Friday, March 2, 2012

Carpaccio style Portabella Mushrooms and Asian Pears-A guest post by Alisha Randell- Blogger of the Month

Blogger of the Month series is definitely perking me up. I haunt the space of the featured blogger to draw inspiration, cook a recipe or two and generally feel buoyed up with all the creativity on display ! The series has seen 2 vivacious bloggers pouring their heart out and there are many more to come.

This month's star is Alisha from the scrumptious space The Ardent Epicure. I remember it as one of the very first blogs my eyes feasted with awe during the initial days of blogging. Besides the name that has an exotic feel, her space is literally bursting with delightful recipes and is a haven for many exotic vegetarian dishes. Besides, her food pictures are wow- you just wanna grab that Beet Mousse or the daintily cut Asian pears !

Alisha who goes by the name Magic of Spice, agreed to grace my blog with her magical presence and without further ado, let's hop on !


Hello readers of Bon Appetit, my name is Alisha, but most know me by my screen name “Magic of Spice”.  I was so excited and honored when Priya asked me if I would guest post for all of you here today. As a vegetarian myself, I truly enjoy experiencing the varied flavors and dishes that so many around the world have to share.

Today I will be sharing with you a culinary technique, rather than a recipe. So this can be adapted in any way you see fit, or to accommodate what you may have on hand. This is a very simple presentation that makes either a lovely side, or can add a bit of glamour to a dinner party.

Carpaccio is a style of cutting an ingredient at an angle very thinly. Typically this style is associated with rare or raw beef, but today nearly any ingredient will work beautifully. The dish was originally started at Harry’s Bar in Venice Italy, named for a painter from early Renaissance period, Vittore Carpaccio.

Portabella Mushroom and Asian Pears Carpaccio Style with Cilantro Crème

What you will need (Serves 4)

  • 4 portabella mushrooms
  • 2 large Asian pears
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) light olive oil, halved
  • 1 small bunch fresh cilantro
  • 6 ounces  (168 gr)Crème fraiche
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • Small amount of cream for thinning, optional
  • Fresh ground pepper and sea salt
  • Garnish with fresh fruit if desired
Let’s get Cooking:

Clean mushrooms and scrape out gills. Now place half of the oil into a hot sauté pan over medium heat and add mushrooms.Sweat each mushroom for 2-3 minutes per side. Salt and pepper mushrooms at this point to taste.Place the mushrooms on a cutting board and set aside.

Meanwhile cut pears into 4 sections and remove core/seed area.  Slice pears at an angle as thinly as possible.

In another sauté pan, heat remaining oil until hot. Add pears and cook until just becoming translucent, about 4 minutes. Set aside.

With both the portabella and pears, slice each at an angle, as thinly as possible.

Now prepare the Crème by placing cilantro into a food processor or blender, pulse on high for a minute or so. Add Crème fraiche and lemon, blending thoroughly. Slowly add a small amount of cream until desired texture is achieved.

To arrange, start with mushrooms and alternate with pears in a fan like design.Serve with the cilantro Crème on the side or drizzled on top.



  1. Lovely post .. Great to know about Alisha & her creativity!!!

  2. Nice informative post... Loved the cut..

  3. Wow thi is wonderful. Thanks for the intro.

  4. never thot smething other than meat cud be arranged this way

  5. Alisha does amazing things with vegetables!

  6. Hi Priya! Thank you so much for stopping by my blog and entering the giveaway :) You have a lovely blog here, and this 'blogger of the month' is a beautiful feature! LOVE LOVE LOVE Alisha's blog, and so it is great to see another fabulous recipe from her... Aren't her photographs awesome? Great post, Alisha!

    I look forward to visiting you again, Priya! Keep the good food coming :)

  7. A very beatiful presentation from Alisha.. Looks appetizing... This is an excellent series where on gets an intro to exotic blogs like Alisha's... Thanks for presenting this series Priya :)

  8. I agree with ayesha - Very beautiful presentation and happy to know a fellow blogger better, although I am always encouraged by Alisha's "likes" on facebook :)

  9. Hi Priya, thank you so much again for the guest post and for the lovely introduction :)
    And thank you everyone for your great comments :)

  10. Hi Priya and Alisha, feature. I absolutely love portobello mushrooms. The recipe sounds great and definitely going to give it a try very soon. Hope you are both having a great weekend!

  11. Alisha does have a wonderful talent when it comes to pairing food and flavors! Glad that you have her guest posting for you. This dish looks like another winner, delicious recipe!

  12. looking really nice and yumm marked........Maha
    nice space vth awesoem recipes.loved it..........

  13. What a wonderful dish this is and such fabulous photos. Great post.

  14. Hi Alisha,
    You know I enjoy being one of your followers; your photos, your recipes and your ideas inspire me. Thank you.

  15. What a beautiful, healthy dish! I love the flavors you've paired with mushrooms -- asian pear sounds wonderful!

  16. Heading over from Alisha's blog. What a lovely guest posting series. Nice to meet you, Priyanka :)

    1. thx kiran; loved your space too ! BTW, I am priya !

  17. lovely guest post, very interesting and healthy dish..

    Join the Just "4" Fun event :)

  18. Lovely mushroom and Asian pear cut with the acid and topped with creme fraiche? Yeah, that works. The Veggie Queen doing what The Veggie Queen does.

  19. Thanks for sharing the technique Alisha..and Priya you' ve got a winner guest post as usual!!

  20. Lovely post, very interesting read. Loved the idea..! Good work.!

  21. love alisha's blog too, so happy i got introduced to ur lovely blog through her :) the mushrooms look delecious, cant wait to try this recipe :)

  22. Alisha is the best and this is her style at its best. What an excellent turtorial on carpacio and such creativity :)

    chow! DEVAKI @ weavethousandflavors

  23. Just purely elegant and tantalizing!

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  25. I am so happy to find your blog from Magic of Spice's blog, having a blogger of the month is such a fun idea! This recipe sounds amazing, and so healthy! Take care, Terra

  26. Not only did I learn what Carpaccio style means! :) This dish looks elegant and I never would have thought to "pair" these foods together but I am so anxious to try it and see how the flavors sing!!! :) Thank you for featuring Alisha here!

  27. This recipe is a work of art. What a delicious combination of flavors and texture, and so healthy. Thank you for featuring Alisha on your site!

  28. Simply stunning, Alisha has a way of capturing flavors and adding her own creative spin. Happy to see her featured!!

  29. I came here from Alisha's site. Nice to meet you Priya! Alisha, I love your idea of sharing the cooking technique. This portabella mushrooms with Asian pears - wow never thought of cooking together. I love the surprise you always prepare for us. Maybe it's not such a surprise to you, but I truly enjoy how you play with vegetables. I'm not vegetarian yet I eat a lot of veggies way more than meat. Need to find out what Crème fraiche is. Thanks for sharing the recipe!