Guest Post: Lemon & Tarragon Mushroom Pâté by The Gouda Life

We have a guest in the kitchen!! We're excited to be welcoming Kelly of The Gouda Life back to our blog. She's joining us in Ontario's sweltering heat with a satisfyingly light summer meal. 



There hasn't been too much real cooking going on here these past few weeks. It has been HOT in Ottawa (and likely everywhere else) and we've been eating a LOT of throw-together dinners made with whatever is cold, or readily available without having to turn on the oven. This pâté is one of my favourite ways to eat mushrooms in the summer - I crave it all the time and its so easy to make ahead and keep in the fridge to snack on for a few days. I eat it with pickles and fresh bread, crackers and a cold beer, or even on a cheese board as it is here. The meatiness of the mushrooms makes it so satisfying and filling but it still feels light enough for even the sultriest of summer days. If you prefer the smooth textured pâté feel free to blend it all up once cooked.


Lemon & Tarragon Mushroom Pâté
Prep Time: 10 minutes | Cook Time: 15 minutes
makes approximately 1 1/2 cups of pate

Ingredients
16oz white or brown button mushrooms, cleaned and coarsely chopped
1 tbsp unsalted butter
2 tbsp vegetable/canola oil
1 medium shallot, minced
1 small clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup pecans, chopped fine
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
1 tsp fresh tarragon leaves
Zest from 1/2 lemon (about 1/2 tsp)
1/4 cup dry white wine
Juice from 1/2 lemon
2 tbsp cream cheese

Method
Spoon butter and oil into a heavy skillet over medium-high heat and let it get nice and hot. Once heated, add the minced shallot and garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes taking care not to burn garlic. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring only occasionally, until all the liquid had evaporated and your mushrooms are nice and brown, about 6-8 minutes. Add pecans, salt, pepper, thyme and the lemon zest and let cook for 1-2 minutes. Add the white wine and let it cook off, scraping any stuck-on bits off the bottom of the pan. Add the lemon juice and remove from heat. Take 3/4 of the mixture and place it in the bowl of your food processor or blender along with the cream cheese. Blend until smooth. Pour into a ramekin or small bowl, top with the remaining 1/4 of the coarse mushroom mixture. You can eat it as-is or refrigerate until chilled. It will keep in an airtight container for 3 days. And might I suggest a slightly chilled pinot noir or a really cold dark lager to accompany this? I think you'll like it.


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A delicious compliment to any summer entertaining spread! A big thank you to Kelly for joining us once again and showing us how easy it is to beat the heat with her mushroom-y treat. 

Follow along with Kelly over at The Gouda Life and on Facebook, Twitter & Pinterest.

Blend your way into FBC2016: Beef & Mushroom Spring Rolls by Bakersbeans

It's that time of year again! We're planning for another fun Food Bloggers of Canada Conference and are once again hosting our Appetizer Spotlight Contest

FBC Members have the chance to win their way into the SOLD OUT conference, simply by submitting their favourite appetizer, making use of The Blend method. Blending is easy: simply blend finely chopped mushrooms into the ground meat of your choice to add depth of flavour, added texture, and beneficial nutrients to the dish.

We're excited to share the first entry into this year's competition, Beef & Mushroom Spring Rolls by Bakersbeans.


Beef & Mushroom Spring Rolls by Bakersbeans
Recipe by: Wanda Baker of Bakersbeans
Prep time: 1 hour | Cook time: 30 mins | Yields: 20

Ingredients
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 lb lean ground beef
1/2 tsp sugar
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp ginger, freshly grated
3/4 cup minced mushrooms
3 tsp sesame oil
1 cup napa cabbage
1 cup shredded carrots
2 green onions, sliced thin
1 package of spring roll wrappers (20)
1 egg, whipped up in a bowl (egg wash)
1 wok
canola oil
2 tbsp cilantro, chopped

Method
1. In a medium sized bowl, combine the soy sauce, fish sauce and cornstarch. Add in the ground beef and mix well. Set aside to marinate while you prepare and slice your other ingredients.
2. Thinly slice your napa cabbage, leafy parts only. Peel and grate your carrots. Let carrots sit on a paper towel to absorb some of the moisture. Slice onions.
3. Heat 2 tsp of sesame oil in a large saucepan over medium high heat. Add your ground beef and cook until beef starts to get a nice golden brown. Sprinkle on sugar, add garlic, ginger and mushrooms. Continue to cook another couple of minutes until flavours well combined. Remove from heat and onto plate and let cool.
4. In second pan add 1 tsp of sesame oil. Toss in cabbage, carrots and onions. Cook approximately 3 minutes until vegetables soft. Remove from heat and set aside in pan to cool.
5. Once meat and veggies are cool mix together. Mix in cilantro. Set aside.
6. Place spring roll wrapper in a diamond shape with a corner facing you. Place 2 tablespoons of filling near corner - that will be plenty. Fold over corner and roll tight.
7. Fold over right and left side trying not to allow any pockets. Keep it tight and roll until it looks like an envelope then stop. With your finger rub a little egg wash along the out edge of the wrapper as though you were licking an envelop. Continue rolling and ensure sealed. Set aside and keep under plastic wrap.
8. Carry on until all rolled. Do not stack. Keep all under plastic wrap until ready to cook.
9. When you’re ready to fry, heat up 1½″ of canola oil to 350F. I like to use my wok.
10. Carefully drop spring rolls in frying 4-5 at a time and turning constantly for even browning.
11. Once they are golden brown place on a rack to cool down and drain.
12. Serve with Thai Chili Sauce or your favourite dipping sauce.


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FBC Members are encouraged to join the competition with their own blended recipe! Click through for full contest details.

Two Worlds Collide: Introducing the Intern, Christian Kristalyn

Howdy! My name is Christian Kristalyn and I am the new Promotions Intern at Mushrooms Canada. I recently completed my final semester studying Creative Advertising at Seneca College and am excited to put my skills to work in the real world!


Those in the Canadian mushroom industry may read the name Kristalyn and find it familiar. That would make sense, because my father is John Kristalyn, a former President of the Canadian Mushroom Growers Association. He has worked at the Highline Mushroom Farm in Wellington, Ontario since he was 16 years old filling the roles of throwing hay to general manager and everything in between. My dad isn’t the only Kristalyn to work at the Wellington Mushroom Farm. When the Farm was owned and operated by Campbell’s soup, not only did both of his parents work for the farm, but so did my mother. Along the way, both my sister, Krista, and I have spent time working at the Wellington farm. Our family continues to grow, Krista was married just 2 short weeks ago and I will be married this fall. I wouldn’t count on either of our spouses taking on shifts at the farm, but as I learned from experience in the summer of 2014, never say “never” (wink wink).

Growing up in Wellington was great. Beautiful scenery of sprawling fields, open water with gorgeous beaches and star filled skies. I was a die-hard hockey fan from a young age and lived for the sport. Our family spent most winters on the roads of Southern Ontario from Kingston to Port Perry, me playing hockey and my sister attending figure skating competitions. I always dreamed that playing hockey would become a job for me. When I realized in high school that it was an unlikely reality, it was a natural and easy decision that I would go to college.


Having taken an interest in music, creativity and business I explored all of those passions at Algonquin College in Ottawa. In just three calendar years I earned a diploma in both Music Industry Arts as well as Business Marketing. I enjoyed both programs thoroughly, but felt that I needed more specialized education to really seek out a career that was both enjoyable and fulfilling. In 2014 I began studying Creative Advertising at Seneca College. I enjoyed every second of it and am now blessed with the opportunity to put my learned and practiced skills to working a great workplace with great people.

In my few short days so far, it has been truly amazing to see two worlds collide. Two things so important to who I am and how I got here come together by combining the mushroom industry with my educational background and career goals. I cannot wait for what experiences and learning lies ahead!


Stay tuned as I blog about my journey into the world of mushrooms! 
-Christian