Thursday, November 24, 2011

stuffed mushrooms

yummy bites for a hungry crowd

"Over the river and through the woods ..." to share Thanksgiving with my family, our tradition for more than 10 years.  I have many wonderful memories of sharing this holiday with my Aunt Terry and her brood so it is very meaningful to me that we are continuing that tradition with our children.

I always bring a few dishes to share with our extended family and this recipe for stuffed mushrooms is the most-requested.  They're wonderful for a large gathering - holidays, brunch with friends, football with a crowd ... you name it.  As with many of our favorites, I have a formula and will note ways that I often change it up.  

Many blessings, peace and joy to you and yours ~ Happy Thanksgiving!

Stuffed Mushrooms


1-2 Italian sausages
2  10-oz packages of mushrooms (cremini or button)
1 large shallot, peeled and rough chopped
2-3 cloves of garlic, peeled
2 T vermouth, to deglaze 
1 t Italian seasoning
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 c italian bread crumbs
3/4 c grated parmesan cheese (plus extra for topping)


1. Remove the sausage from the casings and brown in a fry pan over medium-high heat.  As it browns, help it crumble with the edge of your spatula. 

2. Time to mince the stems, shallot and garlic.  I chopped by hand today, but have been known to use the food processor. Pulse gently - you don't want a paste. 

3.  Remove and drain the sausage on paper towels when cooked through. Add the veggies (stems, shallot & garlic) to the pan, deglaze with the vermouth, add the seasoning and saute for about 3 minutes over medium heat.  Salt and pepper to taste.

4.  Remove pan from heat and let cool a bit.  Transfer to a larger bowl for mixing with the breadcrumbs, sausage and cheese to make the stuffing.  

5.  Stuff the caps - a teaspoon works best - and place on a large, rimmed baking sheet.  I'm using mini-muffin liners to try to stabilize these for the trip to NH.  

- when ready to bake and serve -

5. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. 

6.  Sprinkle the caps with a little extra parmesan cheese, if you desire.  

7. Bake for 15-20 minutes in the center of the oven.  Keep an eye as ovens vary.  You're looking for the top to brown but also for the cap to cook and become tender to the bite. 

Make it yours: 

~ you can alter the cheese ... romano, pecorino or piave, any good melting cheese
~ white wine, red wine or marsala can be substituted for the vermouth
~ apple & chicken sausage or crabmeat both would make a nice brunch filling
~ you can make it vegetarian by substituting spinach for the sausage 
~ add more herbs and spices (like red pepper flakes) for extra flavor

Yummy finger food for your next party!

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