Recipe: Mushroom Ragout over Creamy Polenta

Serves 4-6
1 lb. shiitake and/or oyster mushrooms – cleaned, stemmed & either chopped, sliced, or quartered (however you prefer)
1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
7 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1/2 cup diced onion
1/2 Tbsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 tsp. chopped fresh oregano leaves
3/4 cup diced tomatoes
1/2 Tbsp. tomato paste – optional
2 – 3  cups mushroom, vegetable, or chicken stock
1-1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1/2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
2 cups of whole milk
a pinch of ground mace
7/8 cup stone-ground polenta or course cornmeal
1/4 cup mascarpone or cream cheese
1/2 cup plus extra for garnish parmesan or Friesago cheese
1 Tbsp. chives

The Mushroom Ragout
Place a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat, and add the olive oil and 2 Tbsp of butter. When the butter begins to foam, add the diced onion and sauté until translucent, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Add the mushrooms and another 3 tablespoons of butter and cook, stirring often, until they have released most of their liquid, about 10 minutes.

Add the thyme, oregano, diced tomatoes, tomato paste if desired, and 1 cup of stock. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has reduced and the ragout has thickened, about 20 minutes. You can add another 1/4 cup or so of stock if the ragout seems to need it. Season with the salt and pepper, and stir in the parsley.

ragout4

The Creamy Polenta
Combine the 2 cups milk, 1 cup stock, 2 tablespoons butter, remaining salt, remaining pepper, and mace in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil on high heat. Whisk in the polenta and stir continuously until the mixture begins to thicken. Then reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring frequently, for 30 minutes, or until the polenta is creamy and tender and starts to pull away from the sides of the pan. You can add up to another 1/2 cup of stock if the polenta seems to need more cooking and doesn’t feel creamy enough yet. When it’s cooked to the consistency you like, add the cheeses and stir to blend. Remove from the heat and stir for 3 minutes to cool the polenta.

Divide the Creamy Polenta among four to six shallow bowls, and top with mushroom ragout. Garnish with the parmesan and chives, and serve hot.

ragout7

 

adapted from Emeril Lagasse’s “Farm to Fork.”

Recipe: Mushroom Quiche

Quiche is one of my go to recipes. It takes a bit of prep work but it’s not too complicated and you can eat it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. And brunch. At least, I do!

Our recipe is based on a quiche lorraine recipe from an old, falling apart copy of The New York Times cookbook. The original called for bacon also and I decided to throw some in because, hey, we have a TON of pork! This recipe will work pretty well in your standard store-bought frozen pie crust. If you have time to make your own pie crust and have a relatively deep pie plate, you probably will want an extra egg and another 1/2 cup of cream/milk.  Don’t worry if you end up with extra. I always end up with extra (depends on how many ingredients you pack into the crust) so I butter a small ramekin dish and toss in any leftover ingredients and egg mix for a crustless quiche. Yum!

Mushroom Quiche

Serves 6 to 8
3 to 6 oz. fresh oyster, nameko, or other mushrooms
or
1/2 oz. dried oyster, nameko, or other mushrooms
1 onion, thinly sliced or handful garlic tips, coarsely chopped
3 to 4 Tbsp. butter or olive oil
3/4 cup friesago or swiss cheese, cubed
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1-1/2 cups milk or heavy cream
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. paprika
1/8 tsp. fish sauce (optional)

If using dried mushrooms, cover in hot water with a weight on top to keep them submerged. Soak for at least a half hour, then remove stems and chop caps to desired size. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Line 8-inch pie plate with pastry and bake five minutes when oven gets up to temperature. After 5 minutes, pull the pastry crust out and set aside till you’re ready for it. It will probably have bubbled up (unless you used pie weights), but the bubbles will recede.

For fresh mushrooms, clean them if necessary. Remove the stems and save for soup stock. Heat 1 or 2 Tbsp. of butter or oil on medium heat. Chop or slice mushroom caps and sauté until soft and slightly browned, or about five minutes. If mushrooms look dry add more fat to the pan. Set mushrooms aside. Cook onion in remaining fat until onion is transparent. Spread onion, mushrooms, and cheese over the inside of the partly baked pastry.

Combine the eggs, milk, and seasoning and whisk until frothy. Add to the pie plate. Bake the pie fifteen minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F. and bake until a knife inserted one inch from the pastry edge comes out clean – at least 10 minutes. You can also cook it longer till the egg is puffed up and nicely brown if you like it that way better, but you know it’s done when the knife comes out clean.

 

adapted from The New York Times Cookbook, edited by Craig Claiborne

Recipe: Prairie Mushroom Risotto

Just to warn you, this recipe uses a lot of pots and pans! If you’ve only got a few pots/pans you can probably tip cooked items into bowls to wait while you move onto further steps. This recipe is a little bit complex but it is so worth it. The arborio rice seemed a bit starchy toward the end, not as much flavor as I had hoped. I thought the dish was ruined, but then I added the butter and Parmesan, waited a couple minutes, and was blown away by the flavor. I will be eating this dish for breakfast, lunch, and dinner this weekend! It all comes together really well in the end and you will not be sorry you gave it a try.

Prairie Mushroom Risotto

Serves 4
2 oz. dried shiitake mushrooms or 10 oz. fresh shiitake mushrooms
1 1/2 oz. wild rice
about 3 to 4 cups stock or water
2 Tbsp olive oil
6 scallions or spring onions, finely chopped
1 large clove of garlic, finely chopped – optional
8 oz. arborio rice or other medium-grain rice
1 1/2 wine glasses of dry white wine
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 Tbsp butter
3 oz. grated Parmesan cheese
3 oz. crumbled friesago cheese

If you’re using dried mushrooms, soak them in water to cover for an hour, then pat dry with a towel. Set aside the soaking liquid. For fresh or rehydrated mushrooms, remove the stems and chop the caps. Heat 4 tsp oil on medium low. Saute the mushrooms until browned and slightly crispy. If mushrooms look dry add more oil to the pan. Set aside.

In a small saucepan, bring 1 cup water to a boil. Add the wild rice, cover the pan, and reduce the heat. Simmer for 25 minutes; drain well. (The rice doesn’t have to be done as it will be cooking more later.)

Put the stock (and mushroom soaking liquid if any) in a saucepan on low. In a separate pan heat the remaining oil, add the scallions or onions and garlic, and fry slowly for about 4 minutes. When the vegetables have softened, add the arborio rice and turn up the heat. The rice will begin to fry, so keep stirring it. After a minute it will look slightly translucent. Add the wild rice and wine and keep stirring.

Once the wine has cooked into the rice, add the mushrooms, and then add your first ladle of hot stock and a pinch of salt. Turn down the heat to a high simmer so the rice doesn’t cook too quickly on the outside. Keep adding ladlefuls of stock, stirring and almost massaging the creamy starch from the rice, allowing each ladleful to be absorbed before adding the next. This will take between 15 to 45 minutes depending on your preference; keep adding stock until the rice is soft but with a slight bite. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Remove from heat and add the butter and Parmesan. Stir gently. Place a lid on the pan and allow to sit for 2 to 3 minutes. Serve immediately with crumbled friesago.

 

recipe adapted from Jamie Oliver’s “The Naked Chef Takes Off”

Recipe: Oyster Mushroom and Braised Leek Soup

Serves 4 or 6

8 oz. fresh Oyster mushrooms
3 large onions or leeks – white part and 2 inches of the green
5 cups vegetable or chicken stock
2 sprigs rosemary or 2 Tbsp dried rosemary – held in a tea ball or cloth bag
1 or 2 cloves garlic, minced
4 Tbsp unsalted butter
salt and fresh ground black pepper
4 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp chives chopped

Remove mushroom stems and chop mushrooms and set aside.

Chop onion or cut each leek in half lengthwise and place in a shallow pan with the stock and the rosemary. Cover and simmer over medium-low heat for 25 minutes, or until the leeks or onions are tender. Remove and discard the rosemary. Remove the leeks and chop into bite-sized pieces. Puree two-thirds of the leeks, all of the stock, and 3 tablespoons of the butter until smooth. Cook the soup in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat for 5 minutes, or until warm. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Keep warm. Reserve the remaining leeks for garnish.

Saute the garlic in 1 tablespoon of the butter in a medium sauté pan over medium heat for 3-4 minutes, or until translucent. Add the mushrooms and cook for 5-7 minutes, or until tender. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Ladle the soup into bowls and top with mushrooms and remaining leeks. Drizzle the olive oil over the top and sprinkle the chives around the bowls and top with freshly ground black pepper.

 

adapted from recipe by Charlie Trotter

Recipe: Grilled Polenta and Mushrooms

Once again I got really excited about making this recipe, one of my favorites, and didn’t bother to read the recipe Jeremy had put together until afterwards. Of course he fancied it up so my photos don’t look like what you’d get if you follow this recipe. Oh well, it just shows the diversity of ways you can use mushrooms, right??

The “un-fancy” way to make this is just to cook the mushrooms and some garlic and put that over the grilled polenta, with a little Parmesan. Simple!

Grilled Polenta and Mushrooms

Serves 4
1-1 1/2 Tbsp. coarse salt
1 2/3 cups polenta or course cornmeal
1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
6-8 oz. shiitake or other mushrooms
2 slices bacon
more olive oil as needed
1 small onion, diced
2 to 4 Tbsp white wine or stock for deglazing
pepper to taste
about 1/2 a cup of cream
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 Tbsp Parmesan cheese
Polenta
Put salt into 7 cups cold water in a medium heavy pot. Add polenta and whisk in. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring often. Add olive oil, then reduce heat to medium and continue cooking, stirring often with a wooden spoon until polenta thickens and pulls away slightly from bottom and sides of pot, or between 20-40 minutes – depending on grind.

Pour into a wet ceramic or glass mold, cool, turn out, and cut into pieces with a wet knife. Grill on a very hot, dry grill or sear in a nonstick skillet until golden brown.

Shiitake mushrooms and sauce
Fry up bacon until crisp. Remove from pan and drain most but not all of the fat from the pan; reserve the fat you drain off. Cut bacon into small pieces. Saute onion until tender. Deglaze the pan with whatever liquid you choose and then let the liquid reduce till thickened; set onion sauce aside in another dish.

Remove mushroom stems. If the mushrooms are small you can leave them whole or cut into halves; if they are larger you can slice them up.  With the pan on medium, add the reserved bacon fat and mushrooms. You want each mushroom to have contact with the pan, so cook in batches if necessary. If the pan gets dry add olive oil. Cook mushrooms two to three minutes, then stir. Saute another couple of minutes, or until soft.

Add the onion sauce to the sauteed mushrooms. Add pepper to taste, cream, garlic, bacon and cheese. Heat through thoroughly. Serve over polenta.

Variation: marinate the Shiitake for a few hours in oil, a little vinegar or white wine, salt and pepper then grill them. Chop half of the grilled mushrooms and combine with other sauce ingredients, then top polenta and remaining mushrooms with sauce.

Mushroom sauce recipe adapted from ReTorte food blog. Polenta recipe reproduced from Saveur Magazine.

Recipe: Midsummer Shiitake Green Salad

Serves 4
ingredients for the dressing
1/4 oz. dried shiitake mushrooms
or
1 oz. fresh shiitake or oyster mushrooms, chopped
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
3/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons tamari soy sauce
2 tablespoons mushroom soaking water (if using dried mushrooms) or water
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum powder

ingredients for the salad
4 to 6 oz. fresh Shiitake mushrooms
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 to 4 oz. salad mix
pint jar of microgreens or sunflower sprouts
4 oz. chevre or blue cheese

shiitake sesame dressing
If using dried mushrooms, put them in a small bowl and cover with boiling water. Let soak until the mushrooms are soft, at least an hour. Toast the sesame seeds in a small skillet, stirring until they are golden in color. Remove from the heat so they don’t burn.
When dried mushrooms are soft, save 2 tablespoons of the soaking water, trim and discard the stems; chop the mushrooms. Put the oil, vinegar, soy sauce, reserved soaking water (or just water), sesame oil, the chopped mushrooms and xanthan gum in a blender. Whir just until the mushrooms are in tiny pieces, about 10 seconds. Add the toasted sesame seeds and blend a few seconds more. Store in a glass jar, refrigerated if not using right away.

the salad
Assemble salad – including salad mix, microgreens or sprouts, and cheese. Remove stems from mushrooms and slice or chop caps. Save stems for stock. Heat oil in pan or skillet and add mushrooms. Saute mushrooms stirring occasionally for about 5 minutes, or until soft and slightly browned. Top the salad with hot mushrooms and shiitake dressing and eat immediately!

 

Salad dressing recipe reproduced from the Muffin Talk blog

Recipe: Summer King Oyster Salad

Serves 4
1/2 cup white vinegar
2-1/2 tsp sugar
1 tsp mustard seed
1 tsp salt, plus more to taste
1 cracked garlic clove
up to 4 cups of seasonal vegetables like scallions or red onion, and green beans or cucumbers
1 bay leaf
6 to 8 Tbsp olive oil, plus 1 or 2 tsp more as needed
1 tsp vinegar
1 garlic clove
1 tightly-packed cup cleaned nasturtium leaves or other spicy greens
8 oz. fresh king oyster mushrooms
2 slices of thin-cut bacon, cut in half
2 cups cleaned arugula

The pickles
Heat vinegar, sugar, mustard seed, salt, and garlic in sauce pan on medium heat until it begins to simmer and the sugar dissolves. Put vegetables and bay leaf in heat-tolerant bowl and cover with vinegar mixture. Stir to evenly coat vegetables and allow to cool to room temperature or chill.

The dressing
Add together 6 to 8 Tbsp olive oil, vinegar, a clove of garlic, pinch of salt, and a cup of nasturtium leaves or other greens. Blend until smooth in a blender or food processor.

The warm and savory part
Slice or shred mushrooms. Cook bacon on medium heat until browned on each side. Remove bacon to paper towel. Add mushrooms to pan with a pinch of salt, cooking until soft and aromatic, or 5 to 10 minutes. Add a teaspoon or two of olive oil to the pan if the mushrooms look dry.

Make a small bed of arugula on each plate and top with a bacon strip, then add some drained pickles and hot mushrooms on the side. Drizzle the dressing over all and enjoy!

Recipe: Pesto and Shiitake Pasta

pestomushroompasta

Serves 4
4 oz. fresh shiitake mushrooms, chopped
1/2 lb pasta
1 Tbsp plus 1/2 tsp salt
3 cups basil leaves – packed
1/2 to 3/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp sunflower or olive oil
3 Tbsp pine nuts or to taste
2 cloves of garlic
3/4 cup parmesan or friesago cheese

Bring 2 or 3 quarts of water to boil. Add 1 Tbsp salt and pasta and boil till al dente. If the toppings aren’t yet done, you may leave the pasta in cooking water to keep warm, but turn off the heat when pasta is still firm.

Place basil leaves, oil, pine nuts, garlic and 1/2 tsp salt in blender. Blend until smooth. Add more oil and stir carefully if it is too thick. Add more salt, pine nuts, or garlic to taste and blend again. You should be able to taste all flavors equally, though the pine nuts will be more of an aftertaste. Add 1/2 cup or more to taste of grated friesago or parmesan cheese, then stir or blend to integrate.

Remove stems from mushrooms and save for soup stock in the freezer. Chop or slice mushroom caps. Heat skillet or pan and add 2 Tbsp olive oil (or butter), then add  mushrooms when oil is hot. Saute until soft and slightly browned, about 5 minutes.

Serve pesto on top of hot pasta with mushrooms and remaining cheese, or serve cold for a midsummer picnic.

Variation: if you have garlic scapes available, use 2 oz. of them in lieu of the garlic and use between 2 and 2-1/2 cups of basil. This is also a delicious topping for a burger or steak, with more shiitake mushrooms!

Recipe: Mushroom and Garlic Scape Pizza

You can make or purchase pizza dough for this recipe, or buy a ready made crust.

Serves 3
4 to 8 oz. fresh shiitake or oyster mushrooms, chopped
pizza dough
2 Tbsp flour
about 1/4 cup olive oil
1 Tbsp coarse cornmeal
1/3 pound garlic scapes
6 large green or greek olives
6 to 8 oz. mozzarella cheese
4 oz. chevre cheese
1 to 3 oz. friesago cheese

If you’ve bought frozen pizza dough, thaw dough in refrigerator. Several hours before cooking, bring to room temperature on floured surface until doubled in size. Roll out dough until thin using rolling pin or stretching by hand. Use flour as needed to keep dough from sticking to surface or rolling pin. Place on well-floured (and movable) chopping block.

Preheat oven to 500 degrees.

Trim stems from mushrooms and save for soup stock. Chop mushroom caps. Heat 1 to 2 Tbsp of olive oil on medium low heat, and saute mushroom caps until soft and slightly browned, about 5 minutes. If mushrooms look dry add more oil to pan. Set aside.

Wash garlic scapes and trim off tips. Cut into 1 inch segments. Mix with 2 Tbsp olive oil, 1 to 2 tsp balsamic vinegar, and 1/2 tsp salt. Transfer to shallow pan under broiler until lightly browned and soft but al dente, or about 5 to 8 minutes. Set aside. Slice olives thinly and set aside. Grate mozzarella cheese.

If you will be baking pizza in a baking pan, grease pan with 1 to 2 tsp of oil and then sprinkle with cornmeal. If using pizza stone, remove hot stone from oven and sprinkle with cornmeal.

Place pizza dough on pan or pizza stone and top with mushrooms, garlic scapes with their cooking oil, olives, as well as chevre, friesago and mozzarella cheeses, and place in oven for 10 to 15 minutes until bubbling and slightly browned. Remove from oven then slice and serve immediately.

Recipe: Grilled Mushroom and Garlic Pizza

You can make or purchase pizza dough for this recipe, or buy a ready made crust.

3 to 4 oz. fresh shiitake, oyster, or other mushrooms, chopped
pizza dough
2 Tbsp flour
up to about 1/4 cup olive oil
2 small to medium heads of garlic
1 to 1-1/2 cup cherry tomatoes
salt and pepper to taste
3 to 5 oz. mozzarella cheese
1 to 2 oz. parmesan or friesago cheese

If you’ve bought frozen pizza dough, thaw dough in refrigerator. Several hours before cooking, bring to room temperature on floured surface until doubled in size. Roll out dough until thin using rolling pin or stretching by hand. Use flour as needed to keep dough from sticking to surface or rolling pin. Place on well-floured (and movable) chopping block.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Peel away outer layers of garlic heads, but without removing skin on individual cloves. Then trim off between a 1/4 and 1/2 of the top of the bulb with a knife, exposing the tops of the cloves. Put garlic heads in baking pan, then drizzle with 1 to 2 teaspoons of olive oil. Cover the heads with aluminum foil and cook in the oven until garlic is soft, about 30 minutes.

You can roast the tomatoes at the same time as you roast the garlic. Wash the tomatoes,
then slice in half. Place tomato halves in baking pan, cut side up, and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper and cook until soft and browned.

After taking garlic and tomatoes out of the oven, turn the oven up to 550 degrees (or however hot your oven gets if it doesn’t get to 550) and cook the pizza crust on a pizza stone for about 5 minutes. If you are using a ready made crust, you can skip this step.

Prepare grill. Grate or crumble cheeses.

Clean mushrooms as needed. Trim away less fleshy stems and save for soup
stock. Slice larger caps into smaller pieces. Heat 1 to 2 Tbsp of olive oil on medium-high
heat, and saute mushroom caps until soft and slightly browned, about 5 minutes. If
mushroom look dry add more oil to pan. Set aside.

Spread roasted garlic on the pizza crust, add tomatoes, and any oil from their roasting, then top with mushrooms and cheeses. Place pizza on grill and cook until the bottom is firm and the cheese has melted. Remove from grill, then slice and serve immediately.