Each year in early September Kennett Square, Pennsylvania (Mushroom capital of the World!) hosts a weekend long Mushroom Festival!
They also host the Amateur Mushroom Cook Off which used to feature mushroom soups and now showcases mushroom appetizers. I competed in the cook off for the past four years, so I was thrilled when I was asked to be a judge this year! I will admit that It felt kind of weird to be on the other side of the table this year. But, it was certainly fun to be able to taste all the delicious entries!
Along with judging I was invited to do a cooking demonstration! This Macaroni and Cheese with Mushrooms, Bacon and Shallots was the recipe I demonstrated. I first developed this recipe when I was on Food Network’s America’s Best Cook. It’s a more grown-up macaroni and cheese with fontina and gruyere cheese that is layered with caramelized crimini mushrooms, shallots and crispy bacon, then it’s topped with toasted lemon and parsley scented bread crumbs. YUM!!!
My other Macaroni & Cheese Recipes:
Amateur Mushroom Cook Off:
Congrats to all the finalists! You all did a great job!
(The winning recipes will soon be posted on the Mushroom Festival website)
Jane Henry (Avondale, PA) – Baby Bella Shrimp Bangers
Katie Hagerty (Garnet Valley, PA) – Mushroom Medley Flatbread
Danielle Sanderson (Philadelphia, PA) – Cremini & Caramelized Onion Tartlets – Second Place
Devon Delaney (Westport, CT) – Saigon Summer Salad Rolls
Nancy MacKenzie (Newtown Sq., PA) – Baby Bello ‘Shroom Taco Bites – Third Place
Kathleen Harman (Abbottsown, PA) – Mushroom Taquitos – First Place
Along with the judging, I was asked to do a mushroom cooking demonstration and talk a little bit about my cooking contest experiences. I decided to use my favorite mushroom flavor combination, caramelized crimini mushrooms, bacon and shallots, in three different dishes: Macaroni & Cheese, Nachos and Empanadas. There was a really great crowd despite the high heat and humidity! …maybe the smell of mushrooms cooking in bacon fat lured them in ( :
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