Archive for the ‘Mushrooms’ Tag

Bacon Swiss Cheeseburger Stuffed Mushrooms   2 comments


  • 12 large crimini mushrooms
  • 1 pound extra lean ground beef
  • 2 tablespoons dry breadcrumbs
  • 2 dashes Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 4 slices bacon
  • 1-3/4 onions
  • Butter
  • Teaspoon of sugar
  • Mustard
  • 1/2 pound Emmentale cheese (or substitute any Swiss cheese)


Remove the stems from the mushrooms. Put mushroom caps into a buttered baking dish. Set aside.

Mince bacon. Fry until crisp. Remove bacon from the grease, set aside.

Finely chop 4 mushroom stems and sauté with 1/4 of an onion, finely minced in a small amount of the bacon grease, until translucent. Add 1 finely minced clove of fresh garlic. Stir for 1 minute. Remove to cool.

Put ground beef in a bowl. Season with 2 dashes of Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper. Add bread crumbs and the mushroom/onion sauté and stir to combine.

Dice 1-1/2 yellow onions. Melt butter in skillet over medium to low heat. Add onions, stirring occasionally until golden brown. Add salt, pepper, and a teaspoon of sugar. Set aside to cool.

Grate cheese.

Fill mushroom caps with ground beef mixture. Bake in a 375* oven for 25 minutes.

Remove from oven. Place small amount of mustard on top of each. Spoon 1 teaspoon of carmelized onion on each. Top with cheese. Sprinkle bacon. Return to oven for 5 minutes until cheese is melted.

Posted February 6, 2014 by henrymowry in Recipes

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Top 10 Vegetables   1 comment

VegetablesIt was another creation from Velda’s kitchen … and it got me thinking. What are my favorite vegetables?

Mind you, not a conversation with self that I would have had 30 years ago. But what is age if you can’t enjoy a bit of perspective?

So what are my favorite vegetables? 30 years ago, the answer would have been easy: green beans. Today, it’s a little murkier. Still, here are my Top 10 Favorite Vegetables, in classic Top 10 style:

Number 10: Black Beans. I’m pretty sure I’d never even seen a black bean until I moved to California. No matter; they are infinitely better than pinto beans, and will always be my choice at every Mexican restaurant that gives me a choice.

Number 9: Lima Beans. This forlorn vegetable would have probably been ranked more favorably … but Velda hates them. She will condescend to make me lima beans about once every 6 months … and that means she doesn’t really put much creativity into the presentation. I really like lima beans, but Velda cooks so many other vegetables so much better, I have no choice but to rank them poorly. Yes, it’s her fault.

Salt & pepper to taste. Sprinkle with finely minced fresh parsley, if desired.

Salt & pepper to taste. Sprinkle with finely minced fresh parsley, if desired.

Number 8: Carrots. If you haven’t tasted her wonderful Honey Glazed Carrots, then you don’t know carrots. Try them; they will rock your world.

Number 7: Brussel Sprouts. This is actually the much-maligned vegetable that got me to thinking this evening. The recommended recipe is MrsMowry’s Brussel Sprouts. Get them fresh – not bitter – and these will do you right.

Number 6: Green Beans. No vegetable dish from Velda’s kitchen has drawn as much ire from the children as Green Bean Casserole: the only demanded vegetable on the holiday table. The kids went into open rebellion when Velda began to mess with the recipe. I really thought we’d have a violent incident the year she substituted fresh green beans for Del Monte. That was simply not acceptable. Don’t mess with the recipe: French’s Green Bean Casserole.

Number 5: Tomatoes. OK, OK. Tomatoes are a fruit. I don’t care. They are a garden vegetable, and there is nothing like flavorful, fresh tomatoes on burgers. Or with cottage cheese. Or on a salad. Tomatoes. Love’em.

Number 4: Chocolate. The kids were taught that chocolate was a vegetable by Aunt Sis, and that makes as much sense as the vegetable machinations performed by your local school system. If they can say that ketchup is a vegetable, then this makes sense. Chocolate should be a part of a balanced diet. ’nuff said.

Green Bean 51Number 3: Green Beans. When not in a casserole, green beans should be sautèed and served with onions and bacon. Here’s the recipe: Velda’s Green Beans. You can thank me later.

Number 2: Spaghetti Squash. This must be the dark horse candidate, as this vegetable has never been mentioned in the blog before. However, its a wonderful addition to just about any meal. If only Velda served Spaghetti Squash more often, I might be able to photograph the process and share a recipe. You can only hope (with me) that I can do this some day.

Mushroom 34Number 1: Mushrooms. This a no brainer. I’ve written about my favorite morels, in Hunting Mushrooms With Grandpa. And then, of course, there was Wild Mushroom Cobbler. Don’t deprive yourself: get you some ‘shrooms. Swiss & mushrooms are now a part of my favorite burger. Stuffed mushrooms are my favorite appetizer (and ask Velda to make them again, please, for Superbowl Sunday … and I’ll blog the recipe!).

What’s missing from my Top 10? Onions & garlic. Though they’re a part of just about every good meal … I simply could not include them in this list. In my eyes, they are flavors. Spices. Not a vegetable to be requested as a side dish.

This is a wonderful soup, but the presentation makes it better!

This is a wonderful soup, but the presentation makes it better!

I probably should have included celeriac. However, since I’m in America where no one knows what the heck that is, it’s out. Americans don’t know celeriac … unless they’ve had this wonderful recipe: Velda’s Celery Root Soup. If you think it’s time for soup … make this soup. And thank me later.

MrsMowry will probably hit me in the face when she sees me next, as I’ve left potatoes off the list. Sorry, m’lady. Mashed potatoes are fabulous. Your potato pizza is the bomb. But … not a Top 10 item. Make me some and change my mind. Please.

If I missed your favorite, PLEASE add your Top 10 list below. I really want to see if any of my dear readers can find a place on their list for kale. Or okra. Or beets. Or asparagus. Or turnips. Or peppers. Or pumpkin.

So, what’s your list???

More Thomas Jefferson’s Favorite Vegetables A Dietician’s Favorite Vegetables Everyone’s Six Least Favorite Vegetables Top 10 Grilled Vegetable Recipes Most Of Our Favorite Vegetables Are Not Vegetables Favorite Recipes For Thanksgiving’s Top Twelve Favorite Vegetables

Posted January 22, 2014 by henrymowry in Living Life

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Hunting Mushrooms with Grandpa   10 comments

Grandpa & me

Grandpa & I, 1968. Wrong vegetable, but that’s what a hunting expedition looked like (Though the ’59 Olds didn’t go to the ditches! Grandpa drove the tractor, or we walked.)

I really had no clue.

It’s just what we did.  Spring rains would come, and then Grandpa Mowry and I would go tromp through the undergrowth.  We had a small family farm that was riddled with ditches between the fields of corn, soy beans and clover.  The clover field was right by the potato patch, and the ditch that was between them is where I remember the hunting was good.

That’s also where the wild blackberry bushes were.

And thus began my love of two wild & wonderful treats: blackberries and morel mushrooms.

Blackberries are relatively common, of course, and I enjoy them year-round.  About once a decade, I can convince Velda to make a blackberry pie.  I think I’m due again in 2017.

Morel 3Mushrooms are also common, and we’ve enjoyed them in all manner of dishes.  Morel mushrooms were missing, though.  How come?

When I was walking by Grandpa’s side, it was really easy.  In the bushy undergrowth of the ditch, we would look for bumps in the leafy mulch.  Once in a while, the mushrooms were already revealed, poking their caps through the detritus of the ditch.  Most of the time, however, our search was for an unexpected mound of leaves.  We would brush the top aside, and occasionally be rewarded with a lovely pale, spongy-looking mushroom cap poking out.  We had found a Morchella esculenta, the yellow morel.

And I had no idea what we had found.  I just knew they tasted great!  On a good day we’d gather a mess of mushrooms for our family of six.  Mom, Dad, Sis and I would get to have a great dinner at Grandma & Grandpa’s house.  The mushrooms, as I recall, were always fried.  For you doubters … don’t knock it until you’ve tried it.

Come to find out, those morels would be the last I would have for many, many years.  Generally, you can’t buy fresh morels.  No one — NO ONE — knows how to grow them, so the only morels offered for sale are gathered in the wild, just as I did with Grandpa.

Last May, we found dried morels for sale in an old bean store. Great store, Rancho Gordo, in Napa, CA.  They had dried morels for sale:  one ounce for $16.

And so we bought what I think is the most expensive ingredient Velda’s ever used.  She found a recipe from the Barefoot Contessa for Chicken & Morels that was utterly scrumptious.  She did the Velda tweaks, of course: more wine, less fat, etc.  The whole family was there for a great dinner.  It just doesn’t get any better.

More information about morels:Morel 2

The Great Morel

Wikipedia: Morchella

Hunting in the Ozarks

More recipes:

Mushroom Appreciation

Chicken Scallopine with Morels

Kitchen Confidante

Mycological Society of San Francisco


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