My favorite things to eat during the holiday party season, (other than sweets), are appetizers. These tiny bites are perfect to get a taste of something delicious without overindulging. Plus, you get to try a little bit of a wide variety of food. Recently, my blog meetup group got together for our last meeting of the year, a potluck. I went through my collection of food magazines and found a recipe for stuffed mushrooms that met my criteria – not too difficult, made a generous amount, and could be prepared ahead of time. Here’s the recipe:
Stuffed Mushrooms with Pancetta, Shallots, and Sage (adapted from the Best of Fine Cooking: Appetizers)
Yield: ~ 35 hors d’oeuvres
1-1/2 lb. cremini or white button mushrooms – about 35 to 40
3 Tbsp unsalted butter
1-1/2 oz pancetta, finely diced (1/4 cup)
5 medium shallots, finely diced
2 tsp chopped fresh sage
Pinch crushed red pepper flakes
Freshly ground black pepper
2/3 cup dried breadcrumbs
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (or parmesan)
Preheat oven to 425F.
Trim and discard the very bottom of the mushroom stems.
Remove the mushroom stems and chop them finely along with five of the largest mushroom caps.
Heat 2 Tbsp of the butter in a medium saute pan over medium heat. Add the pancetta and cook until it starts to render some of its fat, 1 to 2 minutes.
Add the shallots, sage, and red pepper flakes. Cook until the shallots are tender, about 4 minutes.
Stir in the chopped mushroom stems and 1/2 tsp salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture is tender, about 3 minutes.
Add the remaining 1 Tbsp butter to the saute pan. When it has melted, transfer the mushroom mixture with a slotted spoon to a bowl.
Stir in the breadcrumbs and cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Let mixture cool slightly.
Grease one large or two smaller shallow baking dishes with olive oil or butter.
Arrange the mushrooms in one layer in the pan(s). Stuff each cavity with a rounded teaspoonful of the filling, or more as needed, to form a mound on top of each mushroom. (I found using a small ice cream scoop very helpful). If you have extra filling and mushroom caps, just keep filling more mushrooms.
You can stop here and cover the dish(es) with foil and refrigerate until you are ready to bake. Just bring the mushrooms to room temperature before you do so.
Drizzle the mushrooms with 2 to 3 Tbsp of olive oil. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the mushrooms are tender and the breadcrumbs are golden brown.
Transfer mushrooms to a platter and serve warm.
What types of food do you like to prepare for holiday gatherings? Have a go-to recipe that you rely on? Please share in the comments.