Sunday, November 15, 2009

Balsamic Buttons

Mushrooms. Those little buttons are just so versatile. They can be sautéed, they can be baked, they can be stuffed, sliced, stuck on a pizza, tossed in a salad, eaten straight out of the bag. They’re just good. My favorite way to eat them is sautéed up with sugar snap peas. But another great way is stuffed with cream cheese and drenched with balsamic vinegar. Balsamic is my favorite vinegar. I once had a crème brule at a (faaaancy) restaurant with strawberries with a white balsamic vinegar reduction. Oh my. Ever since I have been dying for a crème brule set and a bottle of white balsamic, just to try my hand at it. Ahem, Christmas? Yes. Anyway. Back to mushrooms.

Stuffed Balsamic Mushrooms

24 white button mushrooms

6 tbs balsamic vinegar

½ cup extra virgin olive oil, divided

Sea salt

1 cup of Italian bread crumbs

1 cup fresh grated parmesan (don’t get me started on the virtues of good, fresh parmesan…I used to buy the pre-grated-Pizza Hut kind, but seriously, a block of parmesan cheese lasts FOREVER. And you can use it in soo many different things. Not to mention it’s like a million times better. But anyway. Back to mushrooms.)

24 cubes of cream cheese (um, 4 oz? 8? I don’t know…probably closer to 8)

Preheat your oven to 425.

Clean mushrooms and remove stems. Toss mushrooms in vinegar and ¼ cup of olive oil. Sprinkle with sea salt. Place on a baking dish and roast in the oven for 10-15 minutes. Remove and cool to room temp. Mix bread crumbs, parmesan, and the other ¼ cup of olive oil in a small bowl (note: if you want to, you can finely chop the mushroom stems and add them to the bread crumbs.) When mushrooms are cool place a cream cheese cube in each mushroom cap, then cover with a spoonful of bread crumb mixture. Pop back into the oven for 5-6 minutes, until cream cheese is melty and bread crumbs are toasty. Serve and enjoy!

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