Party Food

DH and I spent Thanksgiving with friends in Prescott Arizona. 

My contribution to the meal was a platter of stuffed mushrooms; they were gone in a flash. 

Like Deviled Eggs.  Never fails, you’ll hear someone say, “ I haven’t had a Deviled Egg since …”

I adore a good appetizer, or as Missus Dear Friend called it party food, I like that better!  Finger foods make it festive. 

 

When I was single and cooked for myself, dinner sometimes would be a bunch of small plates, a little of this, a bite of that.  It seemed to fill me up faster, or maybe it was just my imagination.  Now, at some restaurants the thing is small plates.  I really like having an array of different dishes on the table for everyone to share.  Some of the best parties that we’ve been to were just that, an assortment of different nibbles set out in a lovely presentation.

 

Remember, every recipe is just an idea; you take it and make it your own.  If you see an ingredient that your family and friends don’t care for, or worse, they’re allergic to, change it up.  Do you prefer breakfast sausage?  Go with that instead.  What about turkey or chicken sausages.  Or what if it you used all veg and no meats at all.  You get the gist.

 sausage stuffed mushrooms 006

Stuffed Mushrooms

 

12 Crimini mushrooms, stems removed and finely minced

2 small cloves Garlic, minced

2 Tbsp. finely minced, each of:

Celery

Onion

Red Bell Pepper

Frozen Spinach, defrosted and squeezed dry in a clean Kitchen Towel

Grated Parmesan cheese

¼ C. Plain Bread Crumbs

A small pinch each of grated Nutmeg, Black Pepper and Red Pepper flakes

1 Sweet Italian Sausage link with the casing removed in a small bowl w/about 2 Tbsp white wine, smashed it all together, it crumbles better in the pan, tastes good too

 

Preheat oven to 500⁰

Heat a nonstick skillet over medium high heat.

Add oil and mushroom caps, stem side up, sauté caps 5 to 7 minutes, until they are lightly browned (you want them to stay a bit firm so that you can pick them up and eat them).

Turn caps over and cook for a couple of minutes to brown the other side. Transfer caps to a small nonstick baking pan. **

Wipe out the skillet with a paper towel and return to heat.

Add a touch of oil and the sausage to the hot skillet.

Brown and crumble sausage for 3-5 minutes, season with the spices, turn out into a mixing bowl.

Add veggies along with the reserved stems and sauté 2-3 minutes.

Add spinach to the pan and stir.

Transfer mixture to the bowl with the sausage; add bread and cheese, toss to combine.

Taste for seasoning at this point, if it’s too dry and won’t hold together, add a little Olive Oil.

Fill caps with stuffing, I just use my hands, really squish it into the cap, mounding it up if you like; just make sure you have enough for all the mushrooms.  

If you’d like to guild the lily, sprinkle some cheese on top of the caps before you put them in the oven.  I like mozzarella or parmesan.

Place your tray in oven and reduce heat to 450⁰ and bake 6 to 8 minutes to crisp and set stuffing in the mushrooms.

Transfer stuffed mushrooms to a serving plate. **

 

**I found it easier to start out on an oven-proof serving dish and never mind the non-stick baking sheet, that’s one less pan to wash!  I have a couple of platters that can go into the oven, micro, dishwasher (a MUST) or under the broiler.  Look around in the different shops.  I have one for the dollar discount store, no really!

 

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