Basic Mushroom Meat Blend

8 servings (makes 4 cups)

A batch of this mixture – whether it’s made with ground beef, ground pork, ground turkey or ground chicken – is handy to have on hand for lasagna layering or fillings for crepes, tacos, meat pies and more.

The mushrooms add moisture and flavor. They won’t chop so well in a blender, so if you don’t have a food processor, take the time to chop them finely by hand.

MAKE AHEAD: The cooked mixture can be refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 6 months.

Adapted from a recipe by the Culinary Institute of America and the Mushroom Council.

1 pound white button mushrooms, cleaned, stemmed and coarsely chopped

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 tablespoon kosher salt

1 pound ground chicken, turkey, pork or lean ground beef

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

Place the chopped mushrooms in a food processor; pulse until almost pureed. The consistency will resemble that of tapenade.

Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Once the oil shimmers, stir in the mushrooms and half of the salt. Cook, stirring often, for 8 to 10 minutes. Some, but not all, of the mushrooms’ moisture will have evaporated.

Add the ground meat, pepper, the Worcestershire sauce and the remaining salt, stirring to incorporate. Cook, stirring often to break up the meat, for 10 to 12 minutes (depending on which meat you’ve chosen) until cooked through. Add water by the tablespoon during that time if the mixture seems dry before the meat is done.

If you’re using the blend right away, drain any remaining liquid from the skillet. For cold storage, retain the liquid; drain before using.

Mushroom-Blended Graffiti Burgers

8 servings

A mix of mushrooms, vegetables and spices brings lots of moisture and flavor to these meaty-tasting burgers – a signature dish at Graffiti in New York.

The mixture can be shaped into 24 thick, slider-size patties instead, or grilled over a moderate, direct-heat fire.

MAKE AHEAD: It’s best not to let the mixture sit in the refrigerator for more than the recommended 4 hours, as its mushroom content will exude liquid. The uncooked patties can be frozen for up to 1 month. Defrost on a plate in the refrigerator for 2 hours, then drain before cooking.

Adapted from a recipe by Jehangir Mehta, chef-owner of Graffiti and Mehtaphor restaurants in New York.

21/2 ounces portobello mushroom caps, gills removed

21/2 ounces king oyster mushrooms (may substitute a gourmet mix of sliced mushrooms)

1 ounce white button mushrooms

1 pound ground beef, preferably 85-15 (lean meat/fat)

2 tablespoons finely diced onion

1 tablespoon seeded, finely diced tomato

2 teaspoons finely chopped cilantro

1/2 teaspoon peeled, finely grated fresh ginger root

1 small clove garlic, minced

1/2 small red bird’s eye chili pepper, seeded and minced

1/3 teaspoon ground turmeric

1/3 teaspoon onion powder

1/3 teaspoon tomato powder (optional)

1/3 teaspoon ground coriander

1/3 teaspoon chili powder

1/3 teaspoon lemon grass powder (optional)

Kosher salt

Brioche buns, for serving

Clean the portobello, king oyster and white button mushrooms; stem the white button mushrooms. Finely chop them, or grind them in a food processor, to about the same consistency as the meat. Transfer to a large mixing bowl; add the ground beef, onion, tomato, cilantro, ginger, garlic, red chili pepper, turmeric, onion powder, tomato powder, if using, ground coriander, chili powder and lemon grass powder, if using.

Use your clean hands to gently blend the mixture. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and no more than 4 hours.

Spray a grill pan with cooking oil spray; heat over medium heat.

Meanwhile, shape the mixture into 8 thick patties of equal size. Lightly salt both sides of each patty; place on a plate or paper towels to catch any juices.

Working in batches as needed, arrange the patties in the hot grill pan, leaving at least an inch of space around each one. Cook for 6 to 8 minutes or until a good crust forms on the bottom, then use two spatulas to carefully turn each one over. Cook on the second side for about 8 minutes or until firm to the touch and cooked through. The burgers should not be pink inside.

Serve on buns, if desired.