|Because apparently I took NO pictures of the party
food, I offer you our White Elephant “Best in Show.” Yes
two Victorian-esque dog figurines. You just never know.
We just hosted our fifth-annual white elephant extravaganza last weekend and, in addition to loving the horribly fabulous gift exchanging, I’m so grateful for the company of wonderful friends. I admit, my favorite part is feeding them. I *might* be accused of cooking for an army but I’d much rather err on the side of too much than not enough. And I like leftovers.
On the menu were the “big fat bacon sliders” and “jalapeno popper thingies” by the Pioneer Woman (I reviewed them earlier in June, see here); various assortments of meat,cheese, and crudites; veggie egg rolls; and, drum roll please, stuffed mushrooms. Now what complexifies menu making is that some of my favorite people have a variety of eating limitations. Like vegetarianism. Or wheat allergies. Or lactose intolerance. Or onion-hating. Luckily, I only had to deal with the first two conditions for this party and so I concocted some surprisingly scrumptious vegetarian, gluten-free stuffed mushrooms. They were a hit!
Note: The recipe makes 36-48 mushrooms, depending upon how many Costco can squeeze into a large package. It took me 30-ish minutes to prep. They can also be made a day early.
NSFD Ranking: ***
– 2 large packages white button mushrooms
– 1-2 tsp canola or olive oil
– 1 large onion diced fine
– 4-5 celery ribs diced fine
– 4-5 garlic cloves diced fine
– Generous splash of dry white wine
– Black pepper, salt, cayenne to taste
– 1 8-oz package light cream cheese, softened
– 1/2 cup (or so) finely grated gruyere or swiss cheese
– 1/4 cup (or so) finely grated asiago cheese
1. Wash mushrooms thoroughly and pull out stems, reserving said stems. I lightly scrub the mushrooms with the coarse side of a sponge because I don’t like the thought of eating dirt or manure.
2. Dice reserved mushroom stems finely.
3. In a frying pan over medium heat, saute the onion in the oil for a minute or two until fragrant. Add the garlic, taking care not to burn it.
4. Add the celery and mushroom, stirring everything together. Saute for a few minutes before adding a generous splash (maybe an 1/8th cup?) of white wine. Let the mixture cook until the wine and mushroom juices are cooked away.
5. Add copious amounts of pepper, a bit of salt and a good dusting of cayenne. Stir well, turn off stove and let cool.
6. Set the oven to 350.
7. When the mixture not blazing hot, stir in the Gruyere or Swiss.
8. Fill mushroom caps with mixture.
9. Sprinkle filled caps with Asiago cheese (or Parmesan).
10. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown and happy.
11. Let sit for 5 minutes.
12. Serve and watch them disappear.
- After referring to another recipe, I put the mixture in the fridge for 30 minutes to firm up before stuffing the shrooms.
- Thinking I was being slick, I cooked the mushrooms in a mini-cupcake pan to avoid them sliding around or falling over. Now, this worked pretty well as the juices ran into the cupcake indentions, but I found it difficult to get the smaller mushrooms out of said pan once cooking was complete.
- All hail the food processor! To greatly reduce the prep time, chop the onions, celery and shroom stems in a food processor.
- Next time, I’ll add some type of fresh herb as a garnish… probably Italian parsley.