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Kicking Off Side Dish Season with Roasted “Wild” Mushroom and Potato Salad

It’s almost that time of year again. The holidays are still
a little ways off, but you’re already starting to wonder (worry?) what creative
side dishes will adorn the season’s holiday tables. This delicious, and very
versatile roasted mushroom and potato salad could be worth a look. 


“Wild” mushrooms have never been less so, and that’s a good
thing. Not that hunting for mushrooms in a dewy forest isn’t fun, but I’ll take
a nice safe grocery store over actual labor anytime. Especially since the
selection has gotten so much better over the years. You can easily find 5-6
varieties of mushrooms in the big markets, and they all will work.

I’ve given you an almost blank canvas here, with possible
additions being as numerous as they are obvious. One geometrical change I’d
make next time, would be to quarter the potatoes instead of halving them, to
add surface area, as well as decreasing the cooking time.


Not only is this salad good hot, room temp, and cold, but it also
works for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I hope you give it a try soon. Enjoy!


Ingredients for 6 portions
2 tbsp olive oil, more as needed
2 lbs new yellow or red potatoes
1 lb trimmed wild mushrooms
2 oz pancetta
salt and pepper to taste
3 tbsp sherry vinegar
2 tbsp tarragon
2 garlic cloves, finely minced

Note: I roasted the potatoes at 400 F. for 30 minutes, then
turned the oven up to 425 F. to finish with the mushrooms. For simplicity’s
sake, just use 425 F the whole way. It’s 30 minutes for just potatoes, then
about 20-30 more with the mushrooms, tossing a few times. Don’t stop until
everything is looking awesome.

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Pan-Roasted Halibut with Clamshell Mushrooms & Lemon Butter Sauce – Long in Name, Short in Shopping List

Above and beyond keeping things simple, and pardon the cliché, letting the natural goodness of the ingredients shine through, the beauty of a recipe like this pan-roasted halibut with clamshell mushrooms, is that there are just less things to possibly screw up. 

That should be great news to people terrified of making fish recipes. Brown some mushrooms, sear some fish, and finish with yet another simple and delicious pan sauce. That’s really it, and much like our famous, “Just Chicken and Mushrooms” recipe, I think you’ll be amazed at how much flavor these few components provide.


Speaking of flavor, you can certainly use a non-stick pan here, which pretty much insures your fish will go un-mutilated; but as you’ll see in the video, if you use cast iron, or stainless steel, a little bit of fish flesh will form a fond on the bottom of the pan, which will give you a much richer base for the butter sauce.


In case you didn’t already know, mushrooms and halibut have a natural affinity for each other, and both are wonderful with the lemon-parsley butter sauce. So, whether you fear cooking fish, or not, I hope you give this super simple, yet fabulous recipe a try soon. Enjoy!


Ingredients for 2 portions:
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter, melted in oil
2 (7-oz each) halibut filets
salt and cayenne to taste
handful of clamshell mushrooms, or sliced un-cool, regular mushrooms
1/4 cup water
juice from 1/2 lemon, or to taste
1 tbsp chopped Italian parsley
1 1/2 tbsp butter to finish sauce

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Meatless Meatballs! Celebrating the Magical Meatiness of Mushrooms on Earth Day

I’ve wanted to turn our famous veggie burger recipe into a
meatless meatballs recipe for a long time now, and figured there would be no more
appropriate occasion than Earth Day to reveal the results. After all, as I joke
about in the clip, eating mushrooms is about as close to literally consuming
the earth as you can get.


Despite being completely free of meat, at least the animal
kind, these “meatballs” were fantastic. Thanks to a thorough browning, the
mushrooms provided more than enough savoriness, and the garlic, cheese, and
parsley did the rest. As impressive as I thought the taste was, what really
blew me away was how close the texture was to actual meatballs.

For me, the true test of any alternative meatless recipe is
whether I would eat it again, based on taste and texture alone, and not just
because it’s meatless. In this case, I would…many times over. No, I’m not
giving up real meatballs, but for a delicious and vegetarian-friendly change of
pace, these really were tremendous.


So, whether you’re going to make these because you’re a
vegetarian who has been searching for a meatless version, or you’re a hard-core
meat eater who just can’t believe your ears and eyes, I hope you give these a
try soon. Have a happy Earth Day, and as always, enjoy!


Ingredients for 16 small meatballs:
(recipe can easily be doubled!)
1 pound white mushrooms, chopped into very small pieces
2 tbsp olive oil
pinch of salt to sauté mushrooms
1 tbsp butter
1/2 cup minced onions
4 minced garlic cloves
1/2 cup instant oatmeal
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
packed 1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley
1 ounce by weight, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, very finely
grated on a microplane
(Note: it looks like a ton of cheese in the video, but it
was only 1-oz. Because I used a microplane to grate it, it created a huge
looking pile of cheese. It would be about 1/2 cup if you measure, but use
weight for this ingredient!)
1 tsp salt
freshly ground black pepper and cayenne to taste
pinch of dried oregano
2 eggs
3 cups of your favorite pasta sauce.
*Let mixture sit overnight in fridge. Bake meatballs for 12-15 at 450 degrees F., then
simmer in sauce for 30-60 minutes before serving.

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