Tag Archives: mushrooms

Savory Onion, Mushroom, Sausage, and Cheese Strata

I love bread. People that don’t eat bread? Sheww… I feel bad for them. French bread? Yes please. Italian bread? Sure thing. Baguettes topped with anything? Absolutely. Sliced sourdough packed with cheese and toasted on a griddle? MY FAVORITE. So when I go to the store and the bakery has discounted bread on the day-old rack, I stock up. Last week I made a bread pudding out of French bread and today I’m making a strata for dinner out of a stale baguette.

Today’s dinner uses the long, skinny, unassuming baguette. Crusty on the outside, chewy on the inside. Perfect for sucking up milk and eggs. Here you go.

Wipe the drool from your chin and read on, my friend.

Wipe the drool from your chin and read on, my friend.

Savory Onion, Mushroom, Sausage, and Cheese Strata

Ingredients:

  • one large Vidalia or sweet onion, chopped
  • 16 ounce container sliced mushrooms (white mushrooms are okay, baby bellas are better)
  • 1 tsp basil (dried)
  • 1 tsp oregano (dried)
  • 1 pound fresh mild flavored sausage (breakfast sausage or mild italian sausage)
  • 1 baguette cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 16 ounce container whole milk or heavy cream
  • 6 eggs, whisked in large bowl
  • sprinkle of nutmeg
  • salt and pepper
  • 7-8 ounces gruyere cheese, shredded
  • 7-8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

Directions:

Place 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil in large skillet and add chopped onions.

My one large sweet onion made 4 cups of chopped onion

My one large sweet onion made 4 cups of chopped onion

Sprinkle a pinch of salt over onions. Cook on medium heat 10 minutes.

sauteed onions

sauteed onions

Add sliced mushrooms. Sprinkle a pinch of salt over mushrooms. Cook 10 more minutes.

Add mushrooms to sauteed onions

Add mushrooms to sauteed onions

Add some cracked black pepper. Place a tsp oregano in palm of your hand and crush to release oils while adding to onions and mushrooms. Place a tsp basil in palm of your hand and crush to release oils while adding to mixture.

top with basil and oregano

top with basil and oregano

Stir mixture and allow to cook 20 minutes until softened and a bit caramelized.

stir to combine herbs and onions and mushrooms

stir to combine herbs and onions and mushrooms

While that’s cooking, whisk the 6 eggs and milk/cream in large bowl.

Whisk eggs and add whole milk or heavy cream.

Whisk eggs and add whole milk or heavy cream.

Add sprinkle of nutmeg.

Add nutmeg. If it's dried powder or fresh makes no difference. Just add some.

Add nutmeg. If it’s dried powder or fresh makes no difference. Just add some.

Whisk to combine.

Now remove the mushrooms and onions to a medium sized bowl and place the sausage in the pan and cook until brown and crumbled.

Remove the mushrooms and onions and place sausage in the pan and brown.

Remove the mushrooms and onions and place sausage in the pan and brown.

Now combine the sausage, mushrooms and onions back in the pan and toss to create a delicious pan of yumminess.

Combine mushrooms and onions with the sausage and allow to cook for five minutes more. TASTE IT! Adjust it with salt and pepper if necessary. Keep in mind the cheese will add a ton of flavor.

Combine mushrooms and onions with the sausage and allow to cook for five minutes more.

TASTE IT. Add salt and pepper if necessary. Allow to cook together for 5 minutes and then remove from heat and allow to cool for a bit.

Cut the baguette into bite-sized pieces.

My baguette made about 6 cups

My baguette made about 6 cups

And place the baguette in the milk/cream/egg mixture and toss to coat.

While bread is soaking, prepare your pan and finish cooking sausage mixture

While bread is soaking, prepare your pan and shred the cheese

Allow to soak while you prepare the pan and shred the cheese.

Spray a large casserole dish or cake pan with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.

Shred your blocks of cheese.

Good cheese. That is all.

Good cheese. That is all.

I chose cheddar because it’s tasty. I added Gruyere to it because I like the melt-ability. I lucked out at the store because I found this one: APPLEWOOD SMOKED GRUYERE. Perfect with sausage.

Assembly:

Place some of the bread in the bottom of the pan.

Layer 1 - soaked bread

Layer 1 – soaked bread

Top with half of the sausage/onion/mushroom mixture.

Layer 2 - Sausage mixture. Layer 3 - Cheeses

Layer 2 – Sausage mixture. Layer 3 – Cheeses

Top with half of the cheese.

Layer the rest of the bread on top of that. And don’t waste that milk and egg that’s left in the bowl.

Layer the rest of the bread and milk/egg mixture

Layer the rest of the bread and milk/egg mixture

Place the rest of the sausage/onion/mushroom mixture on top of the bread.

Finish the whole thing with the remainder of the cheese.

Top with the rest of the sausage/onion/mushroom mixture and the rest of the cheese.

Top with the rest of the sausage/onion/mushroom mixture and the rest of the cheese.

Rip off a piece of foil and spray it with non-stick spray.

Prepare the foil with non-stick spray

Prepare the foil with non-stick spray

Place it over the strata and push down on the contents. Your goal here is to allow that custard mixture to soak into the bread cubes and the flavors to all marry together. Yum. Place in the fridge for 4 hours or overnight. I made mine midday and will eat it this evening for dinner.

When you are ready to make it, remove it from the fridge and preheat the oven to 350F. Allow to bake (foil on) for 45 minutes. Remove foil carefully

Remember when I had you spray the foil with non-stick spray? Yeah. That's why. None of the cheese gets pulled off the top of the strata. I'm pretty smart.

Remember when I had you spray the foil with non-stick spray? Yeah. That’s why. None of the cheese gets pulled off the top of the strata. I’m pretty smart.

and bake for 15 more minutes until bubbly and crusty. Allow 15 minutes or more to rest before serving.

Um what? I'm so distracted right now I forget what we're talking about.

Um what? I’m so distracted right now I forget what we’re talking about.

We had creamed corn in the freezer from last summer so that’s what we had with this hearty meal. It was nice to have something sweet and simple paired with this since it’s so rich. A nice glass of Pinot Grigio would be nice with this, too.

Enjoy!

French Onion & Sauteed Mushroom Lasagna – Vegetarian

 

vegetarian lasagna

vegetarian lasagna

I love lasagna. I love the tart tomato flavor. I love the creamy ricotta. I love the stretchy Mozzarella and the chunks of ground beef. But every once in awhile I like to make a different version of lasagna. This one was one I dreamed up because I had onions and mushrooms to use. It’s completely vegetarian as I have it written. AND, meat lasagna is very expensive to make. If you find onions and mushrooms on sale or on the ‘must sell produce rack’ even better!!

 

French Onion & Sautéed Mushroom Lasagna

(Vegetarian)

Ingredients and Directions:

ONIONS

1 T oil

1 T butter

2 large Vidalia Onions sliced

s&p

½ C Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc (or veggie stock, or water)

1 T chopped garlic

 

In a large nonstick pan place oil and butter. Once melted, add the sliced onions. S&P

Sautee until soft. Place lid over onions to help soften. Stir occasionally. Turn off heat (if you have a gas stove) and add ½ C wine/stock/water. And garlic. Place lid over onions and turn on the heat again to medium low. Cook until as soft as you like. Remove from pan into bowl.

 

MUSHROOMS

1 T oil

5-6 cups sliced button mushrooms (can use any mushroom you like, button is cheapest, portobello has the most flavor and can be found on sale often.)

s&p

½ C Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc (or veggie stock, or water)

 

Add oil to same nonstick pan. Place mushrooms, S&P and sautée until browned. Turn off heat, add wine/stock/water, place back over heat and put lid on. Steam/sauté mushrooms until soft as you like. Add onions to the mushrooms and stir to combine over low heat.

 

At this point preheat oven to 350º F

 

FILLING

15 oz ricotta

2 C shredded Mozzarella

1 tsp salt

1 tsp oregano

1 tsp basil

½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes (use more if you like spicy bits throughout)

2 eggs

 

In a mixing bowl place all these ingredients and stir to combine.

 

WHITE SAUCE

1 ½ C milk (skim is fine)

1/8 tsp fresh grated nutmeg (not required but adds a little something.)

3 T butter

3 T flour

 

Remove onions and mushrooms to bowl. In same pan place butter, melt it. Add flour. Stir to combine and cook for 2-3 minutes. (be careful to scrape bits of onions and mushrooms from the sides/bottom of the pan — = flavor!!!) Once it’s sizzling and tan in color, slowly whisk in milk. You can add grated nutmeg to milk, as I have, or wait and add it to the sauce in the pan. Cook until slightly thickened. It will continue to thicken so be sure to turn off your heat when it is slightly thick. If your pan is too large you may need to pour this mixture into a small saucepan in order to whisk smoothly. I did.

 

ASSEMBLY

one box no cook lasagna noodles

Parmesan

½ cup Mozzarella

9×13 casserole dish

Cooking spray

Foil

 

Prepare baking dish with nonstick spray. Place some of the white sauce in the bottom. Top with lasagna noodles. Spread ricotta cheese filling over noodles. Place onions/mushrooms over cheese. Top with a heavy drizzle of white sauce. (If your white sauce has thickened during assembly, use some of the juice in your bowl of mushroom and onions to loosen it up.) Top with noodles, cheese, mushrooms/onions, white sauce and continue until you use all your ingredients. (I had 2 noodles left in the box that didn’t get used in my casserole pan. Your dish may be big enough to use all of them.) At the final layer, make sure you have some sauce on top of the noodles and place parmesan and mozzarella on top and cover with foil. If you don’t cover the last layer of noodles with sauce they will dry out and be unappetizing.

 

Bake for one hour, remove foil, bake until golden and bubbly (approx. 15 mins). Wait 10-15 minutes before cutting and serving.

 

if you have enough to make two trays you can freeze one. It freezes well. Or take leftover portions and freeze those for quick lunches.

If you have enough to double the recipe and make two trays you can freeze one. It freezes well. Or take leftover portions and freeze those for quick lunches.

 

ENJOY!

Green beans with Mushrooms

Green Beans with mushrooms as perfect side dish

Green Beans with mushrooms as perfect side dish

This evening I’m serving balsamic and grainy mustard marinated pork loin and toasted baguette… which is a recipe from a sweet friend of mine. It will blow you away (in another post). Anyway, I had to go to the store for butter because I’m down to a single stick of sweet cream butter – no salt added. And it’s giving me the shakes knowing I’m down to my last couple tablespoons.  So I ran to the store and while I was there I saw an overflowing tower of veggies and fruits on the “not the best” rack. I checked closely and found a bag of green beans. Fresh green beans. Yes. My side dish!  The green beans were $. 47. FORTY SEVEN CENTS! And it was a huge bag too. So I brought them home along with my butter and snipped them and made this.

Green beans with mushrooms

4 cups snipped cleaned green beans (by the way, ‘snipping’ consists of pulling the stem end off the green bean. It sort of just snaps off if you bend it. The other end – the curly little tail – that can stay on.)

1 package sliced Portobello mushrooms

1 clove of garlic minced*

2 Tablespoons finely chopped sweet onions or shallot*

1/2 teaspoon salt

(*I put the 3 cloves of garlic and a half of a large sweet vidalia onion in the food processor because I’m using lots of garlic and onion for the baguette too. If you are NOT using onion and garlic for anything else, just follow the ingredient list above)

1/8 cup apple cider vinegar

2 cups water

splash of worcestershire sauce

1/4 cup white wine if desired (I’m always drinking it, so why not?)

To start, place 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil in sauce pan. Put a tablespoon of onion/garlic mixture in pan to sautee and sizzle for a minute. Put in 1/2 teaspoon salt. Once fragrant throw in all the green beans. Toss to coat. Pour in white wine and apple cider vinegar and let steam for one-two minutes. Then pour on the 2 cups of water and put a lid on it for twenty – thirty minutes and cook until crisp and tender.

Meanwhile, place small pat of butter and splash of extra virgin olive oil in a skillet and heat until melted. Add another tablespoon of onion/garlic mixture and let sautee for a minute. Add mushrooms and toss to coat. Add salt and pepper to taste. Once caramelized a bit, add splash of wine to the mushrooms. (Just pour a splash out of the glass in your hand.)  Then add splash of worcestershire sauce and stir.

Take green beans from sauce pot with tongs making sure to shake off as much water as possible and place in pan with mushrooms and onions. Let sautee for a minute or two and then add 1/8 cup apple cider vinegar again to this pan. Add a tablespoon of butter and toss to coat. Serve warm! Yum.