I have a friend who doesn’t eat mushrooms. When she was growing up, her father told her that mushrooms got up and walked around at night while she was sleeping. My husband doesn’t eat mushrooms, either, but he doesn’t have a traumatic experience like my friend’s to fall back on as an excuse. I guess there is something a bit off-putting for a lot of people about eating a fungus.
I happen to love mushrooms. I can think of some amazing meals I’ve had that incorporated mushrooms as a main ingredient. The one that stands out — and the one I intend to try to recreate at some time — is the creamy polenta with fricassee of truffled mushrooms that I ate at Scarpetta during our trip to New York last fall.
But, since I’m the only one in my house who will eat mushrooms, I rarely cook with them. I need some excuse to make them – like a cocktail party. That’s exactly why I made these stuffed mushrooms. I was inspired to make them when, after browsing my favorite food blogs and recipe sites, I ran across this post by Deb of Smitten Kitchen. The recipe uses sun dried tomatoes, an ingredient I love to eat but rarely cook with.
My husband cringed a little when he saw what I was making. Not only does he not like mushrooms, but he doesn’t like tomatoes, either. He didn’t say anything, though. But he certainly didn’t eat any either. That’s okay. It just means I got to eat more of them.
I followed Deb’s recipe exactly. Instead of dried tomatoes not packed in oil, I used the ones in a jar which are packed in oil. It was just easier. I had planned to make my own breadcrumbs, but because of time constraints (and lack of any decent bread), I used some that I had in the pantry. The breadcrumbs happened to be Italian-style, but I think the flavor worked out just fine.
Mushrooms Stuffed with Sun-Dried Tomatoes(Recipe from Smitten Kitchen, who adapted it from Gourmet; makes 18.)
- 1/2 ounce dried tomatoes (about 5, not packed in oil)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 18 white mushrooms, stems pulled out and chopped fine and caps reserved
- 1/2 cup finely chopped shallots
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/3 cup fine dry bread crumbs
- 1 large egg yolk, beaten lightly
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves, washed well, spun dry, and minced
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil, crumbled
- 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- In a small bowl, soak tomatoes in hot water to cover 5 minutes. Reserve 1 tablespoon soaking liquid. Drain the tomatoes well and chop fine.
- Lay mushroom caps, stems removed, face down on baking sheet either lightly sprayed with cooking spray or on parchment paper. Bake approximately 10 minutes, or until their liquid puddles underneath. Remove from oven and carefully pour off the liquid that has gathered in the pan. Carefully turn the mushroom caps over so that they are ready to be filled.
- In a small skillet, heat oil over moderate heat until hot but not smoking. Cook chopped mushroom stems, shallots, and garlic, stirring until shallots are softened. In a bowl, stir together the mushroom mixture, bread crumbs, tomatoes, reserved soaking liquid, yolk, parsley, basil, and salt and pepper to taste. Mound stuffing in reserved mushroom caps and arranged caps in a lightly greased shallow baking dish. Sprinkle mushrooms with Parmesan and bake in the middle of oven for 15 minutes.