Damned Delicious White Mushroom Pizza

Mushroom Pizza

I was inspired by another food blogger, Damned Delicious in this recipe, I prefer to use rosemary as a seasoning because I think it works well with mushrooms, but use what herbs you like the taste of.

I liked this recipe because it used a premade pizza base. This was a relief, I have a bit a chequered past trying to make pizza bases from scratch. Using a premade base also makes this recipe probably as quick as calling a pizza, and significantly cheaper (most take away pizzas have a 900% mark up).

Cheese, garlic and mushrooms are one the best flavour combinations ever and the only problem with this pizza is that fights over the last piece can get mean.

Makes 1, 12 inch Pizza

Ingredients

1 x 12 inch Pizza base

125 Grams Mushrooms (sliced)

2 Cloves of garlic (minced)

200 grams Mozzarella

50 Grams Ricotta

1/2 Tsp Rosemary (Rosemary can overwhelm everything else if you use too much, if you’re going to use other herbs you can use a bit more)

1 Tbsp Butter

Salt

Method

Add toppings before baking
  1. Pre heat your oven to 200 degrees
  2. Melt butter in a pan, and add the mushrooms rosemary and garlic and cook for 5 minutes (don’t stir too often)
  3. Put the pizza base on a baking tray and top with slices of mozzarella, the mushrooms and garlic, and dollops of ricotta. Give the pizza a light sprinkling of salt
  4. Bake for 15-20 minute, until golden brown and damned delicious

Mushroom, hazelnut and gorgonzla tart

A bit more “rustic” than I planned, but I put it down to me trying to make pastry with nuts in it. Save yourself the time and energy and use shop bought short crust pastry. It’s what I plan to do next time.  This recipe might be best saved for the weekend, as it’s a bit more labour intensive, but it’s well worth the trouble, (I had to stop myself eating half of it).

If you’re a vegetarian cooking for meat eaters, they’ll love this. The rich and unctuous filling feels really meaty, and unlike a lot of tarts isn’t too eggy.  This is delicious hot or cold.

Serves 6-8

Ingredients

1 Sheet of ready made short crust pastry

2 Onions (thinly sliced)

1 Tbsp Chopped rosemary

3 Cloves of garlic (finely chopped)

1 Tbsp Olive oil

25 Grams Dried porcini mushrooms, (soaked in 50 ml of hot water)

200 Grams Button mushrooms (sliced)

50 Grams Gorgonzola (sliced)

50 Grams Hazelnuts (chopped)

2 Eggs

150 Ml Double Cream

Salt and pepper

Method

  1. Grease a 23 cm loose based flan tin, roll you pastry until thin and line the tin, (chill in the fridge for 30 minutes)
  2. Put the porcini mushrooms in a bowl with 50ml of warm water and allow to soak
  3. Take your flan tin out of the fridge and over the base with grease proof paper and add baking beans on top, (I use old lentils that had been hanging about). Bake blind in an oven heated to 180 degrees for 15 minutes. Remove the grease proof paper and baking beans, and bake for a further 5 minutes, before removing from the oven
  4. While the pastry is baking add the olive oil and onions to a large heated frying pan. Turn down the heat and cook gently for 10 minutes
  5. Add the button mushrooms, garlic and rosemary to the pan and cook for a further 5 minutes, stirring occasionally
  6. Add the porcini mushrooms and the water they were soaking in to the pan. Cook over a medium heat until all the liquid has evaporated, and leave to cool
  7. Put a baking sheet in the oven to heat (the temperature should be 180 degrees again)
  8. When the mushroom mix is completely cool, spread it evenly across the pastry base
  9. Distribute the gorgonzola on top of the mushroom mix
  10. Beat 2 Eggs, and add to the cream, season with salt and pepper, pour into the tart case and sprinkle chopped hazelnuts across the top
  11. Put the filled tart tin on to the heated baking sheet in the oven and bake for 35 minutes until the centre is set
  12. Allow to cool in the tin for 5-10 minutes before cutting

Aubergine and Pesto Bake

I came home from work, and had lots of bits and pieces in the fridge that needed used up. I rustled this up, and it was pretty quick and tasty. You can switch up the ingredients based on what you have rattling around the fridge.

Serves 2
Ingredients

1 Aubergine

1 onion

150 Grams Mushrooms

2 Cloves of garlic

3 Tbsp Olive oil

1/2 Jar of pesto

500 Grams Passata

50 Grams Parmesan

50 Grams Mozzarella

Method

  1. Slice the aubergine into thin slices, and brush with olive oil before adding to a frying pan.
  2. Cook the slices for 2-3 minutes on each side over a medium heat until they start to colour
  3. In a separate pan add 1tbsp of oil, fry the chopped onion, mushrooms and garlic until soft
  4. Add the passata and simmer until the sauce thickens
  5. In an oven proof dish add a layer of the tomato sauce, add a layer of the aubergine slices
  6. Spread a thin layer of pesto and cheese on top of this
  7. Repeat these layers until you run out of ingredients
  8. Bake at 200 degrees for 15 minutes or until the cheese is melted

Arancini (Risotto Balls)

I had these for the first time in New York, with a cocktail in an air conditioned bar which felt like I’d arrived in heaven after pounding the streets on a hellishly warm day. 

These make a great little starter, or are divine with a glass of wine or a cold beer.

If you are organised enough to have made the mushroom risotto a day or two before then these are pretty quick and easy.  Some people like these with a marinara sauce, but I think these are delicious enough on their own.

 500 grams Mushroom risotto

100 grams Mozzarella (dolcelatte also works really well)

2 Tbsp. Plain flour

2 Eggs

*100 grams White breadcrumbs (See food hack)

Olive oil for deep frying

Salt and pepper for seasoning

Method

  1. Cut the mozzarella into 1.5 cm cubes, or you can use the little mozzarella “pearls” you can buy in some super markets
  2. Take a tablespoon of the cold risotto mixture in your hand and flatten it.  Add a small piece of cheese and form the risotto around it to make a ball.  Do this until you have used up all the risotto (it’s useful to have a bowl of water handy to wet your hands and stop the risotto sticking. 
  3. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Heat oil on a large heavy based pan or deep fat fryer.
  4. Put the flour on a plate and season with salt and pepper, which the eggs in a separate bowl, and add the breadcrumbs to another dish
  5. Heat oil on a large heavy based pan or deep fat fryer.
  6. Role the risotto balls in flour, then beaten egg, and finally the breadcrumbs
  • Add the breaded risotto balls to oil and fry until golden brown, remember to drain any excess oil on kitchen paper and season with salt and pepper.

* Food Hack  – When you’re shopping pick up bead that has been reduced because it’s going stale.  When you get home, take 5 minutes and whizz the bread up in a food processor until it’s crumbs.  Put these breadcrumbs into a large freezer bag and keep in your freezer.  Bread crumbs are an amazingly versatile ingredient, that you can use in everything from gratins, deep fried crusts, stuffing or even thickening sauces. 

Mushroom Risotto

This is a big batch, but there is method in my madness.

Firstly this risotto is really unctuous and yummy so you’ll have to fight with yourself not to keep spooning it into you plate.  But if you can resist eating it all, the left over risotto makes the most amazing risotto balls or arancini (if you’re feeling posh).

A lot of people are purists about the type of rice to use whether it’s Arborio or Carnaroli, and to be honest I haven’t found much of a difference.  So use whatever you can find and what you prefer. 

Ingredients

500 grams Carnaroli or Arborio rice

2 Tbsps. Olive oil

1 Large onion

500 grams Mushrooms

4 Cloves of Garlic

3 Tbsps. Dried porcini mushrooms

1.5 Litres Chicken or vegetable stock (made with stock cube/s is fine)

1 Glass of white wine (this is optional, I usually prefer to drink wine than cook with it, but it’s also the perfect excuse to open a bottle)

Grated parmesan (you can also use Grana which is similar to parmesan, but is a bit cheaper)

Herbs to finish, again this is optional but it does add another layer of flavour

Method

  1. Soak the porcini mushrooms in enough warm water to cover them
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large heavy bottomed pan.   Finely slice the onion and add to the pan, cooking until soft.
  3. Slice the fresh mushrooms and garlic, add to the pan and cook gently until the mushrooms have softened and started to brown (don’t move the mushrooms around too much in the pan).
  4. Add the rice and stir the grains are coated in the oil.  Add the stock a ladleful at a time.  Yes I know this bit is a total faff, but who am I to argue to with generations of Italian Nonas’.
  5. Depending on the type of rice you use, you may not need all the stock, or you may need a little. Keep adding the stock until no more will be absorbed by the rice.
  6. Now is time to stir in the grated parmesan.  Personally for me the more cheese the better, but this is up to your own personal preference.

Don’t forget to use your left over risotto for arancini balls (you’ll love them)