14 November 2012

The earthiness of mushrooms fits the mood and atmosphere of Autumn. By this time, the crispness is still in the air, but the mornings are increasingly soggy and damp underfoot. I'm a self confessed fungus fiend-- I love them in any edible variety thrown into everything from soups (my favorite Thai soup features straw mushrooms) to omelets (I'll take basic button mushrooms happily) to just a plate piled high of sauteed chantrelles with a dollop of sour cream. But, one of my favorite, and often overlooked because of it's traditional simplicity, ways to eat a mushroom is stuffed.

Stuffed mushrooms

20 large button mushrooms, stems removed and roughly chopped, caps left intact
3 shallots, finely chopped
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, roughly grated, plus 3 tablespoons extra
1 small hand full of fresh thyme, stems removed
1/2 tablespoon stone ground mustard
1 egg
pepper to taste

In a large saute pan, heat just a small amount of olive oil. Place caps in and cook until brown (about 2 minutes), flipping as they begin to cook. Remove the caps and place on a baking sheet. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In the hot saute pan, add the chopped stems and shallots. Cook, adding water if the pan dries out, until well wilted. Remove from heat and combine with the remaining ingredients in a small mixing bowl. Add a heaping tablespoon of the mixture to the inside of each mushroom cap and bake for about 15 minutes. Sprinkle with the additional Parmesan cheese and serve hot.

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