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Oh Crimini! Mushroom Meat Loaf

Crimini Mushroom Meat Loaf and Button Mushroom Meat Loaf

Crimini Mushroom Meat Loaf and Button Mushroom Meat Loaf

“Oh Crimini!”  Is it Crimini or Baby Portobello or Button or Portobello? Where have I been and maybe you too? News flash: white button mushrooms, when allowed to grow, become Crimini mushrooms, which if allowed to grow even further, become Portobello mushrooms. And what happens when you chop them up? They all look the same. So I made two meatloafs: one with the crimini mushroom and the other with the white button mushroom. Both of these recipes made with very lean beef and mushrooms replacing 1/2 the meat in the traditional format, are a much leaner version than the 1950’s man version.

The flavor is a bit more intense in the more aged mushroom, but depending on your taste buds, you may or may not tell the difference. My husband Dave, a meatloaf connoisseur,  insists the crimini mushroom meat loaf is more flavorful, in a good way, than the white button mushroom meat loaf. I can not tell much of a difference, but then, I am not a real mushroom fan. It’s one of the very few foods I don’t like. It all relates to getting sick once…….

Oh Crimini!… For Crimini’s Sake!… In memory of these expressions my Dad, Ray Sanders, and his sister Lois Zuro often used, I could not help but compare 🙂

For more on the origins of “for criminy’s sake”  or for Christ’s sake, see below:

Further info about the Agaricus bisporus strain of mushroom, see below:

1 pound crimini or white button mushrooms

1 Tablespoon olive oil

1 1/2 cups finely chopped onion

6 large cloves garlic, minced

2 Tablespoons sherry or Marsala wine

2 teaspoons fresh thyme

1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 pound 90% lean ground sirloin beef

1 jumbo or 2 large eggs

Oil or cooking spray for pan preparation

2 Tablespoons hot sauce or ketchup

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cover a baking sheet with foil and spray with oil lightly.
  • Place half of mushrooms in food processor to mince. Repeat with the remaining half. Do not process all at once.
  • Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add 1 Tablespoon oil and swirl to coat.
  • Saute onions until tender. Add garlic and sauté 1/2 minute, stirring constantly.
  • Add mushrooms and cook and stir several minutes until liquid evaporates and mushrooms slightly brown.
  • Add sherry and thyme and cook 1 minute, stirring. Remove from heat.
  • In a large bowl combine panko, salt, pepper, beef, egg and mushroom mixture. Combine thoroughly. I use my clean hands.
  • Shape the meat loaf into an oval on the prepared baking pan.
  • Bake for 20 minutes. Brush top with hot sauce or ketchup.
  • Bake another 10-15 minutes or until an instant read thermometer registers 160 degrees.
  • Slice into 1 inch slices. Serves 6-8.
  • Thank you Cooking Light Magazine for this inspiration.

Romano High Temperature Fish Fillets

Grated Romano over Swai Fillets

Grated Romano over Swai Fillets


Dave found these Swai fillets at Kroger and were they delish! He covered a baking sheet with foil and placed the fillets down and sprinkled them with finely grated Romano cheese. Locatelli is a reliable brand we use. After grinding black pepper over, he gave them a light spray of olive oil.

The secret is in the baking. High temperature for a short time. Preheat your oven to 500 degrees and bake for 5 minutes, depending on the thickness of your fillets. We prefer our fish on the moist side,  not overdone and dry. Serve pronto! Remember the fish continues to cook after it’s out of the oven!

Swai is a mild fish similiar to catfish. It is inexpensive and for more info go to

Lime Drizzled Shrimp

Thank you Mary Ann Anschutz for this recipe!

4 limes

12 raw and shelled or cooked and shelled jumbo shrimp

2 Tablespoons olive oil

2 garlic cloves, minced

Splash of sherry

Salt and Pepper

3 Tablespoons chopped flat leaf parsley

  • Grate the rind and squeeze the juice from 2 limes; reserve the other limes for later and cut into wedges.
  • In a large skillet heat the olive oil. Add the garlic and stir for 30 seconds. Add the shrimp and cook until they turn pink and begin to curl.
  • Mix in the lime rind, juice and sherry. Stir together.
  • Transfer to a serving dish and season lightly with salt (optional) and pepper.
  • Add parsley and reserved limes cut in wedges for squeezing over the shrimp at the table.

Nutrition Notes: shrimp contain 100 mg cholesterol/serving but because it is also low in fat and saturated fat it can be enjoyed on a low cholesterol diet.  When finishing with salt, use the flaked sea salt because you can visualize & limit it more easily.  You can also enjoy the flavors of the other minerals in the sea salt.

Creamy Chicken Salad

Boneless or bone-in chicken breasts? The flavor is much better when cooking with the bones, but it is a tiny bit more work to de-bone the chicken. Most important is to not overcook the breasts! My technique is to cover the chicken (with or without bones) with water. Add salt, a few black peppercorns, 1/2 an onion and a bay leaf. Bring to a boil and skim the scum off the surface. Cover and keep on a very low gas flame or turn off the electric element. Let the chicken set for 20 minutes. You may test the temperature with an instant read thermometer if you like. Remove from water at 155-160 degrees and place in a collander. The temperature will rise to 165 as it cools. Once it surpasses 165, it begins to dry out. Let the chicken cool in a collander 10 minutes. Then cover with ice and let cold water flow over. Turn the chicken for even cooling.

Use 2 lbs. chicken breast, bone-in, with the following dressing.

This low fat version is especially creamy because of the thick Greek style no-fat yogurt. My favorite is the Fage brand. Combine the following ingredients in a large bowl with a whisk.

1/2 cup light mayonnaise

1/2 cup Greek style non-fat yogurt

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

1 tablespoon honey

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

De-bone and shred the chicken into varying sized pieces and add to the dressing. Stir in

1 cup diced celery

Serve chilled. This adaption is from  Cooking Light Magazine.