Stuffed Mushrooms “Green Bean Casserole Style”

green bean casserole makeover
Stuffed Mushrooms “Green Bean Casserole Style

Mushroom Duxelles, Olive Oil Bechamel, Haricots Verts
Panko Crusted Fanny Bay Oysters, Truffle Salt, Frizzled Leeks

My friends in the 5 Star Makeover Cooking Group have made some major changes to the iconic green bean casserole this year. Major. For our monthly challenge we’ve taken the classic casserole recipe, originally made with green beans, mushroom soup, and fried onions and turned it ON ITS HEAD. There are soups, quiche, gnocchi, pancakes, and catfish ~ some have a Latin twist, another Asian, some are modern, some deconstructed, others retro. It’s a virtual cornucopia of casserole makeover creativity. And you can view all the incarnations of this most loved/hated Thanksgiving dish in the world over at Lazaro Cooks here.

Here I remake the casserole into a bite-sized morsel which conjures up of all the memories of mom’s holiday dish but with a fresh twist and pair it with another one of our holiday traditions ~ fresh oysters.

Original Recipe Ingredients:

  • cream of mushroom soup
  • milk
  • soy sauce
  • ground black pepper
  • green beans
  • canned french fried onions

green bean casserole makeover

In this makeover, mushrooms are stuffed with earthy mushroom duxelles and a rich olive oil bechamel flavored with tamari. Bright steamed haricots verts are sliced thin and sit atop the mushrooms. Panko crusted fresh Fanny Bay oysters are fried in canola oil until crisp, then seasoned with truffle salt. Finally, frizzled leeks add texture and are an update to those canned fried onions .

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Saffron Rice with Golden Raisins and Pine Nuts

saffron rice recipe, cardamom eggplant recipe

Saffron Rice with Golden Raisins
Roasted Eggplant with Cardamom Oil
Pine Nuts and Sliced Scallion Garnish

Faith said, “If you have time to make the Saffron Rice, please feel free to do so and share your thoughts on the dish and what you served with it.” Well Faith, I’ve made your saffron rice recipe several times since you sent it to me back in September. It rocks. I’ve served it topped with curried chicken salad for lunch, as a side dish to grilled halibut with tomato lemongrass sauce, and over roasted eggplant with cardamom oil. Each time I made the rice, I followed your recipe exactly ~ it’s perfect, balanced, delicious.

An Edible Mosaic

saffron rice eggplant mosaic, how to make a mosaic
Saffron Rice Mosaic in Honor of Faith’s Cookbook

My friend Faith Gorsky from An Edible Mosaic blog just had her first cookbook released: An Edible Mosaic: Middle Eastern Fare with Extraordinary Flair. It is my pleasure to be participating in her Virtual Book Launch Party and sharing a terrific recipe from her book.

The book has over 100 Middle Eastern recipes, with a focus mainly on dishes from the Levant, but also a few recipes from other areas of the Middle East. Faith has a pretty unique story…after getting married Faith spent six months living in the Middle East, where she fell in love with the culture and cuisine. Subsequently, she returned four more times for visits, each time delving deeper into the cuisine and deepening her passion for and appreciation of the region.

Recipes in her book are authentic Middle Eastern, taught to Faith mostly by her mother-in-law, Sahar but streamlined just a bit for the way we cook today, with unique ingredients demystified and cooking techniques anyone can follow. The book is available to order on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

After you check out the recipe below, please head over to Faith’s blog to check out her virtual book launch party to see the other bloggers who are participating. Also, as part of her virtual book launch, Faith is hosting a giveaway of a fabulous set of prizes.

saffron rice, cardamom eggplant with shrimp

Faith’s recipe for Saffron Rice with Golden Raisins and Pine Nuts is vegan. Her mother-in-law likes to serve the Saffron Rice with an aromatic shrimp dish in tomato sauce (a recipe also in the book). I took her mother-in-law’s advice and served it with shrimp tossed with cardamom oil, salt, and pepper.

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Sweet & Savory Autumn Tarte Tatin

butternut & acorn squash tarte tatin, bacon, goat cheese, hazelnut, sage
Sweet & Savory Autumn Tarte Tatin

Butternut and Acorn Squash
Bacon, Maple, Hazelnut, Goat Cheese, Sage

I have a feeling I’m going to get more requests to make the Sweet & Savory Autumn Tarte Tatin this season. With its nutty, tangy, and sucré flavors, the smoky aromas, rich earthy colors, and crispy, creamy, flaky textures ~ the famous inverted French pie originally made with apples back in the late 1800’s ~ is heart and soul of the inspiration for this recipe.

Butter, brown sugar, and maple syrup are intensified and caramelized at the bottom of the cast iron pan while the pastry on top remains dry, light and crisp. Stephanie Tatin’s inadvertent “mistake” in cooking an apple pie up-side-down has become a part of culinary history and its method copied in various forms over the years. Sometimes sweet, sometimes savory ~ here I present a delightful Autumn tarte that is both…

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Southern Greens Pasta served in a Roasted Squash Bowl

southern greens pasta
Southern Greens & Pasta
Mustard, Turnip, Collards, Spinach

simmered in Chicken Broth
Black Forest Bacon, Onion, Garlic, Red Chile Flakes
Apple Cider Vinegar, Olive Oil
tossed with
Fusillata Casareccia (open s-shape twist pasta)

southern greens fusillata casareccia
Southern Greens & Pasta
served in a
Roasted Butternut Squash Bowl
finished with
Grated Parmesan

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Pappardelle ~ Apple, Fig, Pistachio, Mint, Saffron Cream

Pappardelle with Saffron Cream
Apple, Fig, Pistachio, Mint

  • Our 5 Star Makeover Cooking Club is featuring apples for the fabulous September event.
  • My family and friends are celebrating the Jewish New Year 5773. And I’m thinking about noodle kugel. Kugel is a sweet Jewish casserole. I bake mine with egg noodles, golden raisins, cottage cheese, cinnamon, and apples. I was also thinking about my saffron matzoh balls…
  • My little guy Wilson needed some tests. When I dropped him off, his awesome veterinarian gave me a big basket of fresh figs from her garden.

These three events cosmically intertwined. Apples & figs collided with noodles & saffron. And the result was a delightful vegetarian pasta with a luxurious saffron cream sauce. It was an exotic marriage of sweet & savory, creamy & crunchy. The colors were glorious ~ golden yellow saffron, pale green granny smith apples, pink salmon-hued figs, and bright green mint.

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please come for tea & sherry

tea sherry party

Home-Grown Fresh Lemon Verbena Tea
Bodega Dios Baco Oloroso Sherry
Mini Sherry Tea Cakes with Marcona Almond & Rosemary
Roasted Black Figs, Honey, Fig Balsamic Syrup, Black Pepper, Sea Salt
Cream Sherry Glaze

sherry tea cakes, beautiful high tea image

“You are formally invited to a virtual British afternoon tea party that will take during the week of August 27th! We thought it would be great to follow up our Greek adventures, the original place of Olympics, with a British-inspired culinary theme, the location of this year’s summer Olympics.

Bring a gourmet sweet or savory treat – either a makeover of a classic or your own unique creation. Some general items on a traditional tea menu include: sandwiches, sausage rolls, Victoria sponge, cakes, and scones.”

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