Calling all mushroom lovers. Ovvvv–er here!
One of the things I absolutely love to eat are appetizers. They’re so cute and so flavourful and of course, so little, that you have to have more than just one, or even two and well, dog-gone-it, sometimes 3 or 4. Well the great thing about these little appetizers, is that they are almost all vegetables, so I’m giving you permission to have as many as you like and there’s absolutely no guilt involved. None. Eat as many as your little heart desires.
The thing I like about this combination of flavours is its freshness. It doesn’t leave a heavy aftertaste, nor does it make you feel like you’ve over-indulged. It delivers a light, flavourful mouthful with every bite that will have your family and friends coming back for more. Served at a party, as an appetizer, these yummy little morsels are sure to get polished off.
Italian Stuffed Mushrooms
4 strips bacon, diced
1/4 cup (50 ml) ground pork
30 – 40 medium to large fresh mushrooms
1 cup (250 ml) onion and garlic salad croutons, crushed
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
1 medium tomato, finely chopped
1/2 yellow pepper, finely diced
1/4 cup (50 ml) grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons (25 ml) minced fresh parsley
1-1/2 teaspoons (6 ml) minced fresh oregano or 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1. In a large skillet, cook pork, drain fat and pat with a paper towel. Chop finely with a knife or a hand-held blender and set aside. In the same skillet, cook bacon over medium heat, until crisp. Remove to paper towels; pat dry, reserving 1 tablespoon of drippings.
2. Remove stems from mushrooms; set caps aside. Finely chop half of the stems (save the remaining for another use). Add chopped stems to bacon drippings; saute for 2-3 minutes. Remove from the heat.
3. Mix mushroom stems with crushed croutons, cheeses, tomato, pepper, cooked ham, bacon, parsley and oregano.
4. Firmly stuff crouton mixture into mushroom caps. Place on a greased baking sheet. Bake at 425 °F for 12-15 minutes or until mushrooms are tender.
Adapted from Taste of Home Magazine 2011
I filled a combination of 40 medium to large mushrooms and still ended up with enough filling left over for a great lunch idea which I’ll be posting here later in the week. In the meantime, here’s a handy little tip I found over at Farm Boy to keep mushrooms fresh.
What’s the best way to keep Mushrooms fresh?
Once you’ve purchased mushrooms loose or in a package, keep them in a paper bag to ensure freshness. This allows the mushrooms to breathe better and stay fresher longer so they retain their firm, tasty shape. Do not store them in plastic bags since plastics non-porous nature causes faster deterioration and loss of flavour while cooking. Stored properly, mushrooms should keep for several days. It doesn’t matter what size of mushrooms you pick. Size isn’t a sign of quality or age. Large ones are great for stuffing and smaller ones for marinating. Medium mushrooms are perfect for anything.