stuffed mushrooms

JM uses a special language to describe objects. For nouns, the formula is simple: keep only the first letter of the first syllable of the word, but keep the rest of the syllables. So sunglasses become s-glasses, Broadway becomes B-way, etc. A slightly different logic applies to adjectives, which keep their first syllables in their entirety — but the rest of the word goes out the window. Think something is decent? No, it’s actually deece. Think that movie is genius? Nope: that movie is gene — or, in its superlative form, supergene.

Not to toot my own horn here, but I’ve been making cheese-stuffed mushrooms in variety of forms for a few years now, and I like to think all that practice qualifies them, at this point, as supergene. While it’s really, really easy to make deece stuffed mushrooms, it takes some effort to elevate them to gene or supergene status. First, you need to know how your oven works. If it has a tendency to run a little cool or a little hot, you need to figure that out before attempting anything approaching gene. Second, the inclusion of raw eggs in the cheese filling means you need to be something of a salt whisperer. Some cheeses are pretty salty, but others — goat cheese, ricotta, etc. — need a little help. Thing is, you can’t actually taste anything before it goes into the mushroom, so the ability to come up with an educated guess is critical.

Though I usually go with g-cheese and pecans for stuffing, I decided to move outside my comfort zone to achieve true supergene status and use m-chego with walnuts. It was worth it. I dare you to leave any of these on the plate after eating just one.

Supergene Stuffed Mushrooms

Ingredients:
-1 package of whole white or crimini mushrooms (about 10)
-1 clove garlic, minced
-1 tbs fresh parsley, chopped
-1 egg
-1/4 cup walnuts (about one walnut half for every mushroom), chopped
-2 oz. finely grated manchego (or another salty, firm cheese)
-2-3 tbs olive oil

Set your oven to 350° F. Clean and dry the mushrooms, removing the stems. Don’t throw them out though: chop them up into small pieces and toss ‘em in a mixing bowl. Add your garlic, parsley, walnuts, and egg, and mix well. Now carefully mix in the grated cheese, being sure not to let it get lumpy. You’re aiming for an even, dough-like texture.

Put the mushrooms upside-down on a baking sheet or skillet and coat them with the olive oil, using your hands to make sure they’re coated evenly. Put a dollop of the stuffing into each. (If you have extra stuffing, don’t worry — it makes a pretty great fritter to munch on while you wait for the mushrooms to bake.)

Put the mushrooms in the oven and let them bake for about 20 minutes, until they look cooked but not brown. Then set the oven to broil, and leave them in for another 10 minutes.

You’re done. Let them cool. Eat. Supergene.

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