This time of year, when there are parties seemingly every weekend, it’s good to be able to do something easy that is a crowd pleaser. Stuffed mushrooms definitely qualify! Stuffings can range wildly, so feel free to use this as a base and modify to your own tastes…add diced red bell pepper, spice it up with red chile flakes, substitute crab for the sausage, add panko flakes or chopped nuts for crunch, or whatever strikes your fancy. Here is my recipe to serve at your New Year’s Eve, New Year’s day or even Super Bowl party.
18 medium or large-sized white mushrooms, stems removed and reserved
1/2 lb Italian sausage (or 1/4 each of mild and spicy Italian sausage)
2 Tbsp olive oil
3 shallots, cut in small dice
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup sherry
1 Tbsp sherry vinegar
salt & pepper
5 oz cream cheese at room temperature
1 tsp lemon juice
1/4 cup Italian leaf parsley, finely chopped
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese, divided
1 add’l Tbsp olive oil + 1 add’l Tbsp sherry
Preheat the oven to 325 F. Set aside the de-stemmed mushroom caps, and chop the stems. Remove the sausage from the casing, and brown in a skillet (add a bit of olive oil if needed). Cook until no longer pink, breaking into crumbles as it cooks. Remove the sausage with a slotted spoon or spatula to a medium sized bowl. In the same skillet (do not clean it), add 1-2 Tbsp olive oil if needed (different sausages will have different amounts of fat), and sauté the onions and garlic until onions are softened, about 4 minutes. Add the chopped mushroom stems and sauté an additional 2-3 minutes. Salt & pepper the mixture to taste, and add the 1/4 cup sherry and Tbsp of sherry vinegar. Turn heat to high and cook until liquid is greatly reduced (there should still be a little liquid left. Add mixture to the sausage in the bowl.
Add the cream cheese, lemon juice, fresh parsley and 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese. Mix well and taste, adjusting salt, pepper, and lemon as necessary. The mixture should taste delicious…it will taste the same in the cooked mushrooms.
In a large bowl, gently toss the mushroom caps with the remaining 1 Tbsp olive oil and 1 Tbsp sherry. Arrange the mushroom caps, top side down, on a baking sheet, and using a teaspoon, stuff the caps with the sausage and onion mixture. Top with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese, and bake in the oven for about 50 minutes.
Serve immediately and enjoy.
[NOTE: the filling can be frozen for future use if you don’t use it all]