The holidays are a special time of togetherness, celebrations, and of course, happy tummy's. Quick and tasty appetizers are perfect for sharing a drink (or four) around the fire...and if you're as into Christmas as I am, perhaps a giant tree elaborately decorated with red and gold ornaments will also be in this picture. This recipe for stuffed cremini mushrooms, found here, is courtesy of a Williams and Sonoma cookbook circa 2008. These little cups of mouthwatering happiness are seriously addicting...and the fact that they look über fancy is just an added bonus.
What you need:
- Fresh cremini or white button mushrooms, brushed clean
- 2 tbsp fresh bread crumbs
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
- 1 tsp minced fresh sage
- 1 large garlic clove, finely chopped
- 3 oz serrano ham or prosciutto, finely chopped
- 3 tbsp creme fraiche or sour cream
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
- 2 tbsp dry white wine or vermouth
- 2 tbsp grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese (or more...)
What you do:
1. Preheat an oven to 400°F. Lightly oil 1 heavy baking dish, or 2 large enough to accommodate the mushrooms snugly in a single layer.
3. Trim off the rough base of each mushroom stem, then remove the stems and chop finely.
4. In a large bowl, combine the chopped stems, the bread crumbs, parsley, sage, garlic, ham, 3 tablespoons crème fraîche, and the salt and pepper. Mix together thoroughly. The mixture should hold together in clumps. If it seems dry, mix in another 1 to 2 teaspoon of crème fraîche.
5. Put the mushroom caps, stem sides up, in a steamer basket set over simmering water. Cover and steam until tender and glossy, about 3 minutes. Lift out the basket, allowing any moisture to drain, and let cool.
6. Spoon 1 generous teaspoon of the ham mixture onto the stem side of each mushroom cap and smooth it into an even, rounded mound. Place the mushrooms, stuffing side up, in the prepared baking dish.
7. Drizzle the wine around the edges of the dish and sprinkle each cap with about 1/8 teaspoon of the cheese. Bake, uncovered, until golden, about 30 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes, garnish with cheese and serve warm or at room temperature.
Feel free to experiment with the spices, herbs, and just the ingredient quantities in general. I missed out on the sage and possssibly overloaded on the cheese...but as if that's ever a problem.
Anyone else wishing for a White Christmas?