My thoughts are of appetizers as the new year celebration looms at the end of this week. Savory little bites stuffed with yummy goodness. Addictive, fun little pop-in-your mouth treats, bad for your waistline and appetite for dinner, they are just so perfect as appetizers.
An Alaskan favorite is a savory crab filling made with a few finely chopped marinated artichokes, a sprinkle of herbs such as tarragon and parsley, add some cooked crab meat, a few tablespoons of cream cheese, finely chopped green onion tops, a dash of hot sauce, a bit of grated parmesan cheese and a squeeze of lemon. Mix well and stuff mushrooms, then grate some Swiss cheese over them and bake in a greased baking dish until hot, gooey and golden. Serve with a flute of champagne, Spanish cava or a dry white wine, such as chenin blanc. If your mouth is watering by now, you most likely love mushrooms as much as I do and are planning on making some ASAP!
I Love a Basic Stuffed Mushroom
Sausage is a family favorite as much as good bacon.
• 24 ounces white button mushrooms
• 1/3 pound hot pork sausage
• 1/2 whole medium sweet onion, finely diced
• 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
• 1/3 cup dry white wine
• 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
• 1 whole egg yolk
• 3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
• Salt and pepper to taste
Wipe off or wash mushrooms in cold water. Pop out stems, reserving both parts. Chop mushroom stems finely and set aside.
Brown and crumble sausage. Set aside on a bowl to cool Add onions and garlic to the same skillet; cook for 2 minutes over medium low heat.
Pour in wine to deglaze pan, allow liquid to evaporate.
Add in chopped mushroom stems, stir to cook for 2 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Set mixture aside in a bowl to cool.
In a bowl, combine cream cheese and egg yolk. Stir together with Parmesan cheese.
Add cooled sausage and cooled mushroom stems. Stir mixture together and refrigerate for a short time to firm up.
Spoon mixture into the cavity of each mushroom, creating a little mound over the top. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden brown.
• • • • •
I would eat pizza just about every day as that combination of tomato and cheese is irresistible. For an Italian stuffed mushroom simply dice and fry a little pepperoni or sweet Italian sausage, add some cream cheese, chop a few sun-dried tomatoes fine and add them into your stuffing, then add a pinch of Italian seasonings and a few tablespoons of grated parmesan, toss some grated mozzarella on top and bake. Let your imagination take your palate anywhere. A Reuben stuffed ’shroom sounds like a fabulous idea. Cream cheese, shredded corned beef or pastrami, a pinch of caraway seed, a little drained sauerkraut, a squirt of thousand island dressing and a pinch of Cajun spice. Mix well and stuff the mushrooms. Sprinkle with Swiss cheese and bake. See, endless possibilities. A glass of pinot noir or craft beer compliments stuffed mushrooms well.
• 3 fat slices bacon
• 4 ounces (1/2 of an 8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
• 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
• 2 green onions — green tops only finely diced
• 1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
• 2 dashes ground black pepper
• 3 shakes Frank’s hot sauce
• 1 pound big fat mushrooms, stems removed or 24 ounces of smaller mushrooms
Seasoned Bread Crumbs Ingredients:
• 1 cup dry bread crumbs
• 1 tablespoon finely grated Parmesan cheese
• 1/2 teaspoon Cajun spice seasoning
Add all ingredients to small bowl and mix well.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Place the bacon in a large, deep skillet and cook over medium-high heat, turning occasionally, until crisp and evenly browned, about 10 minutes. Drain the bacon slices on a paper towel-lined plate; crumble the drained bacon into a bowl. Stir in the cream cheese, 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, green onion tops, Worcestershire sauce, and pepper until evenly mixed. Spoon the filling into the mushroom caps and place into a greased baking dish. Sprinkle generously with seasoned bread crumbs.
Bake in the preheated oven until the mushrooms are tender and the filling is golden brown, 15- 25 minutes.
Brie and Herb Mushrooms
So many wonderful cheeses and mushrooms, so little time!
• 3 tablespoons butter
• 1 package white button mushrooms, washed and stems removed
• Pinch of season salt
• 1-2 garlic cloves finely minced
• 1/4 cup flat leaf parsley finely minced (I like to use my ulu to mince herbs)
• 4 green onions, finely sliced green tops and a little of the onion sliced up to the middle
• Pinch of herbs de Provence
• Splash of dry white wine
• 1 wedge of Brie cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Melt enough butter in large saucepan to generously cover the bottom. Add mushroom caps and toss to coat in butter. Sprinkle lightly with season salt and cook for 1 minute. Remove mushrooms from pan and place top side of mushroom down in a baking dish, such as a glass pie plate.
Add the garlic, parsley, herbs de Provence and green onions to the pan, without cleaning pan out. Sprinkle lightly with salt and a big splash of white wine, if using. Stir until wine evaporates, about 1 minute. Remove from heat.
Cut rind off of brie wedge, then cut little pieces of brie to fit each mushroom cap. Place inside cap, lightly pressing to secure each piece of brie.
Top mushrooms with parsley/garlic mixture. Place into the oven for 15 minutes, or until brie is melted. Serve with a full-bodied chardonnay or nice red blend.
All the best from my kitchen to yours for a wonderful new year!