Easy Gourmet Italian Entrée


  Last month we had some friends over who enjoy gourmet food, and I prepared the Taste of Italy menu from our cookbook. I used red and green votives around a white taper and a green tablecloth to symbolize the colors of the Italian flag.

Try this for an Italian dinner or replace the white candle with white flowers

The salad was an Italian bread salad and the entrée included what? no pasta? no tomato sauce? Right.  It was a juicy ground beef patty topped with a sauce of porcini mushrooms, onions, capers and a little marsala.

Add a side of pasta with homemade pesto sauce and a grand marnier cake, and you’ve got a spectacular gourmet meal.


Ground Beef Patties in Onions with Mushrooms

 You will need:

Olive Oil                                    1 Tablespoon Flour

Beef Patties (Chuck)               1 cup  Water

Onion                                         1/4 cup Marsala

5 White Mushrooms                1 Tablespoon Capers

Dried Porcini Mushrooms       1 teaspoon Beef Bouillon Granules

Salt                                                Black Pepper


1. Form one 4 to 8 oz. ground beef patty for each guest.

2. Chop one medium yellow onion.

3. Slice white mushrooms.

4. Rehydrate one package of dried Porcini mushrooms. Put the contents of the package in a small bowl. Cover with boiling water and let soak for 30 minutes. If you can’t find Porcinis, simply substitute 3 more white mushrooms.

5. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.



1. Heat the oil in a skillet and brown both sides of the meat patties. Don’t be concerned about getting them done in the center. Put the browned patties in the oven to finish cooking.

2. Sauté the onions in the skillet, using the fat left from the meat patties. If there’s not enough, add more olive oil and sauté until the onions are translucent. Then add them to the meat in the oven.

3. Drain the Porcinis, but reserve the liquid. Sauté the Porcinis and white mushrooms in the skillet. Add more oil if necessary. Cook until the mushrooms start to lose their liquids. Add the mushrooms to the meat and onions.

4. Brown the flour in the remaining fat.

5. Add the water to the skillet. Scrape the bottom of the skillet with a spatula to loosen the glaze. Cook until the mixture thickens.

6. Add the Marsala, capers and bouillon granules. Stir and cook for one more minute.

Capers, Beef Bouillon, Onion

7. Add the meat, onions, mushrooms as well as their juices to the skillet. Add the water from the Porcini mushrooms. Don’t use the silt in the bottom of the bowl. It isn’t very tasty.

8. Salt and pepper to taste.

9. Adjust liquids to create a good sauce

10. Place one meat patty on each plate and spoon the sauce on top.


Food for Thought:

Glorifying Clay Pots

Good old hamburger is a common, all-purpose meat. You have to add something   to it to make it shine: mustard, onions, lettuce, and bread, for example, for a hamburger.  Or you can add a gourmet sauce with onions, mushrooms and capers like the one we are offering today.

Have you seen that traditional recipe for glorified rice? It has fruit and marshmallows in it.  Have you polished a tarnished silver vase or sugar bowl? When you finish adding the silver polish and wielding quite a bit of elbow grease, it looks glorious. It makes me think of what Texans say when a friend dons an evening dress or a tuxedo. “You clean up real good.”

The best way to glorify a common object is to put something glorious in it. Consider a clay pot. If you put something in it like a blooming rose bush or a bouquet of pink and magenta peonies, you’ve got glory.

We are clay pots, and it is the treasure of Christ in us that gives us true glory. We can’t reach God, by polishing ourselves up like a silver vase. Good works is a bridge that will never stretch the width of the chasm between man and God. It is all grace. It is faith alone that will do it, a willingness to let the ultimate treasure of the authentic Christ make his home inside us.

And by his presence within, we will be transformed “into the same image from glory unto glory” (II Corinthians 3:18).

It is fun to glorify something, to make the common beautiful or elegant or scrumptious. May this recipe fulfill your desire to be creative, just like God.                        [RuthAnn]

A welcome touch of color

This entry was posted in Devotionals, Entreés, First Steps in Gourmet Cooking, Presentation, Recipes, Sauces and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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