Posts Tagged ‘mushroom’

Stuff this!

December 4, 2010

crimini mushrooms

crimini mushrooms
photo courtesy of To-Jo Mushrooms

For the First Friday Holiday Walk, I wanted to make something undeniably delicious, but not sweet. Holidays = sweets. Everyone knows that and everyone follows that rule. I like to think of myself as a rule breaker. So I decided on savory. I’ve done pastry cups and squares way too much, but finger food is the way to go for a gallery event. What options are left? Mushrooms!

Stuffed mushrooms are delicious and savory finger food, so they were the perfect idea for the event. The problem? Time and experience. I never made stuffed mushrooms before and this being the holiday season, time was tight. Following the guidelines of preparation and planning, I glanced at Joy of Cooking Thursday night and went to the Fair Food Farmstand Friday at 5pm. First Friday is officially 6-9pm. I am proud to report that the mushrooms were served to “Mmmms” and “Ooooohs” at 6:30 sharp!

The following recipe is a combination of what I found at the market and what was in my fridge. It is entirely vegan and – in my opinion, but apparently no one else’s – tastes only decent. I cooked for the crowd, but if it were only for me, I would have pancetta, bacon, crab meat, shrimp, and beef or chicken stock in there. I understand the frustrations of being a vegetarian/vegan at parties, so I resisted my meaty urges, to much appreciation, except my own.

Stuffed Mushrooms

inspired by a recipe from Joy of Cooking


  • 24 cremini mushrooms
  • ½ c bread crumbs
  • 3 shallots
  • ¼ c celery
  • 1 T worcestshire sauce
  • ½ c vegetable stock
  • ¼ c parsley
  • 3 T olive oil
  1. Wash and carefully remove the stems from the mushrooms.
  2. Chop separately the mushroom stems, shallots, celery, and parsley.
  3. Heat olive oil over a medium heat.
  4. Add shallots and cook until soft.
  5. Add celery and cook until tender.
  6. Add mushroom stems and worcestshire sauce. Cook until the liquid is absorbed and released again.
  7. Remove from the heat and add bread crumbs and parsley.
  8. Add stock to the mixture until it clumps together.
  9. Brush the top of the mushrooms with olive oil, fill with the mixture, and place on a baking sheet.
  10. Broil for about 3 mintues, until the mushrooms and topping turn brown.

Cure for the Common Cold

May 16, 2010

I have been sick with a sorethroat and cold this past week. My diet consisted mainly of liquid such as gatorade, tea with honey, and whatever I could turn into soup. The following soup was a first-time try and needs tweaking, but was delicious enough that I thought posting it was worthwhile. I want to become an expert soup maker because they are so simple and a great way of using leftovers. It’s been a long learning process with some great and some mediocre results. Suggestions are welcome!

Mushroom Leek Soup

a bowl of mushroom leek soup garnished with chive flowers

Mushroom Leek Soup

created on the fly by Sarah Johnson


  • 1 leek
  • 1-2 c mushrooms
  • 2 T butter
  • ½ c vermouth
  • 4 c stock
  • ½ c evaporated milk
  • sprig of sage leaves
  • sprig of thyme
  • sprig of rosemary
  • 2 cloves
  • 8 white peppercorns
  • 3 T flour
  • 2 t salt
  • 1 t black pepper
  • 2 chive flowers
  1. Chop the leeks and mushrooms.
  2. Heat the butter in a pot over medium heat.
  3. Sautee the leeks until tender.
  4. Add the mushrooms and sautee until they release their juices.
  5. Add vermouth and cook for a few minutes until the alcohol has evaporated.
  6. Add stock and bring to a boil.
  7. Reduce the heat to a simmer and add milk, herbs, cloves, and peppercorns.
  8. Simmer covered for 45 minutes, then remove cover and simmer for 15 minutes more.
  9. Place about 1 c of the liquid in a small bowl and add flour to it.
  10. Whisk the flour and liquid until well blended, then return to soup.
  11. Add salt and black pepper.
  12. Garnish with chive flowers to serve.


The beauty of soups is that the ingredients are so flexible. Start with some vegetables or meat, sautee, then add stock and herbs and let it cook until the flavors are blended. I was inspired for this recipe by oyster mushrooms being on sale at the local market. I love leeks and will use them any chance I get. The two pair nicely and cream of mushroom soup feels so good on a sore throat. The point is, any kind of mushrooms will work well for this recipe. The more flavorful the better.

I use evaporated milk when making cream recipes to reduce the fat, but if you want real flavor, go for cream. It will be thicker and much more delicious. The vermouth is a personal preference instead of white wine. If you have a delicious and light dry white wine it will taste excellent. Sherry might work well too. The herbs are what I have an abundance of in my garden so feel free to experiment. I thought some lemon juice or lemongrass might add some refreshing flavor to the soup but I decided to stick to one flavor group at a time and used only earthy, savory herbs.

Chive Flowers

The chives surprised me this year and went to flower before I knew what happened. They are now my garnish of choice.

The chive flower garnish made the soup look more appealing but also added a nice sharp onion flavor. Again, I just have a bunch of chive flowers sitting on my counter and am trying to find ways to use them, so raid your cupboards and get creative! Then tell me all about it.