Easy Stuffed Mushrooms

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Baked Stuffed Mushrooms

When I make stuffed mushrooms it’s always a last minute thought. And that’s okay. Because it takes near nothing to do.

You can make this recipe with 5 mushrooms, 12 mushrooms, 20. As long as you have a shallot (my favorite for this) or an onion (and some breadcrumb) you’re ready. Turn on the oven to 375 or 400. Line a sheet pan with foil. And go!

They are so tasty, and look so enticing and elaborate, you’ll never use a mushroom in any other way. (Well, of course, you will.)

Easy Stuffed Mushrooms

12 medium to large white or cremini mushrooms (I love having the usual array of mixed sizes)

1 shallot

Olive oil for sautéing and drizzling

1/2 cup panko

2-3 sprigs parsley, leaves minced, stems discarded

salt & pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Line a sheet pan with foil. Drizzle a thin film of olive oil on foil. Gently pop out the stems of the mushrooms and line up the empty caps on the sheet pan. Mince up the stems. Peel and mince the shallot. Heat a tablespoon or so of oil in a medium frying pan. Sauté the chopped stems and shallot. Season with salt and pepper. When softened — about 2-3 minutes — add the breadcrumb & parsley. Drizzle a little more olive oil. Stir and coat crumbs with mixture. Add a little more salt. Take off heat. Let cool for a minute or so.

Drizzle a tiny bit of olive oil over caps, and very lightly salt caps. Using a small spoon, spoon mixture into caps until heaping. Place pan with mushrooms in the oven. Bake for about 10-15 minutes until tops are golden or lightly brown.

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Baked Stuffed Mushrooms

 

 

Not All Gnocchi are Created Equal

Gnocchi alla Romana

Gnocchi alla Romana

Good thing for that! What would we do without a variety of gnocchi? There are a lot out there. In my kitchen alone — with the wonderful cooks that come to cook with me — we’ve made ricotta gnocchi (several varieties: spinach, tomato, herb-infused), potato gnocchi (also in many renditions: rosemary-infused, chive-infused), butternut squash gnocchi, sweet potato gnocchi, purple sweet potato gnocchi, and gnocchi alla Romana.

That last one is the wild sibling who doesn’t like to conform. It’s nothing like its brothers and sisters. It’s out there on a limb, enjoying its solitary freedom. And we get to enjoy it, too.

Gnocchi alla Romana is closer to polenta than those other little pillow gnocchi. It’s made from semolina flour. Stir it into simmering milk, with salt, pepper, grated cheese, butter, nutmeg, egg yolks…keep stirring until thickened. Then spread it out on a buttered sheet pan.

smooth the batter

smooth the batter

Chill it or let it set at room temperature until firm. Cut out circles…

cut out circles

cut out circles

Layer them in a buttered casserole dish…

layered in casserole dish

layered in casserole dish

Sprinkle with grated parmigiano and diced fontina cheese. Bake until bubbly and golden…

baked gnocchi alla romana

baked gnocchi alla romana

You can eat it just like that. And swoon. But sometimes I up the ante by topping it with a tomato-sausage-mushroom ragu.

Ante upped.

gnocchi alla romana w mushroom ragu

gnocchi alla romana w mushroom ragu

Gnocchi alla Romana – Semolina Gnocchi

3 cups milk

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, and extra for the pan

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon pepper

½ teaspoon nutmeg

1 cup semolina flour

½ cup grated Parmigino  plus extra for sprinkling

3 egg yolks

¼ lb. fontina cheese, cubed or sliced

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

In a large saucepan, heat the milk, butter, salt, pepper, and nutmeg to just before simmering. Pour in the semolina in a thin stream whisking as you go. Switch to a wooden spoon and stir constantly, cooking for about a 5-8 minutes until it thickens. Stir in the grated cheese and the egg yolks and combine well.

Pour mixture into a buttered shallow pan. Smooth mixture evenly to about ½-inch thickness. Allow to cool until it becomes firm.

Butter a medium baking dish. With a biscuit cutter or glass, cut the semolina into circles. Layer the circles in the baking dish with each circle overlapping a bit with the next. Sprinkle the fontina. Sprinkle with some grated cheese. Bake for about 15-20 minutes until the cheese has melted and the top is golden brown.

Crumbled Sausage & Mushroom Ragu

1/2 cup dried porcini mushrooms

3 tablespoons olive oil

2-3 Italian sausages, out of their casings

2 pints white or cremini mushrooms, sliced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 small onion, diced

1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes

salt & pepper to taste

Place the dried mushrooms in a small bowl. Cover with boiling water. Let sit for 15-20 minutes. Lift out mushrooms and chop finely. Reserve mushroom water.

In a large saucepan. Heat the olive oil. Add the sausage meat and cook until browned, breaking up chunks into smaller pieces. Add the sliced mushrooms and the chopped porcini mushrooms. Cook until mushrooms are cooked through. Add the garlic and onion. Cook until onion softens a bit. Add the crushed tomatoes. Bring to a simmer. Season with salt & pepper. Simmer slightly covered for about 45 minutes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Frittata. The Chameleon in the Kitchen.

mushrooms and tomato

mushrooms and tomato

They say accessories make the outfit. Well, how would you accessorize eggs?

I start with what’s in the refrigerator. OR I see what’s in the refrigerator and think: “that would make a great frittata.”

So to accessorize my eggs I’d sometimes choose mushrooms, or potatoes, or peppers, or tomatoes, or leftover pasta, or herbs and onion. Or all of that.

Today the chameleon took on the color of tomato and mushroom. And eventually well-goldened egg.

Mushroom Tomato Frittata

Mushroom Tomato Frittata

And even tho this chameleon couldn’t blend so as to disappear against the background of the kitchen, it, nonetheless, looked…splendid.

I started by heating some olive oil in a stainless sauté pan. Added some sliced mushrooms…

sautéing mushrooms

sautéing mushrooms

…cooked till softened…

cooked mushrooms

cooked mushrooms

…cracked 4 eggs and whisked with parmigiano and salt and pepper…

whisking egg with parmigiano

whisking egg with parmigiano

…put eggs in the pan with mushrooms…….added tomato slices. Cooked over medium heat until bottom was set…

tomatoes in frittata

tomatoes in frittata

…then put under broiler for 3-5 minutes until golden….

cooked frittata

cooked frittata

DON’T FORGET THE HANDLE ON THE SAUTE PAN IS OVEN-HOT….when you take it out use a potholder and then leave the potholder on the handle to REMIND yourself it’s hot!

Loosen frittata from pan and slide onto a serving dish. Cut into wedges. Hot or room temp (even cold). Yay. Yum.

frittata serving

frittata serving

Easy Peasy Pasta

Orzo pouring in...!

Orzo pouring in…!

It’s the kind of pasta you eat when you’re hungry and you want to eat something fast. You want it to be ready in the time it takes water to boil and pasta to cook…about 20 minutes.

Why not choose orzo? Get it cooking in boiling salted water. Then open the refrigerator.

What’s there?

Maybe: a few grape tomatoes. A small bunch of broccoli. A few mushrooms. On the patio is a patch of arugula growing in a pot.

impromptu sauce ingredients

impromptu sauce ingredients

There’s garlic. Or onion. Or both. Salt & Pepper. Cut up & cook up all in a saute pan with a little olive oil.

Saute

Saute

When orzo is done, drain it, and keep a bit of pasta water. Add orzo to the saute pan.

Cooking orzo

Cooking orzo

Drizzle some olive oil. Mix to combine. Add some pasta water to moisten if needed. Season. Add grated cheese (parmigiano). Kick off your shoes. Sit down. Watch TV. (Glass of wine?)  Comfy.