Considering that I am an ardent lover of all things fungi…how apt that I got selected to share my love for mushrooms, not only for their taste, but also for their health benefits. I am delighted to be working with The Mushroom Council , City of Hope, & Cooking With Caitlin. And since October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, it is quite befitting.
Most of us think of mushrooms in terms of culinary delights such as Portobella, Shiitake, Oyster, to name a few. Did you know that mushrooms have the potential to dramatically improve our health and the health of our planet? Cultivated mushrooms are not only delicious, but they are low in fat, have no cholesterol, are rich in vitamins, and a surprising source of Vitamin D. Researchers at City of Hope, a leading cancer institute, have linked white button mushrooms with cancer fighting agents that may help slow the growth of breast tumors.
At the end of the day I am a minimalist; fresh mushrooms sauteed in butter and thyme, sprinkled with balsamic vinegar and black pepper – you got me grinning like a Cheshire cat. To create the ultimate ‘Umami’ – the fifth basic taste after sweet, salty, bitter, and sour, try this Asian Style Risotto recipe shared on City of Hope FB Page. (Derived from the Japanese word umai, meaning “delicious,” umami (pronounced oo-MAH-mee) is described as a savory, brothy, rich or meaty taste sensation. All mushrooms are a rich source of umami and the darker the mushroom the more umami it contains.
Mushrooms with their fabulous variety are so versatile. Their immune-boosting mélange makes a great topping for sandwiches, noodles, pasta or quinoa, or enjoy it straight-up as a appetizer.
- Maitakes and Shiitakes are great roasted or sauteed. Use these to jazz up your risottos, stews, and stuffing.
- Dress up a beefy Portobella with your favorite condiment to create a fabulous burger or sandwich. After all, portebella is a vegetarian’s best friend!!
- Criminis are great in frittatas or spaghetti sauce. Roast woodsy Porcinis to add depth of flavor to any sauce or stew.
- Fruity flavored Enokis add the crunch to your favorite cheese spread or dip.
- Basic Button Mushrooms stir in any soup or stew.
Are you hungry yet? Without further adieu, let’s start cooking.
Asian Style Risotto
I am sharing the original recipe listed below. However, since I don’t have a rice cooker, I cooked the risotto Italian style slowly simmering over low heat to create that luscious and creamy texture risotto is most famous for.
* A medium to large rice cooker is recommended; fuzzy logic (preferred) or on/off
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup chopped green onions (white part only)
- 1 cup sliced mixed Asian mushrooms (such as enoki and shiitake)
- 1 cup Arborio rice
- 1/4 cup sake
- 2 3/4 cups dashi or fish stock
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- Freshly ground white pepper
- Additional soy sauce
- Thinly sliced green onions (white and green parts)
1. Set the rice cooker for the Quick Cook or Regular cycle. When the bottom of the bowl gets hot, add oil and swirl to coat. Saute garlic and green onions for about 3 minutes or until onions are softened. Add mushrooms and saute for 3 minutes.
2. Stir in rice until completely coated. Saute for about 4 minutes or until mostly translucent and only a dot of white remains. Stir in sake and cook for 3 to 4 minutes or until evaporated. Stir in dashi. Close the lid and reset for the Porridge or Regular cycle. Set a timer for 25 minutes. Stir two or three times while the risotto is cooking.
3. When the timer sounds, check to make sure risotto is al dente. If necessary, continue cooking, checking for doneness every 5 minutes. Fold in soy sauce. Season to taste with white pepper and more soy sauce. Serve immediately, garnished with green onions.
Enoki mushrooms are delicately flavored and are widely used in Japanese and fusion cooking. You can find them at well-stocked grocery stores and at Asian markets and specialty stores.
This risotto will hold on the Keep Warm cycle for about 1 hour, but you’ll need to add 1/4 cup (60 mL) more dashi for a creamy consistency. Wait until you’re ready to serve before seasoning and garnishing.
Are you fond of mushrooms? What are some of your favorite recipes that showcase mushrooms as a star. I would love to hear from you!!
The Mushroom Council supports City of Hope’s breast cancer research, treatment and education programs through annual contributions $50,000 towards studies on breast cancer and mushrooms. Mushrooms will be displayed in pink tills nationwide the entire month of October in support of City of Hope’s efforts and in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.