So good, and really pretty easy as long as you can find the main ingredient:
Mushrooms the right size for stuffing. Not huge, like Portobello, although I guess you could use those and each one would be a meal. But too small, and it would be a pain to stuff them, although I suppose you could. This is pictured on a small "bread" plate, so don't think it is a dinner plate with a huge mushroom.
I like mushrooms at least an inch across and two inches across is better. Some stores here actually sell "Mushrooms for stuffing" in the 2-inch size, with most but not all of the stem cut off. Well, the stem is cut off flush with the bottom of the cap, which means I still need to do some work. And that's OK.
This recipe makes enough filling for however many mushrooms you can fit in a 9 by 12-inch Pyrex baking dish or similar pan. I always plan to have an emergency overflow pan because it is hard to tell how many will fit in one pan. And that's OK, too.
- 12-24 mushrooms, depending on size (more smaller ones, fewer big ones, obviously)
- approx. 1 lb. Italian sausage. You can go up to 1-1/2 pounds, and you can use a mixture of hot and mild, or all of either one, depending on what you like. I like hot. If you can buy it not in casings, that is a little easier, but really doesn't matter.
- 1 8-oz. package cream cheese, room temperature (open it while it is still cold, before it gets gooey, and put it on a plate or whatever and let it sit while you do the other things.)
- 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. garlic buds or powder (but not salt! or put some fresh garlic in with the sausage while frying it)
- about 2T Worcestershire sauce, give or take
- a couple of T of vegetable oil, your choice, or butter
- 1 egg yolk (could you leave this out? possibly, but I don't)
- Parmesan cheese, freshly grated, about 1/2 cup (or more!)
- White wine
Put enough oil or butter in the baking dish to coat the bottom. Arrange the mushroom caps, cap side down. Pour about 1 tsp. of white wine in each hollowed out cap. Let that soak in while you proceed.
If the sausage is in casings, squeeze it out. The casings are edible but tough and chewy, so they aren't an asset here. Fry the sausage, breaking it up with a spatula or fork -- the back of a fork actually does work pretty well. You want it to be fairly granular, not huge lumps. Cook it until there's no pink showing. Transfer the sausage, without the grease, to a bowl to cool. (A slotted spatula or spoon is good.) You could certainly save the melted fat to saute other things in, but we don't need it here.
Combine the egg yolk, Worcestershire sauce and garlic (if you haven't added it to the sausage) in a large bowl and add the cooled sausage and the cream cheese, and up to 1/2 cup of grated Parmesan. Or you can leave out the Parmesan at this stage and just add some on the top later. You can try mixing with a spoon, but truthfully, just wash your hands really well and get in there to mix it all together.
Fill the mushroom cavities with the mixture, put grated Parmesan on top.
You can stop here and refrigerate overnight. Or:
Preheat oven to 350, then bake for about 25 minutes. Might need another 5 or so, if they are really large mushrooms.
To serve, lift out of the liquid that will have cooked out. It is wine and sausage essence and mushroom essence, so unless you are insane, do not throw the liquid away. It's tricky to serve with the mushrooms, which are meant as finger food, but why not have it with pasta or bread after everyone has gone home?
These reheat nicely. I doubt that they would freeze well.
If you have filling left over, and you could, depending on the size of the mushrooms, well -- chop up those leftover mushroom stems and saute them, then make a spread for some good bread and stick it under the broiler.
You can "stretch" the filling, and pretend it's healthier, by adding some bread crumbs, but be sure to check the seasoning so that you don't make it all too bland.