Making vegetables happen: Stuffed mushrooms

I had no idea stuffed mushrooms were considered upscale. That’s what the recipe websites say anyway. But making stuffed mushrooms is simple. In fact, it’s akin to deviled eggs. You pop out the middle (yolk/stem), mix it with other ingredients, then stuff everything back in. Both dishes require cooking. Only with deviled eggs you cook first, by boiling. With stuffed mushrooms you cook afterward, by baking.

mushrooms in a colinder

Now, I am not going to provide a strict recipe because you don’t need one. Just keep the shrooms in your fridge, and when it’s time to make stuffed mushrooms, there are a few simple things to remember. And it's not ingredients or measurements.

Simple tips for stuffed mushrooms:

  • Baking at 400 Farenheit for 20 minutes is usually fine, depending on the size of the mushrooms.
  • Have a bottle of spray olive oil handy. It's ideal for topping off the dish before sliding it into the oven.
  • For the filler, you chop up the mushroom stems and mix with something creamy, and something herbal (fresh herbs or dried spices).
  • Chopped garlic and onions add a little more nutrition and a lot more flavor to whatever combo you are making. 
  • You also have the option of adding sausage or other finely-chopped meat.
  • To add a little crunch, topping it with breadcrumbs or Panko provides some texture. 

food processor filled with food

How to make stuffed mushrooms

  • Wash the mushrooms thoroughly.
  • Flip them upside down and gingerly pull off the stems.
  • Oil a baking pan, toss the mushroom heads on there to get them well-covered, then place the mushrooms stem-side up, exposing the concave space that held the stems. 
  • Chop the mushroom  stems and place them in a bowl. Mix in whatever cheeses, herbs, spices, meats, veggies you have, until it's a creamy paste.
  • Stuff the mix back into the mushroom.
  • Optional: Top with breadcrumbs or Panko.
  • Spray the tops with olive oil.
  • Bake at 400 degrees Farenheit for for 20 minutes.

greyhound drools over food

Choose your own adventure: Stuffed mushroom fillings

You didn't think I was going to leave you hanging, did you? No sir. I am all about flavor and I love a good theme. Below I've listed some tasty filling combinations, and gave them a name. Because why not? 

Remember, no need to worry about measurements. You can taste as you go, until you think the filling is delicious. If you are adding meat, cook it first. It won't dry out in the creamy base. 

The Positano: Chopped mushrooms, shredded mozzarella, Parmesan, finely-chopped garlic, dried oregano, salt, pepper, dried basil (and if you'd like to kick it up a notch, marjoram and thyme) and a splash (or many) of marinara or other tomato-based pasta sauce. 

The Omaha: Chopped mushrooms, Colby or American cheese, caramelized onions, a dash of ketchup, a dash of A-1 or Worchestershire sauce, salt, pepper, a little sour cream, chopped garlic (or garlic powder).

The Shanghhai: Chopped mushrooms, cream cheese, chopped scallions, chopped cilantro, soy sauce, white pepper (black if you need to), oyster sauce, chopped garlic, crushed peanuts, and crushed sichuan peppercorn (it temporarily makes your mouth tingly - but it's fun, and a unique flavor)

La Cuernavaca: Chopped mushrooms, Mexican blend cheese (or cream cheese-works in all dishes), diced onions, cumin, chili powder, chopped cilantro, chopped pickled jalapeno, and lime juice

I say this a lot, but have fun with it. I never make sure I have certain ingredients lined up before I endeavor cooking stuffed mushrooms. I relish the challenge of making it delicious using whatever is left in the fridge. Most of the time it's cream cheese, cilantro, chopped onions and a sprinkle of Panko. 

There are so many iterations. Have fun with it. As long the filling is tasty, it's a sure thing. 


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