Monday, May 24, 2010

Stuffed Shrooms!

 I love mushrooms.  Any kind, any method, anytime.  I mean I really love them.  One of my favorite methods, is stuffed mushrooms.  I love them so much, I requested them for Mother's Day.  I am always tempted by a stuffed mushroom appetizer and Olive Garden has one of my favorites.  It's simply cheese stuffed... no sausage, or other stuff and I love the creamy, cheesy filling with the juicy mushroom.  I think these stuffed mushrooms are very similar.  The filling is simple and easy to prepare, and I love the slight kick from the cayenne pepper.  Because it doesn't include anything like sausage, I prefer the filling with a smaller mushroom, so you get a good filling to mushroom ratio.  With a larger mushroom, you get a bit too much filling in each bite.  These are definitely one of my favorite ways to prepare mushrooms.

Serves: 15-24
Recipe Source: Slightly Adapted from Allrecipes

12 whole fresh mushrooms, medium sized (look for mushrooms with a little bit of stem to chop up for your filling)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
Dash of Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus 1-2 Tbsp.
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
about 1/4 cup melted butter
1/4 - 1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs

1.  Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C). Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. (In the alternative, I put my mushrooms in mini muffin tins to keep them from tipping over.  Works perfectly.)  Clean mushrooms with a damp paper towel. Carefully twist out the stems. Chop stems extremely fine, discarding tough end of stems. Set stems aside.

2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add worcestershire sauce, garlic and chopped mushroom stems to the skillet. Fry until any moisture has disappeared, taking care not to burn garlic. You do actually have to let them fry for awhile before all the moisture is absorbed.  Be patient.  Set aside to cool.

3. When garlic and mushroom mixture is no longer hot, stir in softened cream cheese, 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, black pepper, onion powder and cayenne pepper. Mixture should be very thick. Using a little spoon, fill each mushroom cap with a generous amount of stuffing. (Or fill a pastry bag with the filling and pipe the filling into each mushroom.  It's a little less messy that way.)  Dip the bottom and sides of each mushroom cap into the melted butter.  Arrange the mushroom caps on prepared cookie sheet, or in muffin tins.

4. In a small bowl, combine bread crumbs and remaining Parmesan cheese.  Sprinkle a little bit over each stuffed mushroom.

5. Bake for 20 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the mushrooms are piping hot and liquid starts to form under caps, and the topping is browned.

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