Upon commencing my sojourn into the flourishing bazaar of greens, grains, and goods (hitherto known as a grocery to you folk, I may presume), my eyes befell a peculiar astounding specimen nestled amid leafy herbs and potent peppers. Neither small as a button nor rotund as a ‘bello. Nay, this lay in the abyss ‘tween two extremes, a perfectly sized cap for stuffing. And so it can bear no surprise to all and sundry that such a commodity would build its fame upon the title “Stuffing Mushroom”. Oh to resist would be a great treachery upon my taste buds indeed! And I hardly could turn away from the opportunities that glistened within the eyes reflected in the glass above (who pray tell mandated the arrangement of such mirrored artifacts atop the edible greens by the by?). Thus it came to pass that this simple cook packed along with her the promise of a delicacy only as yet experienced within the confines of fine eateries: the stuffed mushroom. Oh but what a miracle to discover the truth, eons held beneath the surface of my simpleton knowledge, that this fine treat is no more difficult than brewing a decadent mango cream chiffon cake! (Ahh this slip of my tongue portends the contents of a future post! Zounds!)Seriously, stuffed mushrooms are slightly labor intensive, yes, but marvelously worth it. I would definitely consider making them for a dinner party or some such nonsense, if ever an event were to be had in my humble abode nestled in solitude. Yeah, we live a quiet life. The better to brush up on my painfully inaccurate 18th century lingo.
So if you didn’t catch on, these particular shroomies were much bigger than the usual crimini or button mushrooms, but not as wide or flat as portobellos etc. A healthy size, the perfect to hollow out, sauté and bake up into mushy masterpieces.
- 1 package (7 in my total) stuffing mushrooms, stems removed and slightly hollowed out (reserve stems et al)
- ¼ orange bell pepper, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 long stem green onion, diced
- Onion powder
- 1 tsp dried rosemary
- 1/4 cup fresh coriander leaves (cilantro), finely chopped
- Black pepper
- Red chili powder (if desired)
- 2 tbsp breadcrumbs
- ½ tomato, thinly sliced
- Shredded cheddar cheese
Firstly, preheat the oven to 375 F and then hollow out the mushrooms and set the removed portions aside to chop up. In a large frying pan, add some olive oil on medium heat and place the mushroom caps hollow side down for a few minutes (3-5 min). During this time you can properly mince up the mushroom stems etc, until the are finely diced. Return to the frying pan, flipping over the mushrooms. You’ll see the bottom portion should have turned a nice bronze color, perfectly ideal. As you saute them upside down, notice how water that is being released from the mushrooms slowly pools inside the cap. It amuses me so.
Eventually the mushroom will have browned on the bottom as well, to which I flipped them over again to release all the water and let it steam up in a flurry. Once more let them remain like this for a few minutes, just to make sure as much water has been released as possible. The mushrooms should shrink slightly in the process. Remove them and place on a lightly greased baking sheet, setting aside to be stuffed. (You might sprinkle a little added seasoning on them now to liven them up.)
Back to the frying pan, add a bit more oil, and begin with frying the chopping mushroom “innards” (yum!). Just as with the large caps, let the water release from these first so they shrink down, and then add the garlic and peppers. Let them fry for 4 minutes and then add the green onions, onion powder and rosemary, stirring quickly to incorporate everything. Lastly add the coriander leaves and salt, pepper, and red pepper to taste.
Once all the ingredients have reduced to a fine near-crisp, turn the heat off and add the bread crumbs, stirring so they heat up with the ingredients but don’t char. Once it cools slightly, take a teaspoon and generously fill all the mushrooms, stuffing them to maximum capacity. The filling will reduce slightly once baked, so feel free to let it overflow. I was able to use all my filling mixture for the seven mushroom caps.
I baked them for about 15 minutes, but depending on your oven it might be a little longer. I also left them in after they were done (with the oven turned off, so it was still warm) until they were ready to serve.
I love the tomato as the final touch, because a freshly roasted tomato is sweet like nothing else and complements the hint of rosemary and tang of the peppers deliciously.