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Turn up the heat

As temperatures drop outside you can turn up the heat in the kitchen with some delicious meals that hero mushrooms and our star ingredient of the month, chili!

Chilli Mushroom Pizza

Serves 4

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You will need:

4 very large brown mushrooms, (deep enough to hold the  filling) wiped clean, 150g Fior Di Latte mozzarella

For the homemade tomato Sauce you need a generous glug of olive oil, 2 crushed cloves of garlic, 1 fresh chilli, chopped (increase quantity to taste if needed), 410g tin chopped tomatoes, 1 – 2 tsp sugar, salt and freshly ground black pepper for seasoning

Topping suggestions: Baby tomatoes, pineapple chunks, pitted olives, capers, sliced jalapenos, fresh basil leaves (as garnish)


Fry the garlic and chilli in the olive oil until soft. Add the tomatoes and sugar and then season with salt and pepper and simmer uncovered for about  15 minutes, stirring often, until the tomato sauce has reduced and thickened. Preheat the oven to 220 degrees C and then place the mushrooms cap side down on a lightly greased baking sheet. Spoon the tomato sauce inside the mushrooms caps and spread the sauce to cover the cap. Tear the mozzarella into small pieces and dot the tomato sauce with 2 thirds of the cheese   Top the mushrooms with your preferred topping ingredients and dot with the remaining cheese. Place in the oven and cook for about 15 minutes until the mushrooms are cooked through and the cheese melted. Set the oven to grill and grill the mushrooms for a few extra minutes until the cheese bubbles to a golden brown. Serve it hot!


Garlic & ginger Portobello “steaks” with Kimchi Mayonnaise

Serves 2-4

You will need:

2 tbsp brown sugar, 3tbsp soy sauce, 1tbsp mirin, sake or rice wine, 3 cloves garlic, crushed, 3 tbsp spring onion – white part only, finely chopped, 1tbsp ginger, freshly minced or good store-bought prepared, 2 tsp toasted sesame oil, 4 fresh Portobello (big brown) mushrooms, cleaned, 1 cup good-quality mayonnaise, 1-2 tbsp best-quality kimchi, chopped (see below)


In a large ziplock bag, combine the sugar, soy, mirin, garlic, spring onion, ginger and sesame oil. Shake to combine, add the mushrooms and allow to marinate for 30 minutes.  Meanwhile, mix the mayonnaise and kimchi and refrigerate.  Grill the mushrooms on a medium-hot braai, turning once, about 10 minutes. Serve each “steak” with a dollop of kimchi mayonnaise on top.

What is kimchi?

Kimchi* is a delicious Korean spicy vegetable pickle – most often made from cabbage. It has a unique, bright, fresh flavour and tingling spiciness that will makes these mushroom steaks absolutely zing! Find it in the fridges at good supermarkets, delis and health food shops, or make your own.

* Not your thing? Replace with any chilli sauce you like.


Mushroom Chilli

Serves 2

You will need:

30ml olive oil,  1 large onion, chopped, 2 cloves of garlic, crushed, 1 green pepper, roughly chopped, 250g  portabella mushroom, roughly chopped, 10ml curry powder, 5ml chili powder, 5ml paprika, 400g can chopped tomatoes or 2  diced tomatoes, I small can tomato paste, 400g can of red kidney beans, drained and rinsed, a pinch of sugar  & salt and pepper  to taste


Heat oil and fry the onion for 3 minutes until soft.  Add the garlic, green pepper and mushrooms and fry for a further 3 minutes until the mushrooms are tinged brown. Add the spices and cook, stirring for 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes, paste, beans and sugar, and then bring to the boil. Season to taste.  Turn down the heat and simmer gently for 20 minutes or until the sauce has thickened and reduced,. Serve as main course with fresh bread or as a side.

 Spicy mushrooms and chicken livers

Serves: 4

You will need:

20ml olive oil, ½ onion, finely chopped, 10ml chilli flakes, 2ml chilli powder, two tubs, fresh chicken livers, two punnets, button mushrooms, quartered and browned on all sides, 1 tin, pureed tomato, salt and pepper, 50ml brandy (optional), 50ml fresh cream, Salad greens.


Heat the olive oil in a saucepan. Add the onion and sauté. Add the chilli flakes and chilli powder, sauté until aromatic. Add the chicken livers and brown on all sides, add the browned mushrooms. Add the tomato and season with salt and pepper. Allow to simmer until the liver is cooked through and the mushrooms are tender.  Add the brandy (optional) and allow to boil off the alcohol. Remove from the heat and add the cream. Serve with salad greens.

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