Let the Mushroom Masters begin

Today marks the start of the Mushroom Masters – a three way food blogging competition where our team of four Aussie food bloggers take on the United States and Canada. Week 1 of our four week venture is the Portabella Playoff.

In case you haven’t heard, this Mushroom Masters is serious. It might have started off as a friendly bet between the mushroom industries in each country, but let’s face it, no-one knows mushrooms as well as we do (and we are incredibly humble about this of course!!).

Over the four weeks we intend to have a bit of fun; give our mates a hard time and enjoy some deliciously creative mushroom recipes. Each week we will post our Australian entry to get the party started. And after you have devoured the last morsel of this new recipe, you can then head over to the Tastespotting website to vote. We know that with a hung parliament here in Australia that you are probably tired of having to vote; but vote you must to make sure your favourites are elected the winners at the end of each week.

Flying the flag for Australia this week is Jules from Stone Soup. And pitted against her in the Portabella Playoff are Angela from Oh She Glows (US) and Sara from Sprouted Kitchen (Canada).

So let’s introduce Jules and get cooking…..

Jules

Hi, I am Jules Clancy , the creator of the food blog stonesoup | minimalist home cooking.  I am a food scientist, writer, photographer and aspiring minimalist. When I am not cooking, writing about food or taking photographs [of food], I can be found indulging my passions for long lunches, running, travel, cookbooks, boating on Sydney harbour, cheese and red shoes.

Roast portabello mushroom & bread salad
serves 3 – 4
takes approximately 30 minutes

I love roasting mushrooms because I find it so simple, just pop them in the oven and about 25 minutes later you have the most divine smells. It’s also great because the mushroom flavour seems to be intensified by the heat of the oven.

Bread salads are a brilliant way to use up any not-so-fresh bread you may have hanging around. But they are equally delicious with fresh bread as well. Just make sure your bread is rustic and has a substantial texture like a good quality sourdough.

The beauty of this salad is that the wonderful buttery, juices from roasting the mushrooms mix in with the dressing and get soaked up by the bread so not one ounce of earthy mushroom flavour is lost.

Field mushrooms may be used instead of portabello. For a vegan version, replace the butter with additional extra virgin olive oil and add a generous handful of toasted pine nuts instead of the parmesan.

equipment:
1 baking dish
salad bowl

ingredients:
3/4 lb (350g) medium portabello mushrooms, about 7
1 – 2 cloves garlic, finely sliced
1/2 bunch thyme
1/2 stick butter (2oz / 60g), diced
2 tablespoons sherry or red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon wholegrain mustard
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
large chunk rustic bread, approx 7ox (200g)
1 bunch flat leaf (continental) parsley, leaves picked
shavings of parmesan cheese, to serve

method:

1. Preheat oven to 400F (200C).

2.. Trim mushroom stalks and place in a baking dish stem side up. Scatter with garlic, thyme and butter. Cover with aluminum foil and bake 15 minutes.

3. Remove the foil and bake for another 10 – 15 minutes or until mushrooms are browned and tender.

4. Meanwhile, whisk together vinegar, mustard and oil. Taste and season with salt and freshly cracked black pepper.

5. Remove thyme stalks and discard. Carefully tear the mushrooms into halves or quarters, you want bight sized pieces.

6. Remove the bottom crust from the bread and tear into bight sized chunks.

7.  Toss bread and dressing in with the mushrooms, encouraging the bread to soak up the dressing. Taste and season, if needed.

8. Toss in parsley leaves and sprinkle over the parmesan shavings. Serve warm.

Now before you race to the kitchen to try out this recipe, take one minute to head over to Tastespotting to vote. Remember – Vote 1 – Roast portabello mushroom & bread salad.

A tip from Mighty Mushroom:

Why not follow this contest by subscribing to the Blog Feed, where you will receive a new recipe each week and the chance to show your patriotism by supporting our Australian team. It is as simple as entering your email address and you are set to go. Go the Mighty Mushroom!


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Help Australia claim the Mushroom Masters

On 31 August Australia is taking on the world in the Mushroom Masters. Well, not the whole world actually, but it is the Americans and the Canadians, so it is just as crucial to take those all important bragging rights.

Mushroom Masters is a four week contest pitting four Australian food bloggers against teams from the United States and Canada. Each week the entries will appear on the Tastespotting site, with readers votes selecting the weekly winners.

Week 1 – which commences on 31 August – will see Jules of Stone Soup representing Australia take on Sara of Sprouted Kitchen (US) and Angela of Oh She Glows (Canada). Tomorrow we will publish the Australian recipe in all its glory, so keep a lookout and get yourself ready for some additional fantastic mushroom recipes you can try at home.

Remember Australia is playing for pride in all things mushroom, so get involved and check out the links to Tastespotting, where your votes can help make our Australian team the Mushroom Masters of 2010.

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Who or what is Mighty Mushroom?

If you are reading this site for the first time you may wonder just who or what is Mighty Mushroom. Well, for Australian mushrooms, Mighty is our mascot – a symbolic character who suports our activities in telling people all about mushrooms. Naturally in the wider sense “mighty mushroom” is a neat description of this deliciously healthy, versatile food. And as for the Healthy All-Rounder tag, well it speaks for itself.

So whichever way you look at it, Mighty Mushroom is a good way to describe what we are all about. It’s about the mushroom; it’s about the food; it’s about good health.

We hope you enjoy the site and we encourage you to join the mushroom conversation.

The writer with Mighty Mushroom

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