Tag Archives: mushrooms

Veal Meatballs with Tomatoes, Mushrooms and Black Olives


veal mealballs with tomatoes, black olives and mushrooms

Veal Meatballs with Tomatoes, Mushrooms and Black Olives

Serves 4

It’s nice to see different kinds of ground meats at the markets today.  I just made a wonderful free form ground lamb puff pasty tart and now that I spied ground veal at Atkinsons’ I thought that I would do something with that.  This is an easy recipe with some variations for you to choose that will make the end result zing in different ways and is pretty enough to serve for company.


  1. 3/4 to 1 Lb. ground veal
  2. 5 large whole white or brown mushrooms—one finely chopped
  3. 3 garlic cloves –diced
  4. 1 egg-well beaten with some  salt and freshly ground pepper
  5. 1 Tblsp. grated Parmesan
  6. 1 medium onion diced
  7. 3 Tbsp. chopped parsley
  8. 1 Tsp. minced fresh sage leaves or a pinch of dried crumbled sage leaves or instead with a pinch of nutmeg
  9. 1/2 C. (or more) plain bread crumbs
  10. 5 rinsed plum tomatoes-cut long ways in quarters
  11. 3 Tblsp. olive oil or butter or a combination of both
  12. S&P
  13. 1 large bay leaf
  14. 1 C. white vermouth or white wine and possibly some chicken broth
  15. 1 Tsp. minced fresh rosemary or fresh thyme leaves (or 1/2 Tsp. of dried of whatever you choose)
  16. 1/2 Tsp. Turmeric
  17. 1 C. pitted black olives (optional if you don’t care for olives)


  1. For the meatballs, combine the ground veal with 1 finely chopped mushroom, 1 diced garlic clove, 1 Tblsp. grated Parmesan, 1 Tblsp. diced onion, 1 Tblsp. chopped parsley, the sage (or pinch of nutmeg) and the well beaten egg.  Mix well with your hands and then add 1/2 C. (or more if you feel necessary) breadcrumbs. Form the ground veal into 1” diameter meatballs.
  2. In a large pot, heat the olive oil/butter and then gently place in the meatballs.  Turn them gently with a fork or tongs till they are nicely browned (about 5 minutes). Remove them to a plate.
  3. In the same pot you should have enough oil and juice to brown the remaining onion.  Stir the onion till softened (5 to 10 minutes) and then add the remaining garlic and cook one minute more.  Add the S&P and the wine; if you would care for more liquid you can add 1/2 C. or more chicken broth.  Let come to a slow simmer and add the tomatoes, 2 Tblsp. chopped parsley, bay leaf, turmeric and rosemary or thyme.  Stir gently and then add the meatballs.
  4. Turn the heat to very low, cover and cook, stirring very gently every now and then for about 45 minutes.  Add the whole mushrooms and black olives at the very end; continue simmering with a cover on till the mushrooms are tender and done (about 5-10 minutes).
  5. I like this stew served on top of fluffy white rice and a green salad for a side.  Crusty French bread is always a nice addition.

Zucchini and Mushroom Casserole


Zucchini and Mushroom Casserole

8 serving


This is a good, easy and nutritional dish to serve.  Zucchini and mushrooms are so versatile so it’s nice to see them meld together.  Enjoy.


  1. 1 ½ Lb. zucchini, trimmed and scrubbed
  2. Pinch of chopped or dried dill
  3. S&P to taste
  4. 1-2 cloves of garlic
  5. 3/4 Lb. mushrooms, sliced
  6. 4 ½ Tblsp. butter
  7. 2 ½ -3 Tblsp. flour
  8. 1 ¼ C. sour cream
  9. Bread crumbs dotted with butter
  10. Up to 1/4 C. chopped parsley (optional)
  11. Up to 1/4 C. shredded Parmesan (optional)


  1. Cut the zucchini crosswise into one-inch slices.  Place in a pot with salted water to cover. Add the dill and garlic and some S&P.  Cover and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat and simmer gently until the vegetable is barely tender (about 8 minutes).  DO NOT OVERCOOK.
  2. Drain, reserving 2 Tblsp. of the cooking liquid, and discard the garlic. Set the zucchini aside.
  3. In a skillet, sauté the mushroom in the butter (about 5 minutes), stirring occasionally till they glisten; then stir in the flour. Cook about 2 minutes longer till flour is well absorbed.
  4.  To the mushrooms in the skillet add the sour cream and zucchini and the reserved 2 Tblsp. zucchini cooking liquid stirring constantly.  DO NOT BOIL but heat thoroughly.
  5. Transfer the mixture to a buttered or Pam sprayed casserole dish and top with some buttered bread crumbs.  If you wish, you can mix the crumbs with chopped parsley and/or some shredded parmesan.
  6. Brown quickly under the broiler.

A Quick and Easy Guide to Roasting Veggies


Roasted Brusels Sprouts 001 roasted brocolli roasted brocolli (4) roast zucchini with toasted sesame seeds 001

A Quick and Easy Guide to the Roasting of Vegetables

  • When flavoring roasted vegetables (particularly after roasting) you want to avoid a heavy dose of liquids because they’ll soften any crisp edges that develop during roasting.
  • Roast in a very hot oven—Anywhere from 425 to 475 degrees is usually perfect. It really depends on your oven and your taste. I don’t mind veggies that are blackened somewhat; maybe for you that’s too much. So, I guess I’d try 450 degrees to start with.
  • Cut your vegetables in even-sized pieces so that they’ll roast evenly. Except for potatoes, you can cut up the veggies the morning of your planning to roast them.
  • To prevent sticking, line a heavy duty high edged pan with parchment paper.
  • Place your vegetables evenly over the whole pan—and in fact near the edges of the pan particularly if your pan is sparsely populated.  Vegetables near the edges tend to brown better.

The Master Recipe Is:


1 lb. vegetables—well washed and peeled if necessary-cut per directions below

1- 3 Tblsp. olive oil

1/2 Tsp. or more to taste of kosher salt

Freshly ground pepper, to taste

Fresh lemon juice—a couple of squirts (optional and depends on whether you’ll be using one of next

weeks yummy splashes recipes)


  1. Place rack in center of oven and heat to 425-475 degrees.
  2. 2.        Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Wash, air dry and prepare vegetables according to the “quick guide introductory paragraph” at start of this column and the “vegetables to use” guide found below.
  3. 3.        In a bowl toss your vegetables with the “master recipe” ingredients. Do not clean bowl because you’ll be using it again after the veggies are done. 
  4. Place your vegetables evenly spaced on your lined pan-lying–on the cut side if that’s applicable.
  5. Roast according to individual vegetables mentioned below in “vegetables to use guide”.  Watch carefully to see that your veggies don’t brown more than you wish them to—but remember, they shouldn’t be under roasted.
  6. 6.        When the vegetables are done, return them to your original bowl and use the rest of the marinade left or if need be, add more olive oil if they seem a bit dry and season with more S&P and lemon juice if you deem necessary

( OR use another flavoring which will be mentioned in my subsequent column next week).

Vegetables to use guide:

  1. Sweet potatoes: 3-4 servings per lb. Cut into 1-inch pieces. Roast 10 minutes and flip and roast 5 to 10 minutes more.
  2. Cauliflower: 3-4 servings per lb. Cut into 1 to 1 ½ inch florets. Stir every 10 minutes until tender and light brown—20 to 25 minutes total.
  3. Asparagus: 3 -4 lbs. per serving: cut off tough bottom ends. Roast for 5 minutes, flip and roast till tender—5 to 8 minutes
  4. Brussels Sprouts—3-4 servings per lb: half lengthwise; arrange cut side down and roast until tender and brown—about 15 minutes. No need to flip.
  5. Potatoes (red, yellow, russet) 2 -3 servings per lb. Peel or scrub clean and dry. Cut into 1 inch wedges.  Roast until brown on bottom-10 to 15 minutes. Flip and continue to roast until tender—5 minutes more.
  6. Carrots: 3-4 servings per lb. Peel, if thick cut in half crosswise to separate thick end from thin end; half the thick end length wise. Cut crosswise into 1-inch lengths.  Roast until lightly browned on bottom, 12-15 minutes. Flip and roast until tender—3 to 5 minutes more.  Shriveled can be OK.
  7. Beets: 4 servings per lb. Trim, peel and cut into 3/4-1 inch wedges. Roast 15 minutes, flip and roast until tender-10-15 minutes more.
  8. Parsnips– 2-3 servings per lb. Peel, halve crosswise, halve or quarter thick end lengthwise and cut all crosswise into 2-inch lengths.  Roast until browned on bottom about 10 min. Flip and roast till tender-about 5 minutes more.
  9. Broccoli Crowns-2-3 servings per lb. Trim, peel the stem; slice it into 1/4 inch thick disks.  Split the florets through the stem so that each piece is 1-1/2 to 2 inches wide.  Roast until the floret tops begin to brown, 8 – 10 minutes. Stir and continue to roast until tender—3 to 6 minutes
  10. Green beans: 4 servings per lb. Trim stem ends. Roast until tender, a bit shriveled, and slightly browned, about 15 minutes. No need to flip.
  11. Butternut squash: 4 serving per pound. Peel and cut into 3/4 to 1 inch pieces.  Roast until browned on bottom-15 minutes. Flip and roast until tender-5 to 10 minutes
  12. Mushrooms: (cremini or small white) 3-4 servings per lb.  Brush clean and trim stems flush with cap. Roast stem side down until brown on bottom 20-25 minutes. Flip and roast until browned on top- 5 to 10 minutes more.
  13. Zucchinis Wash well, cut off ends. Cut lengthwise to create 4 halves and then crosswise in even 1/2 to 3/4 inch chunks. Roast open side down till brown, about 9 minutes. No need to flip.
  14. Roasting a medley: If you insist, because they do cook at different rates, this will be more time consuming and intensive caretaking, so try to roast veggies that have approximately the same cooking times; or cook them all individually and then put them together.
  15. Veggies I have left out because of print space limitations: Fennel (15 min. flip 10 min. more); Turnips (10-15 min., flip, 5 more min.); Rutabaga15 min. flip and 10-15 min. more.

NEXT WEEK—Six Yummy Splashes To Use With Your Roasted Veggies.


For easy access and printing of this and past recipes, visit Margot’s blog http://blog.tempinnkeeper.com  Call Margot for personal cooking help @ 721-3551.

Margot is a self-taught enthusiastic & passionate cook. Having been an inn-keeper for 5 years at her own inn, she accumulated a lot of good recipes which she loves to share.

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Six yummy splashes to use with your roasted veggies (main recipe found in last week’s Sun edition or on Margot’s Blog)


Master Recipe once again is:


1 lb. vegetables—well washed and peeled if necessary-cut per directions below

1- 3 Tblsp. olive oil

1/2 Tsp. or more to taste of kosher salt

Freshly ground pepper, to taste

Fresh lemon juice—a couple of squirts (optional and depends on whether you’ll be using one of next

weeks yummy splashes recipes)

The Six Splashes are:


  1. 1.        Rosemary-Lemon Oil


Zest of 1 large lemon, removed in long strips with a veggie peeler

2 to 3 Tbs. olive oil or more as needed

1 Tsp. chopped fresh rosemary

1 Tsp. chopped fresh thyme.


Combine in a small saucepan lemon zest and oil. Cook over medium-low until zest bubbles steadily for about 30 seconds. Remove from heat, let cool about 3 minutes and stir in the herbs.  Let sit for at least 20 minutes. Toss with the vegetables and S&P before roasting. With this splash you don’t need to use the master recipe. Discard lemon zest when veggies are put on baking sheet.  If necessary, add additional oil after veggies have roasted.

Pair with beets, butternut squash, carrots, cauliflower, fennel, mushrooms,zucchini, parsnips, potatoes and sweet potatoes.    



  1. 2.        Moroccan-Spice Rub


2 Tsp. ground cumin

1 Tsp. ground coriander

1/2 Tsp. chili powder

1/2  tsp. sweet paprika

1/2 Tsp. ground cinnamon

1/4 Tsp. ground allspice

1/4 Tsp. ground ginger

1/4 Tsp. cayenne

Pinch ground cloves

2 to 3 Tblsp. olive oil


Mix all of the spices in a small bowl.  Add S&P to taste.  Before adding the

olive oil from the master recipe to the veggies, toss 1 Tsp. of these spices with your veggies.

After veggies are done, douse them with this rub and if you wish, more olive oil as well.  .

Pair with butternut squash, carrots, cauliflower, parsnips, potatoes, sweet potatoes.

                     potatoes and turnips.   

  1. 3.        Sesame Salt (gomasio)


2 Tblsp. sesame seeds

1/2 Tsp. sea salt

1-3 Tblsp. olive oil


In a small dry skillet, toast the sesame seeds over medium heat, stirring continually until light

golden-brown, 3-5 minutes. Add the salt, cook stirring, for about 30 seconds.  Transfer to a

bowl and let cool thoroughly. Pulse the seeds in a clean spice grinder till coarsely ground

you should still see some whole seeds in the mixture. Roast your veggies using the master recipe.

Toss about 2 tsp. sesame salt with your batch of veggies after roasting . If you feel the veggies

are too dry, add some more olive oil. I have also not ground the seeds and just used them

roasted which seems to be very tasty as well. I really use this easy splash a lot.

                    Pairs with: asparagus, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, green beans, zucchini, parsnips, sweet

                    potatoes and turnips.



  1. 4.        Caramelized Shallot Butter


3 1/2 sweet butter, softened

1 large shallot, finely diced (1/3 cup)

1/2 Tsp. chopped fresh thyme

1/2 Tsp. finely grated lemon zest



Heat butter in small saucepan over medium-low heat until melted. Add shallot and cook,

stirring frequently, until deeply browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in

thyme.  Cool completely.

In a small bowl, combine the shallot mixture with the remaining 2 1/2 Tbsp. butter and

The lemon zest.  Stir to blend well. Season to taste with S&P.

Scrape the butter onto a small piece of saran wrap, mold into a log shape and wrap in the

plastic.  Refrigerate until ready to use. Roast your veggies using the master recipe. When done,

toss about 1/3 of the butter (generous tablespoons)  with  the veggies.

         Pairs with: asparagus, Brussels sprouts, butternut squash, carrots, fennel, green beans,

         mushroom, parsnips, potatoes, and sweet potatoes.


  1. 5.        Ginger-Lemon-Soy Splash


1-inch piece fresh ginger

1 Tsp. fresh lemon juice

1/2 Tsp. soy Sauce


                             Set a small strainer in a bowl. Peel and finely grate the ginger. Put the grated ginger in

the strainer and extract the juice by pressing it in the sieve with a small spoon.  Transfer

1/2 Tsp.  ginger juice to another small bowl. (Discard the rest or save for another use.)

Stir in the lemon   juice and soy sauce. Roast the veggies using the master recipe. After roasting them,

toss them with this splash.

 Pairs with: beets, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, and mushrooms


  1. 6.        Toasted Garlic and Coriander Oil 


           1 1/2 Tblsp. Olive Oil

1 Tblsp. finely chopped garlic (2 cloves)

2 Tsp. ground coriander

1 Tsp. fresh lemon juice



In a small saucepan, combine the oil and garlic.  Set over medium-low hear and cook until

the smaller pieces of garlic turn light golden-brown, about 3 minutes.  Stir in the coriander

and cook for about 20 seconds.  Immediately remove from the heat and transfer to a small

heatproof bowl to prevent overcooking.  Keep warm. Arrange your veggies that have been

roasted using the master recipe on a serving platter and spoon the toasted garlic oil over


         Pairs well with: asparagus, zucchini,  beets, broccoli, cauliflower, fennel, green beans,

         Mushrooms and turnips.



For easy access and printing of this and past recipes, visit Margot’s blog http://blog.tempinnkeeper.com  Call Margot for personal cooking help @ 721-3551.

Margot is a self-taught enthusiastic & passionate cook. Having been an inn-keeper for 5 years at her own inn, she accumulated a lot of good recipes which she loves to share.

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Skillet-Baked Eggs with Mushrooms and Spinach


This is especially for Steve Neal, a VSI guest from 2005,  who asked in a recent email:

“I do remember a spinach and egg breakfast you made on Sat. or Sun. morning but do not remember how you did it. I know you cooked the spinach some how and poached the eggs on top I believe it was delicious. I wish I remembered how you did it. ”

Thank you for remembering and asking Steve.  Memories are precious and you have made my day!!!  Here  is the recipe:

Skillet-Baked Eggs with Mushrooms and Spinach

 I so admire something that has had a long history of use and has pretty much stayed the way it always has been, but yet is still used in our modernized world. Cast iron vessels fit that bill. They have been used for cooking for hundred of year’s way before the modern stove was invented.  At that time, they were admired for their durability, their ability to retain heat, and for being a perfect cooking tool to hang over a live fire. In spite of being a bit heavy to handle, they are still wonderful in today’s world to use stove top for searing, frying or cooking stews and such; they also are fabulous to use for baking a dish started on the stove top and finished in the oven; or for baking cakes, cornbread and such. I most of the time serve my skillet dish straight out of it—with a pretty scarf or napkin tied around the handle.


16 oz. fresh baby spinach or 1 (12 oz.) bag thawed frozen leaf –barely cooked, drained, and pressed/squeezed well to let the entire excess liquid out.

1 onion chopped

1 clove of garlic, chopped fine

6 oz. mixed or same kind mushrooms thinly sliced

2 Tblsp. sweet butter

1/3 C. heavy cream

1/8th tsp. nutmeg


4 large eggs

2 Tblsp. grated Parmesan cheese


Preheat oven to 450

  1. In a large cast iron or oven safe skillet, heat the butter over medium heat.
  2. Add the onion and cook till translucent (3-5 minutes). Increase the heat to medium nigh and add the mushrooms.  Cook, stirring occasionally until softened and any liquid is released (about 4 minutes).
  3. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant (about 45 to 60 seconds).  Add the cream, nutmeg, and spinach. Season with S&P.
  4. Remove skillet from heat and using the back of a spoon, make 4 “nests” in the mixture.  Break an egg in each indentation. Season the eggs with S&P and sprinkle with cheese.
  5. Bake in preheated oven until the whites are set and the yolks are still runny (about 8 minutes.)
  6. Tie a pretty scarf around the handle and serve out of skillet at your dining room table.

As always, Bon Appetit!!~!!

Turkey Meatball Soup & Duxelles


Just in time for our recent storms and brrrr weather, here’s a two for one column this week.  Enjoy!!!! And as always, Bon Appetit

Turkey Meatball Soup

4 to 6 servings


2 Beaten Eggs

1 Cup Bread Crumbs

4 Tblsp. Grated Parmesan or Romano Cheese

2 Tblsp. Chopped Fresh Parsley

2 Tblsp. Chopped Onion

1 Minced Garlic

S & P to taste

1 Lb. Ground Turkey

2 Cups Garbanzo Beans (you can use a can; however, I usually make mine fresh.  They are so easy to make and so much better than the canned variety.  Follow the directions on the bean pkg.)

2 Cups of Good Beef Broth

1-14 ½ oz. Can of Italian-Style Stewed Tomatoes

1 ½ Cups of Water

3/4 Cup Sliced Fresh Mushrooms or Reconstituted Dried Mushrooms or Duxelles *

1 Tsp. Italian Seasoning

3/4  Cup Already Cooked Wild Rice Mix and/or Long Grain White Rice

4 Cups of a Combination of Chopped Kale, Cabbage, Parsley, Cilantro, Brussel Sprouts


In a medium mixing bowl, combine the first 7 ingredients and then add the ground turkey. Mix well and make small sized meatballs (1 inch circumference more or less). In a large skillet sprayed with non-stick spray, brown the meatballs over medium heat (about 8-10 minutes) turning them until evenly browned  (I turned them with two tablespoons) and done.  They will be a bit dark on the outside which is just fine.  Set them aside for the moment.

In a large pot, stir together the next 7 ingredients and then add the meatballs. Then place the pot over medium high heat till the mixture comes to a low boil.  Simmer covered for about 15 minutes.  For the last step, add the vegetables, bring to another boil, reduce to a simmer and cook till the vegetables are tender.

Serve in bowls with some shaved parmesan or Romano on top along with some crusty bread or nice bread sticks.

*More about Duxelles

Thanks to Mark Bittman for my discovery of this:

Here’s an additional wonderful thing to keep in your freezer and have on hand for whenever.  It’s great to put in soups, stews, omelets, etc.

3 Tbls. Butter or Olive Oil

¼ C. Minced Shallots, Scallions, or Onions

1 lb. Any Kind Mushrooms-(stems and all)

S & P to taste

¼ C. Fresh Parsley Leaves, Minced

Place the butter or olive oil in a large, deep skillet and turn heat to medium. Just as the foam begins to subside, stir in the shallots/scallions/onions. Cook, stirring occasionally until they soften—3-5 minutes

Stir in the mushrooms.  Cook, stirring until they have given up most of the liquid, about 10 minutes.  Turn the heat to low and continue to cook stirring until almost all the liquid has evaporated.  Season well, then stir in the parsley.

Use immediately or refrigerate (1 week) or freeze.

Margot is a self-taught enthusiastic & passionate cook. Having been an inn-keeper for 5 years at her own inn, she accumulated a lot of good recipes which she loves to share. For comments, questions, and ideas please feel free to email her:margot6@mindspring.com.

Guacamole Soup & Duxelles(mushrooms)


Guacamole Soup (Home and Gardens Soups and Stews)


1        ½  C. chicken broth

1 C half & half or light cream (I used 1 C. of European Style yogurt)

1 large avocado (I used 1 ½ smaller ones)

2 Tbls. Salsa

1 Tbls. Snipped fresh cilantro or parsley

1 Tbls. Lemmon juice

1/8 C. thinly sliced green onions


Several dashes bottled hot pepper sauce


Put in blender and process.  Refrigerate and serve cold.

Garnish with lime wedges, sour cream (or yogurt), sliced green onion and chopped tomatoes.




Duxelles  (musrooms)


Makes about 1 C.

Keep refrigerated for about 1 week or freeze


3 TBLSP.. Butter or olive oil (I used a combo of both)

¼ C. minced shallots, scallions, or onions (I did onions because I didn’t have the others)

about 1 pound minced mushroom—(preferably an assortment even some dried)


¼ C. minced fresh parsley (I used dried)


  1. Place butter/oil in large deep skillet and turn heat to medium.  As the foam begins to subside, stir in the shallots (whatever).  Cook, stirring occasionally, until they soften—3 to 5 min.
  2. Stir in the mushrooms.  Cook, stirring until they have given up most of their liquid, about 10 min.  Turn the heat to low and continue to cook, stirring, until almost all the liquid has evaporated.  Season well, and then stir in parsley.  Use immediately or refrigerate or freeze.