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Wild Game Cooking

Mushroom Tortellini Recipe – How to Make Mushroom Tortellini

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Mushroom tortellini, little packets of love, are one of the finest expressions of care and calm that I know of. Pureed mushrooms in little packets of pasta, served with more mushrooms, peas, some green onions — and lots of butter. 

Photo by Holly A. Heyser

If your mind is in the wrong place, making tortellini at home can be tedious, infuriating. Maddening. If you are an impatient person, if you like to text while driving, multi-task from dawn to dusk, “bang things out,” don’t make this pasta.

Making mushroom tortellini requires a sense of peace, zen or mental calmness that doesn’t necessarily require a quiet room, but it helps. It’s a great weekend project, or for a special date night.

Folding the dough requires precise, repetitive movement with delicate, small pieces of pasta dough. If you’ve never made tortellini before, start with their larger cousins, tortelli. They are typically twice the size of the tortellini you see in the picture above. Easier for beginners.

Real tortellini are tiny. I am not a big man, but I am normal-sized, which makes me almost too big to make this little pasta. I will often fold them over my pinkie. The larger tortelli you can fold over your forefinger.

Hank Shaw folding a mushroom tortellino
Photo by Holly A. Heyser

Nevertheless, mushroom tortellini are a treat well worth the effort. Plus, I know a trick to save a full hour’s worth of time when making the dough; see the recipe card for that.

And when you’re done, you can freeze your finished tortellini and they’ll keep for a couple months, so later you can eat them at a moment’s notice.

Tortellini dough is simple, just water and flour and eggs — and if you want a quick hack for first timers, you can use little wonton wrappers. You’ll find them typically in the produce section of the supermarket; they’re always sold refrigerated or frozen.

The real magic of tortellini is in the filling.

lots of mushroom tortellini
Photo by Holly A. Heyser

Mushroom tortellini exist in Italy, using any number of mushrooms, usually wild. That’s what I do here. I use morels when in season (thus the picture), but really almost any edible mushroom works here, from store-bought shiitakes to porcini, chanterelles, oysters, you name it.

You’re going to cook and almost puree the mushrooms anyway, so flavor is key here. That’s why I suggest shiitakes over regular button mushrooms — they have more flavor.

This rendition of mushroom tortellini is pretty straightforward. I did make my own ricotta cheese, using this recipe, but only because I felt like it. Store-bought, whole milk ricotta is perfectly fine.

When you serve your mushroom tortellini, go simple.

A lot of times I’ll just do broth, or fresh herbs and butter, or olive oil and black pepper, maybe a splash of lemon juice. In this case, I used a bunch of springtime ingredients, cooked very simply and tossed with the pasta. And yeah, I had to add some fresh mushrooms into the mix. Can you blame me?

If you wanted to go all out, try serving mushroom tortellini sauced with a mushroom ragu.

If you liked this recipe, please leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating and a comment below; I’d love to hear how everything went. If you’re on Instagram, share a picture and tag me at huntgathercook.

  • Submerge the dried mushrooms in 2 cups of warm water and set aside.

  • To make the pasta dough, lightly beat the eggs and water together. Put the flour in a large bowl and make a well in the center. Add the beaten eggs and, using one finger, incorporate the flour and the eggs. When you have a shaggy mass, start kneading the dough, either in the bowl or on a clean work surface. Knead for 5 to 8 minutes. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and set aside for at least an hour, or in the fridge up to overnight. TIP: If you have a vacuum sealer, seal the dough in a bag. It will instantly hydrate the dough and you need not wait the hour.

  • To make the filling, gently lift the mushrooms out of the soaking water and squeeze them dry. Chop finely. Set them in a large sauté pan and turn the heat to high. When the mushrooms start sizzling, add the butter. Toss to combine and sauté until they begin to brown. Add the garlic, caraway seeds, salt, pepper and thyme. Cook another minute. Turn off the heat and let everything cool.

  • While you are waiting, strain the mushroom soaking water through a paper towel and then boil it down until it’s about 1/2 cup. Save it for later.

  • When the mushroom mixture has cooled to room temperature, put it into a food processor or blender with the ricotta and buzz it to combine. You want the filling to be pretty smooth because you will be using it by the half-teaspoon — large chunks will tear the pasta. Put the filling into a plastic freezer bag and shove it to one corner. Snip off the corner of the bag so you can squeeze out a little filling at a time — if you have a piping bag, use that.

  • Cut your pasta dough into 6 equal pieces. Keep all of them covered in the plastic wrap until you need them. Roll out one piece very thin — I use the second-to-thinnest setting on my Atlas pasta maker. Lay the pasta sheet on a clean work surface (I use a maple board) and use something to cut out squares or circles. I use a round pastry cutter about 1 1/2 inches to 2 inches wide. You want your tortellini to be small, so use something no larger than 2 inches across.

  • Squeeze a little filling into the center of the circle or square. How much? You’ll get the hang of it soon enough, but remember that you will need about 1/4 inch all the way around the filling for the tortellino to seal correctly. It’s better to have too little filling than too much.

  • Fold the pasta over itself to make a tiny half moon. Seal the edges. You might need to dip your finger into a little water to do this if your pasta has dried out too much. (You can stop here if you want, and while they will not be tortellini, they will still be tasty.) Now fold the half moon over on itself and seal the ends of the half moon. You now have a tortellino. Repeat with the remaining dough. It takes time, but you get into a zen state soon enough. Set each finished tortellino on a baking sheet that’s been dusted with semolina flour or cornmeal. Don’t pile them up on each other, or they will stick and become a glob.

  • When your tortellini are done, you will need to cook them that day or freeze them. Filled pasta does not do well in the fridge for more than a day. They can sit out a couple hours while you make them, though.

  • To finish the dish, boil some water and then salt it well. Take a sauté pan and set it over high heat. Add the fresh mushrooms and white parts of the onion and let them sear until the miushrooms give up their water. Add 3 tablespoons of butter and sauté until the mushrooms and onions begin to brown. Salt them while they are cooking. Add the peas and the mushroom soaking water and bring to a boil. Turn off the heat and stir in the green parts of the wild onions. Grind some black pepper over everything.

  • Boil the tortellini for 2 to 3 minutes, or 30 seconds after they float to the surface. Add the to the sauté pan, toss to combine and serve at once.

You can use any fresh mushroom you like here, not just morels. 
If you’re new to making pasta dough, start with premade wonton wrappers, which are sold refrigerated in many supermarkets. 

Keys to Success

  • If you want to break up the labor, you can make the filling up to a day ahead of time and keep it in the fridge. You can store the dough a day in the fridge, too. Let it come to room temperature for an hour or so before working with it if you do. 
  • While I do love the accompaniments to these tortellini, you can also serve them with an alfredo or other cream sauce, a thin, meatless tomato sauce like marinara, or simply with butter, black pepper and sage. 
  • If you want to freeze your tortellini, do so on a baking sheet. When they are fully frozen, transfer to a freezer bag. Once made, they will keep, frozen, for about 2 months before deteriorating; they get brittle.

Calories: 396kcal | Carbohydrates: 47g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 100mg | Sodium: 45mg | Potassium: 356mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 903IU | Vitamin C: 12mg | Calcium: 80mg | Iron: 4mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Source link: by Hank Shaw at

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Wild Game Cooking

Sopa de Lima Recipe – Authentic Sopa de Lima Soup

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After I got my first-ever chachalacas in Texas, I went looking for a recipe that would highlight these amazing chicken-like birds: Classic sopa de lima from the Yucatan fit the bill.

Sopa de lima is essentially a hybrid between chicken soup and tortilla soup, spiked with the zest and juice of limas, which are themselves a hybrid of a citron and a lime. Yes, real deal sopa de lima is not a lime soup, but limes are a good substitute.

A bowl of sopa de lima
Photo by Holly A. Heyser

It can be very hard to find real limas. My advice is to use the smaller key limes if you can, and if not, a mix of Meyer lemons and regular limes is another good choice. Failing that, just use a regular lime.

You will almost always see sopa de lima as a chicken soup, but I happened to have a rare alternative: chachalaca. Wha? You heard me, chachalaca. It’s a cousin of a chicken that is native to the Yucatan, so I am guessing that somewhere, someone has made sopa de lima as a chachalaca recipe.

I chose sopa de lima because you can really taste the bird in this recipe, as opposed to some dish where the meat is covered up in chiles. The best way to make this soup is to cook a whole bird gently in water, vegetables and some herbs, then pull the meat off the bones, strain the stock and make the soup from there.

You can make things a lot faster by using shredded leftover chicken (or any other white meat) and pre-made chicken broth. But you will notice the difference, so if you have time, it’s better from scratch.

My recipe for sopa de lima is an amalgam of one I found in David Sterling’s excellent book Yucatán: Recipes from a Culinary Expedition and another from a Spanish language cookbook called La Cocina Familiar en el Estado de Yucatan.

Once made, this soup keeps for a few days in the fridge, but if you want to freeze it, leave out the garnishes and add them when you thaw and reheat it.

I cook quite a lot of Yucatecan food, so if you like this recipe, you might want to try my rendition of cochinita pibil, poc chuc, which is grilled pork, dzik, which is a shredded venison salad, a stew called ajiaco, or a braised Yucatecan turkey dish I like to make with turkey thighs.

If you liked this recipe, please leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating and a comment below; I’d love to hear how everything went. If you’re on Instagram, share a picture and tag me at huntgathercook.


  • 3 pounds white meat, chicken, grouse, quail, turkey, etc.
  • 1 quart chicken or other light stock
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano, Mexican if possible
  • 2 teaspoons black peppercorns, cracked
  • 8 allspice berries, or 1/4 teaspoon ground
  • 8 whole cloves, or 1/4 teaspoon ground
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 small white or yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped


  • Either put the chicken into a large soup pot whole, or cut it into pieces. Your choice. Add the remaining soup base ingredients plus enough water to cover by 1 inch. Bring this to a simmer and cook gently until the meat is tender, anywhere from 30 minutes for quail to 3 hours for an old rooster or turkey legs.

  • Remove the bird and strip the meat from the bones. Reserve the meat and discard the bones — unless you have lots of time, in which case return the bones to the pot and keep cooking for another hour. Whenever you are ready, strain the soup base into a large bowl through a strainer lined with a paper towel. Discard the solids and reserve the broth.


  • Heat the chicken fat or olive oil in a clean pot over medium heat. Add the onions and stir to coat with the oil. Cook until soft and translucent, but not browned, about 5 minutes. After about 3 minutes of cooking, add the diced poblano or bell pepper.

  • When the onions are soft, add the garlic and habanero, if using. Let this cook for a minute or two, then add the shredded meat, the tomatoes and the broth. Bring this to a simmer and add salt to taste. Let it all cook for 20 minutes, then add the lime zest and juice. Turn off the heat, and serve the soup with the tortilla chips and cilantro.

NOTE: This will take a lot less time if you use leftover chicken and pre-made chicken broth. 

Calories: 341kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 82mg | Sodium: 140mg | Potassium: 589mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 571IU | Vitamin C: 32mg | Calcium: 61mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Source link: by Hank Shaw at

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Wild Game Cooking

Pozole Verde Recipe – Pork Pozole Verde

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Pozole exists in a galaxy of varieties throughout Central and Northern Mexico, and, like many dishes there, mimics the flag’s colors of red, white and green. This is my rendition of pozole verde, green pozole.

Photo by Holly A. Heyser

If you are not familiar with pozole at all, it is, arguably, the national dish of Mexico. Stripped down, this stew is protein, hominy, water, some sort of onion or garlic, and Mexican oregano. Those ingredients are (or should) be in every pozole worthy of the name. 

My pozole verde recipe is essentially my pozole blanco recipe, which is rather spare, with added green things — what green things I’ll get to in a minute. (I also have a recipe for pozole rojo, too, as well as a Sonoran variant called gallina pinta, which has beef and beans.)

Variations on pozole verde exist in a number of places throughout Mexico, from Mexico City to Guanajuato, Michoacan to Guerrero, where it is a huge deal on Thursdays, for whatever reason. There’s even a sort of green pozole in Oaxaca, where they will sometimes make a white pozole, then add a big dollop of mole — and this can be mole verde — that you can stir into your soup. 

Flavorwise, if you have never eaten pozole verde, it’s a cascade of Mexican flavors. You get acidic tomatillos, but you get alkaline hominy corn kernels to balance that out, and a bit of brightness from herbs, lime juice and chiles.

It’s not supposed to be über hot, but it does have a nice gentle heat. The stew broth gets a lot of body from toasted, ground-up pumpkin seeds (pepitas), and little shreds of meat round everything out.

I have mixed and matched the additions I’ve seen from these places, but I rely most heavily on pozole verde from Guerrero. I’ve eaten it in many variations, and tip my hat to Chef Rick Bayless in his book Authentic Mexican, as well as the wonderful, yet hard-to-find series of books by the Mexican government that detail the cuisines of each of that nation’s states. 

In this case, the book I leaned on most is La Cocina Familiar en el Estado de Guerrero

CLoseup of a bowl of pozole verdeCLoseup of a bowl of pozole verde
Photo by Holly A. Heyser

Meat in Pozole Verde

The meat in most pozole verde is pork, and that is what I use here. I happen to have access to pig’s heads, which is traditional, but if you don’t have a cabeza lying around, hocks, jowls, shoulder, “country ribs” and even some belly will all do nicely. Vary it up so you have some different colors and textures. 

Don’t like pork? Chicken, or something like it, is the way to go. In a perfect world you would use wild pheasants, grouse or a young wild turkey, but a stewing hen or older chicken would be awesome, too. You can find stewing hens in Latin or Asian markets. 

If you want to make a meatless pozole verde, I suggest using meaty mushrooms like common button mushrooms, porcini, or chanterelles, whose bright yellow color will look pretty with the green broth.

To make this recipe taste right, you do need tomatillos, pepitas and hominy, which are gigantic kernels of corn. All of these ingredients are common in every Latin market in America, and I’ve seen hominy in regular markets, too. Pepitas are often in regular markets’ “Hispanic Aisle” and can be found in the bulk bins and even in convenience stores as a snack. 

I prefer to make my own nixtamal — what Mexicans call hominy — and start with that. Masienda sells a spectacular corn for pozole online, if you are interested. But canned hominy is fine. Just know that if you use canned corn, it goes in towards the end of cooking. 

Like chili or Vietnamese pho, pozole verde is one of those stews where half the fun is adding all sorts of toppings at the table. Some pozole recipes add chicharrones and even sardines (!) to their toppings, but I stuck to the more familiar cilantro, avocado, onion and lime. Chopped green chiles would be another good idea. Just keep it green.

Three optional items will make the dish better, but you can skip them if you can’t find them: Epazote, hoja santa, and sorrel. Epazote is a green herb that is pretty easy to find in Latin markets (it’s also a common urban weed), and sorrel can sometimes be found in farmer’s markets. Hoja santa can also sometimes be found dried in Latin markets, but it’s rare fresh unless you grow it.

¡Buen provecho!

  • 1 pig’s head, or 3 pounds pork shoulder, hocks, jowls, or ribs
  • 2 pounds nixtamal, or two 28-ounce cans of hominy
  • 1 tablespoon of dried oregano, Mexican if possible
  • Salt
  • 20 tomatillos (not the little ones)
  • 2 or 3 serranos or jalapenos, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons lard, or other cooking oil
  • 1/2 cup pepitas, toasted in a frying pan until aromatic and then ground
  • 10 large sorrel leaves (optional)
  • 1 small bunch of epazote (optional)
  • 3 hoja santa leaves (optional)
  • 1 small red onion, minced
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • Lime wedges
  • If you happen to be using a pig’s head, submerge it in water in a very large pot and bring to a boil. Add the nixtamal, if using. Drop the heat to a gentle simmer and cook for 1 hour. Add the oregano, then keep cooking it until the meat wants to fall off the bone, about 2 1/2 hours. You will want to pull the head before it collapses, however, or things will get messy when you pick off all the meat.

  • If you are using nixtamal but not a pig’s head, cover the corn with about 1 1/2 gallons of water and cook for 1 hour. Then add all the pork bits you have decided to put in your pozole. Simmer until tender as above. Once tender, break up the meat into bits you’d like to eat in a soup.

  • While this is happening, marinate the red onion in the 1/4 cup of lime juice. This removes any sulfur sting from the onion.

  • Once the corn is tender, add salt, but not before. Adding salt too early makes the kernels tough. After the meat and corn is all ready, or close to it, make it a green pozole by doing the following:

Making it Green

  • If you are using canned hominy, now is the time to stir it into the pot.

  • Cover the tomatillos with just enough water to cover and boil. Drop the heat to a bare simmer and let this cook for 15 minutes. Move the tomatillos to a blender and add to the blender the ground pumpkin seeds, epazote, hoja santa and sorrel (or any of these you happen to be using) and the chopped chiles. Buzz into a smooth puree; you might need to add some of the broth from the pozole.

  • Heat the lard in a Dutch oven or other large, heavy pot and add the blender mixture. Stirring constantly, cook this on medium-high for about 5 minutes, then scrape it all into the soup pot. Stir well, bring to a simmer and cook at least 10 more minutes, and up to 1 hour, but no more.

  • To serve, ladle out some pozole and let everyone top it with the marinated onion, avocado, cilantro and lime.

If you want to make this with chicken, pheasant or rabbit, follow the guidelines above for the pork shoulder version. 

Keys to Success

  • At least once in your life you need to try the nixtamal version. The corn is so much better. You can actually buy nixtamalized corn from Rancho Gordo, so you don’t need to do the overnight soak. 
  • An iron rule when dealing with the heads of things: What looks like meat, keep large. What is sketchy, chop small. 
  • Time is your friend here. You can’t rush good pozole. Do this when you have more time than you need, because you can turn off the pozole and eat it later if it’s done before dinnertime. 
  • Yes, this works with wild hogs. 
  • Other topping options besides avocado, red onion and cilantro would be radishes, cabbage, more Mexican oregano, or other herbs like pipicha or pitiona. 
  • This is not a picante stew. If you want it hotter, use hotter green chiles, or add hot sauce at the end. 

Calories: 430kcal | Carbohydrates: 26g | Protein: 32g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 97mg | Sodium: 501mg | Potassium: 918mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 291IU | Vitamin C: 20mg | Calcium: 57mg | Iron: 4mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Source link: by Hank Shaw at

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Wild Game Cooking

Smoked Salmon Deviled Eggs Recipe

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Deviled eggs control me. Whenever I see them, I must eat them. All of them. And smoked salmon deviled eggs rule them all.

I’ve been known to eat an entire dozen eggs’ worth at one sitting. And yes, I know full well that I will pay for it later. “Just one more,” I think, and before you know it, there are no more deviled eggs. Then I am sad.

smoked salmon deviled eggs

It really doesn’t matter how good the deviled eggs are, either — I’ll gorge myself even on crappy deviled eggs from a gas station. But put a well-made deviled egg in front of me and I am pretty much helpless, doomed to goldfish-like eating control issues and that awesome feeling of an entire dozen eggs marinating in your gut.

Even though it might seem like an odd combination, smoked salmon deviled eggs have been around a while. By “a while” I mean at least back to the early 1980s. They served something like this at brunch restaurant my mom would take us to back then, and yes, I ate too many there, too.

Along with that miserable carrot salad with the raisins...

smoked salmon deviled eggs recipesmoked salmon deviled eggs recipe
Photos by Holly A. Heyser

Salmon in Smoked Salmon Deviled Eggs

I use regular, hot-smoked salmon in these eggs, but you can also use the daintier, usually store-bought cold smoked salmon, too. They are different, but both good.

If you use hot-smoked salmon as I do, you flake it out and mash it in with the yolk mixture. If you use cold smoked salmon, you may want to just slice little bits or slivers and use that as a garnish on top or the yolk mixture.

I use wild salmon I’ve typically caught myself, but really any variety of smoked salmon works well. If I had to choose the best for hot-smoked salmon deviled eggs, I’d choose smoked chum salmon.

Serving and Storing

This is an easy, elegant thing to bring to a potluck or brunch. It also makes a cool picnic appetizer or something to bring to a backyard BBQ — but since it can be eaten in one bite with one hand, these eggs are ideal for cocktail parties, too. Or you can just make some, turn on the football game and eat them all yourself.

You can make smoked salmon deviled eggs the morning before you eat them, or even the night before, but in general they don’t keep long. And they don’t freeze well. My advice is to make and eat.

The flavor is almost a perfect mashup between smoked salmon and deviled egg. The eggs mute what can sometimes be a sharp smoked twang in the fish, but that smoke also livens up the egg.

The color is beautiful and my addition of salmon caviar to the dish — I make my own, but you can buy in it lots of supermarkets — really elevates this. But it’s not strictly needed.

If you like these, try my crabmeat stuffed deviled eggs, too. They’re just as good!

So go ahead and make these eggs, but beware: You may find yourself eating them all. And you will pay for it.

  • Slice the boiled eggs lengthwise and pop out the yolks. Mix the yolks with the mustard, mayo, smoked salmon, shallot, Tabasco and lemon juice and mash into a paste. Add salt and black pepper to taste.

  • Spoon into the egg whites and dust with the paprika. Garnish with salmon caviar.

Egg Peeling Tips
If you can, use older eggs because they will peel more easily. After you’ve boiled them and the eggs are cooling in ice water, you can crack the bottoms as they rest, which also helps them peel more easily. If you get in trouble while peeling, do it under the water you cooled them in, which also helps. 

Calories: 330kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 427mg | Sodium: 571mg | Potassium: 176mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 603IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 69mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Source link: by Hank Shaw at

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