Movie Star Mushrooms: Netflix & Delish With This Mushroom Dish

Movie Star Mushrooms: Netflix & Delish With This Mushroom Dish

meals to make with mushrooms

I LOVE cooking mushrooms. These edible fungi inspire my dishes with their complex flavors and many uses. Spinach Au Gratin With Sauteed Mushrooms is one of my favorite recipes that is easy to make and will make you feel like a celebrity chef!

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September is mushroom month. Who knew???

Mushrooms are all the rage right now. Netflix just aired a mushroom documentary that someone spent fifteen years filming…FIFTEEN YEARS!!

Although I have always loved mushrooms and at least one container jumps into my shopping basket each grocery store visit, my love affair entered new territory when I visited the farmer’s market this season

There were not one, but two stands devoted to the most interesting varieties of mushrooms I have ever seen. I’m used to working with portobello and button ‘shrooms. 

I even dabble with shitake and oyster. But the giant varieties at the stands are as amazing as they are beautiful. 

There were baskets of Black Pearl and Blue Oyster mushrooms. Turkey Tail, Lions Maine and Chicken of the Woods were names of even more exotic ‘shrooms.

The Boone Fungi company offers a wild (yes, pun intended) arrangement of mushrooms and I bought a bag of assorted mushrooms and brought them home to experiment. 

The farmers suggested roasting the mushrooms, which I did. This did nothing more than dehydrate them. So, I tackled them the way I usually do which is to add fat and flavor, and this worked beautifully!

I do have a secret for getting the best flavor from the shroom. The secret is high heat and a butter bath. You can cook an entire mushroom steak this way or chop a giant mushroom into smaller pieces. Let the mushrooms or mushroom pieces crisp in the pan until you see a golden crust. Now they are ready for whatever comes next.

Serve them atop a juicy steak, or your favorite veggie casserole.

Use a mushroom broth to create a luscious soup or sauce.

Whatever your fancy, the fancy mushrooms will add flavor and FUN to your next meal!

Who knows? Maybe Netflix will come-a knockin’……..

Here’s one of my favorite recipes that uses mushrooms just perfectly!

Spinach Au Gratin With Sauteed Mushrooms

Servings

4-6

Ready In:

30 Minutes Until Done

Good For:

Dinner

Ingredients for Spinach

  • 1 (20-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained (you can substitute with fresh spinach leaves)

  • 3 tablespoons butter, divided

  • 2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour

  • 1 ½ cups milk

  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg

  • 4 ounces Gruyere cheese, grated, about ½ cup

  • 2 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated, about ¼ cup

  • Paprika

Ingredients for Mushrooms

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 2 tablespoons butter

  • 8 ounces of your choice of mushroom type, sliced or chopped to equal about 2 ½ cups

  • ¼ cup sherry

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • ½ teaspoon coarse black pepper

Spinach Au Gratin With Sauteed Mushrooms Recipe

Heat the olive oil and 2 tablespoons butter in a saucepan over medium high heat. Add the mushrooms. Don’t mess with them! Let the mushrooms cook until they are golden brown on the bottom, about 4 to 5 minutes. Turn them to cook on the second side, about 2 more minutes. Reduce the heat to medium and pour in the sherry. Cook until the liquid disappears, about 3 minutes more. Season with some of the salt and pepper. Turn off the heat.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Cook the spinach in the microwave.  Drain in a colander and use paper towels to press out excess moisture.  If you choose to use fresh spinach, 1 pound fresh spinach will cook down to about the same amount as 10 ounces cooked frozen spinach.  For this recipe, you will need 2 pounds of fresh spinach, chopped which will be about 8 cups. Steam the spinach in a microwave oven or in a steamer over boiling water. Drain as directed above.)

Heat 2 tablespoons of butter in a pot over medium heat until melted.  Stir in the flour and cook until the mixture begins to bubble.  Pour in the milk and stir until the sauce begins to thicken, about 5 minutes.  Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg.  Stir in the Gruyere cheese and cook until melted.  Remove the sauce from the heat.

Place the spinach into a bowl.  Pour in half of the sauce and stir.  Pour in the remaining sauce and stir once more.  Pour the spinach mixture into a casserole dish (or several smaller individual casserole dishes).   

Top the spinach mixture with the mushrooms and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.  Dot the top with the remaining 1 tablespoon butter and sprinkle with a bit of paprika.  Cook until the casserole is golden on the top and bubbling, about 10 to 12 minutes (depending on the size of the casserole dish).

Tried it? Tag it!

I would love to see what you did with this recipe.  Share your creation on social media with #inthekitchenwithjorj and be sure to show us in my free private home cooking group, Scrumptious Possibilities With Jorj!

Cooking With Mushrooms and Spinach

Celebrate Labor Day 2021 With These Backyard Party Recipes

Celebrate Labor Day 2021 With These Backyard Party Recipes

Can you believe that it’s Labor Day 2021 already? Whether you’re cooking for one or many, there’s never been a better time to let your creativity shine with these tried-and-true backyard recipes!

Labor Day 2021 has long signaled that Summer is winding down to a close and Fall will soon be ushered in. 

We’re not letting our tasty backyard celebrations slip by just yet. What better way to celebrate than with these Labor Day recipes?

Check out these delicious party ideas that are perfect for any outdoor celebration! 

All of these recipes can be made in under an hour and most have ingredients you may already have in your fridge.

Whether you’re cooking for one or many, there’s never been a better time to let your creativity shine with these tried-and-true backyard favorites.

Street Corn Caesar Salad

Hand salads open the doors to your creativity. Yes, this is salad you can eat with your hands. Think lettuce cups and endive spears filled with salad ingredients.

Steak Fajitas

Cook flanks steaks on an outdoor grill and serve all the fixin’s on the side for your Labor Day guests to savor!

Poblano Pepper Short Ribs

Social-distance Summer just got hotter with pecks of peppers, two ways! Add fresh air and “bubble friends” for this backyard feast!

Watermelon Margarita

I concocted a cocktail that turned out to be a BIG hit at a backyard BBQ!

You might want to serve this easy and tasty festive, summer drink at your Labor Day picnic.

We use our fruit-flavored tequila to make this “Watermelon Margarita”:

 

Watermelon Margarita Fruit Cocktail for Labor Day

The Recipe:

Prepare the base for the cocktail by emulsifying the inside of a seedless watermelon.

We mushed up (this is a highly technical culinary term – not used by Julia in any of her 700 pages) two large watermelons for our outdoor party.

Add two or more large cans of lime concentrate to the watermelon slush. You can prepare this base in advance. Pour it into a large container and refrigerate.

For Watermelon Margaritas, take a lime wedge and run it around the rim of a margarita glass.

Combine margarita salt with a bit of granulated sugar and place onto a small plate or into a shallow bowl.

Dip the rim of the glass into the salt/sugar combo.

Pour the slush mixture into the glass. Top with a drizzle of Triple Sec Liqueur and a generous splash of fruit flavored tequila. Top with a fresh, pitted cherry.

Celebrity Bartender….Who, Me? Craft Cocktail Recipes

Celebrity Bartender….Who, Me? Craft Cocktail Recipes

Create your own custom craft cocktails with these easy seasonal infused simple syrups, suitable for happy hours of one or more.  Click to skip to the recipe

easy simple syrup infusion recipe for cocktails

My BFF and I were asked to be “celebrity bartenders” at a meet and greet for pals and neighbors. We were invited to create our favorite cocktail.

This was a bit daunting, as we both prefer wine. However, we rose to the occasion. BFF infused vodka with fresh pineapple and cherries. A shot of this topped with club soda and garnished with the vodka soaked fruit turn out to be a quite the “Ridge Refresher”!

I decided to take a page from the Golden Age of Cocktails (the period between 1860 and Prohibition when most cocktails were invented) and update a few of the classics.

To do this, I focused on simple syrup. Simple syrup is the traditional sweetener in cocktails. You can buy simple syrup in a bottle and keep it in the fridge, or you can make it yourself by combining equal parts sugar and water and boiling until the sugar dissolves. Voila! Simple Syrup!!

The star of my cocktails was my Old Fashion made with a really, really good bourbon, a dash or two of bitters, and a splash of blood orange and sage-infused simple syrup.

Everything was placed into an ice-filled cocktail shaker, and then mixed for several seconds. The liquid was strained into a rocks glass over a huge cube of ice. The drink was garnished with bourbon-marinated fresh cherries and strips of candied blood orange. Yup, it was good!

Here are a few other ideas for simple syrups and their use. Bottoms Up!!

Easy Infused Simple Syrups

Makes: 1 cup of simple syrup

Time: 5 minutes to assemble and several hours to infuse

Ingredients

Blood Orange-Sage Simple Syrup:

1 cup granulated sugar

Juice from 4 blood oranges

1 bunch sage leaves

1 cinnamon stick

Blueberry-Thyme Simple Syrup:

1 cup granulated sugar

1 pint blueberries

1 bunch thyme leaves

Meyer Lemon-Lavender Simple Syrup:

1 cup granulated sugar

Juice from 4 Meyer lemons

1 bunch lavender

Lime-Lime Spearmint Simple Syrup:

1 cup granulated sugar

Juice from 4 limes

1 bunch lime spearmint leaves

Veal Sinatra
Veal Sinatra
Veal Sinatra
Veal Sinatra

For each syrup, place 1 cup sugar into a deep pot with a lid. Pour in 1 cup water. Add the fruit (and in the case of the juices, add in a couple of the squeezed peels) and the herbs and spices. Bring the mixture to a boil to let the sugar dissolve. Put the lid on the pot and reduce the heat to let the syrup simmer for 20 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the syrup sit on top of the stove for several hours. 

Pour the syrup through a fine-mesh colander and into a jar with a seal. Refrigerate for up to several weeks.

Things to Note:

These syrups are perfect for cocktails and mocktails. Use the blood orange-sage syrup to create a super Old Fashion or Manhattan cocktail. Blueberry-thyme updates a traditional Gin Fizz. And lime-lime spearmint takes your next Margarita to new heights!

You can also use simple syrups to sweeten cold drinks like lemonade and iced tea. The Meyer-Lemon Simple syrup is terrific in pink lemonade! 

Another Thing to Note:

You can also use these syrups to sweeten cakes. Poke holes into a pound cake, douse in syrup, and see what comes out!! You can also mix them into your sorbet or ice cream recipes.

Make it My Way:

Anything and everything go into your simple syrup. Don’t stop with these combinations. Create your own!!

Last Thing to Note:

If you want to add a garnish to your drink, try candying the citrus peel. Before you squeeze, use a vegetable peeler to cut thin strips from the peel. Take these strips, place them in a pot and cover them with water. Bring to a boil and cook for 5 minutes. Drain and repeat this boiling procedure two more times. You are doing this to soften the peel while retaining the color. Next, place the strips into the pot and add 1 cup sugar and two cups water. Bring this mixture to a boil and reduce for about 30 minutes.

There will be some liquid left in the pan, but not much. Cool to room temperature. Transfer the strips from the pot to a wire rack placed over a piece of parchment paper. Let the strips dry overnight, the longer the better!

At this point, you can douse the strips in sugar again if you like and eat them like candy. But I use them as they are to garnish the drink. Sooooo good!!

National Hamburger Day is May 28 🍔 Get these burger recipes!

National Hamburger Day is May 28 🍔 Get these burger recipes!

National Hamburger Day Recipes

National Hamburger Day is May 28th.  What will YOU be eating?

We all know you really don’t need a designated day to savor a delicious, sizzling burger, fresh off the grill, or make a veggie-forward option for a lighter lunch option.

And with Memorial Day around the corner, it’s all the more reason to start thinking burgers!

I have made my fair share of burgers over the years for a number of occasions:  Super Bowl parties, outdoor get-togethers, and just good ol’ American eatin’.

But these recipes endure, and I’m sure they’ll find a special place in your May menu line-up!

Score a Touchdown with the SUNDAY BEST BURGER!

Check out my recipe for my Sunday Best Burger to see just what happiness is made from! If you don’t want to grind the beef yourself, ask your butcher to do the grinding for you. Most grocery store meat departments will be happy to do this for no extra charge.

Read on

Couch Potato Fan Food for the Super Bowl

 These sliders are bite-sized and couch PERFECT.  Use sharp cheddar and do NOT forget the pickles.  Oh, and good news, the recipe a mountain of pimento cheese, suitable for savoring with burgers, nachos, you name it!

Read on

Couch Potato Fan Food for the Super Bowl

My veggie burgers are filled with fiber and offer a delicious alternative to the more caloric beef burger. This is your go-to recipe for a basic veggie burger that most condiments and giant bun can make extra delicious. I like that you can make it in a skillet just like you would a grilled cheese.  

Read on

Couch Potato Fan Food for the Super Bowl

What would a delicious burger be without homemade fries?! You’ll be delighted by how easy – and delicious! – these hot potatoes are.

Read on

Mussel Up: Summertime Is Almost Here!

Mussel Up: Summertime Is Almost Here!

…Did someone say “swimsuit season”?  I JUST DID. Time to “mussle up” with more seafood and veggies, and I’ve got just the recipe for you to try.  Click to skip to the recipe

Secret Squash Jorj Morgan Filming

You can tell Summertime is right around the corner. Swimsuit ads keep popping up on my Facebook feed.

Yikes!!

Not only is there the spring panic of bathing suit weather arriving shortly, but add in a year’s worth of a stay-at-home pandemic and where are those dumbbells? Under the bed??

When I feel the need to rein things in a bit, my go-to is seafood. I eat shrimp for lunch and salmon for supper. And it usually works, until I get bored. 

While in this pattern, I came across an old fave that I haven’t had in a while. I saw fresh mussels at the local store and thought I’d give them a try.

The (lady) fishmonger was so sweet. She picked the closed shells from the bin, one by one, to the dismay of the growing line behind me. But I was left with a whole bunch of perfect mussels.

Earlier in the week my pal, Lauren, had gifted me with a Misfits box that contained a ridiculous number of veggies, so I had lots of THINGS to work with.

Misfits take the not-so-pretty produce that farmers grow and that retail grocers won’t purchase because they don’t look perfect and recycles them to people like me. People who don’t care if the tomato has a blemish as long as it tastes sweet. 

I chose the red onion and garlic in the box to start and then my eyes landed on the garlic. Yes!

There were also a bunch of kale leaves both dinosaur and curly. A bit of wine and a dash of stock and yum oh yum did I have a dish to remember. 

Bathing suit beware…. I’m coming for ya!

Mussels in Ginger-Garlic Broth
With Crusty Bread

Serves: 4 as an appy and 2 for a meal

Time: 30 minutes ‘til it’s ready

Ingredients

2 tablespoon olive oil

½ red onion, peeled and finely diced, about 2 tablespoons

2 to 3 cloves garlic, finely diced

1 (2-inch) knob ginger, peeled and finely diced, about 2 tablespoons

½ cup white wine

2 cups chicken stock

2 tablespoons tomato paste

3 to 4 kale leaves, stemmed and finely chopped, about 1 cup

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon coarse black pepper

1 pound mussels

For bread:

Several thick slices crusty bread

Olive oil

Garlic powder

Parmesan cheese

Veal Sinatra
Veal Sinatra
Veal Sinatra
Veal Sinatra

In a deep pot or wok with lid, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and ginger and cook until soft and fragrant, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add the wine and simmer to reduce, about 3 minutes more. Add the stock. Stir in the tomato paste. Add the kale. Season with salt and pepper.

Cover the pot with the lid and simmer until the kale is soft, about 10 minutes.

Preheat the oven to the broil setting. Place slices of bread onto a baking sheet. Brush with olive oil. Sprinkle it with garlic powder and top with Parmesan cheese. Place the baking sheet under the broiler and watch closely. Cook until the bread is golden, and the cheese is melty, about 1 to 2 minutes.

Place the mussels into the broth. Cover with the lid and cook until the mussels open, about 5 minutes. Serve the mussels in a bowl with lots of broth and a couple of slices of toasted bread for dipping.