Mother Knows Best
December 24, 2007
I’ve resigned myself to the fact that I simply will never be able to make certain things as well as my mom. She makes an excellent cup of coffee, the chewiest cookies, the most delicious breakfast potatoes and the list goes on. One that has particularly roiled me is her stuffed mushrooms. She makes them for all her parties and they are always quick to vanish.
I tried to recreate my mom’s version several times and finally gave up. For our holiday party this year, I went for a new recipe all together. I wrote about the results here. As I said, they were just okay. So when my mom announced she was making stuffed mushrooms—her stuffed mushrooms—yesterday, I jumped at the chance to spy.
My sleuthing uncovered a few tidbits: use a grapefruit spoon for cleaning out the mushrooms, double the herbs and be sure to use ciabatta (crust removed). I still have a sneaky suspicion that, even armed with this inside knowledge, my mushrooms will never be as good as hers.
And they were good. The filling is really savory, and flavorful enough to stand up to the strong earthiness of the mushrooms. We had some leftover filling, which was no problem. We baked it up in a small soup crock and it was perfect for dipping. I’m looking forward to trying these once I’m back at home, but, as I said, my hopes aren’t high that I’ll approximate my mother’s. I’ll just have to keep coming home for them, I guess.
Shrimp-Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil*
3 large garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary*
6 ounces cooked bay shrimp
2/3 cup fresh breadcrumbs made from crustless French bread*
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup mayonnaise
8 2- to 2 1/2-inch portobello mushrooms, dark gills removed* Heat oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, basil, garlic, and rosemary. Sauté until onion softens, about 5 minutes. Transfer to medium bowl; mix in shrimp, breadcrumbs, cheese, and mayonnaise. Season filling to taste with salt and pepper. Arrange mushrooms, rounded side down, on oiled baking sheet. Mound shrimp filling in mushrooms, pressing filling to compact slightly. (Can be made 6 hours ahead. Cover and refrigerate.) Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake mushrooms until tender and filling begins to brown, about 35 minutes. Serve hot. * Like I said in the post, my mom doubles the herbs and uses ciabatta. She also uses baby portobellos, as you can see in the photos above.