Mushrooms

mushroom recipes

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Mushrooms

Mushrooms offer so much flexibility when it comes to cooking for yourself and others. Try these three mushroom recipes to impress any guest!

There’s a case to be made for mushrooms being the world’s most extraordinary food―at least among those so commonly used and recognized by cultures across the globe. There’s a good chance one’s growing somewhere near you right now, whether it’s a delicious source of plant-based protein, a deadly poison, or a mind-bending ingredient more suited to shamanic rituals and music festivals than sauteing on your stove. Of course, the focus here is on the edible sort―specifically the delicious and nutritious variety available in your local grocery store!

One of the best things about cooking mushrooms is how they can just as easily be either the star of the show or part of a perfectly assembled support cast. A large portobello makes a solid burger patty just as well as it adds edge to a gravy. If you’re just buying one vegetable, you can be sure mushrooms will pair beautifully with whatever else lies in your pantry. Even the humble potato can’t boast such versatility.

Mushrooms are also a great starting point when seeking inspiration for dinner party ideas. Their texture is meaty enough to satisfy omnivores at a vegetarian or vegan dinner, but aren’t so meaty that they can’t complement actual meat as a simple side dish. They’re incredibly easy to cook in a multitude of ways, but also have enough variety to offer even the most imaginative chefs room to experiment with new flavors and textures. Cooking mushrooms, as the old saying goes, takes minutes to learn and a lifetime to master.

Aside that saves you time

If you’re looking to impress guests without spending too much time over your stove, why are you still making vegetables and gravy separately? Just combine the two and pour your vegetables straight over that juicy slab of meat.

A Marsala mushroom sauce doesn’t just keep pork chops succulent, it also gives them just enough kick to appease fans of spicy dining. You can even add chili flakes to the meat seasoning if it’s that kind of dinner.

Either way, this recipe works best with enough sauce that the mushrooms ooze round the plate. While it makes a great low-carb meal on its own, you should consider serving the chops with pasta or white bread to mop up the last of those creamy mushrooms. If you do so while entertaining, however, be warned that guests might not have room for dessert after this! Keep it light and don’t spend much time making something overly elaborate.

The Italian people pleaser

Risotto is a great dinner party food. Everyone will be impressed by your effort―they know it takes plenty of time and patience―but it isn’t really an effort at all. Pour yourself a glass of wine, put your favorite podcast on, and start slowly stirring. Oh, and mushrooms could have been made for it!

Still not convinced that risotto is one of the best dinner party foods out there? It works equally well as a main or a starter, has subtle enough flavors to work well between mismatched courses, pairs excellently with almost any white wine, and, better still, any leftovers can be rolled up and fried into mouth-watering Arancini the next day.

If you do want to serve mushroom risotto as a single meal or main course, you could also try elaborating by topping it off with grilled asparagus or chicken.

For any time of day

Whether a starter, snack, or even a light meal, few foods can match slices of good bread layered with thick pate. Given how pates change the texture of meat so drastically, it’s somewhat surprising that this is one of those areas where vegan alternatives really struggle to compete. But there are exceptions.

This wild mushroom terrine isn’t trying to taste like meat, and that’s where it succeeds. Instead, it does the job that a pate of terrine should do (spread smooth and fatty over soft, fluffy bread) while providing a smoky, nutty flavor that’s all its own. It works as an excellent starter to any vegan dinner, but also for occasions when you’d rather not precede a meat main course with even more meat.

In any case, you’re going to want to smother that on some good bread, and there’s no bread more certain to impress your guests than the bread you’ve baked yourself. If you’re inexperienced with baking, you might want to start with a flatbread, such as a simple pita or Sicilian carasau recipe. Or if you’re feeling confident, why not try your hand at baking olive bread? All go well with this wild mushroom terrine.

Hopefully, these recipes helped you understand just how versatile mushrooms can be. When planning a dinner, building any or all courses around these fascinating fungi is an easy way to get started. And if you’re looking to get creative, there’s a huge variety out there for you to play with.

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Eating out gluten free in Chicago needn't be a headache. The city's culinary scene is alive and kicking and gluten free dining presents no problems the windy city's ever evolving dining scene, which was even recognised as restaurant city of the year in 2017.

Here's our pick of some of the best gluten free or gluten friendly dining spots in the city, for when you want a romantic evening for two or the best pizza or pasta in town.

BEST GLUTEN FREE RESTAURANTS IN CHICAGO

THE LITTLE BEET TABLE

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Little Beet is 100% gluten-free, meaning you have full run of the menu, from brunch or lunch through to dinner.  It's a casual, comfortable place in the Gold Coast in the base of the State & Chestnut residential tower. Vegetable forward dishes take centre stage, although there's always concession for comfort food like cheeseburgers. 

845 N. State St Suite 101 Chicago, IL 60610 
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THE SIGNATURE ROOM

For gluten free dining with a bird's eye view of the city skyline and lake Michigan head to The Signature Room in the Hancock Tower.  With over a dozen gluten free dishes to choose from (indicated on the menu) executive chef Cardel Reid has put together a menu that spans from raw seafood to 10oz fillet of beef.

875 N. Michigan Ave.; 312-787-9596 
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EMA 

Looking for a Mediterranean dining experience with California style cooking? then head to Ēma in River North and the kingdom of chef CJ Jacobson. The menu of Mediterranean small plates and dips lends itself easily to gluten free dining, what's more they even have a dedicated fryer and kitchen space and an extensive, completely separate, gluten-free menu. 

74 W Illinois St Chicago, IL 60654
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GLUTEN FREE ITALIAN RESTAURANTS IN CHICAGO

MONTEVERDE

Sarah Grueneberg’s destination Italian restaurant makes everyone feel at home, gluten free or not! There's an entire gluten free menu to choose from with a run of Italian favourites to some more creative takes like smoked halibut rillettes crispy polenta, fennel, dried cherry tomato and lemon.

1020 West Madison Street Chicago, IL 60607 (312) 888-3041
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THE ROSEBUD

This historical Italian restaurant first opened in 1975, in the longstanding Taylor Street. Expect generous portions served in a convivial atmosphere Pasta dishes can be adapted with gluten-free penne, while all other gluten free options are highlighted on the menu.

1500 W Taylor St Chicago, IL 60607 (312) 942-1117
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NICO OSTERIA

Gluten friendly dining is brought to Chicago by Chef Bill Montagne with home made pasta and Italian seafood dishes. It's not all gluten free on the menu, but they are happy to accomodate with a selection of pasta entrees possible with gluten-free, corn-rice flour radiatori. 

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GLUTEN FREE PIZZA RESTAURANTS IN CHICAGO

SPACCA NAPOLI

Ask anyone about the pizzas in town and Spacca Napoli usually makes the list. Traditional Neapolitan pizzas can all be made with gluten free dough on request and topped with traditional Italian ingredients like prosciutto, spicy salami, and Sardinian artichokes. They even have a separate oven to prevent cross contamination. 

1769 W Sunnyside Ave, Chicago IL, 60640 (773) 878-2420
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Gluten Free Restaurants in Chicago: 7 of the Best Addresses
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