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Pork Chops with Balsamic Roasted Veggies and Gorgonzola

3 Apr

It’s the first installment of Seasonal Eats: Spring Edition!  I thought I would start with something seriously simple: mushrooms and onions.  Mostly, I was just craving them and they happen to be on the list.  STILL COUNTS.  I’m still working on perfecting a few other recipes that I can’t wait to share!


Pork Chops with Balsamic Roasted Veggies and Gorgonzola

Porkchops Balsalmic Veggies Gorgonzola


  • 4 pork chops
  • 1/2 t. salt, divided
  • 3/4 t. pepper, divided
  • 1/4 c. olive oil, divided
  • 12 oz. small red potatoes, halved
  • 3 T. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 t. tomato paste
  • 1 t. dried thyme (or 1 T. fresh thyme)
  • 1 medium red onion, peeled and cut into 8 wedges
  • 8 oz. baby bellas, halved
  • 2 T. chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 c. crumbled Gorgonzola

Preheat oven to 425*F with a large casserole dish inside (yes, we want to preheat the casserole dish, too!).

Heat a large skillet over high heat.  Add 2 T. of oil to the preheated pan and sprinkle porkchops with 1/4 t. salt and 1/4 t. pepper on both sides.  Brown on each side for about 3 minuets, then remove from the heat and let rest.

porkchops

 

Reduce heat to medium high, then add the halved potatoes to the oil – cut side down.  Cook for 2-5 minutes (depending on the size of the potato), until the potatoes are browned.

redpotatoes

Remove the pan from heat and prepare the mushroom mixture.  Whisk 1/2 t. pepper, 2 T. olive oil, balsamic, and tomato paste in a small bowl.  Combine 2 T. of this balsamic mixture with the mushrooms, onions, and thyme – toss to coat.  Add the mushroom mixture and potatoes to preheated casserole dish and bake for 10 minutes.  Stir the mixture, then cook for another 15 minutes.

roasted veggies

Place the pork chops on top of the veggies, return the dish to the oven and bake for another 10-20 minutes or until the pork chops are done.  Remove the pork from the pan and let it rest, then mix in the 1/4 c. Gorgonzola and parsley into the veggies.

roasted veggies with garnish

Before serving, drizzle the remaining balsamic mixture over the pork chops and garnish with more parsley.

PorkChopsBalsamic2


Mushroom, Bacon, & Leek Risotto

16 Sep

I don’t know what the weather’s been like in your neck of the woods, but it’s been chilly around these parts.  You won’t hear me complain about it, I absolutely love fall!  The colder temperatures make me crave comfort food like no other.  When Kristin over at Iowa Girl Eats posted this recipe, I literally counted down the days until it felt chilly enough to make it.  PLUS, risotto works as a lunch, side dish, or can also stand alone as an entree – that’s what I’m talking about!


Mushroom-Bacon-Leek-Risotto

Mushroom, Bacon, and Leek Risotto

  • 5 c. chicken stock
  • 4 sliced chopped bacon (I used a regular-cut, hickory smoked bacon)
  • 3 small leeks (white and green parts only), chopped
  • 8 oz. mushrooms
  • 1 large shallot, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • 1/4 c. dry white wine (check this out for some advice on picking the best cooking wine)
  • 1 T. fresh thyme
  • 1/4 c. grated Parmesan
  • salt and pepper to taste

Mushroom-Leek-Risotto-1

That picture has literally nothing to do with the recipe, but I felt all fancy putting the ingredients in different containers.

First, heat up the chicken stock but keep it simmering on low in a saucepan.  You won’t be using it until later, but make sure it’s ready when you need it.  Prep your bacon too, but chopping it and cooking it in a large skillet over medium heat until crispy.

Crumbled-Bacon

Set it aside to drain on a towel, but reserve 2 T. of the bacon grease.  If you don’t have 2 T. you will need to add in another fat like olive oil to make 2 T. and heat over medium-high along with the mushrooms, leeks, and shallots.  Season the mixture with salt and pepper and cook until the veggies turn a golden brown (about 8 minutes).  Then add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about another minute.  Finally, add in the 1 c. of arborio rice and give it a nice good stir to incorporate it in.

 

Mushroom-Leek-Risotto-2

Turn the heat down to medium and add in the 1/4 c. of wine. The rice will absorb the wine pretty quickly, and when it does you’re ready to add in that chicken broth.  This is the only part that sucks:  you’re going to have to stir this pretty much constantly for about 25 minutes.  That’s perfect for me because I love to fuss over things on the stove and I can never just leave things alone!

mushroom-leek-risotto-3

After 25 minutes, the mixture will be looking nice and thick.  At this point, you should give yourself a pat on the back because you’re freaking awesome.  Then, add in the reserved bacon, thyme, and Parmesan cheese.  Stir it all together until it’s incorporated.  BOOM!  You just made risotto.

Mushroom-Leek-Risotto-4

 

Pear, Mushroom, & Prosciutto Pizza

28 Jun

So it’s Saturday and you might be having one of those “My-girls-are-coming-over-to-drink-wine-but-I-need-to-make-a-classy-pizza-so-at-least-I-look-like-a-classy-lush” pizzas, this one is for you.  Seriously, this pizza makes you seem like you know way more about pizza than you probably do.  It’s sweet and salty and just generally delicious.  Indulgent enough to make you Insta-famous in your circle of friends, but not indulgent enough that you feel guilty about it. 🙂

Pear-Mushroom-Prosciutto-Arugula-Blue-Cheese-Pizza


Pear, Mushroom, & Prosciutto Pizza (recipe by Yummy Addiction)

  • 2 T. unsalted butter
  • 1/2 semi-ripe pear, sliced very thin
  • 1 t. honey
  • 6 cremini mushrooms, steps removed and sliced thin
  • 1 c. shredded Mozzarella cheese
  • 3 oz. Prosciutto, torn into pieces
  • 1/2 c. crumbled blue cheese
  • 2 handfuls baby arugula
  • this pizza crust (or store bought)

Preheat the oven to 400*F.

Heat the butter in a medium skillet over medium heat.  When melted, reduce the heat to low and add the pear slices.  When they begin to get softened, add the honey and a pinch of salt and continue to cook until lightly browned, stirring occasionally.  When they are ready, remove them from the pan and add the mushrooms to the same pan.  Cook until the mushrooms are slightly browned.

Brush the pizza crust with olive oil, then sprinkle the mozzarella cheese evenly.  Add the pears and mushrooms, then put the prosciutto on top of that.  Sprinkle the blue cheese crumbles on the very top and bake for about 20 minutes.  When the pizza is done, top with the arugula and serve.

I recommend a Pino Grigio if you were wondering – cheers! 🙂

Stuffed Portabello Sandwiches w/ Caramelized Onions + Arugula

17 Jun

Meatless-Monday-1-Stuffed-Portabello-Sandwiches-Caramelized-Onion-Arugula



I am really excited to get on the Meatless Monday bandwagon!  I initially picked this recipe because I thought it would be an easy, weeknight dinner for me.  I underestimated the fact that I don’t have a grill.  You don’t need a grill – at all actually – but the original recipe is a bit more streamlined than the process that I went through so I was under prepared when I started.  Everything is sort of prepared separately and then assembled at the end – just focus on getting the elements right and not about timing.


A Quick Roasted Pepper Tutorial!

Before we get started, let’s talk about roasted red peppers!  For years, when a recipe called for roasted red peppers I assumed I had to go to the store and buy the ones that come in a glass jar and are covered in marinade/oil/whatever.  It’s so friggin’ easy to roast your own peppers that it makes me wonder why I don’t do it more often!  Here is a step-by-step tutorial I made to show you how to make your own roasted peppers using a gas broiler.

Ta da!

Roasted-Pepper-Tutorial-Broiler

Really.  Wash your pepper and then shove it  near the broiler flame.  I rotated mine every 6 minutes – the pepper will first start to sweat and then the skin will turn black and get crispy.  That’s what we want!  We are going to take the skin off, so we really need to make sure the pepper is roasted half to Hades.  (You could do this on your gas range as well, just wrap the pepper in tin foil first and set the flame on med-low.  The pepper sweats excessively so…be prepared for a big sloppy mess if you go this route!  That’s why I went with the broiler.) Mine looked like this when it was done: Roasted-Pepper-Tutorial-Steamed

Then, we need to steam the pepper so that we can take the skin off and get the seeds/stem out.  So, just cover the pepper with a bowl and let it sit for 15minutes.

Roasted-Pepper-Tutorial-Steaming

See it’s not that intimidating!  When it’s done, it will look deflated like this:

Roasted-Pepper-Tutorial-After-Steaming

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After 15 minutes, cut down one side of the pepper.  The stem should basically fall right out and the pepper will open up.  Remove the seeds and then flip it over and remove the skin.  You can just use your fingers if you want to!

Roasted-Pepper-Tutorial-Skin-Before Roasted-Pepper-Tutorial-Skin-After

Easy peasy.  Then just slice them up to suit your needs.  If you are going to save them and use them for another day, put them in a glass or stainless steel container and pour a bit of olive oil over them.  If you are going to be making a large batch of these, you can also roast peppers in the oven on a sheet pan.

You can pin this tutorial by clicking here:


Like I said before, you can complete all of the ingredients at the same time.  So while the pepper was in the broiler, carmelize half an onion (this takes about 25 minutes) with a splash of balsamic and about a T. of brown sugar.

Carmelized-Onions

Also, drizzle 2 portabellos with olive oil, salt, and pepper put them in the oven at 425*F for 20 minutes. Roasted-Portabellos

If things are coming up at different times – that is fine.  If things start to cool, don’t freak out.  Once we assemble everything, it gets reheated again. 🙂  When the bellas are done, lower the temp of the oven to about 300*F, and rub the bread with the slightest bit of olive oil.  I put it in immediately before the oven had properly cooled because I used ciabatta which is a bit thicker than normal bread.  You could even skip the oil/oven and use the toaster depending on your bread preference. While the bread is toasting, it’s time for the rest of the sammie to come together!  You’re basically creating a stuffed portabello, so start with a mushroom gill side up.  Add as many of your roasted peppers as you’d like, a slice of Mozzarella cheese, and then top it with the 2nd portabello gill side down.  Since my bread was in the oven, I popped this under the broiler until the cheese melts. Stuffed-Portabello-Meatless-Monday

When the bread is toasted to your liking, add the mushroom to the bread and top with the caramelized onions.  I added a TON more arugula after I took this picture – I can’t get enough!

 Meatless-Monday-1-Stuffed-Portabello-Sandwiches-Caramelized-Onion-Arugula

Mushroom & Spinach Lasagna Roll-Ups

6 Nov

So, do you want the bad news or the good news first?

The bad news is that Italian home-style cooking would not be considered very clean eating.  Lasagna is typically a heavy, carb (40g!!!) and calorie (upwards of 900!!!) dense meal that I basically only enjoy through osmosis.  (The osmosis of licking a picture on the Olive Garden menu – I swear I gain 5 lbs. just looking at it.)  So, yeah.

The good news is, this recipe is a much lighter version of a traditional lasagna.  In fact, based on my calculations this recipe is around 400 calories a serving, but 47 g of carbs.  So while it’s still a carb dense meal and certainly not what I would consider clean, the calories make it a much more reasonable “not so clean day” option.

The cool thing about lasagnas are that you can kind of do your own thing with the filling – whatever you are in the mood for or whatever you have on hand works.  I’ve also made a Ham, Spinach, & Ricotta Lasagna Roll-Up here before. This particular recipe is an oldie but a goodie, with infinite variations.  The original post had HORRIBLE pictures, taken when I was cooking by lamplight (Yes, I had a table lamp on my stove and that was the only light in the kitchen!), so I thought it could use a good update.

Mushroom & Spinach Lasagna Roll-Ups

  • lasagna noodles (NOT the oven-ready kind)
  • 8 oz. box frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry (or fresh, wilted)
  • 8 oz. mushrooms of your choice, sliced thin
  • 15 oz. part-skim ricotta
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • pasta sauce
  • salt & pepper
  • shredded mozzarella or Parmesean

Cook the lasagna noodles al dente (10 min) and then spread them out to cool slightly.  I used a kitchen towel and paper towels for this:

LW.Noodles

While all that jazz is happening, you can make the stuffings.  Brown the mushrooms in 1 T. olive oil.  Salt & pepper them, then add in half a cup of pasta sauce.  Simmer for about 2 minutes and then set aside.

LW.Mushrooms

Also, mix together the spinach, ricotta, egg, and a little more salt and pepper.

LW.RicottaSpinach

Pretty easy so far, right?

Once the noodles are soft enough for you to work with, place about 2 T. of the ricotta mixture on each noodle, then top with 1-1/2 T. of the mushroom mixture.

LW.Rolling

Then, just roll them up!  I put mine in a casserole dish that has a layer of pasta sauce on the bottom to prevent sticking.

LW.Before

You could do a few things here:  Put it in the fridge until you are ready to cook, probably freeze, or top with sauce and cheese and bake those em-effers at 375F.

I clearly chose the em-effers option.  We don’t like a lot of sauce with our pasta in this house, but have at it (just remember that jarred pasta sauce is super high in sugar!) with your favorite sauce and cheese of choice.  I just barely sprinkled some Mozzarella on ours because the ricotta is cheesy enough!  Cover the casserole dish(es) loosely in tin foil and bake for 45 minutes at 375F.  Then, remove the foil and bake for 15 more minutes.

LW.Final

As you can tell, its really easy to keep your portions (2-3 roll ups) under control with this recipe because you scoop out one roll-up at a time.  I made the whole box of pasta (17 roll-ups) because we are in dire need of lunch options at our house, so we will be eating leftovers for days!

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