Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Divine mushrooms

I'm not really one to say that mushrooms can be divine, so you know there must be more to it than just mushrooms for this recipe. Naturally, it involves cheese.

Every once in awhile, we do an appetizer night. This particular night also included a lackluster spinach artichoke dip, little smokies and elk sausage, but the mushrooms trumped them all. And like idiots, we only made about a dozen.


I had bought baby bella mushrooms at the store, and I'd seen the appetizer version before. All those had crab or other items in there. I didn't have any of that. What I had was cream cheese, cheddar and bread crumbs.

Well, folks, it turns out, that's all you need. It was ridiculous.

This will make enough for 1 package of baby bella mushrooms, capped, and a few crackers. Or bread!

1 package 1/3 fat cream cheese, room temp
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/3 cup chopped pitted kalamata olives
1/3 cup bread crumbs

Heat oven to 350. Spray cookie sheet with cooking spray.

Wash and de-stem all mushrooms. Place caps rounded side down on the pan.

Mix cream cheese, cheddar cheese and olives into a paste. Using a teaspoon, fill each mushroom cap full to the brim. Sprinkle over the bread crumbs.

Bake for 10 minutes, and let cool for five minutes.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Italian beef and soup

Whew! We've made a lot of things over the past few days, and here's a few!

First, you'll want to make Italian beef, and I used to think this was super difficult, until I found Louie.

So, with Louie, all things are easy. Especially Italian beef. Get yourself a 3-lb. beef roast, and put it in your crockpot, then add Louie and about two to three cups water. Or...

You could add whole brussel sprouts to the bottom of the crockpot, place the beef on top, then add Louie, and cover with water. The water will reach almost to the top of the crockpot.

Either way, in 8-10 hours, you'll have Italian beef goodness.

If you prepare the beef the second way, you'll end up with a lot more water. That would be useful in making the soup, below. If you do, reserve 4 cups of that beef broth goodness, and put it in the fridge. 

If not, no big. Once the beef is done, shred in the crockpot with two forks. Then serve with buns or over noodles. Yum!

Vegetable Barley Soup

1 onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 container baby bella mushrooms, diced
2 T. olive oil
1 cup pearled barley
6 oz. amber ale or country ale
3 carrots, sliced
3 red potatoes, diced
4 cups beef goodness
10 brussel sprouts, halved

Heat olive oil in Dutch oven, and saute onion and garlic. Add mushrooms, and saute a few minutes more. Add barley and stir to coat, adding 1 more T. of olive oil if needed. Add in ale and let simmer. 

Then add vegetables and beef goodness (heavy broth) and bring to a boil. Once boiling, turn to simmer. Let simmer about 45 minutes.