If you don’t like mushrooms, you should probably move right along. As the title would suggest, I had a mushroom-filled (don’t worry, the legal kind :P) weekend. So let’s dive right in and see just how many times those tasty fungi made an appearance in my weekend meals.
I only worked half a day Friday (reason forthcoming in the post), so that meant I was home for lunch. I had a portobello mushroom that needed to be used up, so I decided to make it into a sandwich. I’ve discovered that during the winter months, when grilling is not a viable option, broiling portobello mushroom caps works quite nicely and still brings out their meaty, juicy flavour. So I broiled the mushroom with garlic seasoning, then sandwiched it in a thin bun with some of my amazing balsamic mustard (seriously, I am in love with this stuff) and an ounce of the PC light brie…then I spritzed it with butter spray and grilled in a grill pan/panini press to make a nice, melty panini (side note: don’t have a panini press? Use a George Foreman – works awesome! I did this all the time in university). On the side, I enjoyed some kale chips and cut up veggies. You could call this my own veggie “burger and chips.” Another side note: I hate it when people say that a meal like this is a great healthy substitute for the “unhealthy” real thing. As much as I LOVED this lunch, I loved it because I love the flavours of kale chips, portobello and brie. But if I was craving a hamburger and french fries – this would not do it for me. If I crave a hamburger, I want meat, not a mushroom! I eat the mushrooms because I enjoy them and they are a healthier day-to-day option than a big hunk of meat…just had to get that out there…now back to the mushrooms. 🙂
Now onto the reason I only worked half a day. Observe the photo to the right…no, I have not taken stock in Pillsbury (there are 14 tubes of country biscuits on the counter). My church supports an orphanage in Haiti and was having a benefit concert on the weekend. There were to be appetizers served afterward, all of the recipes coming from the cookbook we had assembled. I volunteered to make over 250 of my mushroom appetizers, so I opted for taking half a day off instead of staying up until midnight! Thankfully another wonderful church lady came over and helped me with assembly, so we finished in only a couple of hours (recipe at the end of this post). Just a tip if you are making a huge quantity of appetizers that require chopped vegetables? The food processor is a HUGE time saver! It made quick work of chopping 10 and a half cups of mushrooms and 8 onions (and I didn’t even shed a tear)! I also opted to purchase pre-washed, sliced mushrooms. When you’re cooking such a large quantity, it’s worth the slight increase in price not to have to scrub that many ‘shrooms!
So the appetizers were done, but my mushroom mania was just beginning. For one thing, I had a few leftover mushrooms. I took care of that problem by sauteing them, along with some onions and frozen spinach, and serving over some Hungry Girl-fredo with goat cheese for lunch on Saturday. Mmm…was it tasty! But sadly, I used up my last package of tofu shirataki noodles :(….hopefully I can get some of March Break when I go shopping in Buffalo!
In addition to the leftover mushrooms, we also had TONS of the cream cheese filling leftover! Just look at the size of the vat! I should have figured…I usually have a little bit leftover…and considering I was multiplying the recipe by 7, I should have expected that amount would go up by a lot! I took it to the church function to spread on crackers and a little got eaten up, but I was still left with a sizable amount. I think it would be good stuffed inside of chicken or in or on pasta….stay tuned to see what I come up with!
On Sunday, I did come up with what I think is a pretty creative use for the stuff: ham, mushroom and artichoke stuffed squash! It may sound (and look) a little weird, but don’t knock it ’till you try it…it was actually really good! Here’s what I did. I baked a buttercup squash that had been scooped of its seeds in the oven, then cut a wedge that was about a third of the squash. For the filling, I sauteed a few large mushrooms in a nonstick pan with salt, pepper and thyme. I combined the mushrooms with 2 oz leftover diced, cooked ham; one diced canned artichoke heart, and a couple of tbsp of the leftover cream cheese filling. I sprinkled the top with 2 tbsp light Parmesan cheese. I put it back in the oven at 425 until the cheese was melted and browned and the filling was heated through, about 15 minutes (I didn’t time it exactly, but I had enough time to go and put my sheets back on my bed after they’d been in the dryer :P). I served the squash with a side of roasted Brussels sprouts. It was an unconventional but nonetheless delicious lunch!
That sums up my mushroom shenanigans and you know what? I’m not sick of mushrooms yet! I still love this funky fungus. How about you…are you a mushroom lover or hater? Before I go, here is the appetizer recipe, as promised. They’re usually quite popular whenever I make them, and they come together pretty easily (if you’re not making 280)! Added bonus? Only 65 calories and 2.6 grams of fat per appetizer, according to the recipe!
from Company’s Coming: Cooking for the Seasons (this recipe is from the spring section…hope it’s okay that I made it a few weeks early 😛 )
1 ½ cups chopped fresh mushrooms
1 medium onion, chopped
1 ½ tbsp. cooking oil
1 250 g/8 oz package light cream cheese, softened
1 tsp. dried dill
2 green onions, finely chopped
1/8 tsp. dried thyme
2 tubes of refrigerated country style biscuits (10 per tube)
Sauté mushrooms and onion in cooking oil in frying pan until soft and liquid from mushrooms has evaporated. Remove to small bowl. Cool to room temperature.
Beat cream cheese, milk, dill green onions and thyme in medium bowl until smooth. Stir in mushroom mixture.
Separate biscuits. Split each biscuit in half. Flatten biscuit halves with rolling pin. Put about 2 tsp. filling on each. Fold over. Seal. Arrange in single layer on greased baking sheet. Bake in 400̊ F oven for about 15 minutes until golden. Makes 40 appetizers (and, if you’re like me…extra filling)!