It's party time! Excellent!
I know that's so 1989, but now that there are 200,000 channels on my television there's no getting away from Saturday Night Live. But I love the SNL of yesteryear. All of the sprockets and lunch ladies and Wayne & Garths. When I run into one of those episodes, I feel all warm and fuzzy inside,
Stuffed mushrooms are pretty classic, and no doubt conjure up culinary nostalgia. And after one bite of these babies, you won't forget them, that is for sure. If you are running to and fro various parties this season, or hosting one of your own, I bring you another appetizer that will get rave reviews from other party people. They will disappear in a flash, so bring lots! I daresay this could be the best stuffed mushroom I've ever eaten. There. I just put that out there. Let it sink in. Good. Now let me tell you how I made them.
Take some lovely, fresh super large white button mushrooms. Wipe them clean with a damp paper towel. Mushrooms. So photogenic. We like!
Take the stems off the mushrooms and save for another use. Toss the mushroom caps in balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Salt and pepper too, please
Roast them for 30 minutes. The best part? Most of the liquid will be released during the first roasting, so you won't end up with soggy mushrooms. Ick. Who wants those?
Meanwhile, make your sausage filling. Cook off Italian sausage with onions, garlic, rosemary and fennel. Add cream cheese and Asiago. This is good stuff. (I had extra filling leftover from this recipe, so I just put some on Naan bread and it made lovely pizza. Just so you know.) When mushrooms are done roasting flip them over to drain the juices, then flip again to stuff the cap. I filled them so they were heaping.
Then I topped them with more Asiago. God, I love cheese.
Then they baked for another 30-40 minutes until all golden and simply gorgeous. Let them cool for a bit before tasting or you'll burn your tongue like I did.
I really loved the textures here: the crunchy cheesy topping, into the creamy, spicy filling and meatiness of the mushroom. Super fun to eat, and bursting with flavour. The fennel and rosemary are perfect compliments to the spicy sausage - use the best quality you can find, it makes a difference. Roasting mushrooms in balsamic vinegar first really adds a tart/sweet factor, and rids the mushroom of extra juices. Brilliant, that. This appetizer will no doubt rock your party of 1 or 21. Nothing more to add except Party On, Dudes!
Sausage & Asiago Stuffed Mushrooms with Balsamic Glaze
20 large mushrooms, cleaned with damp paper towel, stem removed and saved for later use
2 links Italian sausage
1 tsp dried rosemary OR 2 tsp fresh, finely chopped
1 tsp dried fennel seed
1 onion, diced small
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 ounces (120grams) cream cheese
3 ounces (90grams) Asiago cheese, grated
3 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper
In a large bowl, toss the mushrooms with the balsamic vinegar and 3 tbsp olive oil, salt and pepper. Place onto a parchment lined cookie sheet and place in a preheated 350* oven for about 30 min. Stir once or twice. Remove from oven. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, over medium high heat, squeeze the sausage meat out of the casing and cook until no longer pink, breaking it apart with the back of a spoon. You want it fairly crumbly and in small pieces. Stir in onions and garlic and spices, and cook a few minutes longer, until onion is softened. (If you find that your sausage filling is too greasy, drain it on paper towel first before adding the cheese.) Remove from heat and place into a bowl, along with the cheeses (save some of the Asiago for topping). Stir well to combine. Take a teaspoon and fill each mushroom cap. Sprinkle with remaining Asiago. Bake at 375* for about 30-40 minutes, until golden. Can easily be doubled if feeding a large crowd. Recipe adapted from Food 52.