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Kitchen Culture

... kitchen kung-fu for your fungi.

 Check this space often for tasty mushroom recipes, preparation suggestions, and advice on how to get the best from your shrooms.

Gnocchi with grilled scallops and chanterelles

- posted September 17, 2014


Whoa, did this summer ever fly! It shocks me sometimes to realize how quickly time can go by, but even more shocking was my realization that chanterelle season was almost over, and I HADN’T EATEN ANY! Well, let me tell you, that fact chilled me to my very bones. Fortunately, a local forager, who must have psychically tuned into my lack-of-chanterelle-blues, brought us a late season batch of these apricot colored beauties.

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Oh, happy day! Oh, joy! Trust me, a lot of excited jumping up and down occurred. It was time to focus and get myself and my mushrooms into the kitchen. Then, of course, came the torture of deciding WHAT TO MAKE.

Knowing this was likely the only time this season that I would get to encounter these magnificent creatures, I wanted to treat them specially. You know, show them how much I love them and all that. Well for me, nothing says love like fresh scallops and gnocchi. Add chanterelles, and we are talking happily ever after.


This dish can be as simple or as difficult to make as you want it to be. As I like to do things the hard way, and had help from a friend, we decided to make our gnocchi by hand. We used Martha Stewart’s recipe since she a goddess of, well, most everything domestic. You can find her recipe for potato gnocchi HERE. If you are feeling less insane/frisky than we were, you can buy pre-made gnocchi in the pasta aisle of most grocery stores.

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We wanted to really showcase the chanterelle flavor as the main component of the dish. Gnocchi is a perfect flavor carrier and we decided to keep the scallops super simple as well. Just a bit of salt and pepper, and onto the hot grill they went. I mean, grilled scallops? You really can’t go wrong there.

For our beautiful, gorgeous, wonderful smelling chanterelles, we roughly chopped them and sauteed them with olive oil, pepper, and a little crushed red pepper flakes. This preparation perfectly highlights the already slightly peppery, apricot-y flavor of these glorious mushrooms. Cook them till slightly crunchy and they taste like earthy heaven.

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To serve, simply place the grilled scallops on top of the cooked gnocchi then top liberally with those tasty, tasty chanterelles. Mmmm, chanterelles, we can’t wait to see you again next season (although don’t worry, in the meantime, you can use dried chanterelles).

Gnocchi with Grilled Scallops and Chanterelles:

Serves 4-5 people

  • 1 lb. cooked gnocchi (see link to homemade recipe above)
  • 2 lb. fresh scallops
  • ¼ lb. fresh chanterelles OR 2 oz. dried chanterelles (rehydrated)
  • 3 cloves garlic, diced
  • salt, pepper, and flaky red (crushed red pepper) to taste
  • 3 T. butter or olive oil

In a large pot, bring water to a boil. Add gnocchi and cook until gnocchi floats to the surface. About 2-3 minutes.

While gnocchi cooks, roughly chop chanterelles. Add butter or oil (or both if you want) to a saute pan and melt. Add chanterelles and cook until water is released and mushrooms are just beginning to crisp up a bit. About 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and flaky red.

As everything else cooks, lightly pat dry the scallops and season with a bit of salt and pepper. Place on a hot grill and cook about 2-3 minutes on each side.

To assemble, place cooked gnocchi in a serving dish. Place scallops on top of gnocchi and cover with cooked chanterelles. Enjoy.

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Creamy porcini lasagna

- posted February 6, 2014


Occasionally, there are a few things about winter that make me sad. For one, it’s cold. Then there’s the lack of sunlight and the shorter days. And finally, it can be tricky to find good, fresh mushrooms to cook with. Fortunately, in my times of winter sadness I just remember a recipe that solves all of my problems! Well, sort of.

Say hello to Creamy Porcini Lasagna! It’s warm and delicious, it’s made using readily available dried porcinis, which are simply delicious when rehydrated, and those mushrooms are chock full of vitamin D, usually derived from sunlight, which will help beat those winter blues any day! This recipe also utilizes freshly picked tomatoes from our local hydroponic farm and fresh kale grown in high tunnels for a taste of warmer days. See? Magic!


So first thing first, let’s rehydrate those mushrooms! This is done simply by bringing a small pot of water to boil and submerging your dried mushrooms. Then kill the heat, and just let those bad boys sit for about 20 minutes. Smells good, right? 


Now, you’re going to want to drain the liquid off your rehydrated porcinis, but WAIT! Don’t pour that down the sink. Little did you know, but you were making mushroom stock this whole time! Surprise! And it was super easy! Drain the liquid off your porcinis into a resealable container so that you can use your mushroom stock later in soups or other recipes.



Ok, time to make a cream sauce. Start by making a blonde roux from a big glob of butter and some flour cooking over low heat until flour just barely starts to brown. Slowly whisk in heavy cream until sauce becomes nice and smooth. Mmmmm...


Roughly chop your porcinis, whatever size chunks you like is fine, and mix into your cream sauce. Now we’re talking!


Let the sauce heat briefly until heated through. In the meantime, blend some ricotta, mozzarella, and smoked gouda in a large bowl. Set it aside and try not to eat it all before you need it for the lasagna. Roughly dice your kale and thinly slice the tomato.


Assembly time! Ok, so it goes sauce, noodles, cheese mix, kale. Then more sauce, noodles, cheese mix, kale, sauce. Then a final layer of noodles, cover those with the rest of the sauce, top with that sliced tomato, and then some parmesan. Oh man, this is making me hungry!


Cover that goodness up with some foil and bake at 375 for 35 minutes. Remove foil and bake for 15 more minutes or until cheese is golden and the lasagna is bubbly. Let it cool, then dig in.

So maybe this lasagna won’t really solve all of your wintertime problems, but it is delicious, and sometimes that’s all you need.

Creamy Porcini Lasagna:
Serves 4-­6 people
●  1 oz. dried porcini mushrooms
●  2 c. water
●  1 stick unsalted butter
●  1⁄4 c. all purpose flour
●  4 c. heavy cream
●  1 bunch kale, stems removed (approximately 2 c.)
●  1 large red tomato
●  1 16 oz. package ricotta cheese
●  16 oz. mozzarella, shredded
●  8 oz. smoked gouda, shredded
●  2 c. grated parmesan
●  1 box no-­boil lasagna noodles

Heat oven to 375.

Bring water to boil in a small saucepan. Submerge dried porcinis, remove from heat, and allow to soak for about 20 minutes. After soaking, drain liquid into a resealable container and reserve for use in other recipes. Roughly chop rehydrated mushrooms and set aside.

Roughly chop kale and set aside. Thinly slice tomato and set aside. Mix all cheeses except parmesan in a large bowl and set aside.

To make the sauce, melt butter in a large saucepan. Whisk in flour and cook over medium low, stirring frequently until flour is just cooked, about 10 minutes. Slowly whisk in cream until sauce is smooth. Add mushrooms and heat through.

Pour 1⁄2 cup of sauce into the bottom of a glass casserole pan. Top with enough noodles to cover the bottom of the pan, 1⁄2 of the cheese mix, 1⁄2 of the kale, and 1 cup of sauce. Top with more noodles, the other half of the cheese mix, the rest of the kale, and one more cup of sauce. Top with more noodles and the remaining sauce. Place tomato slices on top of the sauce then sprinkle with the parmesan cheese.

Cover with foil and bake for 35 minutes. Remove foil and allow lasagna to bake 15 more minutes until golden brown and bubbly. Cool briefly, consume, and kiss your winter blues goodbye. 


Oyster mushroom and arugula risotto

- posted September 16, 2013


Ok, people.  So, today we are going to talk about cooking something that is a little intimidating for a lot of folks.  For years, television chefs have been informing home cooks that this dish is “NOT SOMETHING YOU CAN DO ON YOUR OWN!  Give up now!  Come to our restaurants and spend loads of money for a plate of this!”  What am I talking about, you wonder?  I’m talking about RISOTTO!  Not only that, but mushroom risotto!  Have I lost you yet?   ... Click for More


Wild chanterelles and cream over pappardelle

- posted July 9, 2013


Oh, the chanterelle mushroom.  Is there a more beautiful wild mushroom in existence?  With their stunning apricot colored skin accompanied by the smell of the forest floor, they are truly divine creatures.  But enough waxing poetic, already.  Chanterelle season is HERE!  NOW!  And if you are a mushroom lover like me, this is very exciting news!  I was fortunate enough to get my hands on some of these freshly picked beauties the other day, and I could not wait to get cooking.   ... Click for More