October 9, 2009
This is one of those “back pocket” recipes; an easy-to-make, hard-to-mess-up crowd-pleaser you keep on hand and whip out when you need something tried and true. Oh stuffed mushrooms, you have never failed me:
Mushrooms are an ingredient I tend to buy more of as the weather cools. Their rich earthiness seems right, somehow, for fall. I’ve made these junior stuffed mushrooms many times, for dinner parties, Thanksgiving, and football Sundays, of course.
The best thing about ‘em? You can pre-make everything ahead of time, leaving the stuffed mushrooms on a foil-covered broiler pan in the fridge until ready to bake off. They’re also relatively cheap to make (especially if you go vegetarian) and still work with all kinds of variations: use couscous instead of breadcrumbs, add in sautéed peppers for a kick, substitute green onions for regular ones.
Though the little ones are most fun for a party or get-together, stuffed portabellas are wonderful for a weeknight dinner, since you can prep them the night before. One of my favorite stuffings for big ‘shrooms: chorizo, wild rice, celery, & bell pepper.
At the moment, I’ve got a lot in my back pocket (both literally & figuratively):
-stewing over logo designs (!) for the new-and-improved BJG website I hope to debut in early 2010…printable recipes? You asked for them, you’ll get them!
-joyous celebration that a cold-ish front seems to finally be coming through Texas
-a final grocery list to attend to, along with a million details and “to-dos” before 45 (count them, forty-five) people descend on our house tomorrow night for the annual Carroll/Mehra Diwali Party!
I hope to share a lot more about the party with you next week; our amazing photographer Sonya will be here, documenting every dish and celebratory moment. Look for lots of photographs, details, & a recipe or two on Tuesday.
We are excited, busy, and hopeful that it will not rain. Most importantly, I feel grateful to have the resources and time to gather the people I love around me and feed them large quantities of food.
I’ll catch ya’ll on the flip side! In the meantime, enjoy your weekend.
The recipe here allows you to make both vegetarian and non-vegetarian versions in the same batch. If you want to do meaty mushrooms only, go ahead and cook the sausage with the onions & stems.
2 packages white mushrooms, cleaned
1 white onion, chopped finely
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup plain breadcrumbs, store-bought or homemade
grated cheese of your choice (Parmesan, cheddar, Italian mix)
herbs de Provence
optional: one link of a sausage of your choice (I used mild Italian)
Remove stems from the mushrooms, reserving a little less than half. Trim & chop the stems finely, adding them to the onions & garlic.
In a heavy-bottomed skillet, combine 3 T each of the butter & olive oil. Let sit over medium heat until the butter is foamy, then add the chopped vegetables.
Sauté the mixture until translucent, then remove from heat and toss in the breadcrumbs. Combine the mixture so the breadcrumbs are “wet.”
Fold in about a ¼ cup of cheese. Season with 1 tsp herbs de Provence, then stop to taste for flavor & salt, making adjustments if needed.
In a separate pan, crumble and brown the sausage. Reserve it for later—after you’ve stuffed the vegetarian mushrooms, mix the sausage into the remaining filling and stuff the other half.
Place the mushrooms on a broiler pan or baking sheet. Stuff each mushroom with a small spoonful of filling (of course, bigger mushrooms will take more), mounding the filling just a bit at the top.
At this point, you can cover the mushrooms with foil and stash in the oven. When ready to serve, preheat the oven to 350°.
Bake the mushrooms for 12-15 minutes until cooked through. If you’d like a little crunch, you can turn on the broiler for just a minute or two, but watch the mushrooms carefully!