mushroom

Cheesy Mushroom Pinwheel Loaf

This idea came from my girlfriend, whose mother used to make pinwheel loaves with pepperoni. What gives mine a sharp, salty flavor is the cheese; a mix of strong cheddar and aged parmesan. This is perfect as an appetizer, cut on a board into 1" slices, or for lunch with a crispy salad. I used King Oyster mushrooms because of their meaty texture and taste, but you could use any kind. I can't wait to go foraging for mushrooms this summer. Then I'll be making mushroom pinwheels and other recipes with chanterelles, king boletes, and shaggy manes. Enjoy!

Yields 2 medium loaves

Dough

• 2 cups whole white flour • 1 cup lukewarm water • 1 teaspoon instant yeast • 1 teaspoon salt

Mix the water, yeast and salt together, stir and let sit for 2 minutes. In a large bowl add the water to the flour. Mix with your hands or a wooden spatula until well combined. If too sticky, add a bit of flour. Cover with a plastic and let rise for 2 hours. You can do this step 2-3 days in advance, just put the dough in the fridge once it has risen.

Filling

• 300g mushrooms, thinly sliced • 1 medium onion, finely chopped • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped • 2 sprigs thyme, leaves only • 1/4 cup white wine • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard • 1 cup cheddar, grated • 1/2 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated • salt + ground black pepper

On medium-high, heat up 2-3 tablespoons oil in a pan and cook the onions for a couple of minutes until they're golden brown. Add the mushrooms and sauté for another 2-3 minutes. Add the wine, garlic and thyme and let the wine bubble away. Remove the pan from the heat, stir in the dijon, cheddar and parmesan. Season with salt and pepper.

Putting it together

Preheat the oven to 450°F. On a floured surface roll out the dough in a large square about 1/4" thick. Evenly spread the mushroom mixture over the dough, roll it into a log and cut it in half. Lay the two loaves on parchment paper on a baking pan. Brush them with olive oil and sprinkle with a bit of salt. Score the tops and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown. Eat!

Red Chard and Oyster Mushroom Toast with Shaved Parmesan

I love toast for lunch. It takes under 10 minutes to make and you can top it with any satisfying combination of handy ingredients. Choose your flavors; anything you have in mind will probably work if you don't over do it. For this toast, I went with garlicky chards, oyster mushrooms, and parmesan. You can also substitute the chard for spinach and the oyster for a different mushroom. I can't wait to make toast with chanterelles this summer...

Serves 2

Ingredients

• 2 large slices of bread, toasted • 6 leaves red chard, roughly chopped • 150g oyster oyster mushrooms, roughly chopped • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped • 2 tablespoons butter • 1 tablespoon sunflower oil • 1 tablespoon heavy cream • shaved parmesan • salt + black pepper

Sauté the chard in two tablespoons of butter for about 2 minutes or until it's soft. Near the very end, add the garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside in a bowl.

In the same pan, heat the oil and sauté the mushrooms on medium-high heat for 3-4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper while cooking. Remove from heat, add the cream, and give it a stir.

Put the chard and mushrooms on your toasted bread, top with shaved parmesan and a drizzle with olive oil.

Portobello Burger, Pickled Veggies, and Honey Dijonnaise

Who are you fooling with a mushroom burger, right? Maybe you've ordered something similar in a restaurant only to regret it upon taking a bite. (That's definitely happened to me a couple of times.) The problem with most mushroom burgers is a lack of flavor and juiciness. This may sound difficult to remedy, but it's not. I've found that simply marinating mushrooms with herbs, garlic and balsamic gives them that much desired kick. Keeping the portobellos whole also helps them to become extra juicy. They`ll absorb a lot of that marinade and cooking oil, and the more absorbed, the better. You'll get all those juices and flavors back when you take a bite. You'll almost think it's meat. Portobellos are usually the size of a patty, so no fussing around; marinate, sauté in a pan, eat. The quick-pickled vegetables adds extra crisp and sharpness, the honey dijonnaise sweetens the deal. Enjoy!

Marinade

This marinade is enough for 4 portobellos.

• 6 tablespoons olive oil • 3-4 garlic cloves, finely chopped • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar • 2 sprigs of thyme, leaves only • a small handful of parsley, chopped

If the stems of the mushrooms are too long, cut them off. Mix all ingredients in a bowl, add the portobellos and marinate for at least an hour. Turn them over a couple of times.

Pickled Veggies

You can really improvise here, if you don't like fennel, don't put any. If you think celery is great, put some. As long as you have the same amount of each vegetable. This works well on any kind of burger/sandwich.

• 1 medium carrot • 1 small raddichio • 1/2 fennel bulb • 1/4 celeriac • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar • 2 tablespoon sugar • 1 tablespoon oil • a pinch of salt

Cut all the vegetables in julienne (mandolin or with your knife skills). Mix in a bowl with the vinegar, sugar, oil and salt. Set aside for at least 30 minutes.

Cooking

Heat up some oil in a frying pan. Cook your mushrooms on medium heat, for 3-4 minutes on each side. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and deglaze with some of the marinating juice (or balsamic), shaking your pan. Leave to cool a couple of minutes before serving.

Serve on a toasted bun or roll, with pickled veggies, honey dijonnaise and your favorite cheese.

Mushroom Pot Pie

A Chicken Pot Pie is one of the most comforting meals around, but you rarely find it listed on a menu and I don't think I've ever been to a dinner at which one was served. Perhaps it's considered old fashioned or too laborious to prepare; or maybe - which is what I think - few people have ever tasted a really good one. During the Holidays we went to the Ram's Head Inn in New Jersey and my future mother-in-law ordered the Chicken Pot Pie. I was surprised to see it on the menu but it turned out to be not only the best-looking pot pie ever, but man, was it ever good! (I was allowed a couple of bites.) So I decided it was time to bring back the pot pie. To get that old-fashioned look, I made a crispy golden puff pastry to top it off. I also decided to switch the chicken for mushrooms because I could eat platefuls of them.

If you want to save time on the day you plan to make a pot pie, you can make the mixture the night before and just pop the pastry on top the day after. You can even skip the pastry, pour more stock in and you have an awesome Mushroom Chowder.

Puff Pastry

• 200 g flour • 200 g unsalted butter • pinch of salt • 100 ml cold water

In a large bowl mix the flour with the salt and rub in the butter with your hands, not to much - you still want clumps of butter. Add the water and work until you have a smooth dough. Add more water if it's too stiff. Chill for 30 minutes.

Flour your work surface. Now the trick is to have nice layers of pastry. To do that you just have to roll the dough into a rectangle, about half an inch thick. Fold the left end towards the middle and then fold the right end on top of it. Rotate the dough a quarter turn, roll again and repeat the folding. Do that 4-5 times. Then chill the dough for another 30 minutes.

Ingredients

• 2 medium onions, chopped • 3 medium carrots, chopped • 2 garlic cloves, chopped • 1 cup green peas • 450 g mixed chopped mushrooms (I used button, portobello and oyster) • 1 cup mushroom stock (or veg or chicken) • 2 sprigs thyme • a small handful of chopped parsley • 2 tablespoons butter • 2 tablespoons flour • 1 cup milk

Preheat the oven to 375F.

In a large pot on low heat, sweat the onions, carrots and garlic. Once soft, after about 10 minutes, crank up the heat and add the mushrooms, thyme and parsley. Stir for 5 minutes and add the stock. Simmer on medium heat for another 5 minutes.

In a small saucepan, on low heat, melt the butter and stir in the flour. Whisk the milk into the roux (the mix of butter and flour) making sure not to leave any clumps. Mix the bechamel you just made with the mushrooms and add the peas. You should have a thick mixture. Pour into a mold of any size, it can be individual portions or larger.

Roll out the dough to about 1/4 inch thick and put on top of your molds. Brush the top with a beaten egg, cut a hole in the middle and cook at 375F for 30 minutes, or until the crust is crispy and golden.

Serves 4-6