Guest Post: Queso Fundido with Oyster Mushrooms and Poblanos by Crumb: A Food Blog

We've got a guest in our kitchen! We're thrilled to welcome back Isabelle of Crumb: A Food Blog. She's back with another tasty mushroom recipe, ideal for summer entertaining. You won't have leftovers if you serve up this cheesy treat! 


My name is Isabelle, and I'm a cheeseaholic.

I guess I should probably introduce myself properly though, huh? Let's start that over. My name is Isabelle, and I'm the blogger behind Crumb: A Food Blog, though today I'm taking over the Mushrooms Canada blog to share one of my favourite summertime appetizers.

So, now that we've got that out of the way, let's get back to talking cheese. More specifically, this delicious vegetarian variation on the classic Mexican appetizer known as queso fundido, which quite literally translates to "melted cheese".

And yes, that's totally what it is... a skillet full of ooey, gooey, melty cheese.

The traditional topping for queso fundido is chorizo, a spicy pork sausage, but this vegetarian-friendly version swaps it out with a flavourful blend of oyster mushrooms and poblano peppers seasoned with garlic and smoked paprika.  I've had other versions of this dish made with button mushrooms, but I much prefer oyster mushrooms because their delicate texture and earthy flavour is the perfect counterpoint to the melty richness of the cheese.

The best part about this dish, though, is how easy it is for summertime entertaining. You can prep the filling and layer everything into the skillet ahead of time, and then shove it in the oven (or better yet, the barbecue!) at the last minute to melt everything down to gooey perfection.

The only warning I have is that you absolutely must wait until your guests arrive to complete this final step. Partially because you want to serve this dip right away, while it's still bubbling hot and melty, but mostly because otherwise there's a good chance you'll eat the whole pan on your own while no one's looking. (Not that I have firsthand experience with this or anything.)  Serve with a big pile of tortilla chips and prepare to be the most popular hostess in the 'hood.


Queso Fundido with Oyster Mushrooms and Poblanos
Serves 4
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 10 mins

Ingredients
1 tbsp olive oil
1 large poblano chili, seeded and cut into strips
4 oz oyster mushrooms, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ tsp smoked paprika
3 cups grated Monterey Jack cheese
3 green onions, thinly sliced
1 small jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely minced (optional)

Method
Preheat oven to 425F.
In a small cast-iron skillet over medium heat, sauté the poblano pepper in olive oil until it starts to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and garlic, and continue cooking until the mushrooms are softened and lightly golden, about 5-7 minutes longer. Remove skillet from heat, and stir in the smoked paprika.
Sprinkle half of the cheese into a small cast-iron skillet or a small oven-safe casserole dish. Spoon the cooked chile and mushroom mixture onto the cheese in an even layer, then sprinkle with green onions and jalapeno. Top with the remaining cheese. (Depending on the size of your skillet, it may look dangerously full at this point. If so, push down gently on the cheese to cram it all in there... trust me, it'll all melt down in a few minutes anyway, so fill that skillet right up to the brim.)
Bake in preheated oven for 12-15 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and well browned on top. Sprinkle with fresh cilantro, and serve immediately with lots of tortilla chips for dipping.


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If this ooey-gooey recipe doesn't have you craving a summer patio, I don't know what will! I can't wait to show off with this one. Thanks again to Isabelle for joining us in our kitchen!

Be sure to follow along with Isabelle at her blog Crumb: A Food Blog, and on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

Guest Post: Grilled Mushrooms Rockefeller by eatHalifax

We have a guest in the kitchen! Kathy of eatHalifax is back with a summer appetizer that can grilled up in a flash! Perfect for those nights when you have unexpected guests or are looking for something quick and easy.

I am thrilled to once again be collaborating with Mushrooms Canada to bring you a Summer-inspired mushroom recipe. Though you can normally find me busy food writing on Canada’s East Coast, we are but two weeks away from welcoming a new addition to the family. So easy Summer recipes are everything right now and that means firing up the grill.
A take on oysters Rockefeller, these mushrooms are the perfect starter to any BBQ meal. Touched with a hint of smoke and filled with a savory blend of seasonal greens, garlic, panko breadcrumbs, and Parmesan, the meaty mushrooms remain the star.  But the best part is these come together faster than the time it takes for your grill to preheat.
Whether it’s a simple weeknight meal or an impressive Summer dinner party, Grilled Mushrooms Rockefeller has you covered. Happy grilling!
Grilled Mushrooms Rockefeller
Prep time: 10 minutes | Total time: 25 minutes

Ingredients
¼ cup butter
2 shallots, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup packed baby spinach, chopped
1 cup packed arugula, chopped
2 tbsp. Pernod
½ cup panko breadcrumbs
2 tbsp. chopped parsley
¼ cup packed grated Parmesan
12 large cremini mushrooms
lemon slices, for serving

Directions
  1. Preheat a gas or charcoal grill to medium-high heat.  
  2. In a skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the shallot. Cook until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic, spinach and arugula. Cook until wilted, about 1 minute. Add the Pernod and allow the liquid to reduce.  Remove from heat. Mix in the Panko, parsley and Parmesan. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and a dash of Tabasco. 
  3. Remove the stems from the mushrooms. Brush the caps with oil then fill each mushroom with the prepared filling. Place the mushrooms on the grill, cover and allow to cook 12 minutes or until golden brown and tender.  Serve alongside lemon slices.
A big thank you to Kathy for being our guest! Be sure to follow her on her blog, eatHalifax, and on FacebookTwitter and Pinterest!

FBC2015 Appetizer Contest: Portobello Carpaccio by The Taste Space

We're headed back to the Food Bloggers of Canada Conference, which means it's time for another contest! We're encouraging all FBC Members to create an original mushroom-centric appetizer with the chance at winning an Appetizer Spotlight at this year's conference. Read more about the contest details HERE.

We've received our first entry and it's an impressive inaugural submission. Janet of The Taste Space made mushrooms the star of her BBQ season appetizer. They perfectly compliment any meal on the patio, particularly her mouthwatering Tofu Steaks.


Portobello Carpaccio by The Taste Space

Ingredients
4 medium/large portobello mushrooms, stems and gills removed
1 tbsp olive oil
1.5 tsp red wine vinegar
1.5 tsp tamari/soy sauce
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp liquid smoke
2 tbsp fresh lime juice, divided
1 tbsp capers, soaked and drained if salted
1 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped

Method
1. Preheat oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with a silpat. Degill and destem your mushrooms and discard.
2. In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, red wine vinegar, tamari/soy sauce, oregano, basil, liquid smoke and 1 tbsp fresh lime juice. Use a pastry brush to coat the mushrooms. Place the mushrooms, gill-side down and allow to marinate for 10 minutes.
3. Roast mushrooms at 400F for 4 minutes, flip the mushrooms to be gill side up, baste with the remaining marinade and continue to bake for another 4 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes.
4. Once cool to handle, cut the mushrooms in thin slices with a serrated knife cut on a diagonal to the horizontal (ie, on a bias) to give you a larger surface area. Top with any remaining marinade.
5. If not serving immediately, place mushrooms in the fridge. Mine were excellent after 6 hours.
6. Prior to serving, arrange on a plate. Drizzle with the remaining 1 tbsp of fresh lime juice. Top with the capers and fresh rosemary.


Follow Janet over at The Taste Space and on Pinterest!

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Join the competition for your chance to win an “Appetizer Spotlight” at the Mushrooms Canada table at the FBC2015 in October.