pan with its marinade, frying until the meat is coloured on all sides. Now add 1 cup of chicken stock, 3 tablespoons of of soy sauce and 1 teaspoon of salt . Close the pressure cooker and when it reaches full pressure, reduce the heat and cook for 40 minutes. For a normal pot bring the mixture to the boil, reduce to a gentle simmer, cover and continue to simmer for two hours. If the sauce seems to be reducing and thickening, add a little water. Meanwhile, cook some Chinese dried mushrooms in water until soft then remove the stems. Set aside. When ready to serve, reheat the pork, adding another cup of chicken stock and the mushrooms. Meanwhile, cook a packet of Hokkien-style noodles according to the instructions on the packet and steam some bok choy for approximately 2 minutes until wilted but still a little crunchy. Place a serve of noodles in each bowl and spoon the pork and liquid over the noodles. Add a serve of bok choy to each plate.

Written by michelle picker

October 25, 2013 at 5:59 am

mushrooms and goat cheese on toast

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A classy and delicious breakfast or brunch.


To serve this you will need a good sour-dough or rye bread to toast and some soft goat’s cheese (mine had an ash rind). Halve or slice more mushrooms than you think you need (they shrink). Heat some olive oil and butter in a large fry pan. Add the mushrooms and cook for a few minutes. Add a few sprigs of fresh thyme and season with salt and pepper. Cover the pan and continue to cook until the mushrooms are soft. Meanwhile toast the bread and spread with some goat’s cheese. Spoon the mushrooms over the top and serve immediately. For a more complete meal serve this on a bed of vinaigrette-dressed salad.

Written by michelle picker

February 27, 2013 at 9:36 am

blue cheese soufflé + exotic mushrooms

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I can’t remember when I last made a soufflé, but it wasn’t too difficult and definitely worth the effort.

Preheat your oven to 180C (350F). Generously butter some ramekins then dust with grated parmesan. In a saucepan over low heat melt 3 tablespoons of butter. When the foam subsides add 3 tablespoons of plain flour and cook for a few minutes, whisking constantly to form a smooth sauce. Slowly add a cup of milk and continue to whisk until slightly thickened. Remove the saucepan from the heat. Separate 5 eggs. Take 4 egg yolks and beat them lightly. Whisk a spoonful of the hot butter-flour mixture into the egg yolks then add them to the saucepan and incorporate well. Add ½ a teaspoon of salt, freshly ground pepper to taste and 1 teaspoon of dry mustard powder. Whisk in 170g (6 oz) of crumbled blue cheese (I used Stilton). In another bowl beat 5 egg whites and a pinch of cream of tartar until they hold soft peaks. Add a ¼ of the egg whites to the saucepan and gently fold them into the cheesy mixture with a spatula then add the remaining whites in 3 batches, folding them in very gently. Divide the soufflé mixture evenly among the prepared ramekins. Bake for 25 minutes. The tops should be golden and the centres should still wobble slightly.

I served the soufflés with a spinach salad and sautéed fresh shitake, oyster, king and enoki mushrooms.

Written by michelle picker

July 20, 2012 at 9:57 am