Saturday, 17 March 2012

Stuffed Mushrooms

This picture shows you the difference between the tiny button mushrooms and the cup mushrooms.

Let me start this by confessing that for most of my life I hated mushrooms. Not because they tasted bad but because my parents tried to make me eat them and that automatically guaranteed them a place in the “Thing’s Sunny Won’t Eat” hall of fame. However, once I reached adulthood I decided it was probably time to address my eating fears – so I started with mushrooms.

5 years on, I can confidently say I have tackled that obstacle with flying colours. So much so, that I LOVE this stuffed mushroom recipe and so does my family. Below is my adapted version of The Pioneer Woman’s stuffed mushrooms.

If you make these with tiny little button mushrooms they make fantastic finger food for a party. For a great starter, make them with cup mushrooms and serve with a simple dressed green salad.

A close up of one of my tiny ones!
A large bag of mushrooms – I used both button and cup mushrooms
250g cream cheese
1 egg
1 cup parmesan cheese (grated)
1 large onion
4 spicy chorizo style sausages (or) 4 regular sausages and a tsp paprika, half tsp minced garlic
1 tsp minced garlic
1 – 2 cups white wine (whatever you’re drinking at the time)
1 tsp Mexican chilli powder
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Clean mushrooms of any dirt with a dry tea towel. Pull out the stems and if needed, cut the hole a little bigger to fit more filling in. Take the scraps of mushrooms and finely dice. Put aside.

Heat a dash of oil in a large frying pan. Using a sharp knife, make an incision along the raw sausage. Peel off the outer skin to leave only the inside mince. You can also do this by cutting the top off and squeezing the mince out. Discard skins.

Fry the sausage meat in the hot pan until cooked through. Use a spatula or wooden spoon to break up mince whilst cooking. If using regular sausages, add the extra spices to the mince whilst cooking.

Place sausage in a bowl and set aside. Add onions and garlic to the pan - cook for 2 minutes. Add wine and Mexican chilli powder. Cook until all the wine has been absorbed. Add chopped mushrooms and cook until both mushrooms and onions are soft. Add salt and pepper to taste.

In a large bowl, mix together cream cheese and egg until combines and smooth. Stir in parmesan cheese. Add onion mixture and sausage to cream cheese. Mix well and place in fridge to firm up for 20 minutes.

Spoon mixture into mushrooms – feel free to pile it high! – and place on an oiled tray. Place in a 180°c (or 350°F) oven for about 20 minutes (more if you’ve stuffed bigger mushrooms) or until golden on top. Allow to cool for a few minutes before serving.

Here is the cross section of the bigger mushroom - you'll notice my ridiculous mushroom to filling combo - this one was Dale's favourite of course!

As well as stuffing the mushrooms, the left over filling is fantastic in a toasted sandwich. Another idea is to cut a slit in a chicken breast, stuff with some of the filling, crumb and pan fry. Serve with a salad and pat yourself on the back for being so darn clever.

Enjoy! Sunny xx

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