I fell in love with stuffed mushrooms as a kid. My Mom would take us to Paolo’s Restaurant in Brooklyn. I savored the stuffed mushrooms and the shrimp cocktail. Years later I began playing with different recipes and adding my own ingredients. Stuffing mushrooms eventually become “chefs’ choice”. I recommend that you have fun with it, once you get the basics down.
So, if you find yourself with some extra time to bake something wonderfully Italian, give this a try. The stuffing for the mushrooms is best when refrigerated overnight. I have included the ingredients and amounts for one tray (up to twelve mushrooms). I buy a small carton of fresh white mushrooms for the stuffing.
Granted, you can add fish to your stuffing, but I like to prepare it with chopped mushrooms and cheese.
You will need:
1/2 cup of white mushrooms minced.
2 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese.
1 1/2 cup unseasoned breadcrumbs.
Garlic – 1 large or 2 small cloves.
3 oz chopped onion.
4 leaves fresh parsley.
1/2 tsp. Salt.
1/4 tsp. Oregano.
1/4 tsp. Garlic Powder.
1/4 tsp. Pepper.
1/8 tsp. Basil.
1/4 cup of Olive Oil.
1 cup of butter.
2/3 cup of water.
1 Package of Stuffing Mushrooms.
1 package of fresh mozzarella.
1 fresh lemon.
Melt two tablespoons of butter in a sauté pan On Low Heat. Add the onions and Caramelize them. I have found that low heat and patience combined with gentle stirring does the trick.
When finished, remove them from the pan and set them aside in a cup or bowl.
Melt one more tablespoon of butter with the olive oil in the heated pan and add the mushrooms, garlic and parsley. Turn the heat up to medium. Sautee together for five minutes or until mushrooms and garlic are fully cooked. Add the breadcrumbs and onions. Stir thoroughly for two minutes, then add the water. Stir until the mixture becomes pasty (not unlike traditional stuffing). Add small amounts of additional water if necessary, but do not over-moisten. Turn off the heat and keep the pan on the burner. Add the spices and Parmesan cheese. Mix thoroughly so spices are distributed evenly throughout the mix. When finished, put the stuffing in a bowl and let cool, then cover and refrigerate the mixture overnight.
The following night: Take the mixture out of the refrigerator for about an hour before cooking the stuffing mushrooms. This brings the stuffing to room temperature for baking in the oven.
Gently and thoroughly clean the stuffing mushrooms, one at a time. Heat the sauté pan on medium. Add two tablespoons of butter. Be sure the melted butter coats the entire pan. Roll the sides of the mushrooms around in the melted butter, then place each mushroom face down. Cook the mushrooms halfway through. Then turn the mushrooms over and cook halfway as well. I allow my mushrooms to emit their natural liquid in the center and remove them promptly from the pan.
Allow the stuffing mushrooms to cool slightly and then stuff with the prepared mixture. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut thin slices of mozzarella and place across the top of each mushroom.
Lightly coat a baking pan with butter. Add the mushrooms to the pan and bake for about ten to fifteen minutes. A properly moistened stuffing is important. It will allow you to brown the stuffing and properly melt the cheese without drying out.
Sprinkle with parsley flakes and serve with fresh lemon wedges. May you enjoy them as much as we do. Happy stuffing!