These cute little stuffed mushrooms are one perfect party food. Did I just say party, well, in fact they over perform in any occasion – from fancy celebrations with friends and family to simple weekday dinners for one. Be warned though, they disappear quickly.
CHOOSING FRESH MUSHROOMS
Mushrooms are delicate and fragile vegetables that spoil quickly. One way to tell if the mushrooms are fresh is to look for the veil that connects the mushroom caps with the stem. If mushrooms are young, the veil is usually intact. Older mushrooms tend to lack/ have ruptured veil and you can clearly see cap’s gill. If you want to know more, I recommend checking this 101 Mushroom guide. It’s quite comprehensive.
GETTING KIDS IN THE KITCHEN
Mushrooms are a perfect way to engage kids in the cooking process. Most, if not all experts (and parents) agree that involving kids at a young age fosters a habit with lifelong benefits. Being able to pull some ingredients into a simple meal is a basic life skill, after all.
As mushrooms are small and funny looking vegetables, they present a wonderful opportunity for playing around and cooking together. Here are some ideas from our own kitchen to get you started.
We engage our 2-year old by inviting him to:
- wash the mushrooms in a large bowl or we wash them together
- put stuffing in each mushroom (stuffing shouldn’t be hot to prevent any chance of burns)
- play ‘’cooking games’’ with tomatoes while we prepare the stuffing on the stove
- throw away the stems (if we do not preserve them for another meal)
An interesting read on the way we eat and the healthy habits we create in the kitchen is this article based on Michael Pollan’s remarks and views.
WASTE-FREE & MEAL-PREP ideas
If you do not want to throw away mushroom stems, simply chop and add to the minced meat mix. Mushrooms turn equally tasty. If you need to participate in a family/friends gathering, but you do not want to carry around fully cooked mushrooms – prepare the stuffing and place in air-tight container. Bring along (preferably in cooler bag) and fill mushrooms before event, then pop them in the oven and voila. Perfectly fresh stuffed mushrooms for any party/occasion.
MORE TASTY & EASY RECIPE IDEAS
Easy Stuffed Mushrooms
- 20 medium sized white mushrooms
- 8 oz minced meat (beef/pork)
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 red onion head, finely chopped
- 3 medium tomatoes, finely chopped (or 1/2 small can tomatoes)
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 tbsp melted butter for brushing mushrooms, optional
- Salt, pepper to taste, (or ½ bouillon cube)
- 1 tbsp (fresh) thyme leaves
- Water as needed
- Shredded cheese, optional
- Wash white mushrooms and remove stems. Presoak in cold water for 10 minutes to clean easier.
- Place mushroom caps on baking /cookie sheet and brush the inside of each mushroom with melted butter. I used cooking brush. Set aside and prepare stuffing.
- In non-stick pan with lid (or skillet), place vegetable oil, chopped onion, minced garlic, thyme leaves and salt & pepper (or bouillon cube). Sautee until tender (around 7-10 minutes on mediuon stove top. Add water (1tbsp at a timas needed to prevent from burning.
- Then, add tomatoes and minced meat. Stir well to prevent minced meat from stacking together. Remove from stove once meat is almost cooked (takes around 10 min on medium on my stove).
- Fill each mushroom cap with generous amount of stuffing (until heaping). Arrange mushroom caps on baking sheet and bake until liquid starts to form under caps (around 20 min in my stove).
- Optional: 5 minutes before mushrooms are done, sprinkle shredded cheese of choice and return in the oven.