Stuff and Nonsense: mushrooms

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


Roast All The Things: Chicken Thighs & Summer Vegetables

End of the week, no idea what the weekend may bring, and the crisper drawers still hold far too much highly perishable produce. What to do? Roast them. With some chicken. Because not everyone wants a big plate of roasted vegetables for supper. Weirdos.

The package of boneless skinless thighs I used contained five thighs -- we had two apiece for supper and I enjoyed the remaining one with a bunch of the leftover vegetables for lunch the next day. Obviously, serving sizes are arbitrary so ymmv.

Roasted Chicken Thighs & Summer Vegetables

Yield: 3 servings


  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 orange bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 small yellow (crookneck) squash, sliced into thick coins
  • 1 small zucchini, sliced into thick coins
  • 4 oz quartered small red potatoes
  • 8 oz sliced mushrooms
  • Salt, pepper, garlic powder, smoked paprika, and thyme
  • Olive oil


  1. Brush baking pan(s) with olive oil. Arrange chicken and vegetables on pan(s), trying not to crowd. Season generously.
  2. Roast, uncovered, in 425°F oven for 25-30 minutes or until chicken has reached 165°F and potatoes are tender.


Easy Meat Sauce With Mushrooms

I promised The Husband bolognese for supper, but came home too tired and hungry to follow through by preparing my favorite, albeit time-consuming, bolognese recipe. While the mushroom and meat sauce I ended up with is not a proper bolognese by any stretch of the imagination, it is pretty darn tasty and will certainly do it a pinch.

Most importantly, The Husband enjoyed it!

Easy Meat Sauce With Mushrooms

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 25 mins.
Cook time: 30 mins.
Total time: 55 mins.


  • 8 oz sliced button mushrooms
  • 8 oz grass fed ground beef [Nature's Promise Organic]
  • ½ cup chopped yellow onion
  • 3 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 14.5 oz cans fire-roasted diced tomatoes [Muir Glen]
  • 1 tsp beef stock base [Penzeys]
  • ½ cup Cabernet Sauvignon [Jacob's Creek]
  • ¼ grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tsp salt-free Italian seasoning blend [Penzeys]


  1. Spray large French/Dutch oven with cooking spray and heat over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms, beef and onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, until beef is no longer pink. Add garlic and cook until fragrant.
  2. Stir in tomatoes, tomato paste, wine, beef base, Italian seasoning and cheese. Bring pan to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer gently for 30 minutes or until sauce has thickened slightly, stirring occasionally.
  3. Serve over spaghetti with additional parmesan.

Obviously, use whatever red wine you enjoy cooking with! The Jacob's Creek was leftover from Thanksgiving and needed using up.


Weekday Comfort Food: Salisbury Steak

Monday night, I'd put a frozen brick of grass-fed ground beef in the fridge to thaw ... only to realize on Thursday morning that it was still in the fridge, very thawed and in need of cooking up before it became a health hazard. I'd had plans for it on Monday, but you know what they say about the best laid plans.

As I had a package of sliced crimini mushrooms and lots of red onion on hand, I decided to try my hand at Salisbury steak. It couldn't be too difficult, I imagined, as the dish is basically mini meatloaves drenched in mushroom gravy. Or, at least, that's how I remember it from my childhood.

And that's what I made. It turned out surprisingly well for thrown-together dish -- the gravy was a touch salty and in need of a glug of wine or two, but the beef patties were so very tender and good. It's worth making again, but perhaps with a from-scratch gravy.

Hamburg Steak With Mushrooms & Brown Gravy

1 pound pkg 85/15 Grass-Fed Angus Beef [Trader Joe's]
½ tsp ground black pepper
½ tsp salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp Worcestershire
[Bourbon Barrel Foods]
½ Tbsp parsley flakes
1 large egg
¼ cup panko
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 large red onion, halved and sliced thinly
8 oz pkg sliced crimini mushrooms
1 pkt brown gravy mix [McCormick]
Water as needed for gravy mix

If possible, turn your oven to "Warm." Whisk the gravy mix into whatever amount of water the gravy packet calls for and set aside.

To a large mixing bowl add the beef, pepper, garlic powder, Worcestershire, parsley, panko, and egg. Mix it together gently with your hands so that the seasonings are well distributed but do not overmix. Shape into four similarly-sized patties.

Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add meat patties to skillet and brown on both sides for about 4 minutes each. Remove from skillet and pop into a shallow (soup) bowl in the oven.

Add the sliced onion and mushrooms to the buttery bits in the skillet. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook until the onions turn translucent and the mushrooms have shrunk.

Return the patties (and any accumulated juices) to the skillet. Pour the gravy mix over the meat and mushrooms and let cook for another 5-10 minutes or until the gravy is thickened and the patties reach 160°F when you jab them with a meat thermometer.

We ate the hamburg steak with my default summer side -- diced cucumbers and tomatoes tossed with white wine vinegar, olive oil, and a few grinds of Boxed Goodes' Allium Salt (a blend of sea salt, onion, shallots, and chives) and pepper. I'd made this side with various bottled Italian vinaigrettes for years and was quite happy with the results, but I've recently found I prefer it this way.


Delicious Leftovers

Using Up Leftover Ingredients

I had some ingredients leftover from this month's Improv Challenge and decided to make a lazy sausage parmigiana. First, I cooked the sausage patties in a skillet with a double handful of sliced mushrooms. Then I removed the sausage to a broiler-safe pan, topped them with thick slices of fresh mozzarella, and broiled them until the cheese was all melty and gorgeous.

Meanwhile, I added some leftover bruschetta to the still-hot skillet and stirred it 'round until everything was heated through. Plated the sausage, topped it with the mushroom and bruschetta mixture, and garnished it with fresh basil. Served it with a little penne in tomato sauce and it was pretty darn good (and pretty!) for something that took less than 20 minutes to prepare!


Improv Challenge: Sausage & Mushrooms

When I saw that March's Improv Challenge ingredients were mushrooms and sausage, I immediately thought of sausage-stuffed mushrooms. However, I knew I didn't want to make something fiddly or that wouldn't serve as a meal so I set about to create a meal-sized non-fiddly stuffed mushroom. Portobello mushrooms were the obvious choice and sausage had to be in the filling so ... why not use a sausage burger? Et voilà, these elegant-looking (and pretty darn tasty!) sausage and mushroom stacks were born!

Sausage & Portobello Stacks

I topped my stacks with fresh mozzarella and a commercially-prepared bruschetta, but you could easily use sliced provolone and chunky tomato sauce. Or make your own bruschetta. (Or sausage patties, for that matter).

I've not included any amounts in this "recipe," because it depends on how many people you're feeding and how much sauce or cheese you want. I cook for two, so used two caps and patties. We like cheese, so I was generous with the cheese. Didn't want to drown the stacks, so used about two tablespoons bruschetta per stack.


Remove stems from mushroom caps. Gently clean caps with a damp paper towel. Place, gills down, on a large broiler-safe pan. Place sausage patties next to mushrooms. Broil for 5 minutes.


Flip and broil for 5 minutes more.


Meanwhile, slice some fresh mozzarella.


And chiffonade some basil.


Your mushroom caps may have fluid pooling on top. Gently tilt to drain onto the pan. Top caps with sausage patties and fresh mozzarella.


Broil for about 3 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.


Plate. Top with bruschetta and basil. Serve immediately.

Sausage & Portobello Stacks


Creamy, Garlicky Chicken & Mushrooms

I still had half a tub of the Savory Garlic Philadelphia Cooking Crème left after the zucchini gratin and, even though we weren't in love with the stuff, I didn't want it to go to waste. There were chicken thighs, mushrooms, and fresh thyme in the fridge so I thought ... why not make a creamy version of chicken marsala? Whoops, no marsala! But I had sherry and that'd worked well enough as a substitute in the past, so supper was still a go.

Creamy Sherry Chicken & Mushrooms
Creamy Sherry Chicken & Mushrooms
Serves 2-4 (depending on size of thighs)

1 Tbsp olive oil
4 boneless skinless chicken thighs, well trimmed
8 oz sliced mushrooms
1 small yellow onion, chopped
4 cloves of garlic, chopped
¼ cup sherry [Taylor]
½ tub of Savory Garlic Philadelphia Cooking Crème
2 Tbsp tomato paste
4 Tbsp grated Parmesan [4C Homestyle Parmesan Romano]
4 springs fresh thyme, chopped
Fresh pepper, to taste

Heat the oil in a large skillet. Cook the chicken on both sides 3-5 minutes per side or until golden brown. Remove chicken from skillet, cover to keep warm, and set aside.

Add mushrooms, onions, and garlic to skillet and cook for about 5 minutes or until the onion is translucent and the edges of the mushrooms have gone all golden-brown.

Add the tomato paste, sherry, Cooking Crème, and thyme to the pan, bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Add the chicken and any resting juices back to pan. Heat through. Season with black pepper to taste, garnish with Parmesan and additional thyme, and serve over buttered egg noodles with peas.


Italian Homework: Rolling Italian Dinner

I'm behind in posting -- lots of cooking and photo-taking, but not a lot of writing going on here -- so please travel back in time with me to Boxing Day as I talk to you about my Italian homework.

In order to complete the online beginners Italian cooking course I've been taking through my library, I have to cook a multi-course Italian meal using recipes from the course syllabus. Well, I wasn't really charmed with the idea of cooking a multi-course meal as I had a feeling I'd spend the greater part of the day in the kitchen cooking, only to have dishes dry out while waiting for others to cook and nothing arriving at the table at the right temperature. So I did a rolling dinner on Boxing Day. We started with stuffed mushrooms at noon, then pasta fagoile at one, chicken Parmesan and salad around two, and then ... I completely forgot about dessert. So ... I have to do it all over again! Or lie to the instructor and pretend everything happened on the same day.

Anyway, the recipes I did make were easy to prepare and yielded tasty dishes I'd be happy to make again (just not all in one day). I was especially pleased with the mushrooms -- I've always been intimidated by stuffed mushroom recipes as they seemed inordinately fiddly and fiddly recipes fill me with anxiety.

Easy Stuffed Mushrooms
Easy Herby Stuffed Mushrooms

Easy Pasta Fagiole
Super Garlicky Pasta Fagiole

Easy Chicken Parmesan w/ Rotini & Sauce
Naked Chicken Parmesan, Rotini & Sauce, & Salad


Italian Homework: Chicken Marsala

I just completed “Lesson 8: Meat, Chicken, and Fish” for my online Italian cooking class and you know what that means, right? It means I've four lessons to go! I'm that much closer to pie-making!

(Unsurprisingly, I am totes winning at failing Weight Watchers).

For this lesson, I chose to make chicken marsala as The Husband and I are really partial to anything that involves chicken, wine, and mushrooms. And by partial I mean, there can never been too much wine, chicken, and mushrooms. Especially, the mushrooms.

Chicken Marsala
Alas, so much brown! Delicious, yes. But so brown.
The instructor's recipe made a good, but very basic marsala lacking the richness and perfection of, say, Cook's Illustrated's chicken marsala. If I made this version again, I'd be sure to cook lots of garlic and chopped red onion with the mushrooms. And I'd probably serve the marsala with mashed potatoes, because all that good wine sauce deserves garlicky mashed potatoes. (The Husband said it would be better served with chips, but then those British people like fries with everything ... which is awesome, by the way).
Beginner's Chicken Marsala
Yield: 4 Servings

¼ C flour
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, pounded ½ inch thick
4 T butter [I used 2]
4+ T olive oil [I used 2]
2 cups sliced mushrooms [I used 1 pound]
½ cup Marsala wine 
¼ cup chicken broth or stock
Salt and pepper to taste
1 lb of pasta such as linguine, if desired [I used fettuccine]

Pat the chicken dry. Mix the flour, salt and pepper in a large baggie. Add chicken to the baggie. Shake until all pieces are coated well. Pour oil into a large pan and add butter, heat until butter is melted.

Place chicken in the pan, and brown lightly on both sides. Remove chicken pieces and set aside. Add mushrooms to the pan with a little more olive oil if needed. Brown mushrooms and let their liquid cook off.

Add wine and stock, stir well, scraping up brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Put the chicken back on top of the mushrooms and heat until cooked through, about 10 minutes. Cook your pasta while the chicken is finishing so that they are done together.

Serve chicken over pasta with mushrooms and sauce. Garnish with chopped parsley and freshly grated cheese, if desired.
(And, if you don't have any marsala wine, a good sherry works fine. Really!)


Creamy Slow Cooker Mushroom-Chicken Goodness

Now I know why there are so many slow cooker chicken with cream cheese and mushrooms recipes on the Internetz -- chicken + cream cheese + mushrooms + slow cooker = doubleplusdeliciousness! The only thing that could make it better might be the addition of bacon. (Alas, The Husband eschews all things bacon).

Creamy Mushroom Chicken Goodness

To make "my" creamy mushroom chicken goodness, I started with 4 Little Fergusons' "Slow Cooker Angel Chicken" and then ran amok making changes:
  • I'm sure ¼ cup butter does make it better, but I was already using cream cheese and condensed chicken soup ... adding butter to the mix just seemed too decadent (I know! I didn't think it possible, either!). Also, we'd already eaten half a stick of butter earlier this week in EatatHome's "Southwestern Steak and Cornbread Stuffing" so that was our butter quota met for the week.
  • I also reduced the amount of chicken as there are only two of us, I have a small slow cooker, and a 1 pound/3 breast package fits in it perfectly.
  • I used less cream cheese (Neufchâtel) simply because I'd already used some in another recipe. Ditto the mushrooms. Seasonings were just what I had on hand and, as I was using unflavored cream cheese, I tried to up the seasonings accordingly.
Despite my changes, this dish came out really well and I would happily make it again. It was rich, creamy, and flavorful without feeling ribstickingly heavy. The amount of sauce was just right when served over microwave-steamed brown rice and it all went really well with the green beans I'd picked up at the farm stand.
Slow Cooker Creamy Mushroom Chicken
Adapted from 4 Little Fergusons' "Slow Cooker Angel Chicken."

3 partially thawed boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 1 pound)
12 ounces sliced white button mushrooms
1 tsp Penzeys dehydrated chopped shallots
1 Tbsp Penzeys Italian Vinegar and Oil dressing mix
1 Tbsp Penzeys salt-free Tuscan Sunset Italian-style seasoning blend
10.5 oz can condensed cream of chicken soup
6 oz Neufchâtel cheese, softened

Coat slow cooker insert with cooking spray. Place mushrooms on the bottom and top with chicken breasts. Sprinkle chicken with shallots.

Stir together soup, dressing mix, seasoning blend, and softened cheese. Pour over chicken.

Close lid and cook on low for 6 hours.

Remove chicken from slow cooker and shred. Return to slow cooker and very thoroughly mix everything together. Serve over rice or pasta. Goes well with fresh green beans.


Cooking The Books: And Yet More From The Unofficial Hunger Games Cookbook

I was full of plans to make "Survival of the Fittest: Quinoa and Black Bean Salad For Bonnie and Twill" from The Unofficial Hunger Games Cookbook this weekend but I was a bit sick of quinoa after eating "Fresh From the Careers' Packs: Super Healthy Dried Fruit Quinoa Salad," delicious as it was, all last week. I had some mushrooms and one benighted leek in the fridge so I made "Raging Wild Mushroom Ragout," instead. While it is neither raging nor wild, it was dead easy and turned out quite well.

Mushroom-y Jacket Potato & Salad

Ingredients: shiitake and cremini mushrooms, leek, lemon juice, garlic, butter, heavy cream, kosher salt, black pepper.

The recipe doesn't call for it, but I ended up cooking the cream down quite a lot as, otherwise, the ragout was very soupy. I also didn't know how to serve the ragout, so I dumped it over Alton Brown's baked potatoes and that worked out quite well -- it made for a tasty and very filling meal. Thank god for the lemon, really, which gave the ragout a bit of brightness and kept it from being food coma-inducingly heavy.

In some ways, it reminded me of a dish I used to make many years ago when The Husband was only The Boyfriend. I'd saute garlic, red onion, and as many mushrooms as I could possibly fit in a pan in a combination of olive oil and butter, season them liberally with salt and pepper, and serve them on hot, buttered toast with big mugs of tea. It wasn't fancy, but it was filling, homey stuff ... and ohmygod I need to make that again, soon.