Friday, September 23, 2011

Crimini Mushroom 'Meat'balls

Thank you to my wonderful East Coast pal Mark, who has once again inspired me to make a recipe.
As of today I've been fortunate to make two dishes upon his request - the first one is still very much a favorite of mine:
Creamy Corn Chowder (click to go to recipe)
As soon as I got Mark's tweet for a meatball recipe the following things almost instantly came to mind:
It had to be a mushroom base. 
Mushrooms are my favorite go-to "meaty" veggie, and when dried/warmed their texture and flavor can become quite different and very surprising. If you don't like mushrooms but are open to trying them in a new form then I highly recommend this recipe. 
I also knew that I wanted to include my Tomato Relish somewhere in the base:
...since I always seem to have a batch in the fridge these days. 
The final thought I had was in regards to a similar 'meaty' mushroom dish that was featured in last years Thanksgiving meal: Thanksgiving Mushroom Loaf.
Revisiting that Thanksgiving Mushroom Loaf recipe helped me so much with creating the one I'm about to share. But don't be mistaken, the flavors of these mushroom dishes are uniquely different. 
What happened today in my kitchen is something I've written about before:
Toe-tapping, Happy Dancing, Celebration-worthy Food! 
That's how much I'm in love with this Crimini 'Meat'ball recipe...
Important Note about This Recipe
While I've chosen to use my food processor in the preparation of this dish you don't necessarily need one to make these 'meat'balls. Just keep in mind that you'll be chopping/mincing a lot of the ingredients by hand. So turn on some catchy tunes, your favorite podcast, or even recruit a helping hand. 
Feel free to comment with any questions regarding technique for making this recipe without a food processor and I'll reply as soon as I can. 
I want ya to make this, okay?
Crimini Mushroom 'Meat'balls
Makes enough for at least 4 servings
Step 1.
Dry Ingredients:
Separately grind up the following into a meal:
1/2 c Almonds
1/2 c Walnuts
Transfer your ground Almonds and Walnuts into a mixing bowl and set aside.
Step 2.
Wet Ingredients
12 Crimini Mushrooms - cut into quarters
Equalling roughly = 2 and 1/2 cups 
Place your Mushrooms into your food processor and pulse/chop 
Add to your food processor, along with your Mushrooms:
1/4 c minced Scallion (green onion)
1 heaping tsp Onion Powder
1 heaping tsp dried Parsley
1 heaping tsp dried Sweet Basil
3/4 tsp dried Thyme
1/4 to 1/2 tsp minced Garlic
1/4 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Black Pepper
Proceed to pulse/chop all of the ingredients together (I counted 25 pulses), until it looks like this:
It's very important that you don't over pulse your Mushroom mixture - you don't want to end up with a paste!
Remember the ground nuts from earlier?
Add your wet ingredients (from the food processor) to you bowl of dry ground nuts:
Mix together with a fork, or your hands...
add 3 Tbsp Tomato Relish and mix together
now that you've made your 'Meat'ball mixture, cover it and place it in the fridge for 1 hour. This is an important step, allowing the flavors of the mushroom and herbs to marinate together. The mixture will also thicken slightly.
Final Step
Assembling and Warming your Crimini 'Meat'balls
Divide your 'meat'ball mixture into Quarters:
Each quarter should produce 8 'Meat'balls = 32 total
(I can do basic math! Wee!)
Once you've shaped all of your 'meat'balls proceed with one of the following warming/drying methods:
Conventional Oven: Set your Oven at it's very lowest heat. Place your 'meat'balls onto a parchment lined baking sheet, place the baking sheet into the oven, leaving the oven door cracked open proceed to warm them for 30 minutes. After the first 30 minute mark, turn the 'meat'balls over and proceed to warm them for another 30 minutes.
Dehydrator Method: Follow the same directions/warming time frame noted above. It's that simple!
Finished product...
So good!
If you want a drier and more firm 'meat'ball then warm them 30 minutes longer (maybe even more), checking them periodically to make sure they're not drying too much.
You won't believe how tasty these little buggers are! 

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend - and a very very Happy Autumn!

Sarahfae - AtV


  1. They look awesome! I love mushrooms, and easy ways to eat them :)

  2. both posts today totally genius. we are going to make some of that relish for sure and the next time i buy some criminis i'll try the meatballs. we are foraging now since the autumn is the easiest time for us to find wild mushrooms :)

  3. Gosh - Thanks you guys!
    Rick, your feedback is always great!

  4. Oh yummy super yummy!! Brava!


  5. you. are. AMAZING! just saying ;)

  6. Thanks for this! I want to try this recipe leaving out some of the nuts, adding a bit of oil, and using agar as a binder (it can work as an egg substitute.) Maybe even a little pureed date would be a tasty addition that can help hold it together.

    1. This is awesome! I'm so glad the recipe worked for ya!

  7. This recipe is fabulous. Thanks for sharing!