I will admit it. This was a bit of a Chopped moment. I had bought some fresh fish, but was relying on ingredients already in the house to come up with the rest of the meal. We had a lot of dairy products, half a package of mushrooms and some spinach that was nearing the end of it’s useful life. Enter the stuffed mushrooms.
The result? A side dish that made FKGuy rave, and declare loudly “Wah, wah, wah wah wah.” When he stopped chewing he clarified. “These are amazing. Please make them again. Soon.”
This recipe is fantastic because it can be modified any way you like, with the addition of other vegetables or cheeses, depending on what you have on hand at any given moment. It is also versatile enough to be an appetizer or a side dish. In fact, when a friend texted me just yesterday “Help. I’m going to a party and I need to bring a good appetizer. It’s for foodies. It has to be easy.” I gave her this recipe. (I’m still waiting to hear how it was received at the party.)
Spinach and Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms
Serves 4 as a side dish, or 8 as an hors d’oerve (This is a fork and knife hors d’oerve. It’s a messy one.)
16 mushroom caps (I use Baby Bellas), cleaned, stems removed
(Once you have removed the stems, you can clean them and finely chop them and add to the sautee pan with the spinach.)
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 cup fresh spinach leaves, sauteed in a little olive oil
1 shallot, finely chopped
2 – 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1/2 cup whipped cream cheese
4 ounces parmesan cheese (you can sub cheddar, Manchego, or nearly any other cheese you like), chopped into small pieces
Salt, pepper, cumin
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Pour half of the cream into the bottom of an ovenproof baking dish. Place the mushroom caps, stem side up, in the dish.
Mix together the cream cheese, half of the parmesan cheese, garlic, shallot, salt, pepper and a pinch of cumin. When combined, add the spinach and mushroom combination. Drop a spoonful of the cheese and spinach mixture into each mushroom cap. Top with remaining cheese. Pour remaining cream over the top of the mushrooms and put into the oven to bake for about 25 minutes, until the mixture is bubbling and golden brown.
Let stand for a few minutes before serving so you don’t burn your tongue. You may want to have a nice, crusty baguette on hand to scoop up all of the leftover saucy goodness.