Tag Archives: mushrooms

Orzo with Bacon and Mushrooms

250g orzo pasta

500ml chicken stock

Garlic oil

125g bacon lardons

150g baby button mushrooms

1/2 bag spinach

– Heat a little garlic oil in a large lidded pan.

– Add the lardons and mushrooms and a little salt and pepper. Cook for 3 minutes.

– And the orzo, stir until mixed evenly and cook for a minute.

– Add the chicken stock, bring to a boil then turn down the heat, add the spinach and put the lid on.

– Simmer for 15 minutes, until all of the liquid has been absorbed, stirring occasionally so it doesn’t catch on the bottom of the pan.

– Turn off the heat, add a knob of butter, stir and leave to rest for 5 minutes.

– Serve with Parmesan or a poached egg on top.

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Filed under Easy, Mains

Simple mushroom soup

25g butter

250g closed cup mushrooms, sliced

1 clove garlic, crushed

1/4 tsp salt

Pepper to taste

200ml white wine

400ml vegetable stock

100ml double cream

– Melt the butter in a medium sized pan. Add a small splash of olive oil to stop it catching.

– Add the mushrooms, garlic, salt and pepper. Cook until soft and browned.

– Add the white wine and vegetable stock.

– Blend with a stick blender until your desired level of smooth. (I like bits in my soup but if you want a totally smooth soup you’ll need to decant into a liquidiser and blend in that then resume cooking.)

– Bring the soup to a boil then turn down to a simmer.

– Add the cream and heat gently until the edges are bubbling.

– Serve hot with bread and butter.

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Filed under Basic, Easy, Gluten Free, quick, Starters

Childhood Risotto

Thus named because this is the risotto that we had throughout my childhood in the week following a roast chicken dinner as a good way to use up leftovers… it still is!

Serves 4

3 tbsp olive oil
25g butter
2 cloves garlic, crushed
250g arborio rice
150ml white wine

700ml hot chicken stock (make it from the roast chicken carcass if possible)

Leftover cooked chicken (I use the two thighs)

~8 mushrooms, quartered

1 cup frozen peas

100g cold water prawns

1tbsp lemon juice
small knob of butter

– Heat the oven to gas mark 4/180°C.
– Melt the butter, with the olive oil, in a large, deep casserole dish with a lid until just bubbling and foaming.
– Add the garlic and cook on a medium heat for 1 minute.
– Add the rice and cook for about 1 minute, stiring well.
– Add the wine and cook, stiring until the liquid is absorbed.
– Add the hot chicken stock and stir.

– Add the clocked chicken, frozen peas, mushrooms and prawns and give a good stir.

– Add the lemon juice and stir.
– Put the lid on and put the casserole dish and out it in the oven for 35 minutes.

– Remove from the oven give it a good stir and check the rice is to your taste, if it is too al dente (hard) then put it back in for another 5 minutes.

– Add the knob of butter and leave to sit for 5 minutes to melt before storing through and serving.

When I was little I would add soy sauce to it but as I grew older I would add Parmesan and creme fraiche, follow your own taste buds

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Filed under Easy, Gluten Free, Mains

Mini Breakfast Bites

These mini breakfast bites were one of the first things I invented for myself in 3rd year food tech!  They are now a staple tradition in our household and I couldn’t imagine Christmas without them!

Mini Breakfast Canapes

Makes 24

24 slices of white bread (2 meduim sliced loaves)
1/2 cup sunflower oil
24 quails eggs
12 rashers streaky bacon or pancetta
24 tiny button mushrooms (or 6 small mushrooms cut into quarters)

  • Heat the oven to gas mark 7.
  • Get out 2x 12 hole bun tins, I prefer the rounded ones but the straighter ones work just fine.
  • Use a large round cookie cutter, checking that it is slightly bigger than the bun tins you are using,   to cut out a large round from the centre of each slice of bread.  (leftover crusts can be used to make bread sauce, or breadcrumbs to freeze for later use)
  • Brush both sides of each round of bread and gently press into the bun tins.
  • Bake in the oven for 10 minutes, until just turning crisp and golden.
  • Take out the tins (being careful coz it’s hot!) and crack a quails egg carefully into each one.  (I use a sharp knife to pierce the shells)
  • Return to the oven for ~5 minutes until the eggs are just setting.
  • Prepare your bacon/pancetta rolls by slicing each rasher in half then rolling up.
  • Take the tins out of the oven again and add your bacon rolls and mushrooms.
  • Cook for another 5-7 minutes until the bacon is cooked through.
  • Serve immediately while hot and make sure you get some too because these will disappear fast!
  • Mini Breakfast Canapes


Filed under Canapés, Christmas, Moderately easy

Wild Mushroom Soup


Happy New Year!

I know I’m not the only one who has been feeling the effects after the excesses of Christmas but I have resolved this year not to go diving straight into a “Chicken and Steamed Veg” phase that will last all of a week.  I still want to eat great tasting food and I refuse to feel guilty for it!  If I can make my food taste great AND be healthy well, great, but I’m not going to beat myself up about relishing one of the great pleasures in life: Good Food!  With that in mind this year I hope to be sharing with you a good mix of fresh, healthy ideas and some slightly more indulgent recipes for you to enjoy!

Wild Mushroom Soup

First up is this delightful Wild Mushroom Soup Recipe.  Mushroom Soup always has a bit of an unfortunate aesthetic but, my goodness, does it taste good!  This soup is so simple to whip up and pairs brilliantly with my Bacon, Liver and Porcini Mushroom Pate as a fancy starter (soup shots are my new favourite thing!) or a light lunch.



Serves 2 for lunch

200g wild mushrooms / chestnut mushrooms, sliced
1/2 onion
1 vegetable stock cube
~ 400ml boiling water
100ml cream

– Heat a splash of oil in a small saucepan over a medium heat.
– Add the onion and gently saute until soft.
– Add the mushrooms and stir about until cooked.
– Add salt and pepper to taste.
– Add the stock cube and the water (I basically just fill up the pan leaving about 1″ at the top, you can always add more water later to thin the soup if you want)
– Give everything a good stir and make sure the stock cube has dissolved.
– Turn off the heat and put your pan on a stable heatproof surface.
– Use a stick blender to puree the soup until smooth.  (Or pour into a food processor)
– Serve immediately or leave to cool completely and refrigerate until needed then reheat until piping hot on the stove or microwave.


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Filed under Easy, Starters

Chicken and Mushroom Stroganoff

I love a good Chicken Stroganoff.  I think it’s the combination of cream and rice, which is something I don’t often encounter,  but sometimes I just get such a craving it cannot be resisted! Quick and simple to whip up, this is one of my go to week night suppers.


It’s a handy little dish to have in your repertoire as it’s quick, simple, delicious, and looks just a little bit fancy too!


Serves 2

1 teacup basmati rice

1 large chicken breast, sliced
100g chestnut mushrooms, quartered
300ml cream
thyme (dried or fresh)
salt and pepper

– In a small saucepan with a lid heat a good splash of oil until hot.
– Add your teacup of rice and a good pinch of salt and stir.
– Add 2 teacups of cold water.  *
– Bring to the boil then turn down onto a low heat to a simmer for about 10 minutes.
– When you can no longer see any water bubbling on top, only rice, turn off the heat and leave to stand.
– Heat another splash of oil in a large frying pan.
– Add your chicken and cook, stirring occasionally until it is starting to brown.
– Add the mushrooms and cook for a few minutes until they are looking cooked.
– Add the thyme and stir so it is evenly distributed.
– Add the cream, season to taste, and allow to heat through so it just comes to a boil.
– Remove from the heat and serve over your rice.**

* You can also add a pinch of thyme to your rice here if you wish.
** Fluff with a fork before serving.


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Filed under Easy, Mains

Mushroom, Asparagus and Spinach Bruschetta / Frittata




As a busy single gal with a job, a home, a garden and puppy to tend to these days my cooking choices are dictated mostly by time.  I am a big fan of batch cooking, my freezer is worth its weight in gold, and if I can make a dish do double duty and provide me with not one but two meals I am all over that!  This is a perfect example of multipurpose cooking.  I had a light supper for 2 and breakfast for 4 days out of this one quick session in the kitchen.  If that’s not efficient I don’t know what is!

Crispy crunchy bruschetta!


I started with the bruschetta.  I had visited York’s Food Festival on Sunday and grabbed a Haxby Bakehouse baguette.  After having some with roast chicken and salad on Sunday night, and another hunk for Monday lunch’s sandwich I was still left with about half a baguette day old baguette.  Perfect for bruschetta!  Once you’re done these will also keep well for an extra few days so don’t worry if you don’t want to eat them all at once, they’ll keep!

For the Bruschetta:

– Heat your oven to Gas 6 / 200C.
– Slice a baguette about 1/2″ thick.
– Place on a baking tray and spray both sides lightly with olive oil.
(- Cut open a clove of garlic and rub over the surface of the bread. )
– Place in the oven and bake for ~15-20 minutes.  The longer they’re in the crunchier they get!  It’s up to you how dark and crispy you want them to be.  You can stop when they’re just lightly browning and more toast like or keep going until they’re totally crisp and a deep, even brown!
– Keep warm if desired or allow to cool and then they can be boxed up to keep for a few days.



Now for the Topping!  Basically, I grabbed what I had on hand, which was mushrooms, asparagus and spinach, but the possibilities are just about endless!

~6 largish closed cup or chestnut mushrooms
1 bunch asparagus
1 large handful spinach
75g cream cheese
1 tbsp creme fraiche

– Heat a splash of oil in a frying pan.
– Thinly slice the mushrooms.
– Sautee the mushrooms.
– Snap the woody stems off the asparagus and slice into bite-sized bits.
– Add the asparagus and stir while cooking for about 3 minutes.
– Add the spinach to the top of the pan and leave to wilt over a low heat giving a little poke to mix it if necessary.
– Add the cream cheese and creme  fraiche to the remaining mixture, stir until melted and well mixed.
– Add a sprinkle of salt and a good grind of pepper to taste.

*See below.



Carefully spoon on top of your bruschetta and plate up.  A little shaving of parmesan is a delight too! (And spot the cheeky little cheese on toasts added to the plate, I had 2 spare bruschetta and some Monterey Jack in front of me, add a quick blow torch et voila! Cheesy Toasts!)  I suggest a nice chardonnay and a sunny evening to enjoy these but they would be just as good by the fire on a winter’s evening too I’m sure!



Now, what were we doing with our mysterious other half of the veggie mixture? Well, this is where the Frittata comes in! Or you can call it an omelette or a crustless quiche or whatever you fancy, I kinda just like saying Frittata in a kinda Hakuna Matata fashion!

* For the Fritatta:

– While you are cooking your veggies in your first frying pan heat a little splash of oil in a cast iron skillet.  Make sure the oil has coated the pan nicely this will stop it sticking.  (Skillet seems like such an Americanism but it just feels right for this kind of pan, you know?)
– In a jug or bowl beat 4 eggs, a splash of milk (~50-75ml), a pinch of salt and a grind of fresh black pepper.
– Add the veggies to the pan and pour over the egg mix.
– Top with slices of cheese, I went with Monterey Jack but any cheddary cheese would work.
– Place in your preheated oven and cook for about 20 minutes until set through.  It will puff up beautifully!
– Remove from the oven and allow to cool (it will sadly deflate but no matter!).
– Slice into 4 and place in a box in the fridge ready to grab a slice for breakfast each day.  You can eat this hot or cold, if you would like a hot breakfast simply heat in the microwave for 1 minute.



So there you go, supper for 2 and breakfast for the next few days in one quick dash around the kitchen.  The fritatta can bake while you are eating your bruschetta, just remember to go back and get it out of the oven or bad things will happen!



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Filed under Breakfasts, Easy, Mains, Starters

Mushroom Barley Risotto

This dish may not look much, I mean, it is a mushroom risotto and mushroom risottos are boring looking. However, the idea of doing a barley risotto or ‘orzotto’ has been doing the rounds a fair bit and I was tempted to give it a go for the sake of a little variety and a few fewer calories! I generally favour an oven risotto I think that they’re simpler and with equally good results being achieved compared to cooking on the hob with so much less time invested on your behalf!

Sadly, pearl barley does not agree with my delicate constitution at all! So unfortunately I won’t be cooking it again, despite the fact that it is quite delicious. The barley adds an almost nutty flavour along with the chestnut mushrooms and instead of having a completely soft consistency like a risotto rice the barley has more of a bite to it. It’s sort of al dente. This is simple to cook you just pop everything in the pan and then pop it in the oven.

Serves 4

1 small onion, diced
1 garlic clove , finely chopped
300g pearl barley
250ml white wine
400g chestnut mushrooms, chopped
1 tbsp thyme (fresh or dried)
1l hot chicken stock
3 tbsp Parmesan, grated

– Heat the oven to gas mark 4/180C
– Heat splash of oil and a small knob of butter in large casserole dish
– Add onion, garlic and a pinch of
salt and cook a few minutes until the onion is starting to soften.
– Add the pearl barley and stir well
– Then add the white wine and cook for one minute until the white wine is absorbed
– Add the mushrooms and the thyme and cook for a few minutes until the mushrooms are just starting to cook
– Season well With salt and pepper
– Add the stock and stir until everything is well distributed
– Put the casserole lid on and place in the oven to cook for further a 40 minutes
– Once it has cooked remove from the oven and stir through a knob of butter and the grated Parmesan.
– Serve with grated Parmesan and may be a sprinkling of parsley if you’d like an extra splash of colour.

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Filed under Easy, Low Fat, Mains

Chicken Thighs Stuffed With Mushrooms

I am willing to admit that my naming skills aren’t great but this dish is exactly as it sounds. May be we should christen it Chicken Anna or something just to make it sound fancy but I can hardly have been the first person to come up with this idea, surely?


It sounds simple enough but it is a little bit fiddly to put together.  Nothing complex, but the step by step just takes a little while to prepare, which you know I don’t susually favour.  The results are totally worth it though!

The earthy umami of the mushrooms is really brought to the fore and the flavour that you get from using chicken thigh, rather than the more popular breast, is wonderful.  Proper streaky bacon to swaddle it in and keep all of those delicious flavours together gives it another little flavour burst.  Served with fresh vegetables and a rich, creamy sauce I think that this dish will prove very popular in my family in the future and well worth the effort!


Serves 4

30g dried porcini mushrooms
200g chestnut mushrooms, finely chopped
3 shallots, finely chopped
splash of white wine (~3tbsp)
4 large chicken thighs*
16 rashers streaky bacon
50g chestnut mushrooms, sliced
200ml double cream

(*The supermarket packs of chicken thighs will probably only get you 3 large ones, so you need to either buy two packets to get large ones, piece together several smaller thighs or go to a proper butcher who can help you get exactly what you need.)

– Cover the dried porcini in 300ml of boiling water and leave to soak for 15 mins then drain, reserving the liquid, and roughly chop.
– Heat a splash of oil in a frying pan and add the mushrooms, seasoning well with salt and pepper.
– Cook until starting to brown then add the chopped porcini.
– Add the wine and simmer, stirring frequently, until the liquid is gone.
– Carefully pour the liquid left from the procini over the mushrooms, being careful not to add any grit.
– Simmer, stirring frequently, until all of the liquid has evaporated.
– Leave to cool.

– Heat the oven to gas mark 6/200C.
– Trim any of the fatty bits from your chicken thighs.
– Cover the chicken thighs with some strong cling film and bash the thicker parts of the thigh with a rolling pin to flatten to a more even thichness all over.  You want to retain the rectangular shape as much as you can so place your blows carefully.
– Place 4 rashers of streaky bacon on a chopping board.  Layer them slightly so that they form one sheet.
– Place your chicken thigh on top, centre facing upwards.  If using several smaller thighs, jigsaw it together as best as you can.
– Add a few spoonfuls of mushroom mixture along the centre.  You will not use all of the mushroom mixture.  You should have at least 1/3 left over.  Set aside until you make the sauce.

– Carefully pull the chicken thighs up over the mushroom layer.  It should just about meet.
– Then wrap the bacon rashers one at a time around the chicken thigh so that it completely encloses the meat and keeps the mushrooms from spilling out the ends.
– Place in an oven proof dish and cook in the preheated oven for 35-40 minutes.  You want the insides to be totally cooked with no pink to the juices.

– To make the sauce first heat a splash of oil in a saucepan.
– Add the sliced mushrooms and a pinch of salt and stir until cooked.
– Add the remaining mushroom mixture from the filling and cook until everything is hot.
– Add the cream and heat until piping hot.
– Season to taste then serve over the stuffed chicken thighs.  I served them with pommes Anna, grilled asparagus, chantenay carrots and a nice Chablis!

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Filed under For the Keen Cook, Mains

Mushroom and Truffle Linguine

Last weekend I got a craving. A craving for a dish I ate once, two years ago at the top of a mountain in Italy.  This dish was truffle pasta. It had some mushroom in there too but the menu wasn’t admitting to that.  What I remember is that it was one of the most deliciously satisfying things I have ever eaten! Now, I almost always listen to my cravings so I took myself off to the kitchen to try to receate this wonderful dish.  I don’t think I did too badly!

(NB. The truffle is totally optional, tastes great without it but I have this little jar of Himalayan truffles and there was no reason not to use one to spoil myself a bit!)


Serves 2

15g dried porcini
175g chestnut mushrooms, roughly chopped
splash white wine (2 tbsp?)
100ml double cream
1 tiny himalayan truffle, finely sliced
shaved parmesan & cooked linguine to serve

– Cover the dried porcini in 200ml of boiling water and leave to soak for 15 mins then drain, reserving the liquid, and roughly chop.
– Heat a splash of oil in a frying pan and add the mushrooms, seasoning well with salt and pepper.
– Cook until starting to brown then add the chopped porcini.
– Add the wine and simmer, stirring frequently, until the liquid is gone.
– Carefully pour the liquid left from the procini over the mushrooms, being careful not to add any grit.
– Simmer, stirring frequently, until almost all of the liquid has evaporated.
– Add the cream and stir through until it is piping hot.
– Check the seasoning and add more salt and pepper if you want.
– Serve over linguine with slivers of truffle and shavings of parmesan.


Filed under Easy, Mains