I was inspired to create this recipe when I found these gorgeous cremini mushrooms at our neighborhood farmers market, which is held every Saturday morning in the beautiful Parque de Los Enamorados.
I love the mushroom stand set up by Brenda Lera, with a variety of mushrooms that I buy every Saturday.
- 12 medium sized cremini mushrooms (they are also called Baby Bella)
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 medium red onion
- A variety of veggies can be used, such as, zucchini, bell peppers, tomatoes. Here I have used a red and an orange bell pepper.
- 1 serrano chili, is optional, if you want to add a spicy kick.
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- A handful of any herbs you like. Here I have used Italian parsley.
- 1 tablespoon of sherry or balsamic vinegar
- 1 and 1/2 cup shredded cheese. Use your favorite melting cheese. I usually buy a block of the best cheese I can find. Then I get my husband to grate it for me. However, the Italian cheese in the photo, was on sale and it had no additives or anti-caking compounds, so I bought it.
- 2 teaspoons of my Italian Spice Mix for sprinkling over the mushrooms and 1 teaspoon for the filling. The Italian Spice Mix consists of garlic powder, onion powder, chili flakes and dried oregano.
- Olive oil – enough to coat the pan and drizzle over the mushrooms.
- Salt and pepper to taste
Prepping The Mushrooms
Clean the mushrooms by carefully wiping off any dirt with a moist kitchen towel. Then remove the stems by gently snapping them off. Hollow out each mushroom with a grapefruit spoon. Set the stems and the mushroom innards aside in a bowl. We will use them as part of the mushroom filling. Nothing goes to waste around here!!! Place each prepped mushroom upside down on a baking sheet.
Sprinkle with salt, pepper and my Italian Spice Mix. Then drizzle with olive oil. Turn the mushrooms over and repeat the sprinkle and drizzle.
Turn the oven to 400F or 200C. Place the seasoned mushrooms into the oven and bake until they release their juices, as seen in the photo below. This should take about 10 minutes.
Let the mushrooms cool for about ten minutes. Then pour out the juices, that are full of umami flavor, into a small bowl. My motto is “SAVOR EVERY FLAVOR 😋” We will use this umami bomb as part of the mushroom filling. Umami is the savory or meaty taste of foods. It corresponds to the flavor of glutamates in foods. That is why monosodium glutamate (MSG) is used as a flavor enhancing agent. My husband and I are both very sensitive to artificial MSG, but mushrooms have a high concentration of natural glutamates which don’t produce the reaction that artificial MSG does.
TIP – By extracting the mushroom juices we accomplish two things:
1. Dehydrated the mushrooms so they will not be water-logged when they are stuffed and baked again.
2. Created a mushroom extract that is an umami bomb.
Prepping The Filling
Finely chop all the veggies and herbs. Place each one in a separate bowl because they do not all go in to the pan at the same time.
Cooking The Filling
Coat a heavy duty stainless steel pan with olive oil. Place the pan over a medium-low flame. Add the onion and a teaspoon of the Italian Spice Mix. Sauté until the onions are translucent.
Add the garlic. Continue sautéing until the garlic is soft. This should take about two minutes.
Add the peppers and the chili. The chili is optional if you want to add a spicy note. Add a dash of salt. Sauté until the peppers are soft.
Add the mushrooms. Sprinkle a dash of salt and a grind of black pepper over the mushrooms. Also drizzle a small amount of olive oil. Stir in the mushrooms and sauté until the mushrooms are soft.
Create a hot spot in the center of the pan by pushing the vegetables to the outer edge of the pan. Place the tomato paste in the center of the pan. Drizzle a little bit of olive oil over the tomato paste. Stir the tomato paste in the center of the pan and let it cook for a minute. Then stir it into the rest of the vegetables.
Once the tomato paste is incorporated into the vegetables, deglaze the pan with the vinegar and reserved mushroom juices. Cook for about a minute and turn off the flame.
Add the herbs and stir them in. Taste the filling and adjust the salt and pepper as needed. The filling is now ready. Transfer the filling to a bowl and let it cool so that you will not burn your fingers while stuffing the mushrooms.
These stuffed mushrooms are very popular at our cocktail parties. They pair especially well with red wine. They are easy to make for a party because they can be made the day before. Just fill them but don’t top them with cheese. They will stay fresh in the refrigerator overnight. An hour before your guests arrive, top them with cheese. As your guests start arriving, pop them in a 350F or 180C oven for 5 to 10 minutes to melt the cheese. Before serving garnish each one with a little basil leaf or oregano leaf.
I often make these stuffed mushrooms as an appetizer to take to parties. I prepare them to the point where they are topped with cheese. Then I put them in a covered casserole dish so they transport well. When I get to the party, I pop them in the oven, so they are piping hot when put on the buffet table.
These stuffed mushrooms are very flavorful. I have been asked for this recipe so many times. I finally found time to write this post to share the recipe.
Sometimes I have filling leftover. It can be used for making omelets or a quiche. I used the leftover filling to Stuffed Cremini Mushroom Quiche. They turned out so cute and delicious. I will post the quiche recipe for my next post.
In the meantime, please enjoy the stuffed mushrooms with your favorite glass of red wine. 🍷😋💕