Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Stuffed Mushrooms

Well, if you've read much of my blog, or if you know me in person, then you know I'm not much of a cook. However, it's been dry here, causing Superman to be home from work for the better part of two weeks. And bless him, he's driving me crazy! He's forced me to take matters into my own hands and I'm in the kitchen, because a man that is chewing or full is a quiet man!

Our homeschool group has a produce co-op that was held yesterday. I came home with a huge laundry basket full of fresh produce. If you'd like to see just how much fresh produce $20 can buy you in a co-op, click here. This will link you to the co-op leader's blog where she posted a neat entry on the topic.

I opted to bring home a couple of extra packs of mushrooms, because Superman loves stuffed mushrooms. Let's just say, he's a happy fellow now that his tummy is full of them!

The recipe and pictures are coming, but I wouldn't be me if I didn't share a bit of trivia first...
In the pictures you'll notice a yellow colander and a beige pan. These belonged to Nannie. She sent them home with me, because she doesn't cook much these days.

You'll also see a warn and weathered white cutting board. One of my dearest college friends, I'll just call her H-D and laugh to myself, and hope she's reading this. Anyway, H-D came to visit me while I was still finishing up college. She had already graduated and moved out on her own. We decided to stay in one night and cook at my house. Now, at the time, I wasn't married. I hardly cook now, so you know I wasn't cooking then.

After scolding me for not owning a cutting board, H-D headed to the grocery store for the ingredients we needed and a shiny, new cutting board. She paid for both, so I guess I can't complain about the scolding! I also just can't seem to get rid of the cutting board, although I now own 4 of them! That one is my special one!

And why did I need to share all of this trivia with you? Well, they're three of my "Secret Ingredients". That's why! I don't dread cooking quite as much when I look down and can reminisce about special people and special memories while I'm using the different items in my kitchen.

Now, on to the recipe for stuffed mushrooms:

First, take out your packaged mushrooms. I used three packages today.

Next, gather your other essential ingredients. I used one clove of garlic, and 1/2 cup of grated Parmesan cheese. (After tasting the final product, I realized I could have added a shake or two or salt.)

Wash the dirt particles off the mushroom, and shake well.

Pop off the mushroom stems and set the stems aside. You will use these later.

Place the mushrooms with stem end down to allow any remaining water to drip out. Once they've dried out for a minute or two, transfer them from your cutting board to your baking pan. Leave them stem end up so they'll be ready for stuffing.

As you're transferring the mushrooms to your baking pan, pull out any that have torn tops. Add the ones with torn tops to your bowl of mushroom stems. Only take out the ones that are torn open so much that they won't be able to hold the stuffing inside.

Begin chopping up your mushroom stems and pieces. This will be the base of your stuffing.

Here is an idea of how small to chop the mushroom bits. (You could also use a food processor, but people that cook as often as I do don't own food processors!)
Add one clove of chopped garlic. (People that don't own food processors do own garlic pressers, because they were cute gadgets sold at Pampered Chef parties!)

Today I added a little bit of chopped bacon to my stuffing mix. It was left over from breakfast, so I had it on hand. You could use bacon bits. Or you could leave meat out completely. Note: do not use the red fake bacon bits, opt for real bacon bit!!!

This is what your stuffing will look like once you've added chopped mushrooms, grated cheese, garlic, salt, and bacon. I had 2 cups of mushroom pieces before I added the other ingredients. I could have used a little more chopped mushroom, and I would have been able to fill the mushroom caps a little more.

Stuff your mushrooms! You really can't over do it. I like to make sure mine have a little mound of stuffing rising over the top. You can always go back and add any left over stuffing mix to the large ones, once all the other mushrooms are stuffed! One very important thing to note at this point is that you're using a baking pan, not a lip-less cookie sheet!

THIS is why! Mushrooms release their liquid as they bake. After baking the mushrooms for 30 minutes at 350, I try to always take the pan out and remove all of the smallest mushrooms. That way they don't burn or cook away! This is what they look like after 30 minutes. I then bake them for another 15-25 minutes, leaving the temperature at 350.

And here is what they look like when they're finished. Or should I say, this is what the ones that survived Superman eating them off the pan as I was trying to transfer them from pan to plate!

But I can't complain, because not only is he chewing, but he's quiet!


1 comment:

inspired said...

WOW! That is the only words I have!! Okay, I lied! I have lots of words. Those look wonderful! I am going to be making that for my Wonderful Husband. He will love it. I wish I had seen it sooner. It would have gone wonderfully with tilapia and garlic potatoes!!


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