Wine MUSHROOM tapenade and MUSHROOM pattie burger

Mushroom tapenade with a touch of white wine and brown sugar gets polished in minutes.
Meaty patties were combined from mushrooms, Port wine, breadcrumbs and parmesan.

Endless To-Do lists finally get a revision and a serious shake down in November.
This also seems to be the month where I think of ingredient challenging times.
Our fresh produce is slowly depleting as we become creative in using the season's offering.

Mushrooms get selected and scooped up to create some very tasty, savoury bites.
Besides how mushrooms lend themselves to be very adaptable in cooking...I love them.
I have cooked with mushrooms many times without giving them too much thought.
Their textures and flavours impart a touch of uniqueness to every dish they integrate themselves to.
Having the chance to journal about food has definitely changed my way of thinking.
Appreciating every ingredient for their qualities is what has truly helped enhance my cooking.
The mushroom's immune fighting capability is ultimately what entices me to keep using them.

How to ... buy -- store -- cook ... mushrooms:
. The tight gills within the under cap signifies that the mushroom is younger.  
. Opened gills will indicate older mushrooms, however, more flavour can be captured.
. More than any other produce, mushrooms are difficult to keep fresh.  
By placing them into a paper bag and into the refrigerator...
you'll extend their freshness by a few more days.
. Cook mushrooms slowly so that you can capture more of their intense flavours.

Mushroom variety galore, however, the easily accessible and best adaptable is...
 my preferred tan colored  'cremini' which is in reality the immature 'portobello' mushroom.
Here are two of my latest shared at my table.  
Hope you enjoy making them as well as adopting them as favourites.

wine MUSHROOM tapenade
yields about 1 cup (250ml)

(American / Metric measures)

1st part - cooking:
. 4 cups (300g) cremini mushrooms, sliced
. 1 tsp. (5ml) unsalted butter
. 1 Tbsp. (15ml) e.v.Olive oil
. 4 small French shallots, sliced
. 2 small garlic cloves, minced
. 1 Tbsp. (15ml) brown sugar
. 1/2 cup (125ml) dry white wine

2nd part - processing:
. 1 Tbsp. (15ml) e.v.Olive oil
. 1/2 tsp. (2.5ml) sea salt
. 1/4 tsp. (1.75ml) granulated garlic powder
. 1/4 tsp. (1.75ml) each of dried herbs: basil, marjoram, tarragon

1.  In a medium size pan, on MEDIUM heat, melt the butter and oil.  Sauté the sliced shallots.  Add the garlic about 1 minute before adding the mushrooms. 
2.  Toss the mushrooms for about 5 minutes before adding the brown sugar and seconds later, the wine. 
3. Once the wine is added, let the liquid cook out.  This will take about 8-10 minutes.  
4. Remove the mix from the pan and cool for about 1 hour or so.
5. In a food processor, place the mushroom mix and add the olive oil as well as the seasonings.  Process by pulsating first and then whirl around at medium speed.  Keep in mind to retain a slightly chunky texture.
. Serve right away or store in an airtight glass jar and refrigerate for up to a week.


MUSHROOM pattie burgers
Veggie mushroom burger 
makes 10 medium patties

(American / Metric measures)
. 1 Tbsp. (15ml) each olive oil and grape seed oil 
. 1 medium, sweet onion*,  finely minced
. 1 large garlic clove, finely minced
. 4 cups (300g) 'cremini' Mushroom, finely minced
. 2 Tbsp. (30ml) Port wine
. 1 large egg
. 1/2 tsp. (2.5ml) sea salt
. 1 tsp. (5ml) Dijon Mustard
. pinch each of dried Basil, Marjoram, Sage
note: fresh herbs (double up quantity)
. 1/2 cup (40g) Parmesan cheese,  grated, packed
. 1-1/2 cup (90g) breadcrumbs, finely ground 

* About 3 medium sized 'French' scallions can be finely minced to replace the sweet onion.

. Prepare the finely minced ingredients preferably in a food processor.
1. In a large skillet, heat the oils and sauté the minced onions on medium heat.  Cook for about 10 minutes until lightly caramelized.   
2. Add the minced Mushrooms and garlic to cook down before adding the Port wine.  Continue cooking for a few more minutes.
3. Place this mix onto a large plate in order to set aside and cool.  Or, this part can be made ahead and refrigerated over night.
4. In the meantime, prepare the rest of the ingredients into a medium bowl.  Add the mushroom mix and combine until completely integrated.  
5. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for as little as 1 hour or as late as overnight if desired.
6. Make the patties with the aid of a large ice-cream scoop.  Pack the mix into the scoop and release onto a plate.  When balls are made, gently handle each and flatten lightly into patties.

. Bake the patties:
7. Pre-heat the oven at 350F/180C/Gas4.  Position rack at the bottom.  Prepare a parchment lined baking sheet.
8. Bake 20 minutes for the first side.  Once they are taken out of the oven and the patties are flipped, bake for a final 10 minutes.  Serve and enjoy.
Variation -- Frying the patties:
.  Heat a little oil and butter in a large skillet on medium heat.   
. Place each pattie and cook them for about 3 minutes per side or until they turn golden brown.   Note: these are a little fragile...use a gentle touch.
. Place on a rack or absorbing paper lined pan.  They are ready to serve either right away or also at room temperature.  Buon appetito.


Today I want to leave you with a special thought.  
Let's please remember why we are so fortunate.  
Remember how we got to live the way we do.
Many have sacrificed their lives so that we can keep living ours.  
On our Remembrance Day of November 11th...
let's take a moment to truly understand what our veterans did for us.  
We cannot take our freedom lightly.

Have a lovely week everyone.
Flavourful wishes,

Comments ... ??? ... or suggestions ... write me :o)
Claudia at: foodessa [at] gmail [dot] com

Go HERE for more SAVOURY creations.

Please take note on how I bake and cook...
Here’s a 101 of sorts to make sure that there are no disappointments when trying my creations.  
Also...just so you know...feel free to increase the salt and sweet factor since I'm not high on either of them ;o)

. Use DRY cup measurements for...you guessed it...all DRY ingredients.
Anything DRY gets measured by spooning the overfilled ingredient (never shake the cup) and then level off with a flat edged tool.  Exception...Brown sugar should be packed in and leveled.
. Use LIQUID cup measurements for...all LIQUIDS that cannot be leveled like for example butter, yogurt...etc.  Measure the liquids at eye level to avoid overdoing what the recipe truly needs.
OVENS are unfortunately not created equal.  Mine is so old that it has reached many degrees off it's norm.  It's really worth investing a few dollars to test yours with an appropriate oven thermometer.  You'd be surprised how many ovens I've heard about not being where they should have been.  Before you lose any more ingredients and much time preparing a new recipe...run to the store...you'll thank me later. 

Here are other recipes that may be of interest:
Pattie burgers: