Thursday, December 24, 2009

Ina Garten's Sausage-Stuffed Mushrooms

It's no secret that I'm an Ina Garten (of the Barefoot Contessa) fan.   This recipe is adapted from Ina's repertoire, and it's a good one. Of course.   I made a couple of tweaks to the recipe. For starters, I made was to switch from Button Mushrooms to Portobello Mushrooms.  I think they have a "nuttier" taste--

These beauties are pretty large-- about the size of the palm of my hand.

Food Network's "Alton Brown" did an experiment, on one of his episodes, that disproved the theory that mushrooms should be wiped with a cloth.  Alton weighed his mushrooms before washing them, and afterward. The increase of water was so minute, that it didn't make a difference! Since then, I wash my mushrooms, thoroughly-- which is a lot easier, I think. (I have seen what mushrooms grow in, and I want to be sure they are very clean!)


I wipe them dry with a paper towel, pull out the stems (to be chopped) and then I like to use a melon baller to clean out those unsightly "gills".  The mushrooms are then placed into a baking dish, and marinated with a little olive oil and some sherry (or Marsala wine is good, too).  Next...

The stems are finely minced and set aside...

Green onions are a "must"-- cleaned and sliced thin...


I read the reviews for this recipe, and some folks complained that the filling was greasy. I didn't have that problem, because I used turkey sausage.   Removing the casings, I cooked the sausage, thoroughly in a cast iron skillet.  Because turkey sausage is very lean, I actually needed to add a little bit of olive oil.  There! Are we ready to build flavor?
NOTE: This recipe could easily be adapted for a vegetarian by not using sausage and using more chopped mushrooms and bread crumbs.

To the sausage, green onion is added... then finely minced garlic... next, panko crumbs and it's combined. Next...

Cheese, please!  Ina recommends Marscapone Cheese.  I happened to have some, but cream cheese would work just fine Trust me.  That's added, and is blended once the heat makes it creamy.  Next, some Parmesan cheese.  I added some fresh cracked pepper, but not additional salt. I think the Parmesan and the sausage had enough in it-- your choice.  In retrospect, I wish I had added some fresh thyme and red pepper flakes.  But, I try not to change recipes around too much-- the first go-round, which this was.

My garden has ample fresh Italian parsley.  Mince it, and then add that to the sausage filling. I grabbed a small scoop, and now...

... fill those marinated and "cleaned"  mushrooms to the brim!
 I'm getting an idea...

I diverted from the recipe, because I had a bag of shredded three-cheeses.  Why not?
NOTE: If you notice a toothpick...um, I kinda got aggressive cleaning out the mushrooms...and I "bwoke" one. I patched it back with a toothpick, which worked just fine.

The recipe says to bake these for 50 minutes at 325F.  Mine were ready in 25 minutes!
My son said that these reminded him of sausage pizza-- without the crust. I thought about it, and he's right! These were very tasty.  Because the mushrooms were so large, combined with a salad, this would make a nice lunch or supper.

I had leftover sausage filling.  I think these would be delicious mixed in with scrambled eggs.  Or, this could also be used as a pizza topping.  However, I think I'll just make these all over again for Christmas Eve. They are very easy to make.  I also think this recipe is very versatile.
TASTE NOTES:  Regular Italian sausage is an ideal ingredient. Just be sure to drain the excess fat.  Fresh thyme would be an excellent addition.  I'm not sure if panko crumbs are vital.  The moisture of the filling defeated the crunchiness of panko crumbs. I think regular bread crumbs would be fine.  You can easily make the sausage a day ahead-- which is exactly what I've done.

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Merry Christmas to one and all!








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15 comments:

food with style said...

these look wonderful, i adore stuffed mushrooms! wanted to wish you a very merry christmas and thank you for sharing at fws!

Big Dude said...

Wow - those look too good

Fresh Local and Best said...

This looks like a fabulous appetizer for parties. Merry Christmas and happy holidays!

Velva said...

I love stuffed mushrooms and if it's an Ina Garten recipe, you know it's has to be delicious.

Happy holidays to you and your family.

Marguerite said...

"TO DIE FOR"!!!, cher!
Happy Holidays!

Stacey Snacks said...

Deb,
I could easily eat a whole platter of these.
When I grew up, all my friend's Italian moms would make sausage and breadcrumb stuffed shrooms!
Yummy!
Merry Christmas tonight!
Stace

Valerina said...

These look fantastic, especially with the additional cheese! And
first aid for a mushroon, That is so cute!

Enjoy and once again, Have a wonderful and happy Holiday. :)

Me! said...

great job! i used turkey sausage as well and had quite a bit of stuffing left too. I used that and a few of the stuffed mushrooms that I chopped up and warmed them all in a skillet. Cooked up some pasta and mixed it in and that was really delicious too! (though rather carb heavy and coma inducing)

Monica H said...

These look great Deb! Merry Christmas!

Donna-FFW said...

What a fantastic appetizer!! I love how they both look and sound. Hope you had and continue to have wonderful holidays Debby!

T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types said...

Merry Christmas, Debby! How fantastic - I could have these for breakfast! Love the idea of using the small scoop to fill the mushroom caps - that would make the assembly of lots of appetizers so much easier.

Coco said...

Thanks for the comment! I was so excited to see another PW fan and I loved your tip that you learned from Alton. I can now release all my guilt from washing my mushrooms!!

Lisa said...

Hi, I've been following your blog for a short time now, love your pictures! I made this recipe for New Years Eve and everyone loved them! My brother said the same thing as your son "tastes like sausage pizza"!

Ingrid said...

Mmmmm, this another post I couldn't resist. Mushrooms are a fave especially stuffed.
~ingrid

Good Food Good Friends said...

YUM! Love anything stuffed into a mushroom!