Every year my mom and I tussle over how to make the stuffed mushrooms. She has her own recipe, and I’ve evolved my own, which I’ll share here so everyone can post in the comments that clearly it’s superior to all others. You might want to note that I’m Italian, so my cooking is a bit free-form. 🙂
Step one: get a whole lot of mushrooms (not necessarily stuffing mushrooms, but the should be of a decent size, like the circle of your thumb and forefinger.) Wash them. Pull off the stems. Set the caps to the side.
Throw all the mushroom stems into a food processor and whirl them up. Now set them aside.
In a frying pan, fry up “some” onion and garlic in butter. (I usually whirl that in the food processor too.) The amount of onion/garlic is going to depend on how many mushrooms you’re making, obviously, and this is where experience and God’s grace comes into play. If you’re doing a pound of mushrooms, for example, you’d probably want a little less than half an onion and a smallish garlic clove. When my mom makes this for 26 people, we do a whole onion and a lot of garlic. You’ll know your own family’s taste in terms of how strong they want it.
Throw the mushroom stem pieces into the pan with the onion and garlic and saute the whole thing.
When that’s all mushy, add about half as much mozzarella cheese as you’ve already got in the pan. Stir this up so the cheese begins to melt.
(This is where it gets fun.)
Turn off the heat.
Add some parmesan cheese and Italian-style breadcrumbs by handfuls until you get a thick stuffing. I usually have about half again as much stuffing. By this time the whole thing is stuck to your spoon and you’re wondering why you followed some weird lady’s directions off the internet and if it’s too late to order a pizza.
When this is all mixed nicely together, set it to the side. Allay your fears by arranging the mushroom caps on a foil-lined pan that you’ve rubbed down with olive oil (or something to keep the mushroom caps from sticking.) Drizzle olive oil over them too if you like.
Stuff the mushroom caps by hand. The stuffing may still be really hot. I try to keep the stuffing flat to the surface of the mushroom, and packed in tight. If there’s stuffing left over at the end, redistribute over all the mushroom caps. You can sprinkle parmesan cheese over this if you like. I usually forget.
Put the pan into the oven at 350 for “a while.” You’ll know the mushrooms are done when they’ve changed color and are soft. The mushroom caps will have receded around the stuffing so the stuffing seems to have popped up, and there will be liquid mushroom juice at the bottom of the pan. They’ll also smell awesome.
The nice thing about this recipe is that because it’s free-form, you can add other things if you want, like roasted red peppers or crab meat or anything your heart desires. And you can make just a few if you want to experiment before The Big Day. 🙂
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