STUFFED SHITAKE MUSHROOMS

My favorite mushrooms to stuff are Shikake, and since I found a huge basket of them at the farmers market this weekend, I got to work. This simple, vegan dish makes for a lovely spring supper.

Serves 4

 

Pre-heat oven to 375 F

12-16 medium Shitake mushrooms

3 tbsp grapeseed or olive oil

1 tsp fenugreek seeds

1medium onion, minced

2 gloves garlic, minced

1 small fennel bulb, finely chopped

4 -ounces of tempeh, finely chopped

2 tbsp Tamari sauce

1 cup chopped pecans

1 cup breadcrumbs

Vegan butter substitute (I love Melt)

Salt and pepper to taste.

Remove stalks from Shitake. Smear a little vegan spread or butter on the bottom on each mushroom, and arrange them bottom bottom-side-down in a baking dish.

Heat the oil in a large skillet and add the Fenugreek seeds. Fry for a minute.

Add the onion, garlic and fennel. Fry over a medium heat, constantly stirring, until the onion and fennel is soft.

Add the tempeh and fry for a further 2-3 minutes. Stir in the Tamari

Add the pecans and break crumbs and fry for another minute. Season well.

Place a dot of  vegan butter substitute into each mushroom. Spoon in the stuffing.

Cover with foil, and bake for 15 minutes. Remove foil and bake for a further 10 mins.

Sprinkle with chopped flat leaf parsley before serving.

 

SWISS CHARD & MUSHROOM FRITTATA

I found myself with way too much chard and way too many potatoes in my fridge this week. A high class problem for sure, but I can’t bear to throw food away and since the chard was on the point of wilting, I decided the best way to use all this beautiful organic, seasonal food up, was to create a hearty Winter Frittata.

This is peasant food at its best. I love budget-friendly recipes and this is one of them. Perfect for a family dinner with a warm, crusty baguette and perhaps a bowl of tomato soup – ooh, I’m getting hungry.

I don’t know why I don’t make these more often, as a good Frittata is heavenly. The chard works beautifully with the earthy brown mushrooms and caramelized onions and potatoes. I love to eat it at room temperature with some peppery Arugula. It also keeps really well in an airtight container for up to 2 days in your fridge.

 

2 cups potatoes, chopped into large cubes ( I used small red potatoes and so kept their skins on.)

1 large yellow onion

2tbsp olive oil

1 bunch Swiss Chard, leaves stripped off stalks

1 cup brown mushrooms, sliced

8 eggs

1tsp sea salt

1/2tsp pepper

Serves 4

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F

Add the potatoes to salted, boiling water and boil for ten minutes until just tender. Drain and set aside.

Slice you onion thinly.

Steam your chard, until wilted. When it’s cool, squeeze out any excess water with paper towels and then roughly chop.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Add the potatoes and the onion. Fry on a very low heat for about 1/2 hour, making sure you turn the veggies over every now and again.

You want them to caramelize, so they should slowly and gently brown.

Add the mushrooms.

Beat up the eggs and add the seasoning.

Add the eggs to the pan and finally the chard. Shake the pan, to make sure that the egg gets evenly distributed.

Fry on a low heat for about 10 minutes.

Place the skillet in the oven for 10 minutes, or until the Frittata is browned on top.

Remove from heat and allow it to cool int he skillet. Gently edge the sides away from the pan with a spatula before lifting the Frittata out onto a serving platter. Serve with arugula or salad greens dressed with a citrusy dressing or you could even have a little dollop of garlicky aioli on the side.

WILD MUSHROOM PENNE

This is the perfect time of year to cook up some earthy, meaty wild mushrooms. This dish is one of my husband’s signature dishes. He doesn’t cook very often but when he does, it’s one of his three signature creations and I’m not allowed near the kitchen, which is excruciating as I’m a complete control-freak when it comes to my kitchen and making sure the pasta isn’t cooked a hair over being al dente etc. So I was banished to the living room while he took the helm in our coveted “corner”. There’s one area of our kitchen, which happens to be a corner and it’s where everything goes on – you can’t do much in our kitchen without being in the “control corner”.

His dish is simple but stunning and despite my protests of him cooking way too much pasta for 3 of us, I ate every last piece. Even my daughter who balked when she saw the “wierd-looking” mushrooms, devoured her bowl.

You can use any mushroom combo for this dish and any pasta, but here’s what he used and it worked beautifully.

Wild Mushroom Penne

2 cups of mixed wild mushrooms (brown caps and chanterelle are great – but use what you can find).

1 cup dried mushrooms ( I recommend either Maitake or Porcini for their deep flavor)

1 tbsp butter

1 tbsp olive oil

1 medium red or yellow onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic minced

1/2 cup white cooking wine

3 rashers nitrate-free bacon, cubed (if you’re veggie, you can eliminate the bacon, but I add it for a richer flavor.)

16 ounces pasta (you can use any kind but he used this amazing Montebello Pasta Рan  Organic artisan pasta from Italy, which is sublime).

A handful of flat leafed parsley, chopped

Sea Salt and Pepper to taste

 

Serves 4

 

Soak the dried mushrooms for 1/2 an hour in 2 cups of very hot water.

Heat a large saute pan and add the onions and garlic. Fry until translucent. Add the cooking wine and fry until it evaporates.

Add the bacon and fry gently for about 3 minutes (you don’t want bacon to crisp or brown.)

Drain the dried mushrooms, but keep the draining water as it makes the perfect stock.

Add the fresh and soaked mushrooms and fry gently for about 5-8 minutes, stirring all the time. Add a ladle of the mushroom broth (from soaked mushrooms), and continue to fry. It’s up to you how much stock you add, depending on how much liquid you like with your pasta.

Meanwhile cook the pasta according to the package directions, then drain. As soon as you have drained the pasta, spoon it into warmed bowls and ladle the mushroom ragout generously over each bowl. Sprinkle with the parsley and a little Parmesan and eat straight away.