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Power Up with Proteins!: Page 5 of 6

Catering chefs weigh in on their favorite protein-packed dishes (and share their recipes, too)

Executive Chef Greg Ziegenfuss, Butler’s Pantry, St. Louis, MO


Mushrooms (uncooked) // 100 grams = 3.3 g protein

“Mushrooms can provide more than great taste and texture in meals,” says Executive Chef Greg Ziegenfuss, “they actually have surprisingly high nutritional value.” Mushrooms are naturally low in fat, carbohydrates, sodium, cholesterol, and calories, while boasting a healthy dose of antioxidants, dietary fiber, essential minerals, vitamins, and unique proteins.

Over the past five years, Ziegenfuss notes that vegetarian cuisine and related dietary requests have increased greatly in the catering world. “We have to be creative while getting in front of trends and dietary needs to present delicious, as well as ‘eye’ appealing meals. Mushrooms fit nicely in the delicious category and only require a small amount of a healthy, flavorful fat for cooking. Try adding extra virgin olive oil, herbs, garlic, wine, or fortified wine to maintain the nutritious element while still tasting great.” For an eye-appealing dish, the chef suggests selecting mushrooms with different shapes and textures, such as with his recipe below.

Speaking to the increased interest in vegetarian options, the chef noted, “We have improved our kitchen and catering menus to incorporate seasonal, veggie-friendly meals.” For example, Butler’s Pantry recently launched a seasonal vegetarian tasting menu that includes options such as herb gnocchi with arugula pesto, spring peas, tendrils, and shaved parmesan; eggplant roulade with goat cheese, arugula, peppers, mushrooms, and Israeli cous cous; and butternut ravioli with lemon garlic butter and shaved parmesan.

The mushroom dish can be served as a first course for vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike. It can also be made vegan by omitting the butter and substituting extra virgin olive oil. With the addition of grain, rice, or legumes, the dish can also be served as a fulfilling entrée for vegetarians.

Fricassee of forest mushrooms
with hearty greens and sherry vinaigrette
Yield: 50



10 lbs. assorted mushrooms (crimini, shiitake, chanterelle, oyster and portobello), sliced ¼” thick
12 shallots, minced
⅓ cup garlic, minced
3 cups sherry
1 cup clarified butter          
⅓ cup fresh thyme, minced
¾ cup fresh parsley, chopped
Kosher salt and white pepper

1. Over a high heat, melt the butter in a large rondeau, add the shallots and sauté until opaque.
2. Add the mushrooms and sauté until they begin to brown.
3. Add the garlic and sauté until the mixture becomes aromatic and add the sherry and cook until most liquid has dried out.
4. Remove from the heat, stir in the herbs and season to taste with the Kosher salt and white pepper.


Sherry vinaigrette

2 cups sherry vinegar
1 cup honey
⅓ cup dijon mustard
1 qt. olive oil
Kosher salt and white pepper

1. In a mixing bowl, whisk the sherry vinegar, honey, and mustard together.
2. Gradually whisk in the oil until it emulsifies and season with Kosher salt and white pepper to taste. Refrigerate.

NOTE: The dressing may be made and refrigerated for an indefinite period of time. It may, however, have to be re-emulsified prior to serving.


Hearty greens

1¼ gals radicchio, chopped
1¼ gals bleached frisée, chopped  
1¼ gals young arugula, chopped    
1¼ gals kale, chopped         
1 Tbsp kosher salt                           
2 tsp white pepper

1. Wash and spin dry the radicchio, arugula, and kale.
2. Toss the greens in the sherry vinaigrette and thoroughly coat.

Place approximately 1 to 1½ cups of the greens on each plate, add 2–3 oz. of the fricassee and serve immediately.