Monday, February 25, 2013

Egg and Mushroom Appetizer ~ A Food Photography Challenge

Eggs... protein packed, vitamin rich, and an empty palate waiting to be dressed, these little orbs are nearly an every day occurrence in the Liv Life household.  Be they scrambled, over easy, over medium or simply hard boiled, the versatility of the egg makes them ideal for nearly any meal, or in this case, an amazing appetizer.

February's Inspired Plate Challenge titled "Eggs" had my heart soaring with possibilities, but looking to step up our photo from the average Breakfast Burrito (that was our last post), the Mushroom Bocadillo provided interesting shape and texture along with a tasty result.  Featuring only a few ingredients this appetizer works nicely into a party menu with its ability to be made ahead of time and served at room temperature.  Quiche-like minus the crust and creamy calories, the dish is baked, cooled and then cut into handy little squares which are just perfect for a cocktail napkin.

Filled with sauteed mushrooms and onions, a touch of Parmesan cheese adds a slightly salty finish and the fresh basil brings a market-fresh flair to the plate - or napkin.  While this recipe will most definitely be saved for our next neighborhood gathering, I must admit that these particular Bocadillos made a lovely brunch after our photo shoot, especially when topped with a dollop of salsa and a few slices of fresh avocado.

Returning to my favorite white background I chose a simple style for our shoot attempting keep the focus on the Bocadillos without distraction.  I've found that my lack of photography props forces me to become creative while trying to create a scene or some sense of a story in the photo, hence using ingredients as props has become my styling choice.  Filling a measuring cup overflowing with freshly grated Parmesan and adding a small branch of basil the shoot was set, and as our hemisphere slowly but surely returns to the warmer seasons I'm relishing every extra minute of beautiful morning backlight. 

And now won't you join me as we travel close to my hometown in Northern California.  Please allow me to introduce The Inspired Plate's newest member, Jayme Franklin.  Jayme is a mom to two adorable little blondies and works as a photographer in the Belmont, California area.  Lets see what sort of eggs she has brought to the table!

Egg and Mushroom Appetizer
adapted from The Sunset Grill: 125 Tasty Recipes for Casual Get-Togethers and Easy Weeknight Cookouts,  pg 35

olive oil
1 pound cremini mushrooms, chopped
1/2 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste
4 eggs
1/2 cup fresh basil, sliced
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
Additional Parmesan for garnish

Preheat oven to 325º.  Prepare an 8-inch square baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.

Heat a swirl of olive oil in a medium skillet over medium high heat and add the mushrooms, onions and garlic.  Reduce heat to medium and sautee until the mushrooms and onions are soft, about 10 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Set aside to cool.

Crack the eggs into a medium bowl and whisk.  Stir in the basil and 1/4 cup of cheese.  Add the cooled mushrooms to the egg mixture, stirring gently to combine.  Pour the egg mixture into the prepared pan and sprinkle with 2 Tbs of extra cheese.

Place baking pan into the oven and bake until the eggs are just set and the center feels firm when pressed, 20-30 minutes.  Remove dish from the oven and place on a rack to cool.  Allow to cool at least 15 minutes before cutting.

Cut Bocadillos into squares and serve warm or at room temperature.  Sprinkle with additional Parmesan cheese if desired.

Liv Life Note:  The Sunset Cookbook calls these appetizers, Bocadillos.  Sunset gives the translation of "Little Bites" and these little bites can be made up to 1 day ahead.  Refrigerate after cooling.  Remove from the refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature or reheat, uncovered in a 325º oven until warm, about 10 minutes.  


  1. Looks AMAZING!! I love this recipe!! And your styling always looks fabulous Kim, I even took a cue from your plating this month and went light and white! :) I love when you post those breakfast burrito recipes, but they always leave me hungry and gearing up to jump in my car and head down south! xoxo

  2. Yummy, Kim! Love that platter you used, perfect presentation.

  3. Wow these look stunning and sound delicious! Can't wait to try :)

    Happy Blogging!
    Happy Valley Chow

  4. I've never heard of these, they look delicious!! Looks like my son would like these too!! Beautiful!!

  5. I love everything about this recipe and your photos are gorgeous~I especially love the first shot of the eggs. Wishing I had one of these Bocadillos for lunch right now!

  6. Nice interpretation! So fun to see eggs used differently for this challenge-seems many of us went the more litteral route. These really show off the dish nicely :-)

  7. I wish I could get you some of Cleo's blue eggs. I'd love to see what you'd do with those. :)

    I've never seen or heard of bocadillos before but I can tell that I'd love them (I'd just need them warm, not at all cool). Everything in them is right up my alley.

  8. Love the positioning of the eggs in your carton shot. Eggs and mushrooms are a fav of mine. Looks tasty!

  9. Your pics are all wonderful. I love t.his dish for brunch or breakfast.

  10. I was hooked the second I saw cremini mushrooms and eggs, this is a great any meal recipe...lovely photos, Kim!

  11. I love eggs and mushrooms together, I thought I had commented on this one already...but this is interesting as an appetizer. Never seen that before!

  12. Love the combination! These would make a great lunch or dinner if squares are cut bigger!

  13. Yum Kim! That recipe looks amazing!!!

  14. This is a new one to me!! This looks amazing and your images and beautiful presentation are fabulous!


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