Inspiration comes in many forms. But for me it is usually roaming the aisles of the grocery store with no plan in mind.
That is when I saw the 40 oz (yup 2 1/2 lbs!) of giant stuffing size mushrooms on sale. I just knew immediately that I wanted to stuff them and not just one way. So I started gathering all the ingredients for stuffing these mushrooms in three different ways.
From left to right:
Ham & Swiss, Creamed Spinach, Italian Sausage & Peppers
Word to the wise… invite some friends over for a party because the 40 oz package was about 32 mushrooms. 32 HUGE mushrooms. You could probably freeze the stuffed, cooked mushrooms but we will just eat them over the next few days instead. Breakfast, lunch and dinner!
No real recipe was used. I simply cleaned and de-stemmed the mushrooms, chopping the stems and using them in the stuffing for the sausage and the ham/swiss versions. I oiled them really well (use your favorite oil) and the pan they were baked on. I did whiz up a sleeve of Ritz crackers and that was split between the three mixtures before stuffing. I did freeze the extra stuffing.
Ham & Swiss: I sautéed (almost caramelized) a small amount of diced white onion in butter, added diced stems and ham, sautéed a bit more. Let it cool, off the heat for a few and stirred in finely shredded swiss cheese. Mix in the Ritz cracker crumb. Salt and pepper to taste and you are ready to stuff.
Sweet Sausage and Pepper: I took some sausage out of its casing, crumbled it and lightly browned it with some diced red, green & yellow sweet peppers , the diced mushroom stems and diced white onions. Turn off the heat and mix in a palm full of finely grated Pecorino Romano cheese. Mix in the Ritz cracker crumb. Salt and pepper to taste and you are ready to stuff.
Creamed Spinach: Use your favorite recipe – maybe cut it in half if you are not doing so many mushrooms. But mine was basically sautéed onion in butter, add a pinch of nutmeg and a bigger pinch of granulated garlic. Add some heavy cream and let simmer to reduce and thicken, add lots of finely grated Pecorino Romano and maybe a little of that swiss cheese. Add the fresh, washed, dried and torn up spinach. Cook awhile longer. Turn off the heat and while piping hot, mix in the Ritz cracker crumb. Salt and pepper to taste. Let cool a bit and you are ready to stuff.
I baked all of them at the same time on a couple of sheet pans in a 400 degree preheated oven for 15-20 mins. I personally think they could have gone a tiny bit longer since these were huge mushrooms. Or maybe even pre-roasting them for a few minutes before stuffing could be an option. A drizzle of oil across the top of the stuffed mushrooms before putting them into bake will also keep things moist.
Do you think this is lucky? Like getting a double yolk egg?