“Correct is fine, but it’s better to be interesting.” Seth Godin
Who doesn’t love stuffed mushrooms? Probably people who don’t like mushrooms. Duh! But for those of us who love them, I have another questions. Who likes to stuff mushrooms? Not I, said the fox.
So I gave myself a challenge. The challenge was to create an appetizer with all the ingredients of stuffed mushrooms but without actually having to stuff mushrooms. My vision was a layered, baked dish that could be cut into squares. So far, so good.
The recipe for stuffed mushrooms that I used and tweaked contained pork sausage, cream cheese, cheddar cheese, and of course, mushrooms. Here’s how my two recipes went. Yes, there were two recipes. The first was tasty but did not hold together so it could be cut into neat little squares that would hold together when picked up and aimed at the mouth. It was more a version of a mushroom gag gift. But on to the recipe.
1 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 pound Italian sausage
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
8 ounces cheddar cheese, finely shredded
S&P to taste
Preheat the oven to 365 degrees. I made my own Italian sausage (blog post December 21) using ground turkey thigh the first time, and ground chicken thigh the second time. They were out of turkey on my second trip to the store. Next I minced the mushrooms in my food processor. I wanted them minced but not too minced. Does that make any sense?
Next, I sautéed the ground chicken, placed it into a bowl, and mixed in the cream cheese and half the cheddar cheese with my hands. All ready!
In a 9×13 pan that I sprayed with oil, lined with parchment paper, and sprayed again (taking no chances on anything sticking!) I layered the meat mixture into the bottom. Next I layered in the minced mushrooms. Lastly, there was nothing left to do but sprinkle the rest of the shredded cheese on the top. I didn’t think there was quite enough cheddar cheese to cover the top completely so I grabbed some shredded mozzarella that I had on hand and put some of that on top too.
Bake for about 30 to 40 minutes. Allow to cool before cutting into bite-sized squares.
FULL DISCLOSURE – The first attempt at this endeavor created these:
The main problem with these is that I didn’t mince the mushroom but rather used them sliced as the bottom layer. There was nothing to hold them in place and disaster ensued. OK. That’s a little dramatic. It was just a very messy eating experience.
The new version looked like this:
OMGoodness. They do look little pale, don’t they. And there’s no parsley sprinkles on the plate! What kind of a blogger are you?!
In the future I’ll probably just use artificially colored cheddar on top instead of adding that white mozzarella. Also, although these held together quite well, I think that next time I might throw in a beaten egg or two to the bottom layer of sausage and cheeses.
Finally, these could probably use a little spicing up. My dear friend, neighbor, and experiment taster, Bonnie, suggested a dash of Sriracha. Sounds like a good idea. I might try that next time. It’s good to have friends!
Loveya – The Grandma
Artist, African hand drum student, yoga neophyte, and Grandmother of 22 or so grandchildren. I enjoy cooking and writing. I value good friends and quiet times for reading.