Spicy Sausage & Fresh Herb-Stuffed Crimini Mushrooms

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These zingy, spicy stuffed mush­rooms are per­fect for pass­ing at cock­tail par­ties, and also make a lovely light sup­per with a sim­ply dressed green salad.

Difficulty: Medium - experience needed
Serves:

Preparation time:
Cooking time:

Ingredients

1 pound small Cri­m­ini mush­rooms, cleaned and ends trimmed (about 30 mush­rooms)
1 table­spoons cold pressed, extra vir­gin olive oil
1 table­spoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

2 table­spoons cold pressed, extra vir­gin olive oil
1 cup minced yel­low onion
4 cloves gar­lic, peeled, and minced or pressed
½ pound loose Ital­ian sausage
2 table­spoons apple cider vinegar

finely grated zest of 1 lemon
½ ser­rano chile, minced
¼ cup minced green onion
2 table­spoons minced pars­ley
1 table­spoon minced fresh herbs (com­bi­na­tion of sage, thyme and rose­mary)
1 ounce finely grated Parmesan

1 cup panko bread crumbs
¼ cup chicken stock (and more as needed)
2 table­spoons cream

fine sea salt, to taste
freshly ground black pep­per, to taste

Method

1) Remove and chop the stems of the mush­rooms. Reserve.

2) In a mix­ing bowl, toss the stemmed mush­rooms with 1 table­spoon olive oil and lemon juice. Let mac­er­ate while prepar­ing the stuffing.

3) In a large sauté pan, heat the remain­ing 2 table­spoons of olive oil and sauté the onion and gar­lic until ten­der but not browned, about 15 minutes.

3) Add the sausage and con­tinue sautéing while break­ing up the sausage into small bits with the back of a wooden spoon.

4) When the sausage is well browned and cooked through, add the chopped mush­rooms and sauté for an addi­tional 2 minutes.

5) Deglaze the pan with vine­gar. Increase the heat if nec­es­sary to evap­o­rate almost all of the vinegar.

6) In a large mix­ing bowl, com­bine the sausage mix­ture, lemon zest, Ser­rano chile, green onion, pars­ley, fresh herbs, and Parme­san, and mix well.

7) Taste for sea­son­ing and add salt and pep­per to taste. Mix­ture should taste a bit over sea­soned to com­pen­sate for the mild­ness of the mushrooms.

8) Let cool some­what and then add the bread crumbs, stock, and cream. Fluff with a large fork to evenly dis­trib­ute the liq­uid. Test the mix­ture to deter­mine if it will hold together (just barely) when squeezed between your fin­gers. If it is too dry, add a lit­tle more stock, 1 tea­spoon at a time, until the mix­ture is mal­leable. Don’t add too much liq­uid, how­ever, or the stuff­ing will be soggy after broiling.

9) Arrange the mush­room caps on an edged bak­ing sheet. Grind salt and pep­per over the tops and into the indents.

10) Using a small release-style scoop or spoon, fash­ion balls of stuff­ing, and press them firmly into the mush­room cap indents.

11)Cover the mush­rooms with plas­tic wrap, and frig until ready to serve.

12) To serve, remove the plas­tic wrap and broil for about 15 min­utes, until hot through and blis­tered on top.

13) Arrange on a serv­ing plat­ter and serve imme­di­ately with plenty of cock­tail napkins.

Serves 10–15 as an appe­tizer or 4–6 as a main course.

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Stuffed Mush­rooms Tips & Tricks

Always start with FRESH mush­rooms. The caps should be tightly closed. The mush­rooms should be dry and have no pun­gent smell.
Coat the stemmed mush­rooms with melted but­ter or olive oil before stuff­ing for an attrac­tive finish.
Salt the cav­ity of the mush­rooms before stuffing.
Stuff­ing should be gen­er­ously sea­soned and pack a fla­vor wal­lop. The over-the-top fla­vor hit from the stuff­ing will bal­ance the more sub­tle fla­vor of the mushrooms.
Use the mush­room stems in the stuff­ing. Why waste that extra bit of mush­room goodness?
Do not cover mush­rooms while bak­ing. Give the excess mois­ture a chance to evaporate.
Broil, rather than bake, stuffed mush­rooms. This results in a firmer mush­room, with­out the usual wet­ness issue.
Cri­m­ini mush­rooms are a bit firmer than white mush­rooms and thus hold up bet­ter dur­ing bak­ing. I highly recommend.
For the most attrac­tive stuff­ing mounds, use a small, release-style scoop to make balls of stuffing.
Stuff­ing must be moist enough to hold together when pressed with your fin­gers, but not soggy wet.
Cook only the mush­rooms you plan to eat imme­di­ately. The remain­der will keep for a day or more in the frig, uncooked and well wrapped.
There is no need to hol­low out the mush­rooms after remov­ing the stem. A good amount of stuff­ing should retain a mounded shape nes­tled in the shal­low indent.
Serve stuffed mush­rooms imme­di­ately after remov­ing from the oven.
Always serve stuffed mush­rooms with plenty of cock­tail napkins.

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