Stuffed mushrooms are a quick way to quiet growling stomachs while you are getting dinner ready. I’ve stuffed them with spinach, sun-dried tomatoes and a little Parmesan for a rich savory flavor. Try them for a great start to Thanksgiving dinner or for game day snacks.
To Tease the Appetite
While a little snack served before dinner is traditionally called an hors d’oeuvre, its just too hard to spell. The word appetizer has become synonymous with pre-dinner snacks and it makes more sense to me. Sounds like to tease the appetite. Just a teaser before the main course, these stuffed mushrooms are great for holidays, parties, even while watching your favorite game on TV.
When buying mushrooms to stuff, hand pick them for the perfect, uniform size. Skip the packages. You can’t always tell how fresh they are and the sizes vary.
Go for about a 2″ across cap. While they look bigger than bite size, mushrooms shrink when baked. Smaller ones shrink into nothing. Buy mushrooms that have closed stems, where the gills are not exposed. That is the sign of a fresh mushroom. Also, choose mushrooms with no brown spots, that are firm, white and not shriveled.
To clean mushrooms, wipe them gently with a damp paper towel or use this trick. Hold 2-3 in cupped hands, and very quickly, briefly, run them under cold slowly running water, rubbing the mushrooms in your hands. Any debris will be loosened and rinse off. Then drain on paper towels. Pop the stems out and reserve them for the filling.
Place mushroom caps round side down on a rimmed baking sheet or casserole dish. If you use a casserole, be sure it is broiler-friendly. I once had an “oven-safe” glass dish explode from the heat of the broiler, which is why I prefer to use metal rimmed baking sheets. See my notes below under tools.
Sprinkle the caps with olive oil, salt and pepper. Broil for approximately 7-10 minutes or until the caps are golden and the mushrooms have released their juices. Discard the juices from the mushrooms.
Cook the Filling
To create a savory filling for your mushrooms, roughly chop the stems and cook in a saute pan with the rest of the ingredients. The dry sherry listed is optional. After the alcohol cooks off a lovely flavor is left. You can skip it if you prefer to cook sans-alcohol. To perfectly portion the filling in the caps, use a #100 disher or a teaspoon.
When ready to enjoy, bake and top with a little extra sprinkle of Parmesan if desired. You can make them ahead a few hours, cover and refrigerated until guests arrive, then bake and serve.
Tips on Tools
For evenly mounded and portioned stuffed mushrooms, I use a #100 disher. You can also use a teaspoon. I have dishers in many sizes, with the 100 being the smallest. They come in handy for portioning out all kinds of ingredients when cooking and baking. Find them on Amazon (follow links).
Another essential tool in my kitchen is the rimmed baking sheet. They are inexpensive and in constant use for cooking, roasting, baking, organizing, and keeping things clean. The handiest sizes are the quarter sheet and half sheet. Find them on Amazon (follow links) or at a restaurant supply or cooking store.