Friday, May 20, 2011

Classics: Stuffed Mushrooms

Yes, here is another old school classic. It’s one of my dad’s favorites that I can remember a lot as a kid. Just like the deviled eggs, the stuffed mushrooms has undergone transformations over the years. In most restaurants you’ll see mushrooms stuffed with crab meat. Let’s face it, the real stuff can be quite expensive, that is why, in my family, we’ve always used breakfast sausage. I never liked mushrooms as a child. I would always eat the stuffing out of the mushroom, and then give it to my dad. These are also not very figure friendly, but they are an appetizer so you’re not eating a ton of them.

What You Need:

Large white button mushrooms (they come in large packs that are about 12-16oz and contain 6-9 mushrooms)
1/2 lb breakfast sausage (not the heat and serve links or patties but the fresh stuff you find in the meat dept.)
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 stick butter
2 tbs olive oil
1/2 c – 2/3 c bread crumbs
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried sage
1/3 c grated parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
salt and pepper
a few sprigs of flat leaf parsley for garnish

What To Do

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. With a damp cloth or kitchen towel, white the outside of the mushrooms, removing any dirt they may have. Pull out the stems, dice them and set aside. In a large sauté pan over medium heat, cook the sausage, breaking it up as you go until fully cooked. Remove for the pan, leaving any fat behind. Place into a food processor, and pulse a few times until you have coarse crumbs instead of big chunks. Set aside. Return the sauté pan to medium heat and  melt the butter together with the oil. While it’s melting, diced the mushroom stems. Add the onions, garlic and diced stems into the sauté pan. Cook for about 3 minutes or until the onions have softened and started to become translucent. Season with a bit of salt and pepper, the oregano and the sage. Add in the sausage back into the pan, stirring everything to combine well. Stir in the parmesan cheese and 1/2 c bread crumbs. Turn the heat to low and cook for about a minute, giving the bread crumbs time to absorb the moisture. If the mixture still looks really wet, stir in a bit more bread crumbs. Turn off the heat and let cool slightly. Using a spoon and your hands, fill each mushroom, mounding some of it on top. Place into a shallow baking dish and bake for 20-30 minutes or until the mushrooms have slump and the filling is golden brown. Remove the mushrooms to a plate and garnish with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese and a piece of parsley.

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