The month of May has been good to me, my family and my friends! I hope everyone had a happy Mother’s Day weekend that left them full of love and good vibes. In the spirit of that, I am offering to give away a free copy of CANVAS & CUISINE to the first person who comments on, or shares this post!
If the public reaction to the book is any indication, I think you will love this artful cookbook as well. My co-author, Sue Fazio and I just hosted a book signing party in Jupiter, Florida. It was a grand open house event to introduce our neighbors to our new book. For those who don’t already know, Canvas and Cuisine: the art of the fresh market was inspired by trips Sue and I took around the world, ogling at all the exotic fruits, veggies, meats and cheeses of France, Spain, Russia, Vietnam and so much more.
For just one day, we hosted an art gallery/cooking demo. Our readers were able to preview the original artwork that was my whole inspiration for this cookbook.
During the event, guests perused Sue’s (abundant) paintings not only of fresh markets around the globe, but also many of her other passionate pieces. They also sampled several dishes from the recipes I created to go along with Sue’s paintings.
But the real fun occurred when Sue demonstrated how she creates an original painting. Guests huddled around to watch the magic take place. From blank canvas to her vision of the 16th hole at Jupiter Hills…. all in just minutes. She is an inspiration for any aspiring artist!
My blank canvas began with a few cutting boards and a sharp knife. I demonstrated how to prepare the dishes the guests were sampling. My Grilled Guac was a big hit, as were the Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms and Cauliflower Risotto— these recipes were posted to Jorj.com recently – and go over well at any party.
Good times were had by all and great benefits were reaped for our charities with painting and book sales soaring!
Thank you to everyone who opened their hearts and their checkbooks and thank you to all of you who are enjoying our book!
Sue and I are excited to introduce our new book, Canvas and Cuisine: The Art of the Fresh Market. We will be holding a series of open houses, showcasing yummy food from our labor of love. We are calling these soirees, “A Taste of the Fresh Market”. We’ll have books to read and Sue’s original art work to take your breath away, plus a sip or two of a late afternoon libation. Most importantly, we will have samples (recipes from the book!) on offer in mini bite-size portions.
I learned a lot converting some of the bigger dishes in Canvas & Cuisine to party appetizers! In redesigning some of my recipes, I ended up producing classic standbys that I – a self-described EXTREME party planner – haven’t tasted in a while. What FUN!
One of the most popular dishes in the book (according to my recipe testers) is Grilled Portobello Mushrooms with Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Pancetta and Toasted Breadcrumbs. This dish proved to be a great example of what you can do with a recipe. You can make it your own.
I created the dish as a mostly veggie entrée, featuring meaty grilled mushrooms with a buttery wine sauce over the top. Through my recipe testers, it evolved into a spicy stuffed mushroom, with a crunchy topping of crisp ham and breadcrumbs.
This is one of those dishes a dinner host can easily convert from a first course or veggie main to a simple, satisfying appetizer. By stuffing smaller mushrooms with just a bit of the sun-dried sauce, and sprinkling the toasted topping over the top, they become bite sized delicious versions of the original dish.
I thought I’d share this one with you in advance of the event…. Just in case you are in the neighborhood. If you wanna get a book shipped ASAP, click here and order your copy today!
Grilled Portobello Mushrooms
with Sun Dried Tomato Breadcrumbs
30 Minute Cuisine
1 cup Panko Breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons butter, melted plus 2 more for sauce
½ cup julienned sun dried tomatoes in oil
4 large garlic cloves, minced, about 2 tablespoons
¼ cup Marsala wine
Juice of ½ medium lemon, about 2 tablespoons
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
8 Portobello mushrooms, stem and gills removed
2 tablespoons olive oil
Preheat the oven to 350°. Mix the bread crumbs with the melted butter in a small bowl. Pour onto a baking sheet. Bake the buttered crumbs until they begin to crisp, about 5 to 7 minutes. Remove and set aside.
Heat the sun dried tomatoes and the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Pour in the wine and simmer until most of the wine has disappeared, about 3 to 5 minutes. Pour in the lemon juice. Season with salt and crushed red pepper. Turn off the heat and swirl in 2 tablespoons of butter. Stir in the parsley.
Heat a grill pan on high heat. Brush the mushrooms with olive oil on both sides. Season with salt and pepper. Grill the mushrooms, turning once, until just beginning to soften, about 5 minutes total. Transfer the mushrooms to a platter, cap side down. Divide the breadcrumbs into the mushrooms. Drizzle the sundried tomato sauce over the crumbs.