Showing posts with label mushrooms. Show all posts
Showing posts with label mushrooms. Show all posts

Friday, April 29, 2016

Mushroom Feta Tart with Feta Thyme Crust #FridayPieDay

 This lovely mushroom feta tart is filled with mixed mushrooms, seasoned with thyme and white wine and sharp feta, baked in a yeast dough crust.  

Here’s a little news for those of you who think mushrooms can only grow in humid, dark places. The mushrooms I used in today’s tart were all grown here in the sunny United Arab Emirates.  Yeah, I know, I know, they are farmed and not wild, but still. The farms here are a testament to the persistence and dedication of many dreamers who have worked hard to see their dreams fulfilled. Emirates Mushrooms is fully organic and, according to their website, they have a growing capacity of 8000kg of mushrooms per week! Which I find incredible. And, no, this is not a sponsored post – I just thought I’d share a little of my world with you.

It’s Friday Pie Day again so let’s get on with the pie.

For the crust:
1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon sugar
3/4 cup or 180ml warm water
1/2 teaspoon salt
About 2 1/4 cups or 280g all-purpose flour
1 3/4 oz or 50g feta, crumbled
Thyme leaves off a few fresh sprigs, maybe two teaspoons
Olive oil for bowl

For the filling:
3-4 cloves garlic
1 medium onion (Mine was 90g.)2 tablespoons butter (or olive oil)
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves plus a sprig or two for garnish, if desired
2lbs + or 950g mixed mushrooms
1/2 cup or 120ml dry white wine
Freshly ground black pepper
3 1/2 oz or 100g feta, crumbled

First we’ll make the dough for the crust. Put the warm water in a bowl with the yeast and sugar and leave to prove. The yeast should turn foamy if it’s active. If not, go buy some more yeast and start again.

Assuming you’ve got foam in your bowl, add in 2 cups or 250g of the flour along with the thyme and salt. Mix well until you have a nice wet dough. You can knead by hand but this will be easier with a dough hook if you have a stand mixer.

Add in the crumbled feta and about one more tablespoon of flour and keep kneading with the dough hook until it’s incorporated.

Turn it out onto a floured surface and knead for a few good turns by hand, adding just a little more of the flour if necessary. Form the dough into a ball.

Oil your mixing bowl and put the ball of dough in. Turn it over to coat with oil. Set aside in warm place until doubled in size.

To make the filling, clean your mushrooms, making sure to remove any dirt that clings to them.

Slice the garlic and onion finely and pull the thyme leaves off of the stems.

Melt the butter in a very large pan and sauté the garlic, onion and thyme over a low heat, until they are very soft. Stir occasionally.

Meanwhile, cut your mushrooms in two if they are small and in quarters if they are larger.

Add the mushrooms to the onion pan. Raise the flame under the pan and cook the mushrooms, stirring often, until the water comes out of them.

Continue cooking until the water all evaporates and they are dry. Cook over a high flame until the mushrooms start to brown. Keep stirring.

Add in the white wine and keep cooking until it has all evaporated and the mushrooms are almost completely dry again.

Remove the pan from the stove. Set aside a few crumbles of feta to add to the top before baking then add the rest to the pan.  Give it a few good grinds of black pepper and then stir.

Season to taste with salt. I added just a couple of pinches since the feta is quite salty. Leave the filling to cool.

Preheat your oven to 400°F or 200°C and line a baking pan with parchment or a silicone liner.

Punch down the dough and tip it out onto a lightly floured surface.

Roll it out into a circle about 13 1/2 in or 34cm wide.

Carefully transfer the circle to your prepared baking pan.

Heap the mushroom filling in the middle then spread it around until it’s about 2 in or 5cm from the edge.

Fold the sides in to contain the filling. Top the mushrooms with your few reserved feta crumbles and a couple of small thyme sprigs, if desired.

Bake in your preheated oven for about 25-30 minutes or until the crust is golden brown.

Remove and allow to cool on a wire rack for about 15-20 minutes before cutting.


My friend and creator of Friday Pie Day, Heather, over at All Roads Lead to the Kitchen was thinking outside the box this month. She's sharing a cherry pie milkshake today!

I am pleased to join her on the last Friday of each month for pie and crust recipes, techniques, tools of the trade, and other inspiration.

For more information and recipes, please check out her #FridayPieDay page!


Sunday, April 10, 2016

Beef Wellington Bites

A traditional Beef Wellington is made with whole tenderloin wrapped in puff pastry along with mushrooms duxelles and foie gras. These beef Wellington bites are the finger food version made with choux pastry puffs.

Let me start by saying that this dish was the result of leftovers of the very best kind. I made duxelles for a different dish and ended up sharing it for a group post celebrating mushrooms. And I had frozen choux pastry from a croquembouche challenge. When a weekend barbecue left me with a couple of grilled filet mignon steaks, it suddenly came to me that I had the makings of beef Wellington of a sort and just needed some foie gras or liver paté. Oh, we dined richly that night! I'd been waiting for the ideal time to share them when Sunday Supper announced a Finger Food for Dinner theme. Perfect!

Make sure you scroll down to see all the wonderful fork-free dishes we are sharing today, from appetizers through desserts. Many thanks to our host Christie from A Kitchen Hoor's Adventures and her guiding light, Marion from Life Tastes Good.

For the duxelles:
3 oz or 85g shallots
1/3 cup or 75g butter
12 oz or 340g mushrooms
1 cup or 240ml dry white wine
1 cup or 240ml whipping cream
Sea salt
Black pepper
Instructions here  You may not use the whole recipe. Stir the rest through some pasta. Or eat it with a spoon.

For the choux pastry:
1 cup or 125g plain flour
1 pinch salt
7 tablespoons or 100g butter
1 cup or 240ml water
4 eggs, at room temperature
- The dough makes about 50 small choux buns. They freeze well before baking!

For assembly: Makes 18 Beef Wellington Bites
6 oz or 170g grilled tenderloin steak
6 oz or 170g smooth duck or pork paté, at room temperature

Make your duxelles ahead of time and store the bowl in the refrigerator. Do not leave it out as you work, because its volume will greatly decrease, spoon by spoon, if it's handy. That stuff is GOOD.

Now we'll make the choux pastry. Preheat your oven to 445°F or 230°C and prepare your baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper stuck down with a little non-stick spray. If you are feeling particularly anal, as I usually am, you can draw some circles to guide you on the underside of the parchment paper.

Sift together your flour and a pinch of salt and put the bowl right next to the stove in readiness.

In a medium pot, combine the butter and water and bring to the boil.

Pour the flour/salt mixture into the boiling water/butter all at once. Stir vigorously until the mixture forms a ball and pulls right away from the sides. This takes just a minute or two.

Now take the pot off of the stove and add the eggs, one at a time, beating well with your wooden spoon in between. With each addition, it looks like the egg won’t mix in and the dough starts to fall apart but keep mixing and after a couple of minutes of hard labor, the dough comes together again in one big lump and it’s time to add the next egg.

After the fourth egg has been thoroughly incorporated, put the dough into a piping bag with a large tip, about 1/2 in or 1 cm wide.

Pipe the soft dough on the parchment paper in 1 inch or 2.5cm circles about an equal measure apart from each other.

Poke down any pointy tops with a damp finger.

Bake in your preheated oven for 10 minutes then turn the temperature down to 400°F or 200°C and bake for a further 25 minutes. (OR you can now pop them in the freezer if you want to keep some for later.  You only need 18 for the Beef Wellington Bites. Once frozen, slip them off the parchment and into a Ziploc bag for storage. They are perfect for sweet or savory fillings and can be taken out of the freezer and baked as you need them.)

Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.

Once they are completely cooled, store them in an airtight container until you are ready to serve.

When you are ready to serve, warm your duxelles and your tenderloin steaks. Slice the steaks thinly.

Split the choux buns open horizontally. Add a good spoon of the duxelles to the bottom. Top with sliced steak and finally, add a small slice of paté.

Put the top of the choux bun back on and repeat the process until all the Beef Wellington Bites are assembled.


Do you enjoy Finger Foods for Dinner? I think they are great for movie nights but in our house we also always do all appetizers for Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve as well.

I want everything on this list!

Pinky Appetizers
Manual Mains
Digit Desserts


Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Duxelles #FoodieExtravaganza

The earthy flavor of mushrooms is concentrated by cooking them down in a mixture of butter and shallots, then white wine and finally cream is added, creating a thick, rich sauce that is an essential component of classic dishes like Beef Wellington. Or you can just eat it with a spoon.

Here’s the thing about mushrooms for me. Fresh and clean, they have a soft yet almost a snappy texture to them, perfect for slicing into salads. Slightly cooked, they get all wet and even kind of slimy. So, I’m either going to eat them raw or I’m going to cook them down till all of their own water has evaporated, like in mushroom gravy or duxelles.

I made this batch of duxelles a while back because I need it as a component for another recipe that I never quite got around to posting. It had been hanging out in my To Be Shared folder for quite some time when Wendy, this month’s host for Foodie Extravaganza, announced that our ingredient for September would be mushrooms. Apparently September is National Mushroom Month in the US. Who knew? I love it when I am prepared for a group post completely by accident.

If you’ve never had duxelles, let me encourage you to try it. It makes a great thick sauce over rice or pasta. Spread it on crusty bread for snacks or toasted rounds of baguette for appetizers. You can fold it in omelets, roll it in crepes, stuff it in ravioli or stir it through the pan juices of a roast to make the perfect mushroom gravy. Just to mention a few ideas I love. Or, as previously mentioned, you can just eat it with a spoon.

Ingredients – for about 1 1/2 cups or 375g duxelles
3 oz or 85g shallots
1/3 cup or 75g butter
12 oz or 340g mushrooms
1 cup or 240ml dry white wine
1 cup or 240ml whipping cream
Sea salt
Black pepper

Peel and finely chop the shallots. Trim the hard stem ends off and finely chop the mushrooms as well.

Sauté the shallots gently with the butter until they are soft and translucent.

Add in the mushrooms and simmer until they are cooked down and release their liquid.

Keep simmering, uncovered, until liquid is almost all gone. Add the white wine and simmer again until almost dry.

Add the cream, a sprinkle of sea salt and a few good grinds of fresh black pepper.

Stir and then simmer a little while longer. It's going to start thickening up as the moisture evaporates. Try not to eat it all with a spoon at this point, but it's sooooo good.

Keep simmering until the mixture is looking almost dry once more. Taste for salt and pepper and add more to your taste, if necessary.

This can be refrigerated for a few days in a tightly covered container. It’s not beautiful but it sure is tasty. If you are using it in a beef Wellington, I highly recommend chilling it first.


Many thanks to Wendy from A Day in the Life on the Farm for hosting Foodie Extravaganza this month and for giving me the push I needed to share one of my favorite recipes.

Have a look at all the other great mushroom recipes we have for you this month:

Foodie Extravaganza is where we celebrate obscure food holidays or cook and bake together with the same ingredient or theme each month.

Posting day is always the first Wednesday of each month. If you are a blogger and would like to join our group and blog along with us, come join our Facebook page Foodie Extravaganza. We would love to have you!

If you're a reader looking for delicious recipes check out our Foodie Extravaganza Pinterest Board! Looking for our previous parties? Check them out HERE.


Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Mushroom Ginger Congee #OATrageousOatmeals

A wonderful twist on traditional congee made with oats, mushrooms, ginger and vegetable stock, and a dash of hot spice, this Mushroom Ginger Congee is a bowl of pure comfort when you are feeling down or unwell or cold or hungry. So pretty much any morning around nine or any evening around six o’clock for me. 

Choose wisely but take chances
As I’ve gotten older and wiser, I’ve learned to say no to more things, for instance “volunteer” opportunities that will overextend me or make me feel resentful or used, even if they are for a very good cause. On the other hand, I try to say yes to more things that will push my level of comfort and make me try new experiences. This oatmeal cookbook is one of them.

When my friend Kathy first approached me about reviewing her new cookbook, OATrageous Oatmeals, I thought, “Oatmeal? A book full of oat recipes?” Yeah, I wasn’t sure about that. You see, I am not a breakfast person. By which I mean that I don’t believe in traditional American breakfast food. I’d rather have last night’s leftover lasagna than a piled plate of pancakes with syrup. And for me, oats are breakfast food, except when they are in our family’s favorite chocolate chip cookies.

Savory oatmeal. Who knew? 
But the book blurb promised so much more than breakfast or sweet uses of oatmeal. I was intrigued by the potential of “pepperoni” crumbles made with oats and spices to mimic the texture and flavors of chopped pepperoni and I imagined them sprinkled on a Caprese salad. But the one recipe I most wanted to make was, funnily enough, a breakfast one.

On my maiden voyage to Southeast Asia, when I met my first hotel breakfast buffet in Singapore - oh, they are tables of deliciousness - I fell in love with all the Asian breakfast options, including congee. There it is made with broken rice simmered in savory broth and garnished with soy sauce, chopped chili peppers and spring onions, often crispy fried shallots and occasionally, pork floss. If I could make congee that delicious with oats, it would be a game changer for me and how I usually think of oatmeal.

Kathy’s Mushroom Ginger Congee did not disappoint. Each spoonful was as much a delight to my nose as it was to my mouth. The heady rich vegetable broth, thickened with oats, sent steaming tendrils of ginger and spice through the air in the most warming and delectable of ways. I was so wishing that I had doubled the recipe and I think my husband agreed, as he went back to the pot and poured out the mere dribbles left at the bottom in the hope of just another mouthful or two.

So, I’m here to tell you what Kathy’s been trying to say for ages on her great vegan blog, Healthy Slow Cooking: Oats can be so much more than porridge with a spoon of jam! (Which is, by the way, my younger daughter’s favorite way to eat them. We went through a lot of oats and jam in her childhood!)

Kathy has simple instructions for making your own oat milk – so much better and cheaper than store-bought – along with desserts and smoothies and scones and myriad baked and breakfast ideas. But, for me, it’s the savory recipes that have won my heart. How about a cashew curry savory granola as a snack for your next cocktail party? Yes, please, and can you invite me? Her Indian-Spiced Tomato Soup will be next on our menu, if I don’t make the Chickpea Veggie Soup first. Before you know it, I'll be putting oatmeal in everything. And that's a good thing now!

Update: Made the Chickpea Veggie Soup with permission to share that recipe too. Check it out: So good!

Want your own copy of OATrageous Oatmeals? Follow that link to Amazon and buy one! 

Now on to the recipe
Kathy’s headnote says, “Served in a bowl, congee is a thick Asian comfort food that can soothe a sore throat or just make you feel better after a bad day. This recipe makes enough for two but feel free to double or triple if you’re feeding more or want to keep some in the fridge for the duration of your cold. The mushrooms and ginger are great for getting your immune system back on track.” I concur. Especially with the part about doubling or trebling the recipe.

My adaptations
The only change I made was to serve the soup with a garnish of spring onions and season with chopped red chilies soaked in soy sauce, instead of salt and the hot pepper flakes. Oh, and I used portabella mushrooms because I couldn’t find shiitakes.

Recipe © Kathy Hester from OATrageous Oatmeals - Delicious & Surprising Plant-Based Dishes From This Humble, Heart-Healthy Grain, printed here by permission from Page Street Publishing

(Per serving: Calories 140.4, protein 3.9 g, total fat 1.5 g, carbohydrates 29.0 g, sodium 1570 mg, fiber 2.5 g)

Ingredients for 2 servings
3 cups (710 ml) vegetable or vegan chick’n broth
1⁄2 cup (48g) rolled oats
1⁄2 cup (35 g) minced mushrooms (shiitakes are great)
1⁄4 cup (27 g) minced carrot or sweet potato
1 tablespoon (6 g) grated ginger
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1⁄2 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
salt, to taste
hot pepper flakes, to taste

Bring the broth, oats, mushrooms and minced carrot or sweet potato to a boil in a medium pot.

Lower the heat to medium-low and add in the ginger, soy sauce and vinegar.

I put all three together in a small bowl, measured and at the ready, while the congee was cooking.

Cook for 15 to 20 minutes until the oats are cooked and the stew becomes thick.

Before serving, add salt to taste and spice with hot pepper flakes.

My concoction looked more like this.


Thick and savory and delicious!

Disclosure: I received one copy of OATrageous Oatmeals for review purposes. No other compensation was received. This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Beef Short Rib Bourguignon

Beef slow braised in red wine is a classic dish needing just a little hands-on work and then a lot of hands-free oven time, resulting in meat that falls off the bones and gravy that you’ll want to slurp up with a spoon.

This week my Sunday Supper family, along with our host, the fabulous Alice from Hip Foodie Mom, is bringing you recipes that require five ingredients or less. The powers that be decided that water, oil, salt and pepper would be “freebies” and don’t need to be included in our count, thank goodness! I decided to adapt a recipe for beef Bourguignon that normally has way more ingredients because I thought it would still be possible to make something rich and flavorful if I chose my ingredients with care and thought.

Each item had to add to the flavor spectrum and bring multiple hues to the finished dish. The beef must contain bones and a goodly helping of fatty meat to add rich beefiness so I chose short ribs over a leaner cut. The red wine would contribute tang and depth as well as help to tenderize the meat as it cooks. The bacon would be honey- or brown sugar-smoked, adding sweetness and smokiness to counterbalance the acidity of the wine. The wild mushrooms would add an earthy undertone to the finished dish which often includes fresh mushrooms. And finally, the shallots would bring sweetness and body to the broth and the braising beef ribs. Using shallots instead of normal onions also allowed me to set aside the smallest ones to add in near the end of the cooking time to mimic the pearl onions that are often included in traditional Bourguignon recipes. I would have dearly loved to add a sprinkle of chopped parsley right at the end, but that would be breaking the rules, and I must admit, I didn’t really miss it for flavor. The color just would have been pretty.

3 1/4 lbs or about 1.475kg beef short ribs
1/2 oz by weight or 14g dried assorted wild mushrooms (I used half the bag pictured.)
1.1 lbs or 500g shallots
5 slices - thick cut or 175g brown sugar or honey smoked bacon (or some other sweet smoked version – maple would probably work too.)
2 cups or 475ml full-bodied red wine
Sea salt – I use Maldon’s flakey salt.
Freshly ground black pepper

Season the short ribs on all sides with a good sprinkling of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cover with cling film and set aside.

Meanwhile, start prepping the rest of your items.

Put your dried mushrooms in a heatproof bowl and cover them with about a cup or 240ml boiling water. Set aside to soak.

Peel and slice your shallots very finely, setting aside all the little bitty ones and leaving them whole.

All the bottom ones were sliced, The little ones up top were saved for the last hour of cooking time.

Slice the bacon into small strips and panfry them until they are crispy, stirring often to make sure the pieces don’t burn.

Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and put in on a saucer.

Use the bacon grease to fry the short ribs, a few at a time, until they are browned and golden on both sides. Don’t crowd the pan or they’ll just steam instead of browning.

When all the meat is browned, pile the sliced shallots into the pan and cover it with a tightly fitting lid.

Preheat your oven to 275°F or 130°C.

Cook the shallots over a medium heat, lifting the cover and stirring occasionally to loosen all the lovely sticky bits off the bottom and sides of the pan.

Meanwhile, scoop the mushrooms out of their soaking water with a slotted spoon and chopping them up a little if the pieces are bigger than bite-sized.

Pour the mushroom water through a very fine mesh sieve, being careful to stop just before you get to the sediment at the bottom.

When the shallots are soft, add in the red wine and cook down until about half the liquid has evaporated away.

Now add the mushrooms and the strained mushroom soaking water. Stir well.

Nestle the ribs in the shallot-y, mushroom-y broth and top with the crispy bacon, making sure to add any juice that accumulated in the bottom of the rib or bacon plates. We can’t let any of that goodness go to waste.

Cover the meat with a piece of heavy-duty foil and then put on the cover.

Slow roast in your preheated oven and set a timer for two hours.

After two hours, take the pan out of the oven and tuck the reserved small shallots in the juice around the ribs.

Put the foil back on and replace the lid.  Cook for a further hour.

When the ribs are done, use a spoon to skim off as much of the oil as you can.  The gravy is fabulous just like this, or you can add a bit more water or wine to thin it. I added just a little water and stirred it around.

Serve this short rib Bourguignon with something capable of soaking up some of that lovely gravy. I highly recommend a mash of mixed root vegetables, yams, potatoes and parsnips. Or perhaps just a green vegetable and a crusty loaf of bread.


Do you need more “five ingredients or less” recipes to simplify your time in the kitchen? Look no farther than this list of wonderful links!

Appetizers, Salads and Starters

Chicken and Spring Greens Salad with Raspberry Vinaigrette from Crazy Foodie Stunts
Fennel Citrus Salad from An Appealing Plan
Guacamole Deviled Eggs from Ruffles and Truffles
Kale-Had-a-Hard-Day Salad from Culinary Adventures with Camilla
Latkes with Smoked Salmon and Caviar from Confessions of a Culinary Diva
Salmon and Cucumber “Noodle” Salad from girlichef
Tomato Soup from Run DMT
Tomato, Avocado, and Cucumber Summer Salad from My Healthy Eating Habits
Tuna, Burrata and Black Olive Salad from The Girl In The Little Red Kitchen
Wasabi Cream Cheese Ham Salad from Neighborfood
Yogurt Dill Vegetable Dip from Melanie Makes

Side and Accompaniments

3-Ingredient Beer Bread from Take A Bite Out of Boca
Candied Apple Jelly from What Smells So Good?
Homemade Ricotta from Seduction in the Kitchen
Indian-style Roasted Cauliflower from kimchi MOM

Main Dishes
Baked Asparagus and Eggs from Bobbi’s Kozy Kitchen
BBQ Foiled Chicken from Meal Diva
Beans and Egg Sandwich from Basic N Delicious
Beef Short Rib Bourguignon from Food Lust People Love
Chicken and Potato Bake with Meyer Lemons from Cravings of a Lunatic
Chicken Asparagus Roll-ups from The Dinner-Mom
Chicken with Olives from Noshing With The Nolands
Crock Pot Beer Chicken from Our Table for Seven
Easy Crock Pot Pulled Chicken from Flour On My Face
Garlic Butter Shrimp from Savvy Eats
Greek Chicken Burgers from Country Girl In The Village
Grilled Caprese Salad Sandwich from Rants From My Crazy Kitchen
Grilled Steak with Garlic Cumin Rub from Cooking Chat
Honey Almond Salmon from Family Foodie
Lemon Basil Carbonara from A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures
Potato Pancakes (Reibekuchen) from The Not So Cheesy Kitchen
Salmon with Tiger Dill Sauce from Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
Salsa Verde Chicken Enchiladas from Supper for a Steal
Slow Cooker Turkey Breast from Nosh My Way
Smothered Pork Chop Cups from Having Fun Saving
Spaghetti Squash with Simple Red Sauce from Momma’s Meals
Strawberry Red Wine Glazed Salmon from Cupcakes & Kale Chips

Dessert and Beverages

3-Ingredient Nutella Truffles from URBAN BAKES
4 Ingredient Peanut Butter Cherry Chip Cookies from Ninja Baking
4-Ingredient Butterscotch Peanut Butter Marshmallow Sweets from Shockingly Delicious
5-Minute Strawberry Sherbet from The Wimpy Vegetarian
Baked Custard Cups from Soni’s Food
Best Ever Coconut Macaroons from Hip Foodie Mom
Chocolate & Peanut Butter Squares from Killer Bunnies, Inc
Chocolate Orange Ice Cream from Gluten Free Crumbley
Coconut Cream Mango Mousse from Sue’s Nutrition Buzz
Coconut Crusted Chocolate Ganache Pie from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
Flourless Chocolate Cake from Jane’s Adventures in Dinner
Golden Oreo Rice Krispies Treats from Pies and Plots
Orchid Panna Cotta from Manu’s Menu
Oreo Cookies and Cream Fudge from Alida’s Kitchen
Peanut Butter Buckeyes from Peanut Butter and Peppers
Raspberry Pina Colada Ice Cream from Try Anything Once Culinary
Sopapilla Cheesecake Bites from The Weekend Gourmet
The Ginger Sass Cocktail from Nik Snacks
Vanilla Bean Honey Ice Cream from The Foodie Army Wife
Vanilla Pudding from Magnolia Days