As one of the ten chefs participating in the Ten for the Next Gen Series at Harbourfront's Hot and Spicy Food Festival I was tasked with coming up with something that would fit the themes of sustainability and passing culinary traditions on to the next generation. Since I can't really draw on my own family traditions, unless I wanted to pass along my mom's delicious Sherif's lemon meringue pie and, don't get me wrong, she made a mean Sherif's lemon meringue pie, I was going to have to think outside the box and come up with something of my very own.
Instead of choosing just a recipe to share, I decided to demonstrate Mushrooms Canada's Blend and Extend philosophy using my recipe for Kofta. A traditional Middle Eastern kofta is kind of like a cigar shaped meatball made from either all lamb, all beef or a combination of the two ground meats and, although certainly delicious, they can be heavy and kind of dry. If you make them out of lamb, they are even heavier since lamb is very fatty and rich so I thought it would be the perfect example of using mushrooms to lighten it up. By replacing about 1/3 of the ground meat with ground mushrooms, I am reducing the saturated fat, reducing the calories, stretching my meat dollars and the mushrooms actually help keep the kofta really moist and tender.
|Photo by Steven Shackleton|
|Photo by Kate Wallis|
You can't ask for much more than that.
A huge thanks to Carole of The Yum Yum Factor for showing off the Blend & Extend initiative at the Hot & Spicy Food Festival! She's always such a wonderful cheerleader for mushrooms and doesn't stop providing us with new and exciting ways to incorporate mushrooms into meals.
Be sure to follow Carole over at The Yum Yum Factor and on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram!