‘Shrooms are the meatist treasures that vegetarians can find. When cooked correctly, mushrooms explode with succulent bursts of umami flavor. Umami is a taste sensation that can be described as robust or savory — basically, meaty. How great is it for vegetarians that mushrooms are meaty, tasty little fungi?
…Did I turn you off from mushrooms? Sorry if I did. Embrace fungi. I mean, aren’t they wonderful? Mushrooms are beautiful substitutes for meat in vegetarian dishes, and whenever I have a mushroom-centric dish, I never miss meat.
I created this dish out of a deep love for mushrooms and cream cheese. In these special stuffed mushrooms, cream cheese acts as the creamy binder for caramelized onions, sauteed mushroom stems, parmesan cheese, and flavorful spices. You top off a mushroom cap with some of this cream cheese mixture, and you got yourself some special mushrooms that any college student would happily devour . These bad boys will take you to Nirvana. Don’t forget to eat them with a nice glass of red wine!
Start off with some small fresh mushrooms. . . .
White button mushrooms or cremini mushrooms shall do. Just make sure they’re about 2 inches in diameter. Then remove the stems without breaking the mushroom caps. You wan’t your stuffed mushrooms to be purdy and special, don’t you?
Chop up the stems… and some onion…. and mince some garlic while you’re at it.
Then throw them in a hot pan with some olive oil.
Assuming you didn’t destroy the mushroom caps too badly (ok, seriously, though, the caps can be delicate, so just tug the stems out carefully when you do)… place the caps on a baking pan lined with foil or parchment paper. I used parchment. I couldn’t find the darn foil.
Brown the onions, mushrooms, and garlic nicely until yummy and caramelized. You got about 10 minutes? It takes about that long. Then let it cool for 5 minutes off the heat.
Now mix up your cream cheese, chopped green onions, parsley, Parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, and cayenne. MHM. Don’t forget the cooled mushroom mixture.
Mix, mix, mix.. mix thoroughly.
Then stuff ’em. Stuff ’em mushrooms good. Bake for a while… and..
Voila! Come on. Nobody can say no to that. Here’s a joke to top off your mushroom-filled evening:
This mushroom walks into a bar and starts hitting on this woman… She, of course, turns him down. Not willing, to give up, he pleads with her… “C’mon lady, I’m a fun guy…”
Special Stuffed Mushrooms
Total time: 40 minutes
Prep: 10 min
Cook: 30 min
Yield: 12 mushrooms
12 large (2 1/2-inch-diameter) cremini or white mushrooms with stems
1/3 cup finely chopped white or yellow onion
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
3 ounces (a little less than ½ cup) cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
1 scallion, white and green parts, chopped
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a small baking sheet with parchment paper. Remove stems from mushrooms and chop them finely. Reserve ½ cup minced stems.
In a small skillet over medium-high heat, cook mushroom stems, onions, and minced garlic in the oil, stirring occasionally, until browned and softened, for about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool for about 5 minutes. In a small mixing bowl, combine cream cheese, parmesan cheese, parsley, 1 tablespoon green onions, salt, black pepper, cayenne, and cooled mushroom/onion mixture until evenly mixed. Spoon a heaping teaspoon of filling into the mushroom cavities and arrange on the lined baking sheet, cavity side up.
Place baking sheet in center rack of oven, and bake 20-23 minutes, or until filling is lightly golden brown on top and mushrooms are tender. Remove from oven and let cool on baking sheet for at least 5 minutes before serving. Garnish with remaining green onions. Serve warm or at room temperature.