Guest Post: Cheesy Buffalo Mushroom Bombs with Ale Ranch Dip by The Tasty Gardener

We have a guest in the kitchen! We're thrilled to welcome Heather of The Tasty Gardener back into our kitchen, and just in time for patio season!! Heather has us reaching for a cold beer with these soon-to-be summer favourites. 


When it comes to mushrooms the white button gets the short end of the stick. It is chopped, diced and macerated into recipes that cover up its resiliency and taste. All the other big names in mushrooms; crimini, portabella, shiitake, they get the star treatment nowadays as people are experimenting more and creating new and wonderful dishes. I totally understand.

It's the white button, however, that is usually our first personal foray into mushroom loving. Whether it was mom's homemade soup, or the Chinese restaurant down the streets' fried rice, we usually tried this little guy first. There is a reason the white button mushroom sits alongside the carrot sticks and cucumber slices on a veggie platter and not an oyster. (Sorry oyster mushroom.)

So I wanted to celebrate my little friends in the best way possible; by creating these flavour bombs. These caps are stuffed with a garlic cheese mixture, breaded, deep fried, tossed in buffalo sauce and served with a very adult beer ranch dip. Simple ingredients, a few steps and BOOM!


Cheesy Buffalo Mushroom Bombs with Ale Ranch Dip
Prep Time: 45 minutes | Cook Time: 5 minutes | Serves: 4

Ingredients
For the Cheesy Stuffing:
2 pkg. white button mushrooms, medium sized, caps removed (about 26)
1/2 pkg. cream cheese
1/4 cup Parmesan, grated
1/2 cup cheddar cheese, grated
1 clove garlic, minced
For the Breading:
1 cup bread crumbs
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
1 egg
1/2 cup milk
1 cup flour
Oil for frying
For the Buffalo Sauce:
1/2 cup buffalo style hot sauce
3 tbsp melted butter

Method
1. To make the cheesy stuffing: Combine together the cream cheese, parmesan, cheddar and garlic. Stuff each cap with about 1 tsp worth filling the hole and leaving a little mound on the outside. You may have leftovers so find more mushrooms or save for other deliciousness.
2. To Bread the Mushrooms: In one medium bowl combine the breadcrumbs, cayenne, salt and pepper. In another bowl beat together the egg and milk. In a third bowl place the flour. Take each stuffed mushroom and toss it in the flour, then the egg and finally the bread crumbs. Place on plate and repeat with remaining mushrooms.
3. In a wide mixing bowl whisk together the buffalo sauce and butter.
4. In a large frying pan or pot heat 2" of oil over high heat.  Get a paper towel ready for absorbing excess oil. Once hot carefully place mushrooms stuffing side up and fry until browned about 3 minutes (you may need to do this in batches). Flip over and quickly brown the stuffing side, about a minute. If you let it fry too long the cheese will fall out. Using a slotted spoon transfer mushrooms to paper towel and blot any excess oil.
5. Once all the mushrooms are fried, toss in buffalo sauce and serve with the Ale Ranch Dip or your own favorite creamy dip.

Ale Ranch Dip 

Ingredients
1/2 cup cream ale (optional)
1/2 cup mayo
1/2 cup sour cream
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp fresh chives, chopped
3/4 tsp dried parlsey
1/4 tsp dried dill
1/4 tsp onion powder
salt and pepper to season

Method
1. Mix all ingredients together and refrigerate until serving.


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A big thank you to Heather for bringing these drool-worthy bites to our blog! Now, we just need that warm weather to stay for good. Watch for another mushroom-packed dish from Heather later this summer!!

Follow along with Heather over at The Tasty Gardener and on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest!

Guest Post: Caprese Portabella Mushrooms by The Girl on Bloor

We have a guest in the kitchen! We're excited to welcome a fellow mushroom-fanatic to our kitchen, Taylor of The Girl on Bloor. Her mushroom love and enthusiasm is rampant on her own blog and now she's sharing her creativity with us as well. These plump portabella's will be a summer favourite!!


Hey everyone! Taylor here from The Girl on Bloor blog - I’m a freelance writer and photographer in my 20's that has lived on and off Bloor Street in downtown Toronto for the past six years. In that period, I’ve graduated with an undergraduate degree from the University of Toronto and a Master’s degree in journalism from Ryerson University, and I’ve learned a ton about meal planning and cooking as a busy person along the way. It’s been a fun ride, and I’m even more excited to continue working on my food blog full time in the coming months!


I have loved mushrooms since I was a little girl. My love for mushrooms is so extreme that I even have a video tape of myself as a five-year-old crying because there aren’t enough mushrooms on my pizza. I love mushrooms in just about everything: burgers, salads, pastas, skillet meals...In fact, I’m proud to say that even as an adult, they remain one of my favourite vegetables to this day. I love how versatile mushrooms are, and they just add the most perfect, earthy flavour to whatever you happen to be making, from gravies to pasta sauces. If I could eat mushrooms everyday, trust me, I would!


Caprese Portabella Mushrooms
These Caprese Portabella Mushrooms are the perfect, filling side dish. Full of vibrant, summertime flavours, you’ll be tempted to enjoy these year round!

Prep Time: 10 mins | Total Time: 30 mins | Serves: 4

Ingredients
8 portabella mushrooms
2 tbsp olive oil, divided
1 cup quinoa, cooked
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 tbsp balsamic vinegar, divided
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
16 mini buffala mozzarella balls
16 cherry tomatoes
¼ cup chopped fresh basil

Method
1. Preheat oven to 425 F.
2. Cook quinoa according to package directions. Meanwhile, gently wash away dirt from mushrooms, then carefully cut away stems and scrape out each mushroom. Set filling aside.
3. In a large bowl, toss quinoa with mushroom filling, minced garlic, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. Stuff each mushroom with filling, then top each with two mozzarella balls and two cherry tomatoes.
4. Cook in the oven for 15-20 minutes until cheese is completely melted. Remove from oven and top each mushroom with a bit of fresh basil. Enjoy!


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If you like this recipe, you may also want to try:
The Keg’s Mushrooms Neptune
Chicken & Triple Mushroom Potstickers
Roasted Vegetable Flatbread

A huge thanks to Taylor for bringing her creativity and excitement to our blog! We can't get enough of these juicy stuffed caps and are very excited to see what she comes up with next!! Watch for Taylor's second guest post later this year.

Follow along with Taylor at The Girl on Bloor, and on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest!

Guest Post: Creamy Garlic and Brie Mushrooms by Closet Cooking

We have a guest in the kitchen!! We're welcoming back Kevin of Closet Cooking, who has taken part in our Mushroom Masters Tournament, as well as our Mushrooms Go PINK campaigns. Today, Kevin is sharing a creamy dish that takes a simple side and transforms it into something extraordinary!


Looking for new ways to dress up your favourite white button mushrooms? They're so easy to add to salads, saute for burgers or steaks, or toss into a stir fry, however these juicy little gems can also steal the show! With the simple addition of some butter, garlic and brie, Kevin of Closet Cooking has transformed these mushrooms into a decadent side dish, or even a meal in itself if you're not ready to share...


He has certainly outdone himself with this one! "...and you have a tasty mushroom side dish that is ready to be inhaled from the table before you can blink!"


Don't miss Kevin's recipe for Creamy Garlic and Brie Mushrooms! Head on over to Closet Cooking for the FULL RECIPE.