Baked Stuffed Mushrooms

These stuffed mushrooms are by far the best ones I’ve ever had.  To make them, I combined my mom’s recipe with the Barefoot Contessa’s recipe – the result was the ultimate baked stuffed mushroom.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 links of sausage (I used one sweet and one hot), removed from the casing
  • Approximately 25 large stuffing mushrooms
  • 1 bunch of scallions (about 8 chutes), finely chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, pressed
  • 2/3 cup crushed Ritz crackers (1/2 of a sleeve)
  • 1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/3 cup powdered parmesan cheese
  • 2 tbsp of butter
  • 5 oz. mascarpone cheese
  • 5 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tbsp Marsala wine
  • Salt and pepper to taste

HOW TO MAKE IT

  • Clean the mushrooms and remove all of the stems
  • Place the mushroom caps in a shallow bowl and toss with 3 tbsp of olive oil and 3 tbsp of Marsala wine – set aside
  • Finely chop all of the mushroom stems and set aside
  • In a large saute pan, heat the remaining 2 tbsp of olive oil and saute the loose sausage meat – make sure you keep separating the meat with a spoon so it doesn’t clump together
  • Once the sausage is browned, add in the chopped mushroom stems and 2 tbsp of butter and saute until the mushrooms have given off their liquid and they’re tender
  • Add in the scallions and saute for a few minutes
  • Add in the pressed garlic and saute for an additional minute or so
  • Stir in the Ritz cracker crumbs and panko breadcrumbs and thoroughly coat them with the mixture
  • Add in the mascarpone cheese and stir until the mixture is creamy (if you want a drier consistency, feel free to add in more panko)
  • Lastly, off the heat, stir in the parmesan cheese
  • Now, you’re ready to stuff your mushrooms!
  • Stuff each mushroom with a heaping amount of stuffing
  • Snugly line up your stuffed mushrooms in a baking dish
  • Bake at 325°F for 50 minutes or until the mushrooms are tender and the tops are browned

Classic Stuffing

This stuffing recipe is savory and delicious.  I’m going to be testing out some new stuffing recipes leading up to Thanksgiving, but this one is an old favorite.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 links of sausage, removed from the casing
  • 2 – 8 oz. containers of mushrooms (porcini, cremini or shitake), finely chopped
  • 1 bunch of scallions, finely chopped
  • 1 bunch of celery, finely chopped
  • 1 stick of butter (Optional: 1 more stick for mixing with the stuffing)
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 4 cups chicken broth (1 store-bought carton)
  • 1 bag of Pepperidge Farm Cornbread Stuffing
  • 1 bag of Pepperidge Farm Herbed Stuffing

HOW TO MAKE IT

  • Melt 1 stick of butter in a large saute pan and add in the chopped mushrooms, scallions, celery
  • Add in the loose sausage meat and saute with the vegetables
  • Saute the vegetables and sausage until the meat is cooked and the vegetables are tender
  • In a large bowl, mix the two bags of stuffing with the two eggs
  • Fold in the sauteed vegetables and sausage
  • Pour in 2 – 3 cups of chicken broth (Optional: 1 stick of melted butter in place of some broth)
    • You basically want to get this mixture to a very moist consistency, but not too wet
  • Butter the glass dish you’re going to bake it in and pack the stuffing into the dish
  • Pour some chicken broth on top or put small chunks of melted butter on top
  • Bake at 350° F for 45 mins covered – uncover and broil on low for an additional 5 minutes or until the top is golden and crispy
    • This dish freezes really well – so you can make it ahead of time (don’t bake it) and defrost it when you need it!

Spanakopita II

This is my recipe for the classic Greek appetizer, spanakopita.  I like to use fresh spinach and butter instead of olive oil — I think it makes it lighter and flakier.  

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 cups packed spinach leaves
  • 1 lb. fillo dough (16-20 sheets), defrosted
  • 1/2 lb. feta cheese
  • 1/2 bunch scallions, chopped
  • 8 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 egg (if I’m doubling this recipe, I use 3 eggs), beaten
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 stick of butter (at least)

HOW TO MAKE IT

  • Rinse your spinach leaves and remove and large stems
  • Roughly chop the spinach before putting 2 cups of it in the food processor – process for about 10 seconds or until the leaves are finely chopped
  • Add in half the chopped garlic, scallions, feta and salt and pepper
  • Process the ingredients for about 5 seconds and then pulse the mixture 3 times for 1 second to make sure everything is well combined
  • Repeat this process for the other half of the ingredients
  • Combine the two batches of spinach (you can and should taste it before you add in the egg and adjust the salt and pepper to your taste) then stir in the beaten egg
    • Set the mixture aside
  • Take your defrosted fillo dough out and unfold it onto a working surface (keep the stack of dough covered with a damp – but not wet! – towel to prevent it from becoming dry and brittle)
  • Depending on the dimensions of your sheet, you may need to cut them in half so your sheet has a width of about 7.5 in.
  • Take a sheet with the 7.5 in. width and brush it with butter
  • Then, fold the sheet over into thirds so you’re left with a long strip that’s only 2.5 in. wide
  • Place about 1 tbsp of spinach mixture at the end of your fillo strip and roll it up into triangles, like a paper football – or American flag
  • If your dough seems dry and needs help sticking, brush it with additional butter
  • Place the triangle pieces onto a greased baking pan
  • Bake at 350°F for approximately 20-25 minutes or until golden brown
    • Makes approximately 32 – 40 pieces
Variation…
    • Layer 10 sheets of fillo dough, brushing butter in between each sheet
    • Spoon about 1 cup of the spinach mixture along one edge of the fillo dough in the shape of a sausage
    • Roll up the fillo dough and brush the top with butter
    • Score the roll into 1 in. rounds
    • Repeat until all of the fillo and spinach is used
    • Place the roll on a greased baking sheet and bake at 400°F for approximately 12 minutes or until golden brown

Marushka’s Tabouleh

Here is my mom’s recipe for this traditional Middle Eastern salad.  It’s refreshing and full of so many different flavors.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 large bunch of parsley
  • 1 large tomato, finely chopped
  • 1 bunch of scallions, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup crushed wheat (bulgar)
  • A few chopped leaves of fresh mint or 1/4 tsp of dried mint
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Lemon and Olive Oil Dressing*
*LEMON AND OLIVE OIL DRESSING
    • Mix equal parts of fresh lemon juice and olive oil and salt and pepper to taste – so easy!

HOW TO MAKE IT

  • Rinse the crushed wheat (bulgar)  in cold water and squeeze it dry
  • Combine the chopped tomatoes with the crushed wheat (bulgar) – mix well
  • Finely chop the scallions and season with salt and pepper – add this to the tomatoes and bulgar
  • Pick the leaves off the parsley stems and wash them well and squeeze them dry
  • Either finely chop the leaves by hand, or BRIEFLY place them in a food processor – one pulse and it’s done (don’t over process, it will turn to mush)
  • Combine the parsley with the mint and add it to the rest of the ingredients
  • Pour the lemon and olive oil dressing over the tabouleh and serve with fresh romaine lettuce