Here’s my recipe for stuffed mushrooms, which has gotten a surprising number of requests. Like at least three.
I make these for Thanksgiving and Christmas every year, because my habits are my comforts and if you fuck with them you die. (And also because it’s one of the few dishes my family completely trusts me with.)
You can take my directions as general guidelines. The beauty of stuffed mushrooms is that they’re incredibly hard to get wrong, no matter what you do to them. Do not fear the stuffed mushroom.
You will need:
– Mushrooms. (I prefer medium ones to the traditional “stuffing” mushrooms, which run comically large and thus are stupid.)
– Parmesan cheese. I just buy a tub of it pre-shredded. If you can only find the finely grated version, that’s fine too.
– Bread crumbs. I picked 4C’s “seasoned” kind, but it doesn’t really matter what you go with. (You might just need extra salt if the bread crumbs are too bland.)
– Prosciutto, because these are ITALIAN stuffed mushrooms. If you can’t deal with prosciutto, bacon will work exactly as well, if not better. Or you can omit the meat entirely, whether because you don’t eat it or because you’re already slated to eat too much of it.
– Some flat leaf parsley. Or just “parsley.” Whatever. Something green.
– Fresh garlic.
– Olive oil, salt, pepper and foil baking pans. Bonus points if you buy baking pans with pictures of cake on them. Won’t they be surprised!
First, take the mushrooms and separate the caps from the stems. The stems should pop off easily enough. (You might break a couple of caps while doing this, but without pain there is no life.)
During this process, use a damp napkin to wipe away any debris you see clinging to the mushrooms. Meaning the black bits. I don’t know what they are, but sheep dung isn’t out of the realm of possibility. Get rid of that stuff.
(You could rinse the mushrooms using a strainer, but wet mushrooms should be one of those things blindfolded people have to touch at Halloween parties.)
Put the caps in a safe place for now. You’ll need them later.
Next, it’s time to CHOP THOSE STEMS. You could do this by hand, but it takes forever and it’s really, really annoying. I use a food chopper, or whatever that thing is called. It’s tiny and ancient and I have to hold it at an 85 degree angle to make it work, so I promise that whatever “food chopper” you have will do the job just fine.
Toss the chopped mushroom stems into a big mixing bowl. We’ll get back to them soon enough.
Now chop the prosciutto, parsley and garlic in the same fashion.
For the prosciutto, how much you use depends on how “meaty” you want the mushrooms to be. I used four slices, which was fairly generous for this amount of mushrooms — even if they could’ve stood up to twice as much.
You’ll want to be more conservative with the garlic, and A LOT more conservative with the parsley. Think of them less like flavor agents and more like color and texture agents. You don’t need much.
Even a little bit of garlic will add a spicy punch, so be careful about overdoing it.
The parsley is the only ingredient fully capable of sinking stuffed mushrooms, so only use a little. (And make sure you wash it first, because parsley is notoriously filthy.)
Dump everything into the mixing bowl with the stems, and then add a very generous handful of parmesan cheese.
Next, it’s time to add the bread crumbs.
You’ll want to add an amount roughly equal to however much stuff was already in the bowl. So like, if you had 12 ounces of stems and parsley and meat and cheese, you’ll more or less want 12 ounces of bread crumbs. Make sense?
Then you add olive oil, and I mean a whole lot of it. You don’t want the mixture to be “swimming,” exactly, but you don’t want it to have the texture of sand, either.
(Unless we’re talking about that really wet sand that’s right by the ocean. Yes, aim for that sand.)
Add salt and pepper if you think the mixture needs it.
Now taste that shit. By this point it should be SO DELICIOUS that you’ll genuinely consider tossing the caps and taking the bowl to the couch with a spoon.
Now it’s time to stuff those mushrooms, which is insanely easy, if a little messy. Simply spoon the junk in, and fill one or more baking pans with the stuffed caps.
(Be generous. It’s all but guaranteed that you’ll have twice as much stuffing than you’ll actually need, so pile it on!)
After the mushrooms are in the baking pans (or cooking trays — whatever they’re called), I like to add an additional pinch of the parmesan to the top of each one. It looks good, it tastes good and it browns like it was born to.
Final step: Bake ‘em. I usually do 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes, but again, it’s REALLY hard to mess this up. Overcooking them would involve seriously gross negligence.
To make sure the caps don’t dry out too much, you might wanna spray them with Pam just before baking.
When they’re finished, they should look dark and wet, but the tops should be fairly crusty.
Congratulations, you’ve made Dino Drac’s famous stuffed mushrooms.
You can serve them hot or warm, but they will still taste great at room temperature.
They’re crazy good, guys. There’s a reason I’ve been making these for the entirety of my adult life.
The mushrooms will survive refrigerated for 1-2 days, and are arguably even better after being reheated — so yes, you can make these ahead of time.
If I can convince even one new person to spend the eves of major holidays spooning shredded mushrooms into not-shredded mushrooms, I will never again feel alone.
Happy Thanksgiving. I love you.