Monday, January 18, 2010
A motif has emerged in my recent cooking exploits: many recipes are much easier than I think. Today's case in point: beloved appetizer of yesteryear, stuffed mushrooms. As I'm reminded again and again, preparation is key; well, that and good time management, which I failed to utilize yesterday, but do as I say, not as I do, okay? For the record, when one is already behind the "stuffed mushrooms for Golden Globes party" schedule, do not wander around the grocery store trying to figure out if it's cheaper to buy bread crumbs or saltines to crush into cracker crumbs (they turned out to be pretty much the same price, but who was I kidding thinking I would have time to bother with the latter?).
The internet overfloweth with recipes for stuffed mushrooms; crab, sausage and spinach are big favorites, but I was looking for a vegetarian version and settled on this one as my starting point. Lately, it seems like there may be folks who want to know the details of my half-assed cooking, so here's what I actually ended up doing:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook half an onion finely chopped in canola or olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Throw in some salt and pepper.
Remove stems from the mushrooms and chop finely; do the same for a clove of garlic. After the onion is translucent, throw in the mushroom stems and add a bit more oil. Wait until the stems are cooked through before salting and adding chopped garlic.
After garlic is almost golden, turn off the heat and let the mixture cool slightly. Then add to a bowl of softened cream cheese (about 3/4 of one package), a good amount of breadcrumbs, chopped parsley and grated parmesan cheese. Mix together until incorporated.
Grease a foil lined baking dish (or cookie sheet). Put filling into mushroom caps and place in baking dish. Sprinkle parmesan cheese over the caps. Put in oven for 15 min, until the filling is golden brown.
I was in such a hurry that I committed the cardinal sin of cooks: I didn't taste them! In a great stroke of luck, they turned out well and I wasn't forced to eat them all myself to spare the other partygoers. I would make these stuffed mushrooms again in a heartbeat. Looks like I have a successful appetizer to add to my arsenal!