I’m into mushrooms… they’re delicious and they’re easy and quick to make. And when recently I was invited to make something “different” for the Vegetarian Festival at the Yoga Center, I decided I wanted to make some stuffed mushrooms.
I love to buy white button mushrooms at Costco, but the package is SO BIG that it’s usually too much for just me at home. But if we’re cooking for the Yoga Center, I would certainly need 2 packages. Mushrooms are used in the yoga center, but they’re not a usual main dish occurrence because they’re usually expensive when cooking for lots of people. But I thought this is my chance to highlight how you can embellish a little old mushroom and make them be your main dish.
I used gluten-free crackers instead of regular breadcrumbs because there are a lot of people at the center who keep a gluten-free diet. They work just the same, you’ll see and taste.
GLUTEN-FREE SUN-DRIED TOMATO STUFFED MUSHROOMS
2 large packages of white stuffing mushrooms – about 40-45 mushrooms 1 medium onion, chopped finely ½ green bell pepper, chopped finely 2 garlic cloves, minced or grated on a microplane 2 sprigs of fresh thyme 10 sun-dried tomatoes, chopped in small pieces – make sure they’re made without sulfites as a preservative ½ cup of vegetable broth 1/2 packet of gluten-free crackers – I use Energy brand because that’s why I have available 1 cup of shredded parmesan cheese, organic preferably- divided 1 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese, organic preferably 1 cup of loosely-packed fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped finely Salt and Pepper Olive Oil
- Clean the mushrooms well using a damp paper towel. They sometimes have traces of the dirt they were growing in. Remove the stems and chop them into small pieces and set aside. Reserve the caps for later use.
- In a small saucepan, heat the vegetable broth to a simmer and add the sundried tomatoes. After it simmers for a while, turn off the stove and let the tomatoes just sit in the hot broth for a few minutes to help them reconstitute a bit.
- Meanwhile, in a medium skillet, pour a little olive oil and sauté the onions, peppers, garlic and the mushrooms stems you already chopped. Cook until the mushrooms are browned. Season with the thyme, stripping the leaves from the stems, salt and pepper. Add the reconstituted sun-dried tomatoes all together with the broth that’s left. Allow the mixture to cook some more to evaporate a bit, about 5 more minutes. Remove from pan into a bowl and allow cooling a bit.
- While the mixture cools, process the crackers into crumbs in a food processor.
- Mix together the cooled mushroom stem/onion/tomatoes mix with the crackers, mozzarella, ½ the parmesan cheese, and chopped fresh parsley. Drizzle some olive oil if you see the mix a bit dry… but chances are it’s not.
- Preheat oven to 425F.
- In a large baking dish drizzled with a bit of olive oil, place all the mushrooms stuffed with the mixture we just made. Don’t push the stuffing too much into the mushrooms cavity, but do heap any additional stuffing generously on top of mushrooms. No need to discard or leave any stuffing for future use.
- Take the extra parmesan we saved and add a small mound on top of each mushrooms. I usually drizzle a a bit of olive oil and sprinkle some additional salt and pepper to season the mushrooms themselves.
- Bake for about 20 minutes, until the mushrooms looked cooked and cheese on top is golden brown.
But if you want to make this for a party, you can place these on a steam table with about ½ cup of vegetable broth and allow them to steam to keep warm. If you place in a steam table dry, the mushrooms will shrivel.
I know… this Vegetarian Festival was filled with dishes; hardly these mushrooms seem like a main entrée. But I have served these, just like I have served my better-than-Maggiano’s Stuffed Mushrooms as a main dish with a side salad at home.
The positive comments kept on coming the whole night. Gabriel, Angie, Tania and many others came up to me to share their compliments on the mushrooms and asking for the recipe. I told them they needed to wait until we published here… you know, it’s easier to just hit print than write this all down. I actually repeated this recipe again at the center just a week later – people were left wanting some more.
So for all the fans… here’s the recipe now. Now you can make it at home whenever you want, not just when I make it at the Yoga Center. I hope it does not disappoint.