Aunt Connie’s Savory Stuffed Mushrooms
Many of us can find a few favorite foods that bring us back to great memories of family Holiday gatherings! Every Thanksgiving my Aunt Connie made these delicious stuffed mushrooms with the right amount of “heat” (crushed red pepper flakes) and without sausage that you may find in some recipes (Nothing against sausage; I just dont like them in my mushrooms). For 30 years, I have incorporated this side dish into my own Thanksgiving dinner, and like any recipe you make over and over again, they get better each time. I brought this great taste to August just for my brother the Father (the Priest) to enjoy before he leaves next month for his new assignment at in Roma, Italia. The recipe below is inspired by my Aunt Connie. Over the years, I have made a few minor modifications, for example, I use Whole Wheat bread crumbs to incoporate more whole grains into a meal, and depending on the size of the mushrooms I may adjust the grated cheese from 3/4 cup to 2/3 cup while maintaining the same great taste. Enjoy!
Mushrooms, white button, whole, large, 34 ounces , about 20-24 mushrooms ( medium to large mushroom count also work )
Garlic, 2 large cloves, minced
Yellow Onion, 1 medium, minced
Olive Oil, 5-6 Tablespoons, divided in half (2 Tbsp. for the pan to saute garlic and onion; 2 Tbsp in the stuffing; remainder to drizzle on top)
Breadcrumbs, Whole Wheat preferred, seasoned (when choosing to use plain unseasoned breadcrumbs, season with 1/2 to 3/4-teaspoon each of dried basil and parsley, 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano)
Romano Cheese, finely grated, ¾ cup ( you can also use Pparmigiano Reggiano cheese)
Pepper, 1/8 teaspoon
Crushed Red Pepper Flakes, 1/8 teaspoon or more to taste
Vegetable Cooking Spray, I use olive oil or avocado oil spray
Water, 4 ounces divided (for the bottom of the pans)
Equipment: One Heavy skillet. Two large baking pans (16” x12”) lined with aluminum foil or parchment paper. Knife to chop and mince. Measuring cups and measuring spoons. Mixing Spoon.
Line each baking pan with aluminum foil and spray with vegetable cooking oil so mushrooms do not stick. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Clean mushrooms: Remove the stems from the caps (rinse and dry with paper towel if there is a lot of dirt). Dry and finely chop mushroom stems.Brush off dirt from the mushroom cap with a dry paper towel or mushroom brush. And set aside bottom up in the baking pan spaced about 1/2 to 1/4 inch apart in uniform horizontal rows per pan (about 3 rows of 7- 10 mushrooms)
Prepare Stuffing Mixture:
Heat onions and garlic with 3- Tablespoons of olive oil in heavy skillet over medium heat until a light golden brown (do not burn)
Add finely chopped mushroom stems with the onions and garlic until cooked. Turn off the heat.
Mix in breadcrumbs and grated cheese until fluffy. (If the mixture is too dry add more oil as needed. (This may be about 1-2 teaspoons more).
Put a teaspoon full of stuffing mixture in each mushroom cap and place back on baking pan in uniform rows. Drizzle olive oil over each stuffed mushroom : This is about ¼-teaspoon of olive oil on top of each mushroom – OR – spray the top with olive oil. Also add about 2 ounces of water at the bottom of each pan, as necessary. This creates a little steam and prevents sticking to bottom of pan.
Bake at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes, until golden brown on top.