Wednesday, March 26, 2008

March 26: Spinach & Parmesan Stuffed Mushrooms

I love stuffed mushrooms. They are gorgeous and delicious as an appetizer, not to mention popular. Buy some portabellos, stuff and bake them, and you've got a healthy and irresistable dinner. Why do I not do that more often? I am making a mental note to myself as I write this.

There are dozens of delicious stuffings for mushrooms. I always start with fresh breadcrumbs and an aromatic like onion or garlic. Then there are a million different ways to go. I like crabmeat--the cheap stuff, not the jumbo lump; I've even used canned--cream cheese, scallions, and parmesan. I like diced proscuitto, goat cheese, and basil. I like spicy Italian sausage, diced tomatoes, Italian seasoning, and mozzerella. I like spinach and feta and fresh oregano. I like bleu cheese and sour cream. Pretty much anything goes well in a mushroom. It's the great thing about a mushroom.

This is Fine Cooking's stuffed mushroom recipe. Spinach and parmesan are a natural pair. Don't skip the step of roasting the mushroom caps; if you do, the filling will be drippy and watery and not at all the toasty, savory treat that this can be.

Spinach & Parmesan Stuffed Mushrooms

1 pound medium white mushrooms, wiped clean
8 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 slices firm white bread
4 scallions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup dry sherry
6 ounces fresh baby spinach, roughly chopped
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon freshly grated parmesan cheese
1/2 lemon

Set an oven rack 6 inches from the top element and heat the broiler to high. Completely remove the mushroom stems; thinly slice the stems. Set the mushroom caps stem side up on a rimmed baking sheet, drizzle with 1 1/2 tablespoons of the oil, and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and a few grinds of pepper. Broil until the mushrooms are brown and completely tender, 6 to 7 minutes.

Pulse the bread in a food processor until it forms crumbs. In a large, heavy saute pan, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil over medium-high heat. Add the breadcrumbs and 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt and cook, stirring constantly, until the breadcrumbs crisp and brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate and wipe pan clean. Return the pan to high heat, add the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoon oil and the scallions, and saute until browned and softened, about 2 minutes. Add the mushroom stems and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring, until the stems soften and brown, about 3 minutes. Add the sherry and and cook until almost evaporated, 30 to 60 seconds. Add the spinach and stir until it wilts, about 1 minute. Add the cream and 1/3 cup of the parmesan, reduce the heat to medium, and cook until the cream reduces slightly, about 2 minutes. Taste for salt and pepper. Let cool.

Discard any liquid that may have accumulated in the mushroom caps. Mound the spinach mixture into the caps, top with the breadcrumbs, pressing them lightly into the filling. Top with the remaining tablespoon of parmesan.

Heat the broiler to high. Broil the caps until the breadcrumbs brown a little more and the mushrooms heat through, 1 to 3 minutes. Squeeze the lemon over the caps. Serve immediately.

1 comment:

merseydotes said...

That sounds delish.