Stuffed Mushrooms

A couple of weeks ago when I was preparing for a dinner party I went through all the recipes I've pulled from multiple food magazines. As I love mushrooms I pulled an old recipe from April 2003 Gourmet magazine. I adapted it a bit as I was missing a few ingredients and wanted to use the extra pork sausage I had in the frig before it went bad (I hate wasting food).

I made the veggie version for SB and the sausage version for myself. These are very meaty even without the sausage. Whole Foods has some great stuffing type of mushrooms, big cremini's.

3 slices firm white sandwich bread (I toasted mine to make it dry)
2 tabelsppons olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
20 large (2 to 21/2 inches in diameter) white mushrooms (I used Cremini)
2 tbsps unsalted butter
1 medium onion, finely chopped (I left this out as I didn't have any of the "must" have staple)
1/4 cup finely chopped celery (I left this out too as I didn't have another "must" have staple)
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 oz finely grated Parmigiano Reggiano
1/4 cut chopped fresh parsley

Preheat oven to 400F
Tear bread into pieces and pulse to coarse crumbs in a food processor. Transfer to a bowl and toss with oil, 1/4 tsp salt, and 1/8 tsp pepper. Spread in a shallow baking pan and bake in middle of oven until golden. 6 to 8 minutes. Then transfer to a bowl.

Pull stems from mushroom caps (to create space for stuffing) and finely chop stems (I put these in a food processor and went to town). Put mushroom caps, stemmed sides down, in a lightly oiled large shallow baking pan and bake in middle of oven until mushrooms exude liquid, about 10 minutes, then remove from oven.

While mushroom caps are baking, melt butter in a 12 inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until foam subsides, then saute chopped stems, stirring until golden, about 5 minutes. Add onion, celery, garlic, oregano, and remaining 1/4 tsp salt and 1/8 tsp pepper and saute, stirring occasionally, until onion is golden, about 5 minutes. Cool vegetable slightly, then add to bread crumbs along with cheese and parsley and toss well.

I browned ground pork sausage and added it to the mixture after I stuffed the veggie mushrooms.

Turn mushroom caps over, then mound mushroom filling in mushroom caps, pressing gently (you will have some filling left over). Bake in middle of oven until mushrooms are tender and stuffing is golden brown, about 20 minutes.

Eat while warm, delicious appetizer. I took some left over for lunch and the sausage was even better the day after as the flavors melded well.
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