For a long time I had been dreaming of this dish… the Stuffed Mushrooms from Maggiano’s. I had never heard of Maggiano’s before, but I went first during a trip to Philadelphia. Someone recommended the stuffed mushrooms and when I tried them I was hooked. I have been known to hook a few other people to these mushrooms. Every time I travel and I see a Maggiano’s, I start to salivate for these mushrooms. Hey, I even photographed them once for you…
But I was crushed recently … CRUSHED, because for the first time ever, Maggiano’s mentioned these mushrooms are made, apparently, with chicken broth. Something, I swear, I had never seen in their menus, or even tasted. Believe me, I have been tricked many times into thinking something doesn’t have chicken broth and then I taste it and arrrrgh!!!! But these mushrooms never tasted to me like they had any chicken broth. But one day I checked them out on the internet and there it was… the description every vegetarian dreads:
Jumbo mushroom caps stuffed with spinach and topped with our seasoned breadcrumbs and house cheese; served in a white wine chicken broth.
Could it be that I had never read the menu when I ordered them??? Possibly… nonetheless, I was scarred for life…
And as we are, humans with worldly desires, just knowing I couldn’t have these delicious mushrooms any more with the knowledge of someone drowning them in chicken broth, made my desire of re-creating this recipe the more ever-present in my mind… YOU MUST BUY MUSHROOMS, YOU MUST COOK MUSHROOMS, YOU MUST EAT MUSHROOMS… and so to Costco I went.
Coincidentally that same afternoon, my friend Jonathan invited me to dinner, and I remembered the huge container of jumbo mushrooms from Costco in my fridge and without giving it too much though… I invited him over for dinner. I guess the time had come for him to taste my vegetarian cooking. Would I pass the test? Would I really be able to recreate these stuffed mushrooms from Maggiano’s while satisfying Jonathan’s carnivore appetite?!?!?! Check out the results…
Better-than-Maggiano’s STUFFED MUSHROOMS
8 jumbo white mushrooms About 2/3 cup of chopped frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry 1/3 cup of grated parmesan cheese ¼ cup shredded pecorino romano cheese, plus more to top mushrooms 1/3 cup of whole-wheat breadcrumbs Salt and Pepper to taste A pinch of red pepper flakes (optional) 1 yellow lemon
- Pre-heat the oven to 400F.
- Clean the mushrooms well with a damp paper towel. Remove the stems and place them over an oiled baking sheet. Set aside.
- Chop the mushrooms stems finely and add them to a medium bowl together with the spinach, cheeses and breadcrumbs. Mix well and season with salt and pepper. Add the red pepper flakes if you’re into spice, like Jonathan.
- Fill the mushroom caps generously with this spinach mixture. Top with a bit more pecorino romano cheese and drizzle a bit more olive oil on top.
- Place in oven for about 20 minutes until the mushroom caps cook and the cheese on top is golden brown.
- Serve immediately with a squirt of yellow lemon juice over them.
We had these mushrooms with a salad on the side. I would say the dinner was a complete success… according to Jonathan, these mushrooms are the BEST he has ever had. And now, I won’t salivate anymore over any mushrooms out there. I have what I need at home.