stuffed mushrooms

(Jan. 14, 2022) Are you ready for some football? Months of anticipation, nail-biting, two-minute drives, and spectacular last-second finishes equate the beginning of the playoffs.

Jubilation and high fives are infused with agony and defeat. If one’s team did not make it, don’t fret; there is always next year.

Fortified punches are a delicious, innovative way to start the celebration. The adult beverage also allows guests to help themselves.

A pomegranate margarita is festive and lip-smacking good. Just take your favorite margarita mix and add some pomegranate juice to it. Lime slices and pomegranate seeds are a great garnish.

When making a punch, make sure all ingredients are cold. Ice molds are preferred over ice cubes. Ice cubes melt quickly and dilute your marvelous flavors. Ice molds and punch bowls are inexpensive and can be ordered online.

Tradition is a good thing but culinary philosophy can be overturned. Vegetable platters have graced menus for generations, but they are uninspiring.

Football enthusiasts are elevated to an emotional level beyond comprehension. Plain carrots and broccoli are not going to cut it, but veggie fries are a win for vegetarians and meat lovers alike.

Simply cut eggplant into long strips. Place them on a plate and heavily salt them for 30 minutes. They will start to sweat; this is a good thing. The bitterness is literally oozing its way out of the flesh. Rinse well and dry with paper towels.

Cut zucchini and yellow squash into long strips. Dip veggie fries in an egg wash that includes 1 egg combined with 1 teaspoon of cold water. Coat the veggie fries in a breading that has a ratio of 2 parts unseasoned panko breadcrumbs, 1 part cornmeal, and 1 part all-purpose flour.

Fry the veggie fries in canola oil that has reached a temperature of 375 degrees. Remove and place fries on a cooling rack that is underlined with paper towels for quick cleanups. Do not place veggie fries on a plate lined with paper towels, you do not want your crispy fries sitting on soggy paper towels. Add a dusting of kosher salt and serve with favorite marinara sauce.

Usage of space is a major consideration in any merriment. As your company cheers their team on; it is imperative to provide ample space for spur-of-the-moment ovations.

Incorporating appetizers throughout the entire surroundings is attention-grabbing and prevents mishaps.

Stuffed mushrooms are mouthwatering and easy to prepare. They are finger friendly, which is a must for fanatic football fans.

Before we delve into stuffed mushrooms, we need to take a closer look at how to cook mushrooms.

Mushroom’s consistency is like a sponge and they will soak up any moisture. As a result, gastronomy cookbooks recommend using a damp cloth to clean mushrooms. However, mushrooms can be quite dirty, and I always wash them.

Since mushrooms contain a lot of natural juice, cooking them low and slow enhances the mushroom essence. As the liquid evaporates, the mushroom flavor intensifies.

The texture of mushrooms is soft, which allows them to soak up flavors. You don’t want to overpower their natural umami flavor; but something as simple as salt, lemon juice, and olive oil can enhance the overall flavor profile immensely.

Reconstituting dried mushrooms is a common practice but temperature of water is up for debate. Contrary to popular belief, re-hydrating mushrooms in cold water as opposed to hot water retains more of the mushroom essence. This process takes longer but the quality of taste is what matters.

Soaking is not the only method of using dried mushrooms. Grinding them into a powder is a creative way to enhance sauces, stuffing’s, meats, pasta and rice.

Feb. 4 is National Stuffed Mushroom day and Feb. 13 is the Super Bowl. Now is the time to practice so perfection can flourish on those special days.

Games will be exciting and they are sure to be a few questionable calls, but one thing for sure – stuffed mushrooms with Italian sausage, peppers and cream cheese are sure to score a touchdown with guests and family. Enjoy!

For the Mushrooms

24 baby portabellas

kosher salt and pepper to taste

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. Using a small spoon or your fingers, remove mushroom stems.

3. Wash the mushrooms thoroughly and dry with paper towels.

4. In a small bowl, combine the mushrooms, salt, pepper, olive oil and lemon juice.

5. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, place the mushroom caps stemmed side down and bake for 5 minutes. Set aside.

For the Filling

1-pound Italian sweet sausage, cooked and crumbled

1 bunch scallions, green parts, finely sliced

½ cup finely chopped red, yellow and orange peppers

1 rounded teaspoon minced garlic in a jar

¼ cup unseasoned breadcrumbs

½ teaspoon kosher salt

few splashes Worcestershire Sauce

1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, room temperature

1/3 cup shredded mozzarella and provolone cheese

1. Reduce heat to 350 degrees.

2. In a medium sized bowl, combine cream cheese, salt and Worcestershire sauce.

3. Add sausage, scallions, peppers, garlic and breadcrumbs to the cream cheese mixture.

4. Using a small spoon, spoon a generous amount of filling into the cavity of each mushroom. Take a pinch of the shredded cheese and place on top of the mushroom.

5. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper, and place stuffed mushrooms on top of parchment paper. Baked for 20 minutes and serve immediately

Secret Ingredient – Adversity. “Today’s tears waters tomorrow’s gardens.”

– Matshona Dhliwayo

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.