MAGIC MUSHROOMS TAKE 2
Chef JP celebrates National Mushroom Day with five special dishes
If there is magic out there, we have found it in the shape of the humble mushroom.
With tomorrow being International Mushroom Day, I’m going to treat you to some moreish mushroom munchies.
Given that the very first time that mushrooms were actually cultivated for eating was in the 1700’s, this comes off a long history of getting creative with mushrooms. They’re certainly extremely versatile and you can do everything from the traditional mushroom sauce over a perfectly pan fried fillet to adding mushrooms to omelettes, stir frys or even pizza.
For those of you that missed my blog last week, fear not, you can read it in our food archives on the site.
Today, I’m going to share five of my favourite mushroom dishes – from healthy vegetarian mushroom burgers to vegetarian mushroom pastas and, finally, to creamy mushroom madness.
MEET MY MONDAY MUSHROOMS
Meat-free Mondays on Out & About have officially started. Seriously, though, whether you dish these up at the beginning of the week or any other time that you feel like a healthy snack (or meal), these mushroom combos’ will enhance your vegetable intake and add some seriously good plant packed goodness on a mushroom bun – a perfect alternative to all those ultra-processed carbs in the more conventional bread based bun.
YOUR COLOURFUL ARRAY OF HEALTHY INGREDIENTS:
red kidney beans, grilled eggplant, grilled beet, red pepper, dairy free cream cheese, chives and sunflower seeds, all bundled together in a wild mushroom bun.
All you’ll need for this is some creativity to assemble your colourful ingredients and an air fryer.
Strain your red kidney beans from the brine, season them to your liking and set aside.
Slice your eggplant into discs and dust in some all-purpose flour. Do the same with your beets and coat these discs in some olive oil. Set your temperature on 150°C and cook for 5 minutes in your air fryers. Then, crank the fryer up to 180°C for three minutes to sear in all the goodness.
I usually grill my black wild mushroom on the open fire to keep that smokiness alive.
Once all the prep is complete, unleash your inner creative mushroom and pack your ingredients in your mushroom ‘bun’ making sure that you enjoy the colours and contrasts before digging in an savouring those healthy flavours.
Thank goodness, mother nature does not require labelling. This homemade pasta dish, is a culinary creation that will make you appreciate the simple wonder of good ingredients.
To be honest, vegetarian pasta had not really been on my wish list- until I discovered the flavours and health benefits of mushrooms in particular. You can pretty much have them with any meal. They are particularly useful when it comes to enhancing the flavours of a plant based pasta dish.
This time round, I’ve used a mixture of sliced mushrooms, with a gluten free tagliatelle which I prepared according to the instructions on the packet.
Steaming veggies keeps them crunchy and retains the nutrients. To make this mushroom pasta, I chose some broccoli florets and butternut to add both colour and crunch.
Steaming your veg in an old school bamboo steamer just makes the veg taste and look better. Do this for six minutes. You can pan sear them in a dollop of butter and some olive oil. They will now be ready to add to your cooked pasta. Warm and use some rich coconut cream to add that fresh aromatic and a creamy texture. The veggies will soak up the fragrance.
BUTTERED UP MUSHROOMS
It is not often that you find fresh eryngii mushrooms. But, when you can get your hands on these, grab what you can, and run for the hills!
Mushrooms retain and absorb lots of water, but these (I call them stems) are firm and you need to treat them with respect.
I rubbed my stems with olive oil and a dash of coarse salt and seared them in a pan. They have quite a tough skin membrane, so make sure you don’t scorch them.
I made a rosemary and thyme butter in my wonder cooker and then placed my seared eryngii, mushrooms in the pan. Slowly, and gently, cook them for 12-15 minutes, with the lid on.
Remove the lid and turn on the heat. for two minutes. Then, remove them, slice them into 1.2 cm disks, and finish them off in the butter. If you haven’t tasted this before, you have definitely been in the dark for too long.
As health conscious as we have become, we all have those cravings. As you all now know, I don’t take out…EVER , but I DO take in …
When you want to treat yourself to a devilish treat, this meal is on the way to you in sixty minutes, money back guaranteed …
Making this decadent mushroom sauce for your Portuguese roll, is inevitably irresistible. So let’s sauce it up!!!
FROM THE PANTRY:
150 grams mushrooms (this time. I’m not going to dictate to you)
100 ml fresh double cream
25ml Mascarpone cream cheese
a dollop of butter
a splash of extra virgin olive oil
1 Tablespoon dark soy sauce
pinch of salt
a teaspoon of crushed garlic
As for your steak, you can pan sear a minute steak to your liking, but don’t overcook please…
Sear you mushrooms of choice in some olive oil and butter for two minutes. Add the balance of the ingredients and let it simmer for five minutes before adding some fresh thyme. Serve this on a dusted Portuguese roll. You can garnish with an olive and some fresh herbs.
Mission accomplished – this recipe will self-destruct in five seconds!
MUSSELS AND MUSHROOMS
To end our magnificent magical mushroom experience, here is a dish where the soil meets the ocean in the simplest way.
Grilled oyster mushrooms with west coast half shell mussels served with braised onion, lemon and French garlic chives is a taste sensation that is not that difficult to prepare.
Using fresh mussels is a must – clean them and then steam them in a large pot into which you have added no more than 3cm of stock. Bring this to the boil before adding all of your mushrooms and then clamping on the lid and letting them steam for about three minutes. then, give them a stir and push any that haven’t opened to the bottom of the pot before cooking for a further two minutes.
Discard those that have not opened and remove the empty half shells of those that have.
Fry your oyster mushrooms.
Add your garlic chives and braised onion to the pan, followed by your mussels.
Serve up with a cool white wine and crunchy French bread.
I truly believe that this journey has opened your eyes to the beauty that lies in the majestic mushroom. When you add all the goodness that comes with this humble fungi, then it is truly a match made in mushroom heaven – Happy Mushroom Day!.