Chickpea, Cremini Mushroom & Farro Soup

February 24, 2015

 

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After leaving the beautiful Cinque Terre, we headed south to explore Tuscany. And no dish better represents  Tuscany than this warming peasant-style soup of Chickpeas, Cremini Mushrooms & Farro. All of the ingredients featured in this soup can be found in abundance in the region. And besides evoking images of that beautiful Tuscan landscape, this soup is actually quite good for you. It is a vegetarian dish, though I suppose you could add a bit of pancetta or sausage if you really needed to satisfy the carnivore within you. It also has the ancient grain Farro in it, which has recently been stealing some of the limelight away from Quinoa as the next big supergrain that everyone should be eating. Though that doesn’t mean it has just been discovered.  Farro has been cultivated and used in Italian cooking for centuries. It supposedly fed the Roman legions at one time. A great source of protein and fiber, it has satisfyingly chewy texture and a nutty taste. It is a wheat grain, so unlike Quinoa, it is not gluten-free. Those little devils are definitely in there.

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I first tasted the soup that inspired this recipe in the small town of Chiusi, Italy. The husband and I were very interested in seeing some Etruscan tombs and artifacts and little Chiusi was one of the greatest city-states of the Etruscan league back in the day in the 7th century BC. Today the town has one of the finest collections of Etruscan archaeological findings in Italy housed in The Museo Archeologico Nazionale. The museum was fascinating, chock full of beautifully carved sarcophagi, expertly crafted jewelry, as well as stunning art and pottery.

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intricate mosaic of hunting scene

intricate mosaic of hunting scene

The most unusual, odd and somewhat creepy thing we saw there were these Canopic jars which have lids that were modeled as a portrait of the dead person held within.

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And although we thoroughly enjoyed our museum visit, we were just itching to head out to the outskirts of the town and go underground to explore some actual Etruscan tombs. There are over 400 of these tombs in the area. Although Etruscan tombs varied according to local custom, generally the rich were buried in stone sarcophagi which were placed in chamber tombs the walls of which were often decorated with brightly painted frescos. We toured the Tomba della Scimmia (Tomb of the Monkey) so named because there is a monkey portrayed in one of the frescos, not because one is interred there, The Tomba della Pellegrina (Tomb of the Pilgrim) and La Tomba de Leone, which date from around 470 BC.

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Fresco on wall in Monkey Tomb

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The Monkey himself, peeking out from behind some sort of plant.

So, as you can see, we were pretty physically active on this holiday, hiking up and down the Cinque Terre hillsides and venturing underground to explore tombs. We definitely enjoy those things, but we are also way into relaxing and being pampered. And that is just what we did at what we found to be the best hotel at which we have ever stayed, La Bandita Townhouse. This absolute gem is located in the center of historic Pienza. The charming hill town of Pienza is situated in the heart of Tuscany, nestled between Montepulciano and Montalcino. The town had been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site and overlooks the Val d’Orcia, which boasts some of the most often photographed, unblemished landscapes that exist.

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Pienza city walls

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La Bandita Townhouse is a 500-year-old palazzo and convent, lovingly renovated by John Voigtmann, a retired record company executive. From the outside it is indistinguishable from its neighboring Renaissance age buildings. It is when you step inside the 12 room luxury boutique hotel that the magic begins. All of the nun’s cells have been replaced with an expert blend of contemporary furnishings accented by the old world charm of exposed stone walls and rustic ceiling beams.

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All of the light-filled rooms boast fabulous views of the charming town

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The view from our room out into a private medieval walled garden.

or the gorgeous surrounding countryside.

Crazy Tuscan Tree

Crazy Tuscan Tree

But as I’m sure you all know, design – stunning though it may be –  isn’t enough to make a great hotel experience. Customer service makes all the difference in the world and the folks at La Bandita Townhouse have perfected it. They were wonderful from the very first email when I was planning the trip, offering information on the surrounding area, restaurants, shops, towns, you name it, throughout our entire stay right up to the moment we reluctantly checked-out. And whenever we needed anything, which wasn’t often because they had obviously put a lot of thought into the layout of the rooms and common areas – and everything we needed, for the most part, was often to be found in the first place we looked for it, the attentive hotel staff was right there to help in any way that they could. And although Pienza is certainly a captivating town, La Bandita Townhouse is a destination all within itself. I can’t wait to visit again!

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Guest lounge and honor bar serves champagne every evening for happy hour.

 

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Not only was the hotel top-notch, but they also have a excellent restaurant as well which serves traditional Italian food but with a modern twist.

Visiting a winery in Tuscany and trying some of the local Brunello was high up on our to do list as well. The folks at La Bandita Townhouse were happy to assist us and quickly booked a tour and tasting for us at one of Montalcino’s premiere wine estates Ciacci Piccolomini D’Aragona. The estate, dating from the 17th Century and located just outside the medieval village of Castenuovo dell’Abate, was beautiful. The tour started with the history of the winery, peppered with some intriguing inheritance scandals, moved on to the production of the wine and concluded in their new modern tasting room. We sampled three of their wines, the 2012 Rosso di Montalcino, the 2011 Montecucco Sangiovese and the 2009 Brunello di Montalcino, as well as their olive oil and honey which were all excellent.

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On the way back to the hotel we stopped to visit the 8th Century Abbey Sant’Antimo, a former Benedictine Monastery. This abbey is richly decorated and  functions today as a Cistercian house.

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Love these gargoyles!

 

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Mystery creature…looks pretty scary!

 

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Sneak peek of one of the elusive monks in residence.

Well, I’m sure I’ve surpassed your vacation picture tolerance level at this point. So I’ll leave off for today. Stay tuned next time to hear about our stay in an 11th Century castle’s gate keepers lodgings, our visit to Siena and Florence and to get a great recipe for Wild Boar Ragu and homemade Pici pasta. Until then, if your home base is anything like good old Virginia, gripped by this relentless Winter, you’re probably still shivering in your boots. I hope you will make up a big pot of this hearty Chickpea, Cremini Mushroom & Farro soup to warm yourself and enjoy it with some toasted crusty bread and a bottle (or two….) of wine.

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Chickpea, Cremini Mushroom & Farro Soup

  • Servings: 4 - 6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

recipe adapted from: Williams Sonoma

Ingredients:

For the Soup:

  • 1 1/2 cups (9 1/2 oz./295 g) dried chickpeas, picked over and
    rinsed
  • 8 cups (64 fl. oz./2 l) cold water
  • 1/3 cup (3 fl. oz./80 ml) olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 small fresh rosemary sprig
  • 1 Tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 cup (8 fl. oz./250 ml) warm water
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 4 cups (32 fl. oz./1 l) vegetable broth or water
  • 1/3 cup (2 oz./60 g) pearled farro (if you can’t find pearled, you will need to soak the farro overnight.)

For the Mushrooms:

  • 1/2 lb. (250 g) fresh cremini mushrooms, (can substitute porcini mushrooms) brushed
    clean
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 Tablespoons dry white wine
  • 1 fresh thyme sprig
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 1/2 tsp. unsalted butter

Extra Virgin Olive Oil for Drizzling

Smoked Paprika for Garnish

Directions:

Put the chickpeas in a large bowl with water to cover and soak for at least 4 hours or up to overnight.

Drain the chickpeas, rinse well and place in a large saucepan. Add the cold water and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, until the chickpeas are tender, about 2 hours.

In a large, heavy pot over medium-low heat, warm the olive oil. Add the onion, garlic and rosemary sprig and sauté until the onion is softened, 5 to 7 minutes. In a small bowl, dissolve the tomato paste in the warm water and add to the pot. Stir in the chickpeas and their cooking liquid, and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook for 3 minutes. Add the broth, return to a simmer and cook, uncovered, until the flavors have blended, about 30 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly. Discard the rosemary sprig.

Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender and return it to the pot. Alternatively, process the soup in the pot with an immersion blender. Bring the soup to a simmer over medium heat. Add the farro and cook until tender yet still slightly chewy, about 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the mushrooms: Cut away the tips of the mushroom stems and thinly slice the mushrooms lengthwise. In a large fry pan over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring, until they begin to soften, 3 to 4 minutes. Increase the heat to high, add the wine and thyme sprig and cook, stirring constantly, for about 3 minutes. Reduce the heat to low, season with salt and pepper and continue to cook, stirring often, until the mushroom juices have evaporated, about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and discard the thyme sprig. Stir in the butter.

Stir the mushrooms into the soup. Ladle the soup into warmed bowls, drizzle with olive oil and garnish with a grinding of smoked paprika.

Enjoy!

Chickpea, Cremini & Farro Soup brought to you by: Runcible Eats (www.leaandjay.com)

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Lentil & Mushroom Ragu

November 4, 2014

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I’m going to have to beg your patience today. You see, I’m still a bit addled with jet lag as the husband and I just got back from a terrific vacation to Italy! (More on that to come…both recipes and pictures…I promise)

sneak preview ...on the Cinque Terre trail to Manarola

sneak preview…hiking on a Cinque Terre trail from Volastra to Manarola

Yeah, we have gone through the “falling back” bit of the time change thing twice, this past weekend here in the States and the weekend before in Italy. Not to mention having to deal with the usual 6 hour time difference to boot. Our whole sleep schedule thing is shot! But it was so worth it. We did make it back for Halloween, in an appropriate zombie like condition I must say. I can’t believe Halloween is now done and dusted! Time is just flying by. Thanksgiving and dare I mention it, Christmas will be here before we know it. Fall is my favourite season though, so I certainly don’t want to rush things. I’m going to try to take a bit of time to enjoy the right here and now, with all of its wind-blown, rustling leaves and crisp Autumn temperatures. And I’ve got some great Fall recipes coming up. I should probably warn you that there might be a fair few apple dishes on the way. I love apples. My favourite fruit and they are in season right now, so look out! But no apples today. Nope, no dessert dish today, but a lovely versatile dinner offering. This Lentil & Mushroom Ragu will blow your mind. I’m telling you, you will not miss the meat one little bit in this hearty veggie sauce.

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The husband and I both love lentils and mushrooms, so this Meatless Monday offering was a no-brainer. Not to mention that it is full of so many of the flavours that I just adore….like balsamic vinegar, red wine and basil. And it even has some red pepper flakes to kick up the spice factor. It almost seems that the folks over at Foxes Love Lemons, where I found this delicious recipe, made it up with me in mind! I served it over a bowl of fresh pasta, but it would be equally delicious over a salad. As we were chowing down on the last little bite of this stupendous sauce I found myself dreaming about using it as the sauce in a veggie lasagna. I imagine it would be so stunning nestled in between layers of pasta sheets, with some spinach and fresh mozzarella and parmesan! Now that the weather has turned a bit colder, this Lentil & Mushroom Ragu was sheer perfection! I think it will be in heavy rotation on the winter dinner menu.

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Lentil & Mushroom Ragu

  • Servings: 6 -8
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

recipe slightly adapted from: Foxes Love Lemons

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 12 ounces baby bella (cremini) mushrooms, sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 large carrot, chopped
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
  • 2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup brown lentils, rinsed and picked through
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
  • 1 box (16 ounces) spaghetti or whatever pasta you prefer
  • Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish
  • Grated Parmesan cheese, for serving

Directions:

In large saucepot, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms, garlic, carrot, bell pepper and onion. Cook until vegetables are very brown and soft, about 15 to 20 minutes, stirring frequently.

Add wine; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Use wooden spoon to scrape browned bits from bottom of pan.

Stir in bay leaf, crushed tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, water, lentils, oregano, salt, black pepper and red pepper flakes. Heat to boiling, then reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer until lentils are tender, about 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add more water, as needed, if ragu gets too thick. Remove bay leaf and stir in basil.

Meanwhile, prepare spaghetti according to package directions.

Serve ragu over spaghetti. Garnish with parsley and serve with Parmesan cheese.

Enjoy!

Lentil & Mushroom Ragu brought to you by: Runcible Eats (www.leaandjay.com)

 

 

 


Thyme Mushroom Quinoa Risotto

August 12, 2014

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I believe that this Thyme Mushroom Quinoa Risotto is somewhat magical. Why? Well for starters you’ve got those wonderful earthy thyme sauteed mushrooms. Mushrooms are known to be magical right? What is that you say…I’m thinking of a different varietal of mushroom perhaps? Ooops! Well the magic of these mushroom is in their savoury taste, not so much in their pharmacological effect. I love mushrooms and am happy to report that the husband now shares my love for them.

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You know he didn’t when we first got married. He announced that mushrooms were slimy and he hated them. I was horrified. Turns out he had only come into contact with mushrooms right out of a tin, which were, in all honesty, a bit slimy. Once he got a taste of fresh mushrooms, he started singing a different tune. But mushrooms aren’t the only bewitching thing about this dish. There is the fresh, peppery crunch of the arugula (rocket) leaves which provides great contrast to the creamy parmesan-y quinoa base. And the risotto? Well, it has done a bit of a disappearing act here. The truth is that there isn’t any risotto, quinoa, prepared as if you were making risotto has taken its place. And as much as I love a big old creamy comforting bowl of risotto, I didn’t miss it one bit. The quinoa was a great alternative and really served to lighten the dish up to make it a superb summer salad.

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I did warn you back when I blogged about that delicious Caprese Quinoa Bake that you might be seeing some more recipes from me that use quinoa. I tell you I’m still smitten with the stuff! Not only does it have a light and nutty taste as well as a great toothsome texture, but it is also really good for you. Chock full of protein, fiber, antioxidants and omega 3’s. And it is gluten-free for your folks out there who are gluten adverse. (me , not so much. I am way into glutens and luckily my body seems to be just fine with that path…) Knowing all of that, who could resist it?! I whipped this dish up for a Meatless Monday meal (for other wonderful vegetarian dishes make sure to check out the Delicious Everyday Blog – all vegetarian all the time) and couldn’t have been happier with it. Easy to prepare, tasty and vegetarian. (The husband and I feel that we get extra points for every meatless dish we’re able to work into the weekly menus. Who is keeping track of these points and what they’ll actually get us hasn’t quite been revealed yet…) Comfort food which is good for you. Now that truly is magical. Enchant your family with a big helping of Thyme Mushroom Quinoa Risotto tonight.

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Thyme Mushroom Quinoa Risotto

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

recipe from: Delicious Everyday

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 – 5 cups of vegetable stock
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ yellow onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 1½ cups white quinoa, rinsed under running water for 2 minutes
  • ⅓ cup white wine (optional…perhaps thought so by some…me? thinking it essential!)
  • ¼ cup freshly grated parmesan
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 350g (12 oz) mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil, extra
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • ¾ cup Arugula leaves (rocket)

Directions:

Place a medium saucepan over a high heat and add the vegetable stock. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce the heat to low.

Place a large saucepan over a medium heat and add the olive oil and add the onion and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant. Add the quinoa and coat in the oil, onion and garlic mixture and cook for a couple of minutes or until the quinoa starts to turn translucent. Add the wine (if using – come on…you know you want to…) and cook until it’s absorbed. Add the stock, a ladle at a time, and cook until absorbed before adding another ladleful, stirring as you go. Once the quinoa is tender remove the saucepan from the heat. Taste and adjust the seasoning as necessary. Keep warm while you saute the mushrooms.

Place a large frying pan over a high heat. Once the pan has come to heat add half the oil and half the mushrooms in a single layer in the pan. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes before turning the mushrooms over and cooking for a further minute. Remove the mushrooms and place on a plate and repeat with the remaining oil and mushrooms. Finally add the first batch of mushrooms to the pan and add the thyme leaves and cook for 1 minute.

Divide the risotto between 4 bowls or plates and top with the rocket (arugula) and mushrooms and serve immediately.

Enjoy!

Recipe brought to you by: Runcible Eats (http://www.leaandjay.com )

 

 

 


Mushroom, Onion & Thyme Galette

July 10, 2013

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I don’t know how many of you folks have made that Balsamic Strawberry Galette with that perfect flaky pie crust that I blogged about last week, but here is what I did with the other bit of pie crust that was left over from that recipe. I put it to good use in this unbelievably delicious Mushroom, Onion & Thyme Galette. So savoury and satisfying you will never miss the meat. That’s right, this one is a vegetarian offering, just perfect for meatless Mondays or any other day of the week, as far as I’m concerned!

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You see, I love mushrooms. I can’t tell you how sad I was when I first started dating my husband and he revealed to me that he hated them. “What the what?!!” I was thinking in my head while trying to keep a perfectly calm and sympathetic face. He went on to declare that they were slimy and tasteless and he couldn’t see why anyone bothered eating them at all. Hmmm….Well, I love a challenge and am proud to say that I have won him over to the mushroom lover’s side. Actually it wasn’t that hard to do. I don’t know what kind of trashy shrooms he was nibbling on before but apparently they were dreadful! Now, he eats them with breakfast, he eats them on pizza and he says that this Mushroom, Onion & Thyme Galette is high up there on his lists of favourite dinners.

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I must say I agree. I’ve already told you how head-over-heels I was with this flaky pie crust and the mushroom,onion & thyme filling really did it justice! We served it room temperature (which admittedly is rather balmy this time of year), paired with a little side salad and a bit of wine for a rustic, light supper on a particularly swampy, humid summer night. I’m sure it will be in meal high rotation from this point on since it is truly tasty and would be equally great for brunch, lunch or dinner. I may have even heard of some one (can’t imagine who) sneaking it cold, right out of the fridge around midnight… So if you’ve got any mushroom haters around your house, bring them on into the light with this galette. And if you’re already a convert, you’re going to be one step closer to heaven with this dish!

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Mushroom, Onion & Thyme Galette

recipe from: hip foodie mom for the filling & slightly adapted from inspired taste for the flaky pie crust

Ingredients:

For the crust: (this recipe makes dough for two pie crusts)

  • 2 1/2 cups (360 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup (227 grams) very cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (2 sticks)
  • 6 tablespoons vodka (chilled)
  • 2 Tablespoons ice water

For the filling:

  • olive oil
  • 2 cups onions; sliced and kept in rings or long strips
  • 3-4 cups mushrooms (sliced); I recommend Cremini
  • 2-3 tablespoons fresh thyme (leaves only)
  • kosher salt
  • 2-3 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • less than a ¼ cup shredded mozzarella cheese; shredded so it melts faster (Gruyère would also be great!)
  • Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese for sprinkling over crust

Directions:

For the crust:

This recipe will make enough dough for two pie crusts. The second one can be kept in the fridge for up to two days or frozen for 3 months. If you’re making dough, you may as well make a second one while you’re at it and then you’ll be ahead of the game when preparing your next delicious creation.

Mix 6 tablespoons of vodka and 2 tablespoons of water. Put in fridge or freezer (don’t forget it) to chill.

Add 1 1/2 cups flour, salt to a food processor. Pulse 2 to 3 times until combined.

Scatter butter cubes over flour and process until a dough or paste begins to form, about 15 seconds. (There should be no uncoated flour).

Scrape bowl, redistribute the flour-butter mixture then add remaining 1 cup of flour. Pulse 4 to 5 times until flour is evenly distributed. (Dough should look broken up and a little crumbly).

Transfer to a medium bowl then sprinkle 6 tablespoons of ice water/vodka over mixture. Using a rubber spatula, press the dough into itself. The crumbs should begin to form larger clusters. If you pinch some of the dough and it holds together, it’s ready. If the dough falls apart, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of extra water/vodka and continue to press until dough comes together.

Remove dough from bowl and place in a mound on a clean surface. Work the dough just enough to form a ball. Cut ball in half then form each half into discs. Wrap each disc with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour, and up to 2 days. You can also freeze it for up to 3 months (just thaw it overnight in the fridge before using).
For the filling:

Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. After a minute or 2, add the onions and stir continuously until softened and starting to caramelize, for about 15-18 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.

Wipe out your pan and re-heat the same pan with a few glugs of olive oil over medium-high heat. After a minute or two, add the sliced mushrooms, thyme and season with a little salt and let cook until softened, for about 8-10 minutes.

When softened, add the balsamic vinegar and reduce the heat to medium low. Cook for another 5 minutes, remove from the heat and combine with the cooked onions. Set aside.

For Assembly:

Preheat your oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Transfer one disc (save the other for some other delicious creation) of the pastry dough from the refrigerator to a lightly floured work surface. Roll out to a 12 inch circle. Transfer the dough to a prepared, parchment lined baking sheet.
Sprinkle a bit of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese over the dough where the filling will be placed. This not only adds a lot of flavour, but will also keep the crust from getting soggy – so I’m told. Spoon the onion, mushroom mixture onto the center of the dough, leaving a 2-inch border all around. Gently fold over the pastry border, overlapping the edges as much as possible and gently pressing the folds together.
Brush the folded edges of the crust with an infused or flavoured olive oil. I used parmesan garlic olive oil. Or simply use a beaten egg yolk. Sprinkle flaky sea salt  over the crust. Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until the crust has become a lovely golden brown. During the last 10 minutes or so of cooking, sprinkle on the shredded mozzarella cheese. Use as little or as much as you want. Let cool for about 20 minutes before cutting and serving.

Enjoy!


Goat Cheese, Pancetta & Chive Stuffed Mushrooms

May 20, 2011

I made this delicious appetizer for a little gathering a while ago now. I kid you not when I say folks haven’t stopped asking for the recipe – sorry I’m just getting around to posting it now. 🙂 It was a huge hit! My husband, who has previously professed his dislike for mushrooms, was even enticed to try them. This was mostly due to his stronger love of goat cheese. He was an instant fan and is now reconsidering his relationship with mushrooms. Really…this recipe is that yummy. The combination of the creamy goat cheese, whipped up with the savory garlic and shallots, crispy, salty pancetta with the satisfying crunch of the panko topping in unforgettable.

Crispy Pancetta & Shallot/Garlic Mix

The recipe actually makes a good amount of this filling (enough for 60 mushrooms!), so you will likely have some left over, no matter how generous you are in stuffing the mushrooms. You will be very happy about these leftovers the morning after you whip these up. You can just reach in the fridge, grab that filling out and spread it over a freshly toasted crust of bread or a bagel. Have mercy! It is also great as a sandwich spread. You can prepare this filling two days prior to making your mushrooms – that is if you can resist gobbling it all up before you need it – and store it in the refrigerator. I found this recipe on one of my absolute favourite blogs, Spoon with Me. As I have mentioned before, make sure you take a look at her site. She has the most amazing photographs! And with this recipe, she explains a great way to wash mushrooms. Mushrooms will absorb a lot of water, so you don’t want to leave them soaking in it for too long. She recommends placing some salt in your hand, wetting the mushroom and then rubbing it in the salt. With this technique you manage to not only clean the mushroom, but also season it as well. So, what are you waiting for? Make this appetizer for your next gathering. Folks won’t stop talking about it!

Little tasty Gem!

Goat Cheese, Pancetta & Chive Stuffed Mushrooms

Recipe from Spoon With Me

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 lb to 2 lb crimini or Baby Bella Mushrooms
  • 1 package (8 0z) cream cheese (leave out of the fridge for 30 minutes to soften)
  • 1 log (6 oz) goat cheese (leave out of the fridge for 30 minutes to soften)
  • 3 oz thinly sliced pancetta (I found this already chopped at Harris Teeter. You can substitute in regular bacon)
  • 1/3 cup minced shallots
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small bunch fresh chives, minced (about 1/4 cup) and extra for garnishing (if desired)
  • 1 cup panko (japanese breadcrumbs)
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400˚F

Wash and season the Mushrooms by taking each wet mushroom, pouring some salt in your hand and rubbing it in the salt. This removes the dirt and also seasons the mushrooms. Rinse and dry the mushrooms, then remove to a large rimmed baking sheet.

In a medium bowl, mix cream cheese and goat cheese until combined. Set aside.

Heat a medium frying pan over medium-high heat.  Cook the pancetta until golden (about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes per side) until golden (the pancetta will crisp up as it cools).  Remove to paper towels.  When cool, crumble the pancetta and set aside.

In the same pan, saute the shallots in the pancetta drippings until softened (about 3 minutes).  Add garlic and cook for another minute.

In a medium bowl, mix the cream cheese and goat cheese until combined.  Add the crumbled pancetta, shallots and garlic, chives, salt and pepper.  Stir to combine.

Place panko in a small dish. Using a spoon, generously  fill each mushroom cap.  Dip the top of each mushroom in the panko, and then put back on the baking sheet.  Lightly spray the mushroom tops with olive or canola oil.

Bake the mushrooms in a 400˚ oven for 12-18 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown.


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