Shitake Mushroom Tapenade

Mushrooms are probably one of my favorite vegetables. It’s actually pretty hard to put my finger on my favorite veggie, but Mushrooms are most definitely up there on the list. Since I haven’t tried too many variations of mushrooms, I figured it was about time I diversified my mushroom intake. I tried these shitake mushrooms in a stir fry earlier on in the week, and decided that their unique and rich flavor needed to be singled out, and so I decided to make an Asian mushroom tapenade.

Here are the Shitake’s, washed with stems removed. I read somewhere that you should never eat a Shitake Mushroom stem.

I diced them up nice and small, as a tapenade.

I sauteed them with a touch of cooking oil, and reduced sodium soy sauce. It brought out the flavor of the mushrooms in such a delightful way!

Serve on some crackers, as is. Enjoy!

Jacquie’s Shitake Mushroom Asian Tapenade

1 Pound Shitake Mushrooms, washed with stems removed (I got mine from Eat Local’s Good Food Box)

1 Teaspoon of cooking oil (I used Mighty Trio Organic’s Canola Oil)

1 Tablespoon of Reduced Sodium Soy Sauce

Dice mushrooms small. Saute with cooking oil until desired texture has been achieved, add soy sauce, cook until heated. Enjoy with your favorite crackers!


Portabello Mushroom Burgers – aka: The return of the BBQ!

WOW. What amazing weather we’ve been having here! It’s been so warm that we finally decided that it was time to bust out the BBQ!

I ordered a half pound of Portabello mushrooms in my Good Food Box this week, and all I could think about was grilling them on the BBQ with a little bit of garlic and olive oil. These were some of the tastiest mushrooms ever, with their intense Italian flavor, which compliments just about anything you serve with them! I think next time I’ll order a full pound…

These were a decent size as well. Perfect burger size!

This is my BBQ. We have to grill on the back porch because it’s electric, and needs to be plugged into an outlet in the house. Interesting set up. We’ve been talking about getting a real one this summer, for practicality sakes…

We cooked these alongside some some falafel burgers from the Happy Camel. (I am going to do a full post devoted solely to the Happy Camel one of these days. This little snippet today does not do justice to the amount of amazing product they carry!)

Once cooked, I placed a dollop of goat cheese on the mushroom to let it melt a bit. The flavors worked so well together!

Served inside a delicious, fresh 50% Whole Wheat Pita from Happy Camel, topped with mixed greens from Morrinville Greenhouse, which I acquired once again through my Good Food Box, and slathered with some homemade garlic and herb mayo, this Portobello Burger was a sure celebration of the return of warm and sunny weather!

Jacquie’s Delicious Portobello Mushroom Burgers

2 large Portobello mushrooms

2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

3 cloves fresh garlic, minced

2 dollops of fresh goat cheese

several leaves of local baby lettuce, for topping (and any other of your favorite toppings!)

2 whole wheat pitas from Happy Camel

2 tablespoons of mayonnaise

2 teaspoons of Italian seasoning.

Wash Portobellos. Brush with olive oil and 1/2 of the mined garlic. Grill until Mushrooms are cooked to your liking.

Place dollop of goat cheese on mushroom while still very warm, so that the cheese will melt a little. While you’re waiting for the cheese to melt, pop the pitas in the toaster. Once everything is ready to go, assemble the pita burgers, and add toppings, such as lettuce, tomatoes, and/or pickles.

For the garlic Mayonnaise: Combine the rest of the minced garlic with the mayonnaise, and Italian seasoning. mix until combined well. Slather on pita before adding other ingredients.


A Weekend of Appetizers!

It was my sister Michou’s bridal shower last weekend. I decided to volunteer to make all of the lunch appetizers (with the great and amazing help of my little sister Spoon, who as acting as my sou-chef for the day). We had a blast making homemade Oreo cupcakes with cream cheese frosting, shrimp and pork salad rolls, and stuffed mushroom caps. I tried to include all three recipes in one post, seeing as I am quite far behind in recipes posts… Oh well! Makes for a great post, after all!

For the cupcakes, we began by separating two dozen Oreos, and placing the frosting side up into the cupcake papers.

Some broke, but that’s ok! They’re getting baked into a cupcake, after all!

We took the remaining pieces of Oreo and crushed them up to put in the batter.

Then scooped the batter into the muffin papers.

Only filled to 3/4 full!

Once pipped with frosting, we took the remaining cookie halfs, that did not get smashed into the batter, and placed them on top! These were a huge hit at the party. Delicious!

Jacquie’s Tasty Oreo Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting (Courtesy of Dainty Chef)

What you’ll need:
For the Cupcakes:
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup milk
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups flour, plus 2 Tbsp for the Oreo chunks
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 2/3 cup sugar
3 large egg whites, at room temperature
1 pkg Oreo Cookies (~45 cookies)

For the Frosting:
8 oz cream cheese at room temp
1 stick butter at room temp
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
3-4 cups powdered sugar

What you’ll do:
Preheat over to 350F. Insert liners into a medium cupcake pan.
Twist apart 24 Oreos. Place the wafer with filling on it, filling side up, in the bottom of each paper liner. Cut other wafers in half. Save 24 halves to place in the frosting. Crush the other wafer halves, also for garnishing.

Cut the remaining Oreo cookies into quarters with a sharp knife. Toss with 2 Tbsp flour and set aside.

In a large bowl cream the butter until fluffy, about 3-5 minutes. Add the milk and vanilla and mix to combine. In a separate bowl mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to butter mixture. Mix until integrated. Stir in sugar. With an electric mixer on low speed, beat for 30 seconds. Turn the mixer up to medium speed and beat for 2 minutes. Add the egg whites. Beat for 2 more minutes. Stir in the quartered cookies.

Fill the cupcake lines three-quarters full. Bake for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of cupcakes comes out clean. Cool cupcakes in the pan.

For the frosting:
Cream butter and cream cheese until fluffy. Add vanilla extract. Slowly add powdered sugar until desired consistency is reached. To assemble the cupcakes: Once cupcakes have cooled completely, frost with cream cheese frosting. Sprinkle with crushed Oreos and place 1/2 of an Oreo on the frosting of each cupcake.

The salad rolls were a lot more work, and were a little tricky at first. But once you got the hang of them, they weren’t too bad (in my opinion, not Spoon’s), and they were so tasty! We had to julienne all the vegetables that you see here. That took some time, but was well worth it!

Begin by soaking a rice paper sheet in warm to hot water until it becomes soft and maliable.

Let it drip off a bit, then place it on a dry plate. Next, dab it with a paper towel, to remove access moisture, and so that the paper becomes a little sticky.

Next, fill your salad roll with all your fixings! (We used julienne carrots, cucumber and avocado, slices of romaine lettuce and baby spinach and beansprouts, and shrimp or pork.)

Then, fold the rice paper around the ingredients like a burrito.

If possible, try and avoid using broken sheets of rice paper. They are extremely hard to work with, something we learned the hard way. When purchasing rice paper, go for the sheets in a plastic protective case, rather than a bag. The plastic case prevents the sheets from breaking in the store, whereas if you buy a bag, there is no way to prevent the poor rice papers from breaking and snapping at the slightest touch. (The bride saved us halfway through the process by running to the store for more. This is why you can see some pretty ones, and some horrendous looking ones…)

Jacquie’s Tasty Shrimp and Pork Salad Rolls with Spice Peanut Sauce (Courtesy of Boomer Cuisine)

Yield 1-2 servings (we times the recipe by 20)

2 large rice spring roll wraps
2 green leaf lettuce leaves
12 cooked 31-40 per pound prawns
1 small carrot (matchstick cut or shaved with a peeler)
½ avocado
½ medium cucumber (matchstick or julienne cut)
4 sprigs cilantro
½ cup bean sprouts
12 baby spinach leaves
6-8 fresh basil leaves

Dressing: 2 teaspoons fish sauce (we didn’t have fish sauce, so we omitted it), 1 teaspoon of lime juice, 1 teaspoon sugar

Run the wrapper under warm water both sides so the entire surface is wet or place some warm water in a large dinner plate and submerge the wrapper. As it softens (about 10-20 seconds) spread the sheet on a flat surface. Pat with a paper towel to remove any excess surface water and place 6 shrimp in a line on the center of the wrap. Lay half the above quantities of lettuce, avocado, cucumber, carrots, cilantro, spinach, basil and bean sprouts on the row of shrimp. Add 1-1/2 teaspoons of dressing to your salad mixture, gently bring the side flaps over then fold the bottom flap (closest to you) over the salad’ burrito’ style then firmly roll towards the top flap while slightly compressing to form your salad roll. The skin is delicate, tears easily and sticks to itself so be gentle. Repeat process for second roll.

Peanut Dipping Sauce:
2 tablespoons water 1 tablespoon creamy peanut butter, 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce, 1 teaspoon fish sauce, 1 teaspoon lime juice, 1/3 teaspoon chile flakes…Whip or blend till smooth and pour into a small soufflé cup for dipping.

The last thing we made, which ended up being the biggest hit of them all, were the stuffed mushroom caps.

During the party, people kept asking what were in the mushroom caps, because the combination of flavors were unbelievable! Honestly, the primary ingredients were parsley, parmesan cheese, garlic and bread crumbs. That’s it I swear!

We tried to stuffed the mushrooms as much as possible, because when we doubled the recipe, it made way too much stuffing!

Here’s what they looked like before we baked them…

And here’s what they looked like after… Oh yea. Can you see now why these were such a hit?!

Jacquie’s Awesome Stuffed Mushroom Caps (Courtesy of Kitchen Konfidence)

1 pound large cremini mushrooms
1 egg, lightly beaten
½ cup freshly made bread crumbs
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
½ cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 teaspoon minced garlic
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 to 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Preheat oven to 400°F.  Grease a baking sheet with non stick spray or dab of extra virgin olive oil.

Using a damp kitchen towel or paper towel, wipe the the mushrooms clean of any grit.  Trim off the tough bottoms of each stem.  Carefully remove the stems and set aside.  We are going to stuff the caps, so be sure to keep them intact.

Chop up the reserved stems and add them to a medium sized bowl with the egg, bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese and garlic.  Toss to combine and then season to taste with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.  Stir in enough extra virgin olive oil to make the mixture glisten.  You want the stuffing coated, but not swimming in olive oil.

Stuff each mushroom cap with a good spoonful of the stem mixture.  Place the stuffed caps, stuffed side up on the prepared baking sheet.  Transfer to the preheated oven and cook until the tops are lightly golden brown (about 15 minutes).

Let the mushrooms cool a minute or two before serving.

Makes 6 – 8 servings.

Here was our intense spread.

Even my homemade whole wheat crackers made an appearance on the cheese plate. It was quite the great foodie weekend! I look forward to the next party that I get to make all the food for!

I wanted to send a big shout out to my foodie sou-chef Spoony, for all of her help on the weekend during the party. I could not have done it without her!! Also thank you to my mom for getting all of the ingredients together, and help chop, slice dice and decorate the food before serving! You two are the best!

Aussie Chicken

I’m taking a sick day today because my throat is all scratchy and I feel like I will soon loose my voice. Blah, stupid March… But it’s ok because it gives me a chance to catch up on my blogging!

Oh Aussie Chicken… I think I’ve found another one of those recipes that I will add to my repertoire of awesome, delicious recipes! It’s basically honey mustard chicken, with some tasty extras…

I used local Alberta honey. Now I have to say this about honey: I normally have an intense hatred for the substance. It’s sticky, sickeningly sweet, it’s got a goopy texture. All around, I’ve never found honey appealing. This may also have stemmed from working in a tea house for two years, where, if you drop a teaspoon of honey on any work surface, a half hour later its in your hair and on the bottom of your shoe… I digress… This honey is worth the sticky goopy mess! It’s tasty and sweet, but not too sweet. Its also not pasteurized, leaving tasty little honey kernels in the silky liquid. I like this honey, enough so to get over my intense dislike for the stuff, and to use it in this delicious recipe!

This is what the base looked like before I whisked it. It’s equal parts mustard and honey, to 1/2 a part mayonnaise. I also sprinkled a bit of garlic in there for added flavor. hmm, garlic…

Tada! Whisked, perfect sauce. Make sure to make a lot. You’ll want leftovers.

We embellished on the recipe a bit, and added bacon and mushrooms to the chicken. Trust me, the extra effort is worth it.

First things first! Spray your chicken pan. Then lay the chicken down in thin strips, and add a layer of sauce.

Then cover it with strips of Bacon.

Then cover it with mushrooms.

Then sprinkle it with cheese.

Then add even more sauce! hmm!

Bake for a half hour – 45 mins on 350. Serve right away!

Hmm, was this ever good? Wow. I think I’ll make it again this week!

Jacquie’s Aussie Chicken (Courtesy of Frugal Girl)

4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves – pounded to 1/2 inch thickness (I just sliced mine in half to make cutlets)
2 teaspoons seasoning salt

Sauce (I halve the sauce, but if you really love honey mustard, you might not want to halve it!)
1/2 cup prepared yellow mustard
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon dried onion flakes

6 slices bacon, cut in half
1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
2 cups shredded Colby-Monterey Jack cheese

1. Rub the chicken breasts with the seasoning salt, cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

2. In a medium bowl, combine the mustard, honey, corn syrup, mayonnaise and dried onion flakes. Remove half of sauce, cover and refrigerate to serve later.

3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until crisp. Set aside. Saute the mushrooms in the same skillet until tender; set aside.

4. Place the breasts in the skillet and saute for 3 to 5 minutes per side, or until browned. Remove from skillet and place the breasts into a 9×13 inch baking dish. Apply the honey mustard sauce to each breast, then layer each breast with mushrooms and bacon. Sprinkle top with shredded cheese.

5. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes, or until cheese is melted and chicken juices run clear (if you use thin cutlets, they’ll already be cooked through, so you just need to bake them for 5 minutes, or until the cheese is melted). Serve with the reserved honey mustard sauce.

We used the leftover sauce as salad dressing. Whoa. I think I need to go and make some more right about now…