Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Basil Stuffed Mushrooms

I like food. Not hard to believe right? I'm blogging about food, I scour the Internet for recipes, and my go to channel on TV is the Food Network. Of course I like food, but there are a few foods that I love! Onions? Love! Cheddar Cheese? Love! Basil? Love, Love Love!

Now if you checked in with me when I was about 8 years old I would have had an opposite reaction. Basil? Yuck! No Thanks! I can remember slyly taking out whole pieces of basil from my grandmother's tomato sauce whenever we had pasta. Why where there big green leaves floating in my macaroni dish anyway?

I'm not sure when my hate for basil turned into love but I'm happy it did. When you love basil it's a whole new world. For instance, something like this might happen:
  • You look for a new perfume and think "I wish they sold Basil No. 5"
  • You can't understand why Yankee Candle doesn't have a Basil scented candle
  • When you are picking a name for your dog and think, "I found the perfect name! Basil!" (Pesto is a close 2nd) 
I could go on and on but you get the picture. Basil rocks.
About 10 years ago my dad taught me this recipe. It was a holiday morning, we stole a few mushrooms that my grandmother was stuffing with breadcrumbs and got cracking on a new recipe. Basil! Garlic! Onion! Margarine!?!

Yes, margarine. I know this will be controversial and I've tried to alter the recipe to use butter but it loses something. Butter will work but you need to play with the salt to get the right flavor. You have permission to change the recipe; you are all adults so do what you have to do. I used a little of both for this recipe, you'll find that Butter and Margarine play very well together!

Another reason I love this recipe is because you can use a lot of your left over basil from the summer. You know how sometimes you freeze basil so you can use it in the winter months and it turns darkish green/black? No problem. You just found a perfect use for frozen basil.

These mushrooms make a great side dish or an appetizer. My family has them at every holiday and I've brought them to cocktail parties as well. You can experiment with your favorite mushrooms, I've made this recipe using large stuffing mushrooms, Portabellas and button mushrooms.

Oh by the way, if anyone is looking for a different kind of floral bouquet, I'm thinking Basil would be perfect.

Basil Stuffed Mushrooms
6 Tbsp. Margarine
3 Tbsp. Unsalted Butter
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
1/4 C. shallots, finely chopped
2 C. Basil, rough chopped (fresh or frozen)
1 Tsp. Onion Powder
1 Tsp. Garlic Powder
Approx. 14 Lg. Stuffing Mushrooms
1/3 C. Italian Seasoned Breadcrumbs

Melt the margarine & butter in a sauce pan on low heat. Add garlic and shallots.  Let the mix heat together for about 8-10 min. Add the chopped basil, onion powder & garlic powder.  Let the basil mixture heat together while you prep the mushrooms.

Remove stems from the mushrooms and clean. I find that using a mushroom brush gets the best results.  When the mushrooms are clean place in a baking pan and get ready to stuff.
Remove the basil mix from the stove and spoon the filling into the mushroom caps.  Stuff until all the mushrooms are all filled. If there is extra the basil mix can be frozen for later use.

Just prior to baking, sprinkle some seasoned breadcrumbs over the top of each mushroom. 
Bake at 350 for 20 min. After the 20 min. is up broil on low to a golden brown (between 4-6 min)

Remove mushrooms from the pan and place on a serving dish! 

Stems are removed and brushed clean.
Basil, Shallots & Garlic Oh my.
Hello Basil!
Spoon the mix into each mushroom cap.
Continue to fill each cap until they're all stuffed.  Any extra mix can be frozen for later use.
Sprinkle the tops of the mushroom with seasoned breadcrumbs.
Almost ready for the oven.
Ta Da! 
I should sample. Just to make sure they are good.
Yup. They're good.


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