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Stuffed Mushrooms

My niece Kellie has inspired me to find out all I can about stuffed mushrooms.  Here goes nothing.

 

It seems that everybody has a recipe for stuffed mushrooms.  They come in small, for hors-d’oeuvres, medium sized, for side dishes and large for main courses.  Mushrooms can be stuffed with just about anything from meat to veggies or any combination there of.  They can be grilled, baked, pan-fried, sauteed, roasted or any other way that sounds good to you.  Mushrooms have a subtle flavor (most that we cook with anyway) and a great texture and mouth feel.  They are sponge like and absorb liquid easily.

There are a couple of things you night need to know about mushrooms to make good cooking decisions and some information that is just fun to know.

Nutritional Information:

  • 3.5 oz of mushroom has around 27 calories
  • 4.1 grams of carbohydrates
  • .1 gram of fat
  • 2.5 grams of protein
  • various vitamins and minerals

Cooking and storing information:

  • shrooms are sponge like and should be marinated or coated in liquid before cooking to keep from drying out.  Becareful not to marinate too long (no more than a few minutes should do) or you’ll have a soggy, dense mushroom.  Taste the marinade before using to insure it isn’t too strong.  With mushrooms, what you taste is what you get.
  • high heat quick methods of cooking allow the mushroom to heat throughly while getting a nice crust without shrinking
  • You should never wash mushrooms, just brush off the dirt.  If you just have to wash them wait until you are about to cook them then pat them dry.
  • Store in a cool, dry, dark place.  Do not cover in plastic or put in a plastic bag.  Wrap in a cloth,cheese-cloth, or store in a cloth bag or use them soon after purchase.

Best Cooking Methods for un-stuffed mushrooms:

  • Saute is great for small button sized or chopped mushrooms.  Saute in butter or olive oil and season while cooking.  No marinating is necessary but pickled mushrooms saute nicely and are a great addition to a stew or stir fry.
  • Grilling or Broiling in the oven – These methods are best suited to larger whole mushrooms or caps such as Portabellas and Shiitakes.  Brush the shrooms with oil or butter and season.  Grill or Broil close to the heat source for 4 minutes per side flipping once or twice. Baste a couple of times with your seasoned butter or oil mixture while cooking.
  • Roasting – Preheat your oven to 450°, brush mushrooms as with the grilling method and roast in a shallow pan for up to 20 mins, flipping once.

Seasonings and Marinades:

  • dry seasoning combinations sprinkled on a olive oil brushed mushroom are great.  Try Lemon-Pepper or McCormick’s Grill Mates
  • Olive oil, seasoned with herbs and or vinegar is nice.
  • Sherry or other cooking wines make a good marinade.
  • Sauces, such as brown sauce, white sauce or tomato sauce are a great way to raise the flavor profile.
  • Don’t forget Balsamic vinegar and
  • Soy sauce
  • Try your favorite salad dressing, like Italian or ranch.

Stuffing:

  • like I said before – anything – try:
  • bread crumbs, sausage and onions covered with Parmesan cheese
  • chopped bell pepper, onion, cheese and herbs
  • roasted veggies chopped or diced and marinated in soy sauce or balsamic vinegar for a vegan solution
  • seasoned rice and tofu with a balsamic sauce

Best method for Cooking Stuffed Mushrooms:

  • Baking– you can bake a stuffed mushroom in a 400° oven for 30-45 mins. cover with foil for the first 2/3 of the cooking time
  • Roasting in foil – wrap your stuffed mushrooms in foil and put on the grill for 30 mins or until they seem done.  This is best if you have a cheese topping or stuffing that shouldn’t brown too quickly.
  • Pan frying/steaming – For smaller stuffed mushrooms fill a frying pan with the stuffed mushrooms and fry on med/high heat in a little oil until the bottoms start to brown.  Pour in a 1/2 cup of wine, balsamic vinegar, soy sauce or a combination and cover with a tight fitting lid, reducing the heat to med and steam in the liquid for 10 or 15 mins.  This is also a good way to melt a cheese topping.
Look for stuffed mushroom recipes I’ll be adding in the next few days.  Let me know if you have a good combination you’d like to share with the Farmers – Jug
Caveman Steaks on the Grill

Caveman steaks take us back.  The other day we talked about how our bodies haven’t evolved as fast as our technology in the blog about “A Reversal on Carbs“. Here is a chance to step back to our caveman roots and cook a steak directly on the coals. Please use hardwood charcoal, not charcoal briquettes.

This recipe comes from Men’sHealth section on Guy Gourmet – Eat to Live, Live to Eat.

The recipe says that by cooking directly on the coals you will create a crispier crust and juicier steak.  This recipe calls for T-bones, but any grillable cut of meat will do.  Try the hellfire hot sauce for an extra kick.

 

First, make the caveman steaks.

What you’ll need:
4 T-Bone steaks (each about 1 1/2 inches thick and 12 to 14 ounces)
Coarse salt and cracked black peppercorns

How to make it:
1. Build a charcoal fire and rake the coals* into an even layer (leave the front third of the grill coal-free). When the coals glow orange, fan them with a newspaper to blow off any loose ash.
2. Generously season the steaks on both sides with salt and cracked pepper. Place the steaks directly on the embers about 2 inches apart. Grill the steaks until cooked to taste, 4 to 6 minutes per side for medium rare, turning with tongs.
3. Using tongs, lift the steaks out of the fire, shaking each to dislodge any embers. Using a basting brush, brush off any loose ash and arrange the steaks on a platter. Cover the steaks loosely with aluminum foil and let them rest while you make the sauce.

Next, make the hellfire hot sauce. Don’t skip this. All you need is four ingredients and a cast iron skillet.

Hellfire Hot Sauce

What you’ll need:
¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil
10 jalapeno peppers, thinly sliced crosswise
10 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
¾ cup loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped

How to make it:
Heat the olive oil in a cast-iron skillet directly on the embers, on the side of a gas grill, or on the stove. When the oil is hot, add the jalapenos, garlic, and cilantro. Cook the sauce over high heat until the jalapenos and garlic begin to brown, about 2 minutes. Immediately pour the sauce over the steaks and serve. Serves 4 hungry people.

*Raichlen says: “To get the full effect, you must cook the steaks on a bed of charcoal or wood embers. If you don’t own a charcoal grill, you should. But if you’re firmly wedded to propane, you can achieve acceptable results by preheating your grill screaming hot before you put on the steaks.”

 Jughandle says- Not many things better than a grilled steak and you’ll be getting a good dose of protein too.  Try a grilled sweet potato as a side or grilled vegetables, you’ll love it.