What has happened to appetizers? Nowadays, we jump straight to the main course, and that’s a shame; there’s so much pleasure in small bites and finger food.
Appetizers are a great way to start dinner; they get the conversation started and break the ice. Fun starters can also turn a regular get-together into a party.
Now, not all appetizers are created equal; today, I’ll tell you how I make my famous garlic parmesan-stuffed mushrooms — the tastiest appetizer ever. I’m sure you can savor that tangy parmesan cheese inside those juicy and earthy mushrooms!
The Ingredient Rundown
Here’s all you need to make lovely stuffed mushrooms, and it all starts with a bunch of mushrooms. Try finding bite-sized ones. Two small, and you can’t stuff them adequately. For this recipe, you want small mushrooms, whether they’re regular button mushrooms, cremini or baby-Bellas.
Just make sure they have space for your stuffing, so no oyster mushrooms this time. Two large, and you can’t enjoy them in one bite, ruining the experience.
You’ll also need garlic cloves and cream cheese; they will be your filling’s base. Almond meal will come in to substitute breadcrumbs to bring everything together, so don’t skip them, and then there’s the cheese — for this recipe, I’m using Parmesan.
Make sure you get yourself a nice chunk of Parmesan-style cheese and grate it yourself. The stuff that comes in the small green bottle is not good — read the label, and you’ll see it has lots of cellulose, and that’s what people use to make paper! Yuck!
Finally, these mushrooms can really use some fresh herbs, so use coarsely chopped parsley for the filling and garnish. A speck of green makes everything look delicious! Have some salt, pepper and olive oil in hand too.
How Many Mushrooms Can You Make?
This recipe is easy to scale up and down. The recipe below makes twelve bite-sized mushrooms, but you can make much more. I’ve fitted up to twenty-four mushrooms in a single tray. I guess your capacity depends on your gear and oven size.
For a typical get-together, you want to make between two and three mushrooms per person, that if you serve them as appetizers. If they’re all there is to eat, you want to make more.
To make them last, serve them along with a cheese platter and some bread. That will keep your guests entertained.
Neat Substitutions and Variations
For this recipe, there are many fun substitutions, starting with the cheese. Instead of using Parmesan, stuff your mushrooms with mozzarella or any other melting cheese. In fact, any cheese will work like a charm. Try a spicy pepper jack, for example; that sounds like fun!
Throw in chopped olives, capers, or roasted bell peppers to your filling, too; the sky’s the limit here.
You might also want to give your stuffed mushrooms a theme. For example, parmesan cheese and pepperoni filling for a pizza-inspired appetizer, or jalapeno peppers and Manchego for Mexican-themed stuffed mushrooms.
When To Serve Stuffed Mushrooms
This one is easy. There are plenty of opportunities to make this recipe shine.
Let’s start by saying everyone loves finger food, especially while having a drink before dinner. Arrange these in a platter and pass it around, whether it’s dinner with the family or a large event.
Make a batch of these if you’re having friends coming over for game night or make them for yourself and a special someone to watch a movie at home.
Keep in mind stuffed mushrooms are best when prepared soon before serving, so don’t try to make these beforehand, or they’ll get mushy.
How To Store Your Stuffed Mushrooms
This one is tricky. Mushrooms absorb moisture, so they get soggy fast. If you want to make these ahead of time, you’re better off mixing your filling and storing it separately in an air-tight container at the back of your fridge. The mushrooms you have to stuff and bake minutes before serving.
Once assembled, these mushrooms won’t age well, although leftover stuffed mushrooms are awesome late-night crave-quenchers. That is, if you don’t mind eating them after they lose some of their firmness.
You can freeze the filling in a Zip`-lock bag for up to three months, by the way, so you can skip a few steps the next time.
For this recipe, you’ll need pretty standard equipment. You’ll definitely need a sharp knife and a cutting board.
You’ll also need a skillet, a few mixing bowls, a spatula, some spoons and a baking tray.
I like to fill my mushrooms with a spoon, but you can stuff a piping bag with the cream cheese filling and pipe each mushroom for prettier and more precise results. This is totally optional, though. Most of the time, a steady hand and a spoon work just fine.
Have a decorated plater as well, somewhere to arrange your mushrooms as they come out of the oven.
- Wash your mushrooms under a cold stream of water and remove the stems carefully. Reserve.
- Chop the mushroom stems. Mince the garlic and chop the parsley.
- Add to a skillet a tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add in the garlic, mushroom stems, and season with salt and pepper. Cook until the garlic is golden and the mushrooms soften. About 5 minutes.
- In a mixing bowl, add the mushroom stem mixture and throw in the cream cheese, almond meal, Italian herbs, the parsley (reserve some for the garnish) and a little more salt and pepper. Combine with a spoon until smooth and well incorporated.
- Preheat your over to 350°F.
- In a baking sheet, place the mushrooms and use a spoon to fill them with the cream cheese mixture. Pack them tightly but don't overfill them.
- Drizzle the mushrooms with olive oil and bake them for 20 minutes.
- Carefully remove from the oven, serve them on a platter, and garnish the mushrooms with chopped parsley.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 125Total Fat: 11gCarbohydrates: 4gFiber: 1gProtein: 4g