I was in a query about what ‘appetizer’ or dish I should share for our trek to Super Bowl Sunday. As I have shared numerous times here in the column I’m not a huge appetizer fan. This year I’m planning homemade lasagna, salad and breadsticks. A platter of fruit and cheese will accompany, but that’s about it in a nutshell. Instead of continuous grazing we prefer an actual meal. This doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy good hors d’oeuvres, because the mushroom caps are delicious.
I’ve chosen a presentation based on cooked and drained sausage, for the interior, of the mushrooms. As I began to type I wondered about filling mushroom caps with a smoked seafood, salmon or crabmeat? You know me, always thinking outside the box. Valentine’s Day might be a great time to ‘wow’ your loved one with an appetizer of this nature too. I can see the mushroom caps accompanying everything from steak to seafood and beyond.
Remember if you’re frying sausage to cook a couple of pounds. Use the frozen/cooked meat for homemade pizzas, gravy and omelets. So so handy to have an extra bag ready to roll.
Speaking of handy I have to share a couple of good tips with everyone this week. As I stated in the last two columns I have been super busy with cleaning on the home-front. One area we can often miss in the kitchen are the silverware drawers. Try to wipe out crumbs on a regular basis or the utensil drawers can be an embarrassment. Today I worked on the produce drawers in our refrigerator.
It was a mess, had I known just how bad, I would have been on it weeks ago. Something ‘sticky’ had fallen over and run all the way to the bottom of the refrigerator. What a mess!!! Winter is also a great time to re-organize the kitchen and make better use of the cabinet space.
My husband, Ervin, is going to McPherson with me for the February 9th event at the Cook’s Nook. I’m very excited about the adventure because of the dishes I am serving. When you do what I do for a living you do ‘tons’ of research, in fact there are times I want to walk away from my self! Two of my recipes will present ways to make regular foods healthier. (Research part) Two of the dishes feature a new dip spread and a strawberry cake roll. I ‘love’ coming to the Cook’s Nook, it’s intimate and very personable. Hopefully in the next week a cooking event for the Kansas City area will be announced.
Have a fruitful week. Simply yours, The Covered Dish, www.thecovereddish.com
Sausage Stuffed Mushroom Caps
½ cup cooked, finely chopped sausage
3 green onions, finely chopped
12-16 large mushrooms*
¼ teaspoon thyme
2 tablespoons white chardonnay
2 ounces, shredded Havarti or Gouda cheese
4 tablespoons sour cream, could also use cream cheese
Fry sausage and drain on paper towel, reserve drippings. Clean about 12-16 large mushrooms. Using a sharp paring knife, trim out the center stems and chop the stem portions fine. In the remaining drippings sauté the onions and mushrooms, cooking until tender. Add the chardonnay and thyme and reduce liquid down. Combine sausage, chopped mushroom mixture, cheese and sour cream in a bowl, blending well. With a small spoon, stuff the filling inside the trimmed mushrooms. Be careful not to heap.
The mushrooms can be baked or broiled. Start with a 350 degree oven for baking and cook for 10-15 minutes; then flip to broil to brown the tops. Or broil the entire time. A sprinkling of paprika, herbs or additional cheese can top the mushrooms, if desired.
*Many guests ask how to properly clean a mushroom. In my opinion the answer is open ended. If I am stuffing or using them on a salad I trim the stems, and wipe clean with a damp paper towel. Should I be sautéing a pan of mushrooms for steak sauce I may do a quick rinse, trim and slice.