I love mushrooms. But I don’t love most stuffed mushrooms. I have a problem with the consistency of the “classic version” (a paste), and if they aren’t right out of the oven, the consistency is even more troubling on its way toward cold. So I made a “unclassic”–not to be confused with unclassy–version of stuffed mushrooms. Un-blended, un-mushed, and un-pasty. Your taste buds won’t will be un-happy.
Because I originally made this appetizer for a party, and there’s quite a bit of prep work, I made more than you would need on a normal night. If you’re only serving a few people–or just yourself–you can still do the prep but only bake what you need and store the rest in the fridge. Two days later, my leftover prepped mushrooms were still just as delicious as the first day.
For serving at a party, only bake as many as will be eaten right away, then bake as needed. Note: If you use a pre-heated toaster oven, you may only need to bake them for 10 minutes…they’re done when you see sizzling juice around the mushrooms and the cheese is melted/golden. While the mushrooms are cooling, transfer them to paper towels or other material to soak up excess liquid to prevent mushiness from setting in (or juices squirting out when you take a bite!). You could also line a basket or tray with a napkin or waxed paper and serve them that way. Note for party planning: The bigger the mushrooms, the harder it is to eat in one bite, which is what you want for a finger food menu.
If you or your guests don’t eat pork, make sure you use quality thyme and add any other spices if needed to boost flavor.
Recipe for “Not Your Classic” Stuffed Mushrooms
- Yields approximately 35 stuffed mushrooms
- Prep time: 45 minutes
- Bake time: 20-25 minutes
- 3 packages (8 ounces each) mushrooms – I used the button/white variety, but cremini mushrooms work too
- 2 pieces bacon, nitrate/nitrite-free
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ cup minced shallots (about 1 large)
- 1 heaping tablespoon minced garlic (about 2 large cloves)
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- sea salt, to taste
- freshly ground pepper, to taste
- ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
- shaved/shredded parmesan cheese, enough for a pinch on top of each mushroom
Fry bacon in large pan until crispy, then remove and let cool. While bacon is cooking, clean mushrooms with damp cloth. Separate mushroom stems from caps, being careful not to tear the caps. Finely chop stems. Preheat oven to 350°F. Add olive oil to bacon fat left behind from cooking and saute stems and shallots over medium heat for 4-5 minutes, stirring often. Add garlic, a couple pinches of salt, a few twists of pepper, and thyme, cooking for 2 more minutes. Turn off heat and stir in parsley and finely chopped bacon. Taste and add spices if necessary. Toss mushroom caps with olive oil. Use small spoon to stuff stem mixture into mushroom caps. Press curved outside of spoon down into mixture to pack in. Don’t overstuff. Top each cap with a pinch of parmesan. Bake 20-25 minutes on baking sheet. Transfer mushrooms to paper towels or cloth while cooling to soak up excess liquid.