The stuffed mushroom experiment

I’ve been looking for more things I could cook for my wife, since she’s eating low-carb and it severely limits her options. Recently we found that Walmart sells some ready-made stuffed mushrooms, and gave those a try. It seemed to me that this would be an easy thing for me to make myself going forward, so today I gave it a shot.

The stuffed mushroom recipes I found online were generally pretty consistent: slider-sized mushrooms should cook around 20 minutes at 350°. Since I was already cooking half a cheese strata for myself, and the half-strata takes 50 minutes at the same temperature, it was a no-brainer to cook both at the same time, using the first half hour for prep.

First I started with portabella mushroom sliders, a nice package of six. They were each about three inches across. After cleaning them, I broke off the stems and cut them up. The chopped stems went into a frying pan to sauté down a bit—mostly just to soften them. To that I sprinkled on some curry powder, and added a little pat of butter just for more flavor and to assist with the frying. After I judged those were finished, I took them out of the pan and spread them on a little plate to cool.

The stems didn’t seem to have a strong enough curry flavor, so I sprinkled a little more curry powder into each cap before stuffing. Near the time to put the mushrooms in the oven, I filled a bowl with a little bit of cheddar, a bit of Parmesan, and a bit of mozzarella, about equal parts. It was by eye, so I’m gonna say it would be roughly a quarter cup of each cheese. To that I added the mushrooms and mixed as best I could. Then it was just a matter of stuffing that mixture into the caps, and in they all went for 20 minutes. (The cookie sheet was lined with foil but I didn’t use any nonstick spray.)

My wife was very happy with the results. I took a bite and was quite pleasantly surprised myself. This appears to be a nearly foolproof recipe, at least when there’s no meat involved. And it turned out sprinkling in that little bit of extra curry powder was the right move. The only thing missing apparently was salt; there wasn’t enough in the cheese alone, so they benefited from a smidge of sea salt. (I’m always surprised that as such a salt lover, I constantly forget to salt things—including that half cheese strata.)

This worked out so well that I’m planning to double up and do some experimenting next time around. My wife wants to try spinach in the mix, and for me I’d like to mix in garlic and herbs (no curry with that one), maybe with some seasoned bread crumbs.

There are only two major things I plan to do differently next time. First, I don’t intend to burn my knuckle on the oven door and subsequently spill a little cheese into the bottom of the oven. Second, instead of painstakingly wiping the dirt off each mushroom I’m just gonna wash them; apparently the risk of them absorbing too much water is way overstated.

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About Lummox JR

Aspiring to be a beloved supervillain
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