Mushrooms have been a popular food around the world for centuries. They have also been used for medicinal purposes for centuries as well. It is estimated there are between 300-2000 different types of mushrooms, but in the United States, there are only about 10 types that are grown commercially. Mushrooms for culinary purposes were first introduced to the United States in the 19th century, from France, where they had been cultivated since the 1600’s. Today, the United States is second only to China in mushroom production.
There are many health benefits associated with eating mushrooms. Not only are they used medicinally, but they also contain a lot of protein and fiber, and are loaded with minerals such as copper, potassium and selenium, which helps prevent cell and tissue damage as well as helps to support the immune system. Mushrooms also contain vitamins such as vitamins B and D and are high in anti-oxidants.
I have always been a big fan of mushrooms, long before I found out how healthy they are for us. I can and will eat them no matter how they are cooked. I could easily put mushrooms in everything, or just eat them all on their own. I cook with a lot of mushrooms.
The last time I made empanadas Pork and Pumpkin Empanadas, I froze some. I took those out of the freezer for dinner last night. I was looking for some quick and easy side dishes that would go well with the empanadas, and decided on some chipotle mushrooms and red rice or arroz rojo. I also had some leftover roasted pepper sauce that I used to top the empanadas, which was a very nice accompaniment.
2 chipotle peppers with sauce, chopped fine
1/4 cup butter
1/2 yellow onion, chopped fine.
1 TBSP garlic
1 lb mushrooms, stems removed, but kept whole
1/2 cup grape tomatoes, quartered
1-2 tsp fresh oregano, chopped fine
Saute the onions, peppers and garlic together in the butter for about 5-7 minutes, or until the onions are translucent. Then add the mushrooms, bottoms down and stir into the mixture.
Cook for about 5 minutes, then turn the mushrooms face down and continue to cook for about another 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook for just a couple minutes more. Add the oregano and mix into the sauce right before serving.
The mushrooms went very nicely with the red rice or the arroz rojo. It was a perfect early fall meal. Delicioso!