Recipe: Beef Burger with Shiitake

Beef Burger with Shiitake

Serves 4
4 oz. fresh shiitake mushrooms, sliced
2 Tbsp butter or olive oil
3/4 to 1 pound ground beef
1/4 to 1/2 cup blue cheese
1/4 to 1/2 cup onion
1/4 tsp fish sauce
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
a little salt and pepper
4 hamburger buns
1 to 3 oz. salad mix, sprouts or shoots

Remove stems from mushrooms and save for soup stock in the freezer. Slice mushroom caps. Heat skillet or pan and add 2 Tbsp butter or olive oil, then add mushrooms when fat is hot. Saute until soft and slightly browned, about 5 minutes. Set aside and cover.  You can also saute the onions, separately, or use them raw – depending on your preference.

Prepare grill for burgers and buns. Blend cold ground meat with chopped onion, crumbled cheese, fish sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and salt and pepper; then form into thick patties and place on hot grill. Flip patty once and grill on remaining side until done. You can also sear on cast iron skillet at medium-high heat. Remove burgers to platter and cover until ready to serve. While burgers are cooking, brush bun faces with butter or oil and grill or sear briefly, then set aside.

Place burgers on grilled buns, then top with sautéed mushrooms and salad mix, sprouts or shoots. Serve open face or top with remaining bun. Enjoy!

burger2.jpg

Okay, our burgers never look perfect (all round like they were cut out by a giant cookie cutter), but they are fabulously tasty!

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Recipe: Grilled Polenta and Mushrooms

Once again I got really excited about making this recipe, one of my favorites, and didn’t bother to read the recipe Jeremy had put together until afterwards. Of course he fancied it up so my photos don’t look like what you’d get if you follow this recipe. Oh well, it just shows the diversity of ways you can use mushrooms, right??

The “un-fancy” way to make this is just to cook the mushrooms and some garlic and put that over the grilled polenta, with a little Parmesan. Simple!

Grilled Polenta and Mushrooms

Serves 4
1-1 1/2 Tbsp. coarse salt
1 2/3 cups polenta or course cornmeal
1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
6-8 oz. shiitake or other mushrooms
2 slices bacon
more olive oil as needed
1 small onion, diced
2 to 4 Tbsp white wine or stock for deglazing
pepper to taste
about 1/2 a cup of cream
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 Tbsp Parmesan cheese
Polenta
Put salt into 7 cups cold water in a medium heavy pot. Add polenta and whisk in. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring often. Add olive oil, then reduce heat to medium and continue cooking, stirring often with a wooden spoon until polenta thickens and pulls away slightly from bottom and sides of pot, or between 20-40 minutes – depending on grind.

Pour into a wet ceramic or glass mold, cool, turn out, and cut into pieces with a wet knife. Grill on a very hot, dry grill or sear in a nonstick skillet until golden brown.

Shiitake mushrooms and sauce
Fry up bacon until crisp. Remove from pan and drain most but not all of the fat from the pan; reserve the fat you drain off. Cut bacon into small pieces. Saute onion until tender. Deglaze the pan with whatever liquid you choose and then let the liquid reduce till thickened; set onion sauce aside in another dish.

Remove mushroom stems. If the mushrooms are small you can leave them whole or cut into halves; if they are larger you can slice them up.  With the pan on medium, add the reserved bacon fat and mushrooms. You want each mushroom to have contact with the pan, so cook in batches if necessary. If the pan gets dry add olive oil. Cook mushrooms two to three minutes, then stir. Saute another couple of minutes, or until soft.

Add the onion sauce to the sauteed mushrooms. Add pepper to taste, cream, garlic, bacon and cheese. Heat through thoroughly. Serve over polenta.

Variation: marinate the Shiitake for a few hours in oil, a little vinegar or white wine, salt and pepper then grill them. Chop half of the grilled mushrooms and combine with other sauce ingredients, then top polenta and remaining mushrooms with sauce.

Mushroom sauce recipe adapted from ReTorte food blog. Polenta recipe reproduced from Saveur Magazine.

Recipe: Grilled Mushroom and Garlic Pizza

You can make or purchase pizza dough for this recipe, or buy a ready made crust.

3 to 4 oz. fresh shiitake, oyster, or other mushrooms, chopped
pizza dough
2 Tbsp flour
up to about 1/4 cup olive oil
2 small to medium heads of garlic
1 to 1-1/2 cup cherry tomatoes
salt and pepper to taste
3 to 5 oz. mozzarella cheese
1 to 2 oz. parmesan or friesago cheese

If you’ve bought frozen pizza dough, thaw dough in refrigerator. Several hours before cooking, bring to room temperature on floured surface until doubled in size. Roll out dough until thin using rolling pin or stretching by hand. Use flour as needed to keep dough from sticking to surface or rolling pin. Place on well-floured (and movable) chopping block.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Peel away outer layers of garlic heads, but without removing skin on individual cloves. Then trim off between a 1/4 and 1/2 of the top of the bulb with a knife, exposing the tops of the cloves. Put garlic heads in baking pan, then drizzle with 1 to 2 teaspoons of olive oil. Cover the heads with aluminum foil and cook in the oven until garlic is soft, about 30 minutes.

You can roast the tomatoes at the same time as you roast the garlic. Wash the tomatoes,
then slice in half. Place tomato halves in baking pan, cut side up, and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper and cook until soft and browned.

After taking garlic and tomatoes out of the oven, turn the oven up to 550 degrees (or however hot your oven gets if it doesn’t get to 550) and cook the pizza crust on a pizza stone for about 5 minutes. If you are using a ready made crust, you can skip this step.

Prepare grill. Grate or crumble cheeses.

Clean mushrooms as needed. Trim away less fleshy stems and save for soup
stock. Slice larger caps into smaller pieces. Heat 1 to 2 Tbsp of olive oil on medium-high
heat, and saute mushroom caps until soft and slightly browned, about 5 minutes. If
mushroom look dry add more oil to pan. Set aside.

Spread roasted garlic on the pizza crust, add tomatoes, and any oil from their roasting, then top with mushrooms and cheeses. Place pizza on grill and cook until the bottom is firm and the cheese has melted. Remove from grill, then slice and serve immediately.

Recipe: Grilled Steak with Mushroom Sauce

It might have been a bit too windy and rainy for those of us in the Twin Cities to grill last weekend, so we’ll try again this weekend with another grilling recipe. If it’s too rainy again, you can always throw your steaks under the broiler until they’re cooked the way you like them.  And, if you made polenta last week and still have some left, this is a great recipe to add polenta too.  In our opinion, practically every recipe could use some grilled polenta!

Grilled Steak with Mushroom Sauce

Serves 4

Mushroom Sauce
4 or 5 oz. fresh shiitake or oyster mushrooms, chopped
or
1 oz. dried shiitake mushrooms
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup spring onion
1/2 cup water, stock or mushroom water from re-hydrating dried mushrooms
1/2 to 1 tsp soy sauce
1/2 to 1 tsp fresh savory or thyme
1/8 tsp pepper
4 tsp cornstarch dissolved in 1/4 cup water

If using dried mushrooms, soak in warm water to cover for an hour, then pat dry with a towel. Save liquid.
Saute onion in olive oil over medium heat until slightly browned, 2 to 3 minutes.
Remove caps from mushrooms and chop. Add mushrooms and water, stock or  mushroom water to onions and simmer for 15 minutes. Then add seasonings and bring to boil.
Finally stir in dissolved cornstarch, heating occasionally until thickened, about 2 minutes.
Add salt if needed.

For Steaks
3 to 4 oz. buffalo steak per serving
or
3 to 4 oz. beef steak per serving
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt and pepper

Rinse steaks and pat dry. Rub steaks with oil, salt and pepper, and let rest for 1 hour at room temperature. Prepare grill for steaks. Place steaks on hot grill for two and a half minutes on each side. You can also sear on cast iron skillet at medium-high heat.
Remove steaks to platter and cover until ready to serve.
Serve steaks with drizzle of mushroom sauce. If you like, lay steak on grilled polenta cake and top with sauteed shiitake mushrooms.
Mushroom Sauce adapted from “Simply in Season.” Steak preparation adapted from Wild Idea Buffalo Company website